Nursery Rhymes in Karachi

By Anjum Khan 


I am 100% sure all of you out there who passed your Nursery class many many many moons ago still remember most of these Nursery Rhymes,even those experiencing some minor technical issues like forgetfulness with age I am quite positive they also remember these famous poems and have sung them through generations.
We grew up calling them “Poems” whereas the rest of the world call it “Nursery Rhymes”.
On the surface all of them seem so sweet and innocent and oh so adorable right ? Wrong ..well kinda of wrong,
you see some of them might, not be all that innocent is what I am trying to say.
History reveals an altogether different back ground or origin or meaning to it .. it could be a speculation though so nothing is confirmed.
So..Just for fun let me give you a brief
insight based on my lil research I did for you guys, and …you are welcome ☺️
Let’s begine.
The poem was first printed in 1810,
Actually H UMTY D was actually a powerful Cannon used during the English Civil War,( 1642-49) This Cannon was quite heavy in weight and required many men to hold it ..during the war it got damaged by gun shots it came tumbling down and due it’s weight it could not be raised back
again it also became far from being repaired.
Some historians suggests that it was written in resentment of the tax imposed on wool in 1275, while others believe the word “black” and “Master”is def used describing the Slave trade.of the “Black.” Much much later many schools changed the word black sheep to “ Baba Rainbow sheep”as a less demeaning alternate word.
As simple and innocent as this Rhyme might seem, the story believed behind this poem is quite the contrary.
The common thought surrounding is that it’s about the execution of France’s Luise XV1 and his wife Marie Antoinette who were both found guilty of Treason
( remember the part jack broke his crown meaning his head and so did the fate of Jill who also came tumbling down) sheesh how gruesome !😳
Thank God nothing bad or gory is attached with this poem, it was published in 1806 with the tittle
“The Star” it was much longer then we were made to learn .. the whole poem went like this.
TWINKLE, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Then the trav’ller in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often thro’ my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.

‘Tis your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the trav’ller in the dark,
Tho’ I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.
Many stories go along this common Nursery Rhyme we grew up singing during recess time going in a circle holding hands ..The most famous is that it is in reference to the 1665 Great Plague in London.”The Rosie” is the rash that covered the afflicted and it’s smell was covered with their “pockets filled with poises” the plague killed 15 percent of the population hence
“Ashes ashes we all fall down “😐
There is no mother or a woman involved in the actual story behind this cute poem .. its a mockery of one Cardinal Thomas Wolsey whose refusal to grant annulment to king Henry Vlll to marry Anne Boleyn led to his political down fall.
This poem oddly enough refers to the un successful conspiracy to over throw the Queen by a group of “Protestant bishops” who when caught were burned on stake (as per the punishment of the time) ..the blindness of the mice refers to the faith of their religious beliefs.
The story behind this poem is quite the same as the lyrics ..its about a girl named “ Patience” who was the step daughter of one Mr MUFFET”
As she was eating her breakfast she saw a spider crawling near her table, in great fear of spiders she fled the table.
The speculative story behind speaks about the prison of “Wakefield”in “England” where female prisoners were taken on a routine exercise around the Mullberry bushes
I think I should stop here .. cause my article is getting quite lengthier,☺️
but atleast it gave you a gist or a lil insight in the history behind some of these famous Nursery Rhymes you know so well by heart.
Hope u enjoyed it.💕

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About Amin H. Karim MD

Graduate of Dow Medical College Class of 1977.
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