Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Nursery Rhymes

We have several books with nursery rhymes in them. At first, we would just read them to the girls without considering what we were saying. As time went by, we started thinking about these rhymes.  I thought I'd go through some and give my interpretation of them. 

If you're planning on sending me an email with the actual history of these rhymes, please don't bother. I'm doing this for humor, and not part of a bigger movement to burn books or anything. Please just enjoy it for what it is.
How else would you get baby down?
Rock-a-bye-baby

Rock-a-bye-baby, on the treetops,
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all.

My research shows this was created by two gentlemen:  Thomas Fisher and Jonathan Price.  Shortly after inventing the song they formed a company and released their first child safety device - a swing for babies that didn't require a tree.  Historians don't believe many people were actually swinging their children in the treetops, but the company has since gone on to produce countless toys and safety devices.  They are still doing business today under their original name - Fisher-Price.

The Queen of Hearts

The queen of hearts she made some tarts all on a summer's day;
The knave of hearts he stole the tarts and took them clean away.
The king of hearts called for the tarts and beat the knave full sore;
The knave of hearts brought back the tarts and vowed he'd steal no more.

The knave didn't make much of an income, so he resorted to taking from the king to feed his family.  Shortly after this was released, the knaves formed a union to fight for better wages and a more hospitable working environment.  The movement was short lived, however, as anyone who joined the union was dealt with severely by the queen.  She would call out "off with their heads", so membership numbers quickly diminished, one way or another.
I'm telling you, those kids aren't right.
There was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she didn't know what to do;
She gave them some broth without any bread;
Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.

This was the birth of child labor laws.  The details of this case were just horrific, and only discovered once her 22nd child filed for emancipation.  Her children were being forced to live in a singular shoe with no food - only a little broth each day.  They had to sew shoes for the old woman to sell in town, yet they were not compensated for their work.  No wages were paid and no profit sharing plan was established.  The only thing they regularly received were beatings.  The old woman's original attorney, Peter Pumpkineater, was forced to recuse himself from her defense team when allegations were brought forth against him that he had been forcing his wife to live in a pumpkin against her will. 

If there are any other nursery rhymes you'd like me to look into please let me know and I'll do my research.

3 comments:

championm2000 said...

I have often wondered about the Mother Goose book that my two are obsessed with...

like 4 and 20 black birds baked in a pie. Wonder if that was the start of PETA?

Or if Georgie Porgie would have been suspended for 360 days under the tough zero tolerance policies for harassment or bullying?

or Ole King Cole calling for his pipe and bowl??

Helene said...

That last one completely cracked me up! I always what "whipped them all soundly" meant...kinda scary when you're a little kid.

My kids once asked why someone would put a cradle in a tree. I had no good answers. Why weren't you blogging back then??

Emmy said...

Love the rock-a-bye baby one and yrs, I totally think you are right. Fisher- price seems to have their hand in everything. I miss the original little people. Darn choking children.