The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #47148   Message #1774842
Posted By: Bonnie Shaljean
03-Jul-06 - 12:56 PM
Thread Name: eena meena mackeracka (children's rhymes)
Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka (children's rhymes)
The only other thought to add is: Can anyone identify rhymes containing real-life figures WHO WERE STILL AT LARGE, AND A THREAT at the time they entered play-folklore? Once someone is safely dead it modifies their character in a sense, because they can no longer actually harm you; whereas Aids and terrorists are still around and functioning now. (I wonder how much impact this has on today's kids, or if they truly realise the implications?) I grew up during the red scare when the media never seemed to stop talking about The Impending Bomb, yet I don't remember Russians or The Commies taking over the bad-guy role in our playground rhymes & games. It was still abstractions like cooties and bogeymen, or fictional monsters like Frankenstein.   

I know it's much harder to determine the timeline factor because it requires knowledge of dates and history. Guy Fawkes presumably did not become familiar to the public until after he was captured; but were there any living, still-dangerous villains who played the fear-figure in kids' popular culture? Any outlaws of the old west or robbers on the King's highway?