Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Nursery rhymes

Bubba has a book of Mother Goose nursery rhymes, published 1968. It's a lovely book to read through, but I think it may be the most violent book in our house. Grandma reads him the rhymes with a magic ability to change the words. But when I read them, I'm shocked at how rough it used to be to be a child, if these rhymes are accurate.


Hunger, corporal punishment:






It was rough to be an animal too, by the looks of it.




And of course, training for our sons and daughters about the place of women:


This is a little more my speed.



And I like the pictures.



And some things are just timeless:



15 comments:

Jennifer said...

Fantastic! And creepy. Ha. I recently read my kids a copy of an old, old, old version of The Three Little Pigs. Let's just say there were sharp knives and carvings involved. Yikes.

hippyhappyhay said...

Ah, them were the days, lol!
As a mother of four girls, I can TOTALLY relate to the Molly my sister one!
I guess being put in a pumpkin is preferable to being stabbed, or chained in the basement....
Great pictures!!!

ellen said...

They definitely are violent, but I don't know that I ever viewed them that way as a child. (Perhaps that says a lot about me!)
Somehow, I got to thinking (twisted as usual) that Jack the Ripper and Son of Sam never sat at their mother's knee and listened to her read these aloud!
There are some interesting sites on the internet regarding nursery rhymes.
Hope you have a good (and healthy) weekend!

Day Dreamer said...

I have to agree about the nursery rhymes. YIKES. I still cringe at Three Blind Mice.

Holy Cow, they're violent!!!

(And why exactly will the cradle fall???)

MamaBird said...

Thanks for sharing the sweet pics. All of the original fairy tales are pretty macabre (think Grimm's and the Brothers Andersen). Even Little Red Riding Hood, no? (A great book that's out of print albeit also a little tiny bit gory is Womenfolk and Fairytales edited by Rosemary Rinard. Feminist collection of strong females.)

Minnesota Matron said...

You are 100% right. I've thought about this a million times over the past decade as Little Red Riding Hood fights for her life and Humpty Dumpty is shattered. The big bad wolf? Merrick is scared of this creature beyond all reason. Fairy tales are totally scary and according to psychoanalyst Brutto Bettelheim were created as ways to work out totally scary things, like death and competition for food, housing -- they serve as a way through the depths of the psyche, too. Heady stuff.

Vanessa said...

I had a Mother Goose book too. As I read the words now, it seems somewhat violent. Throwing someone down the stairs???

Tootsie Farklepants said...

Yeah, it makes me snort when I hear concerns that todays children are exposed to too much violence. I'm like, for real?

Mrs. G. said...

Have your read the original Grimm's fairytales? Psycho killer scay.

I love these pictures though.

bubandpie said...

When I teach children's literature, we always start the course with fairy tales and nursery rhymes, and students are invariably shocked at how grim they are. My favourite rhyme threatens squalling babies with the vengeance of Buonaparte (a nicely historical bogeyman) who will "beat you beat you beat you" and then "eat you eat you eat you every morsel snap snap snap!"

wheelsonthebus said...

I find myself "editing" the older picture books, because there are some odd things in those books!

HRH said...

So funny. Just wait until you are doing the fairy tales which are scary on so many levels...bedtime stories?

Grandy said...

It does make you think...would old mother hubbard be turned in to CPS today??

Michelle Hix said...

One of our favorites is the three little pigs. Unfortunately, in our version, the pigs don't make it out alive! I guess its supposed to be a good lesson...how to build your house, your life, your foundation...but goodness...do they all have to die so violently?

Childlife said...

LOL! We have a couple of these books too... and I find myself, um... shall we say paraphrasing?

Funny thing is, I remember most of them from childhood and don't recall them bothering me. Perhaps I got the 'paraphrased' version too. : D