It's the 21st century, it's not all sweetness and light, bad things happen...Traditional nursery rhymes don't appear to carry any message at all, but, when you examine them more closely they do convey a macabre, twisted humour.... darkness and absurdity is realised.
These simple rhymes were often constructed to teach, or to pass on a moral lesson. The easy-rhyming words are much more memorable than words that don't rhyme, and are verbally passed down from one generation to another.
Many of the most popular nursery rhymes are often violent in nature, filled with tales of death or suffering, often containing quite disturbing and tragic endings...and were frequently used to parody the royal and political events of the day at a time when free speech was punishable.
Strangely enough, some psychologists believe that to make nursery rhymes politically correct, or less gruesome would be a mistake. There is an argument that they provide a way to allow children to imaginatively deal with violence and danger...
This is my take on them...
There was an old woman...
There was an old woman who lived upon flesh
she couldn't eat nicely, (she barfed and then retched)
she ate all her kids without any salt
then, proceeded to make some whiskey from malt.
[There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
She had so many children she didn't know what to do!
So she gave them some broth without any bread,
And she whipped them all soundly and sent them to bed!]
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
I plotted and planned how to make him fall.
After I'd pushed him I giggled and said
"ha-ha I'm glad that fucker is dead".
[Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King's horses and all the King's men
couldn't put Humpty together again.]
Itsy Bitsy spider...
Itsy Bitsy spider won't fill me up at all
its bad for indigestion, it plays havoc with my gall-
bladder. I need to find some real meat, perhaps I'll eat your leg
or perhaps I'll eat your nose, it's all covered with your smeg.
[Itsy Bitsy spider climbing up the spout
Down came the rain and washed the spider out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
Now Itsy Bitsy spider went up the spout again!]
Sing a song of sixpence...
Sing a song and piss your pants
your pockets full of dope
Four and twenty retards
hanging on a rope
All their legs are broken
and all their eyes are blind
How will we get them down, oh fuck it nevermind!
[Sing a song of sixpence
a pocket full of rye
four and twenty blackbirds
baked in a pie
when the pie was open
the birds began to sing
wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the King!]
Georgie Porgie, was baked in a pie
he yelled and he screamed 'til I ate up his eye
when the pie was thoroughly done
I sat outside and scoffed my own son.
[Georgie Porgie pudding and pie,
Kissed the girls and made them cry
When the boys came out to play,
Georgie Porgie ran away.]
Peter Peter pumpkin eater...
Peter Peter wife beater
hit too hard then couldn't treat her
He sat down and then he cried
because the silly woman died.
[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!]
Jack and Jill...
Jack and Jill discussed the pill, (they didn't want a daughter)...
Jack sat down with a frown
whilst Jill planned out his slaughter...
Jack got a *WHACK* with a resounding *CRACK*
then Jill commenced her feast...
she ate his head upon her bed
with all the finesse of a beast.
[Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after.
Up got Jack, and home did trot
As fast as he could caper
He went to bed and bound his head
With vinegar and brown paper.]
Seesaw Margery Daw...
I saw Margery draw
up a prenuptial plan
so men won't abuse her, nor prostitute her
because she's turning vegan.
[Seesaw Margery Daw
Johnny shall have a new master
He shall earn but a penny a day
Because he can't work any faster]
Mary had a little lamb...
Mary had a little lamb,
one day she wished it dead,
she took it in the garden
and killed it in the shed.
[Mary had a little lamb
it's fleece was white as snow
and everywhere that Mary went
the lamb was sure to go.]