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发布于:2017-9-11 06:24:34  访问:35 次 回复:0 篇
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Nursery Rhymes - Are They Really For Children?
I used to enjoy singing/reciting nursery rhymes as a child; but as an adult, listening to my little daughters reciting them, I really wonder how some of them came into being! I mean what is a Humpty Dumpty? Or a Goosey, Goosey Gander? And what is that Rock-a-bye Baby rhyme all about; `down will come baby, cradle and all`? Distinctly morbid! Doesn`t sound like a very comforting lullaby to me! And what about Jack falling and breaking his crown and then Jill coming tumbling after? Rather violent; certainly not very cheerful!
So how did nursery rhymes come into being? Were they nonsense made up by children at random? There is a lot of data to suggest that this is not the case; that nursery rhymes are a commentary of their times, a satire, a brief encapsulation of history, call them what you may; many of them have very interesting histories.
It is suggested that rhymes are a kind of oral tradition that originated at a time when not too many people could read or write. Also they originated at a time when free speech was certainly not a luxury enjoyed by the masses. So these little ditties were something that gave people a modicum of freedom to speak their minds, to speak dissentingly of an occurrence; by constructing seemingly nonsensical poems.
Here is a fascinating collection of nursery rhymes and their history or background. It shed some light on the mystery of the Goosey, goosey gander; which, it is suggested may refer to the closet Catholics of 16th century when the Catholic priests refused to give into the Protestants and their beliefs (therefore the taking by left legs and throwing down stairs).
Now Hey Diddle Diddle, has to be my favorite rhyme of all time; sheer enjoyable nonsense; however this one is also suggested to have a deeper connotation: perhaps that the cat is Queen Elizabeth the first and that the dog is Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester who she once referred to as her `lap dog.`
And here is my own theory about the nonsensical rhyme: it is a comment about the economy: The reference to the cow jumping over the moon is about the prices of meat skyrocketing and the dish running away with the spoon is also a reference to the prices of food becoming unaffordable for the common man. Perhaps the dog and cat are the aristocracy who are laughing or fiddling unconcerned with the plight of the common man!
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