32 hozzászólás a(z) “Information about nursery rhymes” bejegyzéshez

  1. London bridge is falling down:

    London Bridge is falling down,
    Falling down, falling down,
    London Bridge is falling down,
    My fair lady.

    – Nobody know the inception of the rhyme, but “London Bridge is Falling Down” could be about a 1014 Viking attacks.
    – The song’s popularity around the world is often cited as further proof that it was the Vikings who created it, believing that they brought the tune to the many places they traveled.

    A game:
    London Bridge, children’s singing game in which there are several players (usually eight or more), two of whom join hands high to form an arch (the bridge). The other players march under the bridge, each holding onto the waist of the player in front. Either the players forming the bridge or all the players sing:
    London Bridge is falling down,
    Falling down, falling down,
    London Bridge is falling down,
    My fair lady.
    At the last word, the arms of the bridge are lowered to capture the last player through. The song continues with more stanzas.

  2. 6. The Muffin Man
    “The Muffin Man” is a traditional nursery rhyme or children’s song of English origin.

    Do [or “Oh, do”] you know the muffin man,
    The muffin man, the muffin man,
    Do you know the muffin man,
    Who lives on Drury Lane?

    Yes [or “Oh, yes”], I know the muffin man,
    The muffin man, the muffin man,
    Yes, I know the muffin man,
    Who lives on Drury Lane.

    The rhyme was first recorded in a British manuscript circa 1820, that is preserved in the Bodleian Library with lyrics very similar to those used today:

    Do you know the muffin man?
    The muffin man, the muffin man.
    Do you know the muffin man
    Who lives in Drury Lane?

    Victorian households had many of their fresh foods delivered, such as muffins, which were delivered door-to-door by a muffin man. The “muffin” in question was the bread product known in the United States as English muffins, not the much sweeter cupcake-shaped American variety. Drury Lane is a thoroughfare bordering Covent Garden in London.

    The rhyme and game appear to have spread to other countries in the mid-nineteenth century, particularly the US and the Netherlands. As with many traditional songs, there are regional variations in wording.

    In Volume 5 of his contemporary account of the London Prize Ring, Boxiana, published in 1829, Pierce Egan writes of an attempted fix (or “cross”) of a match scheduled for October 18, 1825, between Reuben Marten and Jonathan Bissel (“Young Gas”). Young Gas refused to take the bribe and one week later identified the person who offered him £200 to throw the fight as a “Mr. Smