Friday, January 5, 2007

It All Began with Nursery Rhymes

Remember when we were but little children? Going to school in our cute little uniforms? Ah, those were the days...

Or were they? Were they perhaps, instead, when the evil was seeded?

After all, was this not the exact time when our young, impressionable minds were bent out of shape through the well-disguised evil of: Nursery Rhymes.

Oh, yes. Have you ever really thought about it?

'Rock a bye, Baby,
On 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'.

Hellooo? Has anybody noticed they are talking about babies falling from tree tops? What kind of a mother would put the baby on the tree top anyway? What's the point? Is it a poorly disguised threat?

'If you're a bad baby, I will put you on the tree top ....ha ha ha ha ha ha (diabolical laughter)'.

This rhyme disturbed me a lot in my formative years. But then there was the short but ominous:

Jack, be Nimble
Jack, be Quick
Jack, Jump over
The Candlestick.

Why? Why should Jack be asked to jump over a candlestick? How tall was the candlestick in relation to Jack? Why would anyone want an innocent little boy to undertake such a dangerous task? There is an implicit 'Or' at the end of this rhyme. Jump over the equally dangerous torture task will be assigned to you, perhaps even less pleasant. And was this the same Jack, who was also Little Jack Horner, who sat in a corner? Was he put in the corner because he didn't jump properly over the candlestick?

It goes:

Little Jack Horner, Sat in a corner,
Eating a mincemeat pie.
He stuck in his thumb, And pulled out a plum,
And said, "What a good boy am I!"

Apparently, if Jack was being punished, he didn't know it - he thought he was a good boy. But he was obviously dumb - just like the load of us, who unthinkingly and unquestioningly chanted these nursery rhymes. Can you imagine having a plum put in your mincemeat pie? And eating it with your thumb because you weren't even given a spoon? Yuckk! These characters were so ill-treated, and didn't even know it.

Jack in particularly, was a victim throughout his life. Leave us not forget:

Jack and Jill
Went up the hill...etc.

He broke his crown that time! And just because we thought as kids that his 'crown' meant he was a prince, and probably spoilt and would anyway get another crown to replace the one he broke on the hill, this doesn't take away from the fact that the Crown in question was actually a part of his head! Such violence!

Might as well make us all watch Bart Simpson's antics from the age of 2. Anyway, Jack got what was coming to him in later life. He was quite Jacked, so to speak.

Jack Sprat could eat no fat,
His wife could eat no lean,
And so betwixt the two of them
They licked the platter clean

So, Jack was obviously a poor, thin guy with a dominating fat, wife who sat on him, and made him change his name from Horner to Sprat; and they were so poor they had to lick the platter clean.

Jack met his end in Nursery Rhymes with a really passive mention in the never ending 'This is the house that Jack built'. There is no personal mention of Jack in this rhyme apart from the fact that he built a house. He obviously had no personality, no sense of self, after a clearly traumatic childhood.

I know I should stop now, but I'm really in the flow.

So , guys, guys, remember Little Miss Muffet, who sat on a Tuffet? What's a Tuffet, you wonder today, but did you think to ask when you were three? A tuffet is a low stool, which housed the bum of Little Miss Muffet, who was eating Curds and Whey ( I don't care what Whey is, okay?), before this really nasty, icky, large spider came and grossed her out, causing her to flee the scene - and in all probability, subsequently lose her lunch of Curds and Whey.

Why did they do this to us? Why? We were disappointed enough to learn about London Bridge falling down, and also that poor, unfortunate Little Bo Peep had lost her sheep. But the ultimate in creepy rhymes was the story of poor demented Mother Hubbard, and her pschyo Dog. Check this horror out, in case you've forgotten:

Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To fetch her poor dog a bone;
But when she came there
The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.

(Till now, you feel sorry for both M.Hubb and Dog)

She took a clean dish
To get him some tripe;
But when she came back
He was smoking a pipe.
She went to the grocer's
To buy him some fruit;
But when she came back
He was playing the flute.

(You're like: Dog, what the hell are you doing to that old lady? Stop playing with her mind!)

She went to the baker's
To buy him some bread;
But when she came back
The poor dog was dead.

(You gasp sorrowfully! You had misjudged the poor dog! Never speak ill of the dead)

She went to the undertaker's
To buy him a coffin;
But when she came back
The poor dog was laughing.

(By now, you're like: Hey, you dog! What's your game? Leave that old lady alone..)

She went to the hatter's
To buy him a hat;
But when she came back
He was feeding the cat.
The dame made a curtsey,
The dog made a bow;
The dame said, "Your servant."
The dog said, "Bow wow!"

(So now, you're like: Screw the lady, screw the dog, where did the bloody cat come from anyway? They're all nuts!!).

Now, I know I'm taking this too far, but what the heck! How can I not mention the Three Blind Mice and the sadistic Farmer's wife?

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

Am I supposed to be delighted by this gory picture? Is it supposed to help me sleep better at night? I think NOT.

You think I'm imagining this, folks? Let me now tell you the mother of all conspiracies.

When you are small, they teach you the following three, seemingly innocuous and unconnected rhymes - We've all learnt them by heart.

- Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star....
- A, B, C, D, E, F, Geeee...
- Baa, Baa, Black Sheep....

How long was it before you realised your mind was being played around with, yet again? The TUNES are all the SAME. It's ONE TUNE, for three rhymes. Not feeling so smart about mugging them up now, are we? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha....

(Psychotic laughter fading into the night....

Sweet Dreams, childrens....

Ha ha ha ha ha ha...)


  1. hmmm...u forgot hickory dickory dock where some poor mouse got smacked!! and of course the well known morbid ringa-a-ringa roses....and oranges and lemon (remember me when i am dead????)! we shud sue them!!!
    am suspicious of simple things like baa baa black sheep also...maybe it was aimed at negro drug peddling (clap clap for imagination! psychotic laughter for arbitness)

  2. You are abolutely right, Zee. how could I forget THOSE? Shame!

  3. hahahaha - duh-shodhara you're quite the superstar ... i always knew you were both a brand manager and a poet/ authoress ... i think it's time to 'axe murderer' to your many professions :)

  4. Humpty dumpty had it in for himself too!! And they're pretty obsessed with Jack.. jack the ripper stories.. hmmm... but you k now I hadn't realised that the tunes for those 3 rhymes are the same! Hehe..

    On a more serious note though.. your post reminds me of the kind of education which is imparted in primary and secondary schools and even colleges in India.. mindless mugging and discouraging students to question or doubt the word of the "teacher".. hmmm..

  5. Interesting post..i agree completely with you. I think nursery rhymes are just pure evil. Hated 3 blind mice, in particular.

    My middle name is George, and I endured endless embarrasment in school thanks to 'Georgie Podgie Pudding and Pie'.

    I wonder what they're teaching kids these days..


Hi there. Go on, say it. Well? WELL?