Nursery Rhymes- The Origin
What do I say about nursery rhymes?
We have grown up reciting them. They were and are an important part of our childhood. We sung them during class, at home, in front of guests, in the playground and a lot of us sing them even today. Nursery rhymes were like the first form of music that we learnt and to a 3 year old, I bet they are like the Beatles or ABBA or even Taylor Swift! But, recently, I have been wondering whether or rather WHAT these rhymes mean because, to me, they all sound pretty destructive. We sing about children breaking their heads, lying and laughing about it and weird eggs falling off walls (well, nowhere is it written that humpty dumpty was an egg, but that’s another topic all together). Anyway, so I decided to look it up. I decided to find out from where these nursery rhymes originated and what they mean… Oh! And what I read, well, it was shocking.
Apparently, most of the rhymes were originated centuries ago and were used as a mode of free speech by many. They would write these rhymes to criticize the political scenes of the time as open criticism would get them killed. Hence obviously they don’t mean happy and joyous things. But, it makes me sad to think that little children sing about such violence. Ill tell you about the meanings of a few commonly sung rhymes across the globe… 1.
Jack and Jill-
Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after.
A rhyme EVERY child knows… according to many sites, Jack is a reference to King Louis XVI and Jill stands for Queen Marie Antoinette. In 1793, Louis XVI was beheaded during the infamous Reign of Terror. Therefore the line “broke his crown (head)”. What followed was Queen Antoinette’s beheading. Hence, “Jill came tumbling after”. Well, even if this ISN’T the real story behind the rhyme, WHY would we want little children to read a rhyme about a young boy sustaining a head injury?
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