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Posts Tagged ‘nursery rhymes’

Writers Mail
November 25, 2014

We did not take notes on the critiques this time.

Ruth Imhoff Interrupted Conquest, Chapter, Rebecca Lookout, Chapter 6, Judah,In A Moment There Is Time, Jen (???), possibly Jack (???)
Dec. 9 We are at Alicia Ashman Library
Dec. 23: Meeting cancelled
Dec. 30: 5th Tuesday Cancelled. Second and Fourth will host 5th Tuesday, March 31. Details to come.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL AND HERE’S A LITTLE SOMETHING (OTHER THAN TURKEY) TO CHEW ON!!

THE SHOCKING, TWISTED STORIES BEHIND YOUR FAVORITE NURSERY RHYMES
By CLAIRE FALLON FOR “THE HUFFINGTON POST”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/20/nursery-rhymes-real-stories_n_6180428.html

Nursery rhyme illustration for Rub a Dub Dub Three Men in a Tub, issued in 1900 by an unknown illustrator.

Dark backstories often lurk behind our favorite childhood songs and fairy tales. This shouldn’t be so surprising. Childhood itself is a fairly recent invention, especially in its current form of G-rated entertainment and brightly colored, hazard-free toys, so the older a children’s story the more likely it has very adult, even unsavory roots.

Sometimes it’s easy, albeit shocking, to track down the un-bowdlerized originals. Early collections of fairy tales such as the famous Brothers Grimm compendium set down gruesome tales full of violence and violation, quite unlike our Disney-fied modern perceptions of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Going further back is trickier. Were these frightening fables based on real events? In some cases, yes — though it can be difficult to pin down which historical figures inspired these fictionalized tales.

Nursery rhymes may seem innocent — what could poems meant for the nursery contain of violence or scandal? — but the truth is more complex. Some nursery rhymes contain overt hints of cruelty or adult themes (see: “Ding, dong, bell / Pussy’s in the well / Who put her in? / Little Johnny Flynn” and “When down came a blackbird / And nipped off her nose”), suggesting that the composers of nursery rhymes weren’t always at pains to protect their young audience from frightening imagery. (more…)

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