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R Rated Nursery Rhymes - 15 Creepy Rhymes for Kids & Their Origins

Posted by on Oct. 25, 2012 at 10:12 AM
  • 38 Replies
5 moms liked this

http://blogs.babble.com/toddler-times/2012/10/16/rated-r-nursery-rhymes-15-creepy-rhymes-for-kids-and-their-disturbing-origins/?cmp=ELP|bbl|lp|Perezitos|Main||100112|||famE|||#peter-peter-pumpkin-eater


nurseryrhymes

There Was An Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe
There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she didn't know what to do;
She gave them some broth without any bread;
Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.


Nothing wrong with a sound whipping every now and again, right? I also happen to be serving broth for dinner tonight. There is no specific origin for this rhyme but there are several theories. According to suite101.com, "Some students of Mother Goose believe that the “old woman” was a symbol for the English Parliament and that the rhyme represents its treatment of its colonies (children) in the 17th Century. Others believe the “old woman” was Mother Goose herself who they claim was Elizabeth Goose, or Vergoose, of colonial Boston." Others believe the old woman represents King George III who had a contentious relationship with Parliament and was often called "the old woman" behind his back. "Supporters of “George III as the old woman” contend that the “shoe” represents Great Britain, the “children” are Parliament members, and the “bed” is a symbol for the houses of Parliament." This is just one of several nursery rhymes based on English history.
Photo Credit: Flickr.com



nurseryrhymes

Rock-a-Bye Baby
Rock-a-bye, baby,
In the tree top.
When the wind blows,
The cradle will rock.
When the bough breaks,
The cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, Cradle and all


Apparently the origins of this song are quite tame although a falling baby is on the morbid side. According to Brainz.org the song comes from a young pilgrim who say Native American Indians hanging cradles in trees. When the wind blew the cradles would rock the babies to sleep.
Photo Credit: searchdictionaries.com


nurseryrhymes

Sing a Song of Sixpence
Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye.
Four and twenty blackbirds,
Baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened,
The birds began to sing
Wasn't that a dainty dish,
To set before the king?
The king was in his counting house,
Counting out his money;
The queen was in the parlour,
Eating bread and honey.
The maid was in the garden,
Hanging out the clothes;
When down came a blackbird
And pecked off her nose.


Now that had to hurt! But the missing nose isn't the only alarming thing about this little ditty. PETA would've had a field day with baking blackbirds into a pie. I can't believe they taste very good. I'd stick with the queen and her bread and honey. The origins of this song are largely unknown although it's said that the original line had naughty little boys being baked into the pie instead of blackbirds.
Photo Credit: Flickr.com


nurseryrhymes

Humpty Dumpty
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.


It just now hit me: nowhere is Humpty described as an egg. Like, he doesn't even crack or anything. Where did this egg business come from? Turns out, Humpty Dumpty was eighteenth-century slang for a short and clumsy person. In fact, the first illustration for Mother Goose in 1803 depicts Humpty as a boy. So basically we're making fun of a clumsy fat kid who died after falling off a wall? Another possible explanation is that a humpty dumpty was a type of canon used in England. They'd sit on top of high walls and if they fell off would shatter. That makes some sense although I'm still not sure how he got turned into an egg although it's theorized that the rhyme was originally a riddle so that people had to guess what Humpty was and the answer, was an egg.

nurseryrhymes

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 broken crown? That sounds serious. Like, a concussion? A hole in the noggin? Well, crown literally means crown and not a reference to Jack's head, according to Brainz.org. "This poem originated in France. The characters refer to King Louis XVI, Jack, and his Queen Marie Antoinette, Jill. Jack was beheaded (lost his crown) first, then Jill came tumbling after during the Reign of Terror in 1793." Oh, a beheading. Much better than a little boy's concussion... NOT.
Photo Credit: Flickr.com


nurseryrhymes

Ring Around the Rosie
Ring around the rosy
A pocketful of posies
"Ashes, Ashes"
We all fall down!


The dark origins behind this little rhyme are pretty well known, but in case you weren't aware; the rhyme comes from the Great Plague of London in 1665. England is pretty much the birthplace of most disturbing rhymes. As brainz.org reports, "The symptoms of bubonic plague included a rosy red ring-shaped rash, which inspired the first line. It was believed that the disease was carried by bad smells, so people frequently carried pockets full of fresh herbs, or "posies." The "ashes, ashes" line is believed to refer to the cremation of the bodies of those who died from the plague." Fun stuff!
Photo Credit: krackedkillers.wordpress.com


nurseryrhymes

Little Miss Muffit
Little Miss Muffet, sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away

Not exactly R-rated but is a scary-ass spider really something you want to be reading to your toddler just before bed? Apparently the rhyme was written by the stepfather of a small girl named Patience Muffit. He also happened to be an entomologist famous for writing the first scientific catalog of British insects.
Photo Credit: jaredsalmond.blogspot.com


by on Oct. 25, 2012 at 10:12 AM
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Replies (1-10):
MyLittlePwny
by on Oct. 25, 2012 at 10:13 AM


nurseryrhymes

Old Mother Hubbard
Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To get her poor doggie a bone,
When she got there
The cupboard was bare
So the poor little doggie had none


The starving dog troubles me. But the origin for this one is beyond bizarre. Divorce! Perfect for young minds! According to brainz.org the rhyme is about a cardinal who refused to facilitate a divorce from Queen Katherine of Aragon for King Henry VIII, who wanted to marry Anne Bolyn (whom he later had executed.) "The doggie and the bone in the rhyme refer to the divorce, the cupboard is a reference to the Catholic Church and Wolsey is Old Mother Hubbard." Ummm? Okay?

