Hidden history and other elements of nursery rhymes
Posted on 24 May 2009
A lot of the Nursery Rhymes that we read and recite everyday are either is one way or the other associated or reflect on real happenings that took place in history! The real or in other words the hidden meanings of Nursery Rhymes have been lost as time has progressed. The basis of a nursery rhyme has always been on royal, political as well as general events of the day. The use of the humble Rhyme was made to spread subversive messages! One should also understand that no matter how credible a rhyme origin may seem to be, nobody knows the actual and exact way of them coming to life. In the nursery rhyme world and in particular their origin, common sense must always prevail.
For centuries together nursery rhymes have been an integral part of every child's childhood. Nursery rhymes have been recited to children to wake them up, to put them to sleep, to teach them about animal, happenings and all sorts of things. But most of us have little or no idea about their origin or what is the meaning of a particular verse or rhyme is. The BusSongs site has over 1867 songs which you can read to your kids and if you would like you can also read out the brief explanation given at the bottom of the page regarding the origin that song.
Freedom of Speech and Expression
Another great feature about nursery rhymes is that they allow freedom of speech and expression using short verses. Rhymes are most often short and thus easy to remember and this has always proved to be a critical element for the young ones taking their first steps towards learning to identify things around them or for evening learning basis things like counting numbers and alphabets. For those people who could not read or write a rhyme was used to pass the message. The rhyme was also very useful when commoners wanted to pass a short comment or message on the events of a day.
The first English rhyme of real importance has its origins dating back to the 14th century! This is a small rhyme that caught the imagination quite quickly and spread from person to person, it was remembered easily and created an English revolution - a call for recognition and class equality!
When Adam delved and Eve span
Who was then a gentleman.
(To delve means to work and 'span' refers to spinning yarn there was no class distinction when there was only Adam and Eve).