Nursery Rhymes

I love nursery rhymes long before I was Queen of Children’s Fairlyland. (Yes, I really was, that is a different story, but here’s a photo.)queen-robin

The rhythm of the sing song worked well when hopping on one foot, traveling in the back seat of the car with nosed pressed to window or listening to the drone of the pastor’s voice.

Jack Sprat could eat no fat.

Georgie Porgie puddin’ and pie.


I think I was a teen, or maybe even in my twenties when I found out that many of these tiny poems were about gruesome events.

Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.  The Plague. Kids dying.

Kiss the girls and make them cry.  Uhhh…..rape?

This knowledge pretty much ruined my love of the rhymes.

But the other day, on a road trip, I was humming  “Ding, dong, bell” for some unknown reason. And I remembered that Big Johnny Stout saved her, but couldn’t remember who threw her in the well in the first place. It bugged me so much I finally looked it up. (Am I allowed to say “looked it up?”  I know there is a taboo on saying G****led it.)

Apparently the original did not have the part about saving the cat. She was left to drown. There was no moral, no lesson, just a play on some words Shakespeare liked to use in his work.

I read the poem. Little Johnny Flynn? I have said it aloud fifteen times and that does not ring a bell (ha ha!)  I must have learned this rhyme with some other name. Or done that kid thing of hearing it and substituting my own words.

And Georgie was just a duke who liked to have affairs and apparently was a friend to King Charles I. Thank goodness for that. Now I can chant that particular rhyme without the associated evil images.

What rhymes play in your head?