There is alot of talk on what children watch on TV, listen to on the radio, and websites they go on to on the internet.
Well Writer’s Block would like to bring to the fore front the dark origins on what you may seem to perceive as sweet sounding nursery rhymes.
Ring around the Rosey
The words to the Ring around the rosy children’s ring game have their origin in English history . The historical period dates back to the Great Plague of London in 1665 (bubonic plague) or even before when the first outbreak of the Plague hit England in the 1300’s. The symptoms of the plague included a rosy red rash in the shape of a ring on the skin (Ring around the rosy). The part in the poem where it goes “A-tishoo, A-tishoo, we all fall down” was included as violent sneezing was a symptom of the disease that resulted in death.
Jack & Jill
The roots of the story, or poem, of Jack and Jill are in France. Jack and Jill referred to are said to be King Louis XVI – Jack -who was beheaded (lost his crown) followed by his Queen Marie Antoinette – Jill – (who came tumbling after). The words and lyrics to the Jack and Jill poem were made more acceptable as a story for children by providing a happy ending! The actual beheadings occurred in during the Reign of Terror in 1793.
Humpty Dumpty was in fact believed to be a large cannon! It was used during the English Civil War (1642 – 1649) in the Siege of Colchester (13 Jun 1648 – 27 Aug 1648). In 1648 the town of Colchester was a walled town with a castle and several churches and was protected by the city wall. A huge cannon, colloquially called Humpty Dumpty, was strategically placed on the wall next to St Mary’s Church.
A shot from a Parliamentary cannon succeeded in damaging the wall beneath Humpty Dumpty which caused the cannon to tumble to the ground. However, because the cannon, was so heavy ‘All the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again!’
Talk about don’t judge a book by it’s cover!
For more Nursery Rhyme history click here