Join 3,380 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Ring-a-ring-a-what now?
November 10, 2005 11:28 AM   Subscribe

Did you ever wonder where nursery rhymes came from? Of course, the etymology of some rhymes is contentious, but at least you can get the tune right [uses flash] while you argue about them.
posted by 5MeoCMP (16 comments total)

 
Some of these I've never heard. Who knew that a hobby horse was called a "cock horse?"
posted by Pollomacho at 11:34 AM on November 10, 2005


See also.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:37 AM on November 10, 2005


Just Ask Yahoo! for a FPP?
posted by notyou at 11:38 AM on November 10, 2005


notyou, why must you steal my snarky thunder?
posted by poppo at 11:40 AM on November 10, 2005


Is it just me, or did that article on Snopes seem really snarky?
posted by JeffK at 11:40 AM on November 10, 2005


I love when Snopes loses its cool. Usually it takes a lot more, though; maybe this is a pet peeve of theirs.
posted by jenovus at 11:48 AM on November 10, 2005


Pffft. I was thinking about this because my daughter got a new thrift-store book of nursery rhymes, and I hadn't seen some of them before. Wasn't spawned by Yahoo, NPR, or anyone else.

Just one o' them synchronicity doo-dads, what?
posted by 5MeoCMP at 11:53 AM on November 10, 2005


Just one o' them synchronicity doo-dads, what?
Little meme Muffet....
Thanks folks, I'll be here all week.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 12:14 PM on November 10, 2005


5MeoCMP, how could you? Did you think I have nothing else to do today this week?
posted by Cranberry at 1:33 PM on November 10, 2005


"Is it just me, or did that article on Snopes seem really snarky?"

The Mikkelson's were (well, David, who was "snopes", left a.f.u. about when he started that site—Barbara still hangs out on afu) very long-time a.f.u. regulars and this bit of folklore comes up all the damn time. It's not just disputed, it's simply not true. That's why they're testy.

Listed in their references are the researchers/writers who are considered the authorities on children's folklore, Iona and Peter Opie. Snopes lists the Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes—I strongly recommend The Classic Fairy Tales for some interesting reading on the origin of the classic anglophone fairy tales and The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren, which, though somewhat dry, reveals that children live in a persistent wold of their own folklore.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:27 PM on November 10, 2005


This is cool, thanks.
posted by blahblahblah at 2:58 PM on November 10, 2005


They don't have the Solomon Grundy rhyme, but this is still pretty interesting.
posted by TricksterGoddess at 3:20 PM on November 10, 2005


One of the things that weirds me out a bit about books and sites that discuss nursery rhymes is that they treat kids almost as if they're a weird newly-discovered culture. Introductions to "the world of the child", advice on how kids view the world, etc.

I'm not exactly a spring chicken myself, but I can remember making up my own folklore, rhymes, stories, and whatnot. Can I remember how I thought as a kid, though? No, not really, and I certainly don't see the world the same way as my 2-year-old daughter, but still ... it just seems weird to me.
posted by 5MeoCMP at 3:42 PM on November 10, 2005


I always thought Ring Around the Rosie was a fairly recent ditty, and that it referred to the influenza plague of 1918.

So I've learnt two things today. Count 'em.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 3:51 PM on November 10, 2005


" but still ... it just seems weird to me."

I think what's interesting is that they don't make up much of this stuff. Instead, it's part of a very old, persistent subculture that is almost entirely forgotten and ignored by adults.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:00 PM on November 10, 2005


[insert something snarky for his first FPP]
posted by jmccorm at 3:38 PM on November 12, 2005


« Older Do you spend a lot of time worrying about governme...  |  For those who tire of the usua... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments