Ok so I have always known that nursery rhymes had some pretty bad meanings behind them, and I always say to my husband how I felt bad about singing them to dd as most had morbid meanings/stories behind them, I usually only sing the ones that don't have such meanings for But it got me thinking am I the only one out there who feels weird about singing them to my LO when I know what the meaning behind them are? Not saying I don't sing them but I just feel a little sad when singing them ect
Some examples or the rhymes and there meaning that's I have come across are:
Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.
I have read many meaning for this rhyme, but one that really made me feel a bit sick was where the rhyme was written about bloody Mary (Queen Mary Tudor)
There is a lot of different things out there about what she did, all of it bad
interpretation of the rhyme goes to the heart of her persona as “Bloody Mary” with silver bells and cockle shells referring to instruments of torture: silver bells being thumbscrews and cockles shells being instruments of torture attached to the genitals. While the pretty maids would be a reference to early guillotine-type devices used to decapitate victims.
Mary, Mary, quite contrary, (bloody Mary)
How does your garden grow? (her personal graveyard)
With silver bells, and cockle shells, (torture instruments)
And pretty maids all in a row. (guillotine)
There are other meaning behind this one I have read, most of them not nice ect
Also Ring around the Rosie
Most know this one.
It was about the plague during the middle ages,
Ring around the Rosie"--refers to a red mark, supposedly the first sign of the plague
"A pocket full of posies"-- refers to sachets of herbs carried to ward off infection, it was believed the plague was spread by bad smells, Where is was actually spread by rats.
"Ashes, ashes" or "a tissue a tissue" reference to the cremation of the dead and "a tissue" sneezing, another sign of infection.
"We all fall down." when they died of the plague.
Rock a bye baby.
Natives Americans were said to make little cradles out of leaves in the tree tops, they would place the baby in there so that when the wind blew it would rock the baby to sleep, but when the branches (bow breaks) the cradle and baby would fall down usually resulting in death.
what are your thoughts? I have noticed many nursery rhymes have many different meanings, what are some meanings you have heard behind them ect?