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Nursery Rhymes

August 8, 2019

It’s hard to believe not only that nursery rhymes caught on, but they are considered classics having withstood the test of time! Doesn’t anyone else find the horrible words meant to pacify a child a bit disturbing? “Rock a Bye Baby’s” lyrics are sung in a high pitched, soothing voice typically to get a child to fall asleep. So you sing about a baby rocking in a treetop until the bow breaks and down goes the baby, cradle and all? How is this soothing? The infant is left wondering if you’re putting him in the same cradle that just came crashing down or not. Good luck going to sleep now. Did people back in the day really leave their babies in treetops to sleep in their cradle? That sounds like a really bad idea, no wonder it didn’t end well. Then Little Miss Muffet sits down to eat some nasty sounding curds and whey, minding her own business, and this disgustingly huge spider shows up! Are you kidding me?! I couldn’t think of a worst-case scenario. In the picture this spider is the size of a tarantula, and it’s so big it actually sits down beside her. That’s horrifying! No wonder she freaked out and took off. What about Humpty Dumpty, who from the pictures looks like an egg who has come to life with a cool top hat, bow tie and dress clothes. But then you recite the poem to your child where this fun-loving egg has a great fall. It’s not a little fall, it’s a great fall. Not even the king with all of his money and resources can help this cute egg that your child thinks is adorable. What message are you sending your toddler? Look, I know you’re very young and all, but it’s high time you learn that things shatter into a million pieces and the destruction is beyond repair. Get used to it now; don’t get too attached to anything. It’s just a matter of time. Thanks for the tough love, Mom and Dad.  Even the rhyme, “It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring, he went to bed and bumped his head and couldn’t get up in the morning,” is terrifying for children! Did anyone check on the poor old man? Is he in a coma? Does he have head trauma? Nobody cares, he just can’t wake up. No big deal. Carry on. I hope this nice lullaby is comforting to you, children. Then poor Jack and Jill were just trying to get some water when Jack fell and broke his crown, and then Jill took a spill and tumbled down a very steep mountain by the looks of the picture. Are you trying to discourage kids from chores? Is Jack ok? Did he really break his head? Who said, “Hey, remember that time Jack fell down that giant hill and cracked his melon? That would make a really good lullaby!” Did anybody even check on Jill? I see a lot of extreme suffering and trauma in these rhymes, and nobody seems alarmed by it. Can’t wait to teach the next generation these scary stories, why stop now?

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