Is it me? Or Are Nursery Rhyme Lyrics A Bit Off

Like many of you, I grew up chanting rhymes. Now that I’m reading them to Kai, I've taken a closer look at the lyrics on the printed page. The melodies are always soothing but the lyrics can be downright hilarious while others are a bit disturbing. Check this one out:

Hickety, pickety, my black hen,
She lays eggs for gentlemen;
Gentlemen come every day
To see what my black hen doth lay.

Hmmmm….are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Or this classic lullaby is just a little creepy:

Rock a bye baby, on the tree top
When the wind blows, the craddle will rock
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall
And down will come baby, cradle and all

What others have to say:


Rhymes as Depressing for Children


Kay said...

I was talking to my friend about this same issue the other day. She's a child therapist and said that a lot of these nursery rhymes with tragic endings were written as an outlet for mothers who were going through postpartum depression. My husband and I have decided not to teach/sing some of these to our son.

mama lounge said...

Thanks for the insight. I see the connection between post-partum depression and the lyrics. It's surprising how popular some of these rhymes still are today.