N: Nursery Rhymes

April 16, 2016

We’ve all grown up learning a fair share of these. But only recently have I started paying close attention to the them. For obvious reasons. Couple of years back, S was telling me about a discussion with his colleagues where they mentioned that a lot of nursery rhymes we grew up with seem either quite tragic, or unnecessarily morbid. Think about it:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall – and then – had a great fall?

Jack & Jill went up the hill – and at the end – Jack fell down, broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after?

More recently, I picked up a book with a ton of rhymes for A, mostly because it has some gorgeous illustrations. And I’ve been stunned at some of the rhymes that were so far unknown to me.

Sample this one – There was an old woman who lived in a shoe – and look at the accompanying illustration of the horrid old lady about to spank the kid with a SHOE!! When I read this out to A, I change the last line to ‘She kissed them all and sent them to bed’. 

Or these two in this page. What is the point of the first one, honestly? And what about poor Little Polly Flinders?! She gets whipped for wanting to warm her toes? 

Thanks, but no thanks. Once A gets bored of the pics, I think we’ll stick more pleasant stuf. 



  1. Oh dear, poor Molly. They do say a lot of our fairytale stories have morbid beginnings so maybe Nursery rhymes do too especially the baby in the cot on a tree whi came tumbling down. 😨

    • Oh yes, that one too!

  2. I totally agree to this…and keep telling this to my hubby too. Have you ever read “Three blind mice”? That one is totally violent!

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