Photo Credit: gutenburg.org
MyLittlePwny
by on Oct. 25, 2012 at 10:13 AM


nurseryrhymes

It's Raining, It's Pouring...
It's raining; it's pouring.
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed and bumped his head,
And he couldn't get up in the morning.


We sing this song every time it rains and I always wonder: is the old man dead? Does he have a concussion? Coma? The blog moreforeleslie.com sums it up best: "Either he got totally wasted last night or he has a severe concussion…either way, I’m pretty sure that’s not a message we should be sending to our children." Origins of this song are unknown although Wikipedia suggests the song is a classic description of a head injury resulting in a epidural hematoma. Either way, not so much for the kids, yeah?
MyLittlePwny
by on Oct. 25, 2012 at 10:14 AM


nurseryrhymes

Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater
Peter, Peter, pumpkin-eater,
Had a wife and couldn't keep her;
He put her in a pumpkin shell,
And there he kept her very well


Keeping his wife in a pumpkin shell? Against her will? Unlike most rhymes that come from England's dark history of royalty, this one got started in America. This is apparently a rhyme to warn women about cheating on their husbands. According to Brainz.org "Peter's wife was supposedly a harlot, and Peter's remedy for the situation was to kill her and hide her body in a giant pumpkin shell."
Photo Credit: duckisland.com
LovelyMommy24
by on Oct. 25, 2012 at 10:14 AM

What about ride a cock horse? 

MyLittlePwny
by on Oct. 25, 2012 at 10:14 AM


nurseryrhymes

London Bridge
London Bridge is falling down,
Falling down falling down,
London Bridge bridge is falling down,
My fair lady.
Take a key and lock her up,
lock her up, lock her up,
Take a key and lock her up,
My fair lady.


I'm not sure which is worse, a bridge falling that could kill hundreds or locking up some poor woman. Again, more of England's crazy-ass history. "This nursery rhyme refers to the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII of England. Boleyn was accused of adultery and incest and was ultimately executed for treason."
Photo Credit: joosen.com
MyLittlePwny
by on Oct. 25, 2012 at 10:15 AM


nurseryrhymes

Three Blind Mice
Three blind mice, three blind mice,
See how they run, see how they run,
They all ran after the farmer's wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a thing in your life,
As three blind mice?


Not only are the mice blind but they have to deal with some crazy-ass, knife-wielding wife? Yet another rhyme based on England's storied past. This one is about Queen Mary I, the daughter of King Henry VIII. Mary was so well known for her persecution of Protestants that she was given the nickname "Bloody Mary." When three Protestant bishops were convicted of plotting against Mary, she had them burnt at the stake. According to brainz.org, it was mistakenly believed that she had them blinded and dismembered, as is inferred in the rhyme.
Photo Credit: guttenberg.org
MyLittlePwny
by on Oct. 25, 2012 at 10:15 AM


nurseryrhymes

Georgie Porgie
Georgie Porgie, Puddin' and Pie,
Kissed the girls and made them cry,
When the boys came out to play
Georgie Porgie ran away.


Nothing like a little old-fashioned bullying to round out your child's day in the form of some creeper kid who kisses girls against their will. Apparently, the origins of this are just as creepy. According to cracked.com this children's nursery rhyme is about a gay sex scandal involving George Villiers, the 1st Duke of Buckingham, Anne of Austria, the Queen Consort of France and the king of France.
Photo Credit: art.com
MyLittlePwny
by on Oct. 25, 2012 at 10:16 AM


nurseryrhymes

There Was An Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly
There was an old lady who swallowed a fly
I don't know why she swallowed a fly - perhaps she'll die!
There was an old lady who swallowed a spider,
That wriggled and wiggled and tiggled inside her;
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
I don't know why she swallowed a fly - Perhaps she'll die!


This rhyme goes on and one with the old woman swallowing a bird, cat, dog, horse and a cow with the end of each verse cheerily suggesting she might die! Origin unknown.
Photo Credit: Flickr.com
ladyraven16
by Gold Member on Oct. 25, 2012 at 10:16 AM
That's pretty cool. I always thought a lot of nursery rhymes were somewhat morbid lol.
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MyLittlePwny
by on Oct. 25, 2012 at 10:17 AM


nurseryrhymes

Mary Mary Quite Contrary
Mary Mary quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row


This popular nursery rhyme isn't obviously horrifying but its origins are so dark I had to include it in the mix. This ain't no ditty about a sweet little girl and her garden. It's actually about the aforementioned Bloody Mary (about whom Three Blind Mice was written) who was so into executing people that the garden refers to growing cemeteries, as she filled them with Protestants. Silver bells and cockle shells were instruments of torture and the maiden was a device used to behead people. Nightie, night little ones!
Photo Credit: fandmpublications.co.uk
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