Cradle Rock – by Varda K.
Old School Fairy Tales
Nursery rhymes are often viewed as simple, harmless children’s poems that are meant to entertain and educate young minds. However, upon closer examination, many of these classic rhymes are quite dark and even disturbing.
One of the most famous collections of nursery rhymes is the Mother Goose collection, which features such classics as “Little Bo Peep,” “Jack and Jill,” and “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary.”
While these rhymes may seem innocent enough on the surface, a deeper look reveals some rather unpleasant themes. For example, the rhyme about the old woman who lived in a shoe portrays a mother who was so overwhelmed by her many children that she resorted to physical violence as a means of discipline.
The rhyme goes, “She gave them some broth without any bread, / Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.”
Similarly, the story of Hansel and Gretel, which is often told as a fairy tale, features two children who are abandoned in the woods by their parents and are then captured by a witch who intends to eat them.
In the end, the children manage to outsmart the witch and burn her alive in her own oven. This is hardly the stuff of happy childhood memories.
Another example of a seemingly innocuous nursery rhyme with a darker meaning is “Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater.” The rhyme goes, “Peter Peter pumpkin eater, / Had a wife and couldn’t keep her; / He put her in a pumpkin shell / And there he kept her very well.”
While this rhyme may seem harmless, it is actually thought to be about a man who was jealous and possessive of his wife and kept her locked up in their home.
It is interesting to note that many of these dark and twisted nursery rhymes have survived for hundreds of years, passed down from generation to generation.
Perhaps this is because they serve as cautionary tales, teaching children about the dangers and hardships of life in a way that is both memorable and entertaining. In any case, it is clear that these nursery rhymes have a rich and complex history that is worth exploring.