A Serious Look At Nursery Rhymes, Not To Be Taken Seriously.

Tayler and I had just finished up bath time, and after getting in some fresh pj’s we began to browse for a new book to read before bed (well, I looked – she just pulled books onto the floor by the handful).  Shapes – blah.  Clifford – blah.  Weather – big blah.  NURSERY RHYMES – YES! Mother Goose is my JAM.  My teacher brain that I can’t turn off started the dialogue in the back of my head, “Yes! Nursery rhymes are great for tempo, cadence, inflection, identifying rhyming words, concepts of print, and simply listening to the different rhythms of poetry! We should so start these now! Not to mention the cute and engaging characters and story lines!”.  Ugh, that teacher brain.

So, we began to read.  I knew all of them from my childhood, and could recite them all with little effort, but this was the first time I really looked at what these “cute and engaging” rhymes were talking about.  Oh, the horror.  Page by page, rhyme by rhyme, I began to wonder just what Mother Goose was trying to pull here.  What was this goose trying to teach my daughter?!

Let’s look at some of these together:


Perhaps the most well-known, for the fact that its about the Great Plague of London.  Rashes and cremation – AWESOME.

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What kind of whack-job is baking live birds into pie? PETA would be PISSED. I’d be pretty pissed too if I was the king. Taunting me with pie I can no longer eat??

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Another classic.  But why is no one questioning this massacre by a knife wielding woman? No, I hope to never see such a sight – because that would surely mess me up. THEY WERE BLIND.

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What kind of sick child labor/slavery sham is this? A penny a day? A master? Jack needs to contact his union rep ASAP.

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Pretty sure this is against the law, Peter.  You can’t just hold people against their will – especially in a pumpkin.  Also, this picture is incredibly creepy.

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Well no shit he’s merry.  He’s got a pipe and a bowl and people to play music for him on command?  Where is this place and how does one get there?

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Ummm.. concussion?? I’m pretty sure he needs medical attention.  Was he at a party the night before with Old King Cole??

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What is the moral of this? Irresponsibility? A poor work-ethic? Falling asleep on the job is never acceptable.  Unless you’re a doctor who needs a break or something – then its ok.  Those hours are LONG.

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Andddd last but not least – my favorite.  No, it is not because its three men in a tub.  It could be any mix of men and women – I am a huge supporter of the LGBT community and love the one you’re with.  What I am concerned about, however, is why three adults of such stature are splish splashing around in a tub together for everyone to see.  I thought candlestick makers were better than this.  I am NOT ready for those talks with my daughter yet.

Good try Mother Goose.  Good try.  I’ll save your book for when she’s 15 (or 21 – if I play into my own delusions about her growing up) and we need to discuss drugs, sex, safety, acceptable working conditions, and historical tragedies all at the same time.  Until then, books on shapes it is.

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