- 03-03-2004, 12:05 AM #1
LONDON: Britain's most popular nursery rhymes, recited by generations of parents to their children, are heaving with references to bed-hopping royals and teenage sex, according to a book on the origins of 24 playground ditties.
While Jack and Jill may seem inoffensive enough in their attempt to fetch water, they are in fact preoccupied with losing their virginity, says Chris Roberts, a social historian who has traced the adult stories behind the nursery rhymes. Jill possibly becomes pregnant and there are regrets later.
"The interesting bit is that, having successfully 'lost his crown', it's Jack who runs off rapidly probably to tell his mates what happened," Roberts, 37, author of Heavy Words Lightly Thrown, was quoted as saying by the Telegraph .
The rhyme "Goosey, goosey gander, where do you wander? Upstairs and downstairs and in my lady's chamber" can be read as alluding to the spread of venereal disease known as "goose bumps" because of the swelling.
It also tackles a row between Henry VIII and the Catholic Church, which owned the land upon which brothels were operating and profited hugely.
Roberts, a librarian at East London University, said his book came out of research he undertook for a series of walking tours around London.
While people already know that Ring a Ring o' Roses refers to the rash displayed by sufferers at the time of the Great Plague, it is well known for Oranges and Lemons, a guide to the City of London, doubles as a lewd wedding song, the report quoted him as saying.
The line "here comes a candle to light you to bed", for example, is an apparent reference to the bride tempting her new bridegroom, while "here comes a chopper to chop off your head" alludes to the woman losing her virginity, or "maiden head".Founder of GeoBaby.Com
- 03-05-2004, 02:22 PM #2Baby Guru
- Join Date
- Mar 2003
- New Territories
Ring Around the Rosie Urban Legend de-bunked years ago
The urban legend that Ring-around-the-Rosie refers to the plagues of the 1340's or the 1665 Great Plague was debunked years ago.
Pls see http://www.snopes.com/language/literary/rosie.htm
So I would take the work of Chris Roberts (a fellow librarian[gulp!]) with a couple of spoonfuls of salt.
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