Scary Nursery

Some of us may be familiar with lots of nursery rhymes when we were kids. But do you realize how some of them are kinda scary?

I’ll give you some examples. The first one here is not from Mother Goose, but a folk song that became popular around the 1860s.


Drove she ducklings to the water
Ev’ry morning just at nine,
Stubbed her toe against a splinter,
Fell into the foaming brine.

Ruby lips above the water,
Blowing bubbles, soft and fine,
But, alas, I was no swimmer,
So I lost my Clementine.


Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Clementine!
Thou were lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine.

Well, Clementine died from drowning. How scary is that?
The moral: don’t play in the water, kids. And parents, please don’t name your child Clementine.

“Jack and Jill”

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water

Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after

Ouch! That must’ve been hurt.
The moral: don’t send kids to fetch water from a well that’s on top of a steep hill. Or better yet, drill a well near your kitchen door.

“Humpty Dumpty”

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the King’s horses and all the King’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again

You’re an egg, for heaven’s sake, Humpty, why did you sit on a wall?
The moral: boil you egg before putting it on top of a wall. Or rather, eat your egg and don’t play with your food!

“Rock-a-bye Baby”

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

First of all, the baby’s parents must be crazy to put it on the tree top. Second of all, how did they manage to carry a cradle (with a baby in it) and climb a tree?
The moral: the only cradle that has a rightful to be on a tree top is a bird’s, or a monkey’s (but monkeys don’t have cradles…on second thought, neither do birds).

“Three Blind Mice”

Three blind mice, three blind mice
See how they run, see how they run
They all ran after the farmer’s wife
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife
Did you ever see such a thing in your life
As three blind mice!

Couldn’t it be more sadistic, please? Besides, how could three blind mice ran after anything? In case the creator didn’t notice, they can’t see!
The moral: mice are pests, yes, but you don’t cut their tails, you kill them! And blind mice can still ran after you to seek revenge.

Well, this nursery rhyme’s obviously written before mice became superstars. Before Mickey Mouse suddenly could commandeer a steamboat in 1928. That made me think. Mickey’s almost 80 years old now. How long can a mouse live? You’d think he’d be gray now, or blind.

Methinks the only animals that can outlive Mickey Mouse are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I mean, they’re turtles, and they’re mutants!


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