:::all things bright and beautiful:::

probably why i am the way i am..

some rhymes i grew up hearing -

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.

I'm sure I had very sweet dreams when i fell asleep listening to this.

Goosey, goosey, gander,
Whither shall I wander?
Upstairs, and downstairs,
And in my lady's chamber.

There I met an old man
Who wouldn't say his prayers!
I took him by the left leg
And threw him down the stairs.

..and prayers are a must! didn't you know? oh also, if you are old then you are vulnerable to people who'd want to hold you by your left leg and throw you down the stairs and you deserve it coz you don't say your prayers dammit!

Piggy on the railway
Picking up stones
Down came an engine
and broke piggy’s bones.
’Aah’ said the piggy
’That’s not fair’
’Oh’, said the engine driver
’I don’t care’.

Wowie! Life education! a gentle initiation into the school of hard knocks.

Which rhymes did you grow up listening to?

13 Responses to “probably why i am the way i am..”

  1. # Blogger Trauma Queen

    awesome! i think you n I have discussed this once before....

    half of the nursery rhymes i wouldn't even understand..like ring-a-ring-o-roses..but 'sing a song of sixpence' would spook me big time...i could not fathom WHY the blackbirds had to be baked!!! that was mean!

    of course, i dont think nursery rhymes were ever written as 'nursery' rhymes....they were poems that spoke of the problems that took place in the day n age : the plague, the king, the growing taxes blah blah...and let's not forget religion!

    but i guess making them rhymes for toddlers to learn was an easy method of catechism classes..whaddya say??? either that or everyone hated the church and the poems were means of 'warning' people to not take pangas with the church :P

    n lets not forget the grimm brothers or mr. anderson shall we :P  

  2. # Blogger fondfire

    Oh, this is one of my favorite topics, too!

    I think that first one might be more for the parents than the kids, in a way. Parents are worried sick (either consciously or unconsciously) that they might harm their own children somehow, such as putting them on an unsteady surface. Anyway, some of these nursury rhymes I've never heard before. "Rock-a-bye-baby" I got, and "Ring around the rosie".

    Also, I don't remember anything like that disturbing me as a kid. Or finding much of it scary. At a very young age, my parents, in an effort to keep me from being scared, essentially told me that being baptized would protect me from any kind of supernatural harm. (And later, I came to think of supernatural stuff as very weak in the physical world.) And I never identified with blackbirds or the other victims in any of the stories told to me. The only thing that scared the shit out of me at that age was aliens from outer space! Because there are so many planets and that seemed so plausible . . .

    In any case, this relates (slightly) back to my post about "Fall Festival" and the bowdlerization of Halloween among fundamentalists in America: despite the urge to shelter children, there seems to be a counter-urge to expose them to horrors. And I actually think that counter-urge is healthy and (probably) necessary.

    I've known people who were sheltered from tragedy and even the idea of capricious and terrible danger as children. They're often quite badly naive people. We all need to know about dangers and horrors and tragedy. We all need to know that life survives by feeding on other life (unless you live by photosynthesis or can metabolize the heat from a volcano). And we all need to know that tragedy can be the foundation of great triumph and wholeness and renewal. Yeah, the happy endings are often a little too pat, but those stories give you information about pain AND hope.

    It is a mean world. I'm often thankful to think I live in such a gentle time and place: I don't think it was very often the norm. Though I do think that people have always been supported within their own social group (however defined at different times and places), I also know too much about how short and hard life used to be a century and a half ago, much less in centuries and millenia past.

    I'm babbling. Basically, I think there's some underlying need for powerfully frightening and arbitrary "mythology" to be conveyed to young people. Whether gods are really running the universe or the universe is merely metaphorically personified as a god(s), the forces around you can be heartless and merciless. I think this is one of the most important ways in which kids are given a little steel to place in the backbone at a young and tender age. Ignore or bowdlerize at your peril . . .

    (BTW, I saw this ultra-cool play over the weekend called "Metamorphoses" that was based on the poem by Ovid. It was awesome. The whole thing took place in a pool and ended with nude Eros holding Psyche just before foolish King Midas finally cured himself of the "golden touch" and restored his daughter to life. So, this has been on the brain all weekend, besides the fact that I've been sick and brooding, too . . . Enough, I'll continue these thoughts at my own blog later . . . Well, I probably will.)

    What does "pangas" mean?  

  3. # Anonymous Anonymous

    My Favs

    Hickery dickery dock
    The mouse ran up the clock
    The clock struck one
    And the mouse ran down
    Hickery dickery dock!

    Chubby cheeks, dimple chin
    rosy lips, teeth within
    eyes are blue, lovely two
    mothers's pet, is that you!  

  4. # Blogger sou

    ring-a-ring-a-roses/ring around the rosie is a rhyme about bubonic plague (incase ppl who come to read this don't know). infected ppl would get red rashes (roses) and they start sneezing (atishoo atishoo) and they die (we all fall down), posies were thought to keep infection at bay.

    baking blackbirds refers to the surprises bakers would include in their 'piece de resistance' to impress the king ;) oh and i always thought the blackbird pecked off the maid's nose coz it was angry its friends/family got baked! :))

    oh and yeah when i was a kid i couldn't recognise if the end of a story/movie was a happy one or a sad one coz i'd always wonder about the horrible fate of the "bad guy". even when i was that li'l i understood only redemption and a wholesome positive ending for all than justice and consequence!

    (hindi slang) panga = provoke/bet/ dare/defy

    i started to write about grimm bros but thought the post'll get too long so i stopped.

    exposing kids to truths about life is good certainly.. but do they need to hear the story of hansel and gretel and snow white where the parents themselves are evil figures?  

  5. # Anonymous theanalogkid

    i wonder what nursery rhymes eminem was taught in school.  

  6. # Blogger devsan

    Did you start thinking of your nursery rhymes during the intervention? Goodness!  

  7. # Anonymous jedi

    yea probably  

  8. # Blogger sou

    @ kid - I'm scared about what nursery rhymes eminem sang for his daughter!

    @ dev - aayyyoooo... no. but just the day after the intervention "goosey goosey" rhyme just refused to leave my brain till i exorcised it with this post.

    @ jedi - eh? what did your "yeah probably" refer to? dev's comment or mine?  

  9. # Blogger fondfire

    In what other media would it ever be admitted to children that their own parents might be a danger to them!

    Your idealism is truly monumental. I've always believed that some bad guys deserved a bad fate. (How very American of me . . .) But I suppose the fate of some movie bad guys bothered me. And one of my crowning gripes with Christianity is that eternal hell is necessarily unjust to everyone! What could actually warent eternal, undying punishment? Seriously! When I learned about Eastern religion, I began to realize that karma and rebirths in many realms, which can still be mighty frightening, struck me as a much more just mechanism for an all-just and all-loving Godhead to institute for the purification of all souls. Of course, I actually suspect that there is no such love'n'justice mechanism at the heart of everything, but I still have more affection for that idea than the binary (heaven/hell) Protestant Christian alternative (which is only slightly improved by the concept of purgatory).

    On rare ocassions, I've seen it proposed that deities (of one form or another) must exist or that I should prefer it if they do. Insofar as I prefer it, it's only under certain carefully defined conditions . . . ;-)  

  10. # Anonymous jedi

    @sou: response to UR post title  

  11. # Blogger frissko

    cool ones...never heard them before though...i grew up with the more modest ones like 'jack n jill', 'humpty dumpty'..coming to think of it, there is a degree of morbidity even in these seemingly harmless rhymes!!...  

  12. # Blogger sou

    Jack and Jill is rumored to be about Louis XVI who was beheaded (lost his crown) followed by his Queen Marie Antoinette (who came tumbling after)!

    Humpty Dumpty refers to a huge connon that was mounted onto a wall. Another cannon shot down the wall and the cannon fell off and they never did succeed putting the cannon back on the wall again.


    I had this cassette of rhymes where this lady would sing these in mellifluous tones as if they were the most precious things a kid could listen to.. thinking of her voice and they way she sang cracks me up now.  

  13. # Anonymous Anonymous

    This all reminds me of why I like nature. There's a certain brutality to it that is non-judgemental. "Oh, you're rich and from a good family. Hmmm. Interesting. But your touching an electrical wire." Bzzzzzzzzzz!  

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