Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mother Goose: Book of Crimes

Well, the actual name is "Book of Rhymes," but once you take a good look at what is really going on in this cute little book of lullabies you'll see why I changed it. I bought this thin volume of traditional rhymes years ago, and now Violet has been carrying it around looking at the pictures. I forgot how completely sadistic some of these are, and thought I'd share them with you.

From this rhyme children learn to impose their religious beliefs onto others, by means of physical violence and bodily harm:

Here is another shot of that page, just so you can see how the cutesy illustrations never actually address the brutality of the verse.
In this next little gem you can see the children playing on a see-saw when the rhyme is actually about slavery:

And who could forget that charming little future date-rapist, Georgie Porgey? Please note the position of the saucy little redhead girl's hand on Georgie's thigh, which lends credence to the saying "You can't rape the willing." These two are equally creepy. That poor little brunette doesn't stand a chance on that playground.

* Pictures shown here without permission from the book "Mother Goose, Book of Rhymes," as told and pictured by Margaret Evans Price.


controlled chaos said...

Wow..that was a blast from the past.
But I don't think (or at least hope) that middle one was on slavery. Just a servant?? Because a lot of people had servants, and a penny was worth a lot more...
Seriously I can't believe some of this stuff. i'm so glad I never understood them when i was little.
OH and I think Rock-a-bye baby should be added to the list.

*mary* said...

Rock-a-Bye Baby was the most obviously evil one so I didn't even bother to add it. (Lazy!)
The one where "Jenny shall have a new master" I think it mentions that she gets beaten, doesn't it? I'll have to go back and look, but either way I'm betting that there was little difference between that type of "servant" and actual slavery. Especially if it were a child!

*mary* said...

Nope, I was wrong. There's a different one in there about someone getting beat. Jenny is safe for now, even though she only makes a penny a day because she's so slow. She probably doesn't get a lunch break! No wonder she's slacking.

minerva1822 said...

o man totally..mother goose is FILLED with crimes..look at the little old woman and the shoe!!...and to think these are for kids..hahaha

minerva1822 said...

oh and not to mention..mother goose is a cheater..haha.. the rhyme hey diddle diddle the cat and the fiddle was originally from the lord of the rings...yea im a nerd i

Then the ostler said to his tipsy cat:
'The white horses of the Moon,
They neigh and champ their silver bits;
But their master's been and drowned his wits,
and the Sun'll be rising soon!'

So the cat on his fiddle played hey-diddle-diddle,
a jig that would wake the dead:
He squeaked and sawed and quickened the tune,
While the landlord shook the Man in the Moon:
'It's after three!' he said.

They rolled the Man slowly up the hill
and bundled him into the Moon,
While his horses galloped up in rear,
And the cow came capering like a deer,
and a dish ran up with the spoon.

Now quicker the fiddle went deedle-dum-diddle;
the dog began to roar,
The cow and the horses stood on their heads;
The guests all bounded from their beds
and danced upon the floor.

With a ping and a pong the fiddle-strings broke!
the cow jumped over the Moon,
And the little dog laughed to see such fun,
And the Saturday dish went off at a run
with the silver Sunday spoon.

The round Moon rolled behind the hill
as the Sun raised up her head.
She hardly believed her fiery eyes;
For though it was day, to her surprise
they all went back to bed!

...Love said...

Not sure why this post entertained me so much, probably the pictures.

Existential Waitress said...

I recently purchased a similar book for my kids. Halfway through reading the book to my daughter, my husband and I realized how messed up some of these rhymes really are. I think I recall reading somewhere that a lot of them used to be "code" for other things back in the days when if you said what you really thought, you'd be rwarded with a trip to the guillotine.

Post a Comment