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Origins of Other Nursery Rhymes

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DMcG 01 Apr 05 - 01:47 PM
GUEST,MMario 01 Apr 05 - 01:56 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Apr 05 - 02:47 PM
GUEST,Georgina Boyes 01 Apr 05 - 06:12 PM
DMcG 02 Apr 05 - 01:27 AM
Joe Offer 24 Dec 05 - 08:53 PM
GUEST,franc 91 24 Jul 15 - 06:36 PM
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Subject: Origins of Other Nursery Rhymes
From: DMcG
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 01:47 PM

Today the UK Guardian has repeated the Canard about Ring-a-O'Roses being about the black death, which has been thoroughly trashed in this thread.

They also gave a few other 'histories' of Nursery Rhymes. Is there any more foundation in any of these?

Jack and Jill - refers to King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

Mary Mary Quite Contrary - About Mary I, "Bloody Mary"

Three Blind Mice - Also Bloody Mary, but this time noblemen convicted of plotting against her.

Little Miss Muffet - "Patience Muffet, apparently, was a real girl. Her stepfather was an entomologist, who, during the late 16th century, wrote the first scientific catalogue of British insects." (See this site, which thinks not)


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Subject: RE: Origins of Other Nursery Rhymes
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 01:56 PM

I have heard "Mary Mary" more likely to be Mary Stuart then Mary tudor.


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Subject: RE: Origins of Other Nursery Rhymes
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 02:47 PM

Jack and Gill went up the Hill
To fetch a bottle of water;
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Gill came tumbling after

First appearance in a toy book, c. 1783. Baring Gould suggested that the verse preserves the Scandinavian myth of Hjuki and Bill, who were caught up by Mani, the Moon, as they were taking water from the well Byrgyr, and they can be seen to this day in the Moon carrying the bucket on a pole between them.
From Comparative Studies in Nursery Rhymes, by Linda Eckenstein, 1906.

Most of these tales behind children's verses are speculation and fantasy, appended during Victorian times.
The suggestion that Jack and Gill were Louis and Marie is more likely, but wouldn't children have played guillotine games rather than make up a simple little rhyme about the beheadings?

Now my interpretation is that Jack and Gill found the hiding place of their old man's booze, got drunk and lost their equilibrium.


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Subject: RE: Origins of Other Nursery Rhymes
From: GUEST,Georgina Boyes
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 06:12 PM

I wouldn't get too concerned, this was The Guardian of 1st April.


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Subject: RE: Origins of Other Nursery Rhymes
From: DMcG
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 01:27 AM

You are right, Georgina, and I wondered whether it was an April 1st joke when I first read it, but I decided that the false Ring-a-Ring O'Roses - plague link was so well established that it would be far too subtle. In addition, this was linked to an article in which a television channel, Nick Jr, is asking people to write new rhymes, and the links to that site work.


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Subject: RE: Origins of Other Nursery Rhymes
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 08:53 PM

Bruce Murdoch sent me a link to http://www.rhymes.org.uk/. Looks like an interesting resource, if not particularly authoritative.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins of Other Nursery Rhymes
From: GUEST,franc 91
Date: 24 Jul 15 - 06:36 PM

I'm not absolutely sure that what is on that 'Rhymes.org.uk site is a 100% accurate. I suggest that you have a look at the books of those who have carried out research in this subject ie Peter and Iona Opie. Jeremy Barlow has also done some work in this field and some time ago he did a programme about it on Radio Four. Iona Opie also participated and of course they played some of songs performed by the Broadside Band from their CD Old English Nursery Rhymes. It's also worth pointing out that in the sleevenotes of that CD, quite often references of possible or not so possible origins of the rhymes are given. Sadly, they say that a lot of nonsense has been written over the centuries on this subject. Yes and of course Ring-a-ring Roses predates the Plague and is possibly German in origin.


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