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Sunday, October 10, 2010

GOODe Night?: Mother Goose is one bizarre chick

While we were at Holiday World a few weeks ago, we rode the time honored tradition... 

Mother Goose's Freedom Train. 

Apparently, it is the only ride remaining from the very first season of the then "Santa Claus Land" back in 1946.

The Freedom Train is rich with nostalgia for me. It was my Grandma's favorite ride when she would take us there and as kids we always looked for its over-sized nursery rhyme characters from the road as the first sign that we had arrived at the park.

The little train takes families through a list of nursery rhymes from yester-year... many nursery rhymes that have interesting lyrics when you really listen to them... just sayin'

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet
Eating her curds and whey,
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away

Ok, so that one is pretty normal... except most don't know what a tuffet is...

I bet some don't know what curds and whey are either...

And truth be told, Puddie would scream like a girl if he were Miss Muffet...just sayin' ;)

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!

Umm... I may be missing something, but isn't Peter holding someone against their will here? In a damp, slimy gourd no less?

Mary Mary quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row.

A little research shows that this lovely little tale refers to a not so pleasant review of Queen Mary. Chock-full of symbolism, some say this rhyme refers to torture and graveyards at the hands of "Bloody Mary" and we aren't talking cocktails folks!

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!

Did you ever notice that Humpty was never referred to as an egg... hmmm... 

Some say Humpty was actually a canon. Which makes far more sense given the context of the rhyme... 

Why would they bring a fragile egg along, unless the King's peeps were hankerin' for an omelet... 

Others say that it doesn't say it is an egg because it is a riddle and the fact it is an egg is the answer to the riddle. If that is the case, the riddle is just strange...just sayin' 

But then again, most riddles are...

Tom Tom the pipers son
Stole a pig and away he ran,
The pig was eat and Tom was beat
And Tom went roaring down the street

Thievery... Beatings... sheesh!

Little Bo peep has lost her sheep
And doesn't know where to find them.
Leave them alone and they'll come home,
Bringing their tails behind them.

Little Bo peep fell fast asleep
And dreamt she heard them bleating,
But when she awoke, she found it a joke,
For they were all still fleeting.

Then up she took her little crook
Determined for to find them.
She found them indeed, but it made her heart bleed,
For they left their tails behind them.

It happened one day, as Bo peep did stray
Into a meadow hard by,
There she espied their tails side by side
All hung on a tree to dry.

She heaved a sigh, and wiped her eye,
And over the hillocks went rambling,
And tried what she could,
As a shepherdess should,
To tack again each to its lambkin.

"Left their tails behind them"... uh oh.

Little Jack Horner sat in the corner
Eating his Christmas pie,
He put in his thumb and pulled out a plum
And said "What a good boy am I!"

Sounds innocent enough... but again, a little research reveals connections to treason and a Bishop being hung, drawn and quartered!!!

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!

This one is bad enough at face value, but some say it is connected to King George, his Parliament and those charged with "whipping" them into toeing the party line...ahhh politics.

Little Boy Blue come blow your horn,
The sheep's in the meadow the cow's in the corn.
But where's the boy who looks after the sheep?
He's under a haystack fast asleep.
Will you wake him? No, not I - for if I do, he's sure to cry

Some say this one is a secret code for dissent over an oppressive Cardinal back in the day where a difference of opinon would have led to imprisonment, loss of property or death... dude!

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.

First off, this pic cracks me up! Jack looks like he is gettin' his ab workout on...just sayin'

Anyhoo, research on this one shows that it is linked to the beheadings of King Louis and Queen Marie Antoinette, but the author had the GOODe sense to clean this one up for the kiddos.

Jack and the Beanstalk... 

Wikipedia says it best "The story portrays a hero unscrupulously hiding in a man's house, playing on his wife's sympathies in order to rob and finally murder the owner of the house."

So Jack could have been on the next episode of Dateline or 48 Hours Mystery

And last but not least, Little Red Riding Hood...

Where some of the first versions of this tale have the wolf serving up dear old granny for dinner to our little unsuspecting red hooded friend... 

This is not to mention some of the less than rated G interpretations of the wolf and his intentions for Miss Hood. Think Dateline: To Catch a Predator. Yuck. 

So there you have it folks... the GOODe Ole Days... at their best...lol! 

Don't get me wrong, I think our nursery rhymes, history and stories need to be told, shared and understood. 

I obviously grew up with all of these tales and am better for it, the time with my grandma and the family traditions around them.

I am just fascinated with how we tend scrub things clean, polish them up and put a pretty bow on them. 

Then we pine away and say that back in the day things were so much better than they are now... just sayin'


4 GOODe Thoughts:

lol Those stories cracked me up. :)

I love this, Cris! Just the reason I never sang "Rock-a-bye-baby" to Liv. Ever listen to the lyrics? How can a song that sings of the wind blowing the baby & cradle out of a tree be a soothing, sleep inducing lullaby? And, come to think of it, why was baby & the cradle in a treetop to begin with?!?! I used the tune & re-wrote the lyrics when I use to sing to Liv. :)

Hmmm..... makes one think.

I'm with Terra on the Rock-a-bye Baby one Geez! Glad Miss Add still likes them sweet and sugary. Life is more fiber and DIEt!

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