It is a common notion that most of the renowned nursery rhymes were originated in the english land and has been inculcated in a lot of syllabuses around the world. Most of these nursery rhymes were originated during the British rule. We so easily adapted this as an important step to our learning. Have you ever wondered, what was the history of these rhymes?
Interestingly, there seems to be a lot of explanation and thought behind the origin of these rhymes. I have for you, few popular nursery rhymes and their background stories.
Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
The story of this nursery rhyme dates back to the English civil war of 1642 to 1651. At this period, Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle directed the kings men and managed to overpower the parliaments strong hold. In this fight for power, Humpty Dumpty, who was the toughest defender of Charles I, was in pole position on top of the church tower of St Mary-at-the-Walls (Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall). However, the parliamentarians gunned incessantly and managed to blow away the top part of the church, sending Humpty Dumpty crashing to the ground, where it buried itself in deep marshland (Humpty Dumpty had a great fall). The king’s cavalry (the horses) and the infantry (the men) hurried to retrieve the cannon, but they couldn’t put Humpty together again and they were overrun by the parliamentarian troop.
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.
The rhyme makes no sense by itself. Does it? The story goes as, In 1967, in a small village in Somerset, there was a young unmarried couple who in order to hide from the locals would show their affection for each other up on a hill. As a result of this, Jill became pregnant. But unfortunately just before the baby was to be born Jack was killed by a rock which hit his head after it fell of the hill. To add to the grief, Jill also dies a few days afterwards.
Baa Baa Black Sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes, sir, yes, sir,
Three bags full;
One for the master,
One for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.
It is said that the original last sentence was a – And none for the little boy who cries down the lane. But in 1765, it was changed to And one for the little boy, who lives down the lane, to make it a little pleasant. This one goes back to 1272. At this time, new taxes were imposed on wool in order to fund military campaigns. One-third of the price of each sack must go to the King (the master); one-third to the Church or the monasteries (the dame); and none to the actual shepherd (the little boy who cries down the lane). This shows the harsh and biased life the working class people had to live through.
So, here it was, some food for thought, thus burrowing your mind to delve into nursery rhymes and a lot more that we have always taken for granted.