Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Nursery Rhymes 'IF' The Truth behind the Rhyme!?

The Truth behind the Rhyme!?

the dark ages a time associated with medieval torment, a time of religious persecution and in general, not the happiest of times to be alive. when we look back we see suffering and an age when people weren't so enlightened.

This being said its strange that this period gave rise to some of the most joyous songs of our childhood.

          Nursery rhymes

 mothers globally, sing these little tunes to their infant children. They look lovingly into their child's eyes whilst singing about Children tumbling from trees? Heads being slashed off in old London and Creatures being cooked alive?

These happy little ditties don't sound like the type of thing to woo a child to sleep.
so why do we sing them?
where did they come from?
what are the dark origins of these rhymes?

most of these nursery rhymes date back to the 14th century but didn't really become popular until a book named Tommy thumbs songbook was published in the 18th century.
A musician made this tunes ever more popular with his simple musical renditions. These simple an easy to sing tunes quickly caught on. The most famous of his works being the old favorite three blind mice.
Mother Goose was another book which did its part in popularizing nursery rhymes and giving the parent of the time something to read their children at bedtime

These dutiful mothers telling stories of governmental corruptions, religious viciousness,  lurid sex, grotesque diseases, murder and killing, spies, deceivers and the lives of the powerful.  All wrapped up in a world of fairies princess goblins and fantasy.
Let's take a look at the rhyme Baa Baa black sheep. A rhyme which you would be hard pressed to find anyone who didn't know at least one verse of this sheep inspired tune.
The song is actually about the medieval fleece charge.
 King Edward Ist forced this tax upon the poor farmers of the Thirteenth Century. This rule meant that every fleece in the country was partly his with 33% of the cost of a sack of fleece helping fill the royal treasury.
The other monies from the fleece were divided into the congregation and the agriculturist.
This leaving next to nothing for the shepherd boy!
The black sheep was viewed as a loss, this in light of the fact that their wools would be unfit to be colored, so there were less lucrative for the rancher. A song of financial struggles and hardships brought on by a greedy king. Just what every baby loves to hear.
That's okay they still have rock a- bye baby to send them off to sleep.....well not so fast
rock a-0 bye baby or as it also known Shake a-bye Baby has its roots in the English Revolution, the baby in the song being the child of King James II.
This child was said to be fathered by another man and therefore not a legitimate heir to the throne. The rhyme is full of hidden meaning: the "wind" may be the Protestant powers that blew in from the Netherlands; the illustrious House of Stuart being the "support". The earliest versions of this rhyme contained the unfavorable commentary: "This may fill in as a notice to the Proud and Ambitious, who climb so high that they by and large fall finally".
Maybe you knew about these and the more fun rhymes can't hide such political intrigue?
Well, they don't they focus more on sex and debauchery.
Lucy Locket is about a fight between two eighteenth Century whores.
Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush began at Wakefield Prison in England, where female detainees carried out their jailhouse chores around a mulberry tree in the jail yard.
Oranges and Lemons tell of a sentenced man on route to his execution – "Here comes a chopper/To hack off your head!" – his body to be chopped up and displayed around the popular London holy places of Clemens, St Martins, Old Bailey, Bow, Stepney, and Shoreditch.
Pop Goes The Weasel is a nonsensical rhyme that, upon investigation, uncovers itself to be in the truth about destitution, pawnbroking, and hitting the Eagle Tavern on London's City Road.
and they just keep getting darker from here.
Mary, Mary Quite Contrary is thought to be written about Bloody Mary,  the torment and murder of Protestants she is famous for. Mary a staunch Catholic and the "garden" featured in the song being the burial grounds which she filled with those of Protestant faith. The "silver chimes" were thumbscrews; while "cockleshells" are accepted to be instruments of torture used on the male private parts.
one of the better-known meanings to a nursery rhyme is that of Ring a Ring o Roses or Ring Around the Rosie.
 This song is said to be about 1665 Great Plague of London: the "Rosie" being the rotten rash that was created on the skin of bubonic plague sufferers, the stench from these  rotting pustules  required the hiding of scented flowers to cover the smell thus a "pocket loaded with posies". "atishoo, atishoo, we fall down (dead)." Is obviously the final stages of the disease before the sufferer falls victim to the plague.
in today's politically correct world its amazing these songs are still sung, maybe because most do not know the truth behind them.
There was a movement in the 40s who attempted to censor these songs. Max Minckler helped create a list of 100 of the most well-known nursery rhymes, including Humpty Dumpty and Three Blind Mice, for "harboring offensive components". He broke down the offensive content reporting that he had found 21 instances of death (these included death by, execution, hanging, cannibalism, starvation, and murder); 12 cases of torment to animals; and 1 case each of consuming human flesh, body snatching, and ‘the desire to have one’s own limb severed’. 

so next time you are tucking a loved one away for the night instead of singing them these old favorites maybe its time for something new.
send them off with a little Marilyn Manson or maybe some black sabbath!!
Which of these nursery rhymes were you sung as a child?
did you know the meanings behind the rhymes?
let me know in the comments below.

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