When I was a little boy, my mom used to read to me at bedtime. I can't tell you what a wonderful learning experience that was! She would read all of the old fairy tales. She would sometimes read biblical stories that she knew would be of interest to a youngster. Sometimes she would sing simple songs that I could participate in singing with her. And quite often, she would recite nursery rhymes.
I was thinking about that last night as I tried to go to sleep. Some of those nursery rhymes came flooding back to me.......
Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go.......
Little miss Muffet sat on a tuffet
Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider and sat down beside her;
And frightened miss Muffet away.
Hickory dickory dock,
The mouse ran up the clock;
The clock struck one, the mouse ran down;
Hickory dickory dock.......
The itsy bitsy spider ran up the water spout;
Down came the rain and washed the spider out;
Up came the sun and dried up all the rain,
And the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again.
Oh, the noble Duke of York, he had ten thousand men;
He led them up to the top of the hill and led them down again.
When they were up, they were up; when they were down they were down;
And when they were only half way up they were neither up nor down.
A dillar a dollar, a ten o'clock scholar;
What makes you come so soon?
You used to come at ten O'Clock,
But now you come at noon.
A tisket, a tasket,
A brown and yellow basket;
I sent a letter to my love,
And on the way, I dropped it!......
The owl and the pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat;
They took some honey and plenty of money
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.......
We went to the animal fair;
The birds and the beasts were there;
A big baboon by the light of the moon
Was combing his auburn hair.
You ought to have seen the monk;
It jumped on the elephant's trunk;
The elephant sneezed and fell on his knees,
But what became of the monk, the monk, the monk?
Kookaburra sits in an old gum tree;
Merry, merry king of the bush is he;
Laugh, kookaburra! laugh, kookaburra!
Gay your life must be.
Many nursery rhymes were based in fact. One of the most famous of these is:
Ring around the rosies,
A pocketful of posies,
We all fall down.
This rhyme originated in England during the great bubonic plague of 1665. A symptom of the plague, which had a death rate of over 60%, was a ring shaped rosy red rash on the skin. The "ashes" refers to the fact that most bodies were cremated. The plague ended in 1666 when the great fire of London killed most of the rats that carried the disease.
What nursery rhymes to you most remember?