I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

There are fascinating origins behind most nursery rhymes.

Delores E. Topliff
I love discovering the history and origins behind most common nursery rhymes that bring added details on the life and times of real people and events. Children may singsong these easily memorized words and tunes on playgrounds which adults could noy openly say then for fear of punishment.

For example, some believe Rockabye Baby in the Treetops, dated to 1765, concerns the newborn son of King James II of England and Mary of Modena, Italy, who many believed was not their son but a child brought in and presented as theirs to insure a Catholic heir to the throne.

Goosey, Goosey Gander, dates to 1784 and involves religious persecution in the days when Catholic priests hid to say Latin prayers prohibited even in the privacy of home. In the original version, the narrator discovers an old man “who wouldn’t say his prayers. So I took him by his left leg. And threw him down the stairs.”

Three Blind Mice (1805) is thought to speak of “Bloody Mary” with the three mice representing three Protestant bishops Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Radley, and The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer who conspired to overthrow her rule and were burned at the stake for heresy. Their blindness describes the religious beliefs banned in her kingdom.

There are many more but lets return to modern times. The Bible instructs us to pray for our leaders and trust God to promote or remove them, but we often make comments about various leaders shown on national currencies, or the faces of presidents that should or should not be carved on America’s Mt. Rushmore.

I wonder what  nursery rhymes will arise from our times. I would not want to wear the shoes or bear the responsibilities of elected officials, but without being cruel or criminal, is there a catchy phrase you’ve heard or thought of concerning a current world leader or event? Also feel welcome to share an honoring phrase that fits real people and times.

In fact, I think I’ll spend the rest of today trying to coine up with one and share it next time. I hope you’ll join me.

Some credit to The Dark Origins of 11 Classic Nursery Rhymes, Jennifer M. Wood, http://mentalfloss.com/article/55035/dark-origins-11-classic-nursery-rhymes


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Sorry had a long comment and blogger lost it...again...typical.

    Great job, Dee. My family and I were just discussing this exact subject on the way to a ballet last night. Origins and the way the stories have evoked are interesting, to say the least. Thanks for more discussion fodder 😍

  3. It's amazing to me where the nursery rhymes came from! Love this post!

  4. I don't know what nursery rhymes might come up, but my next post does deal with the foundations of our nation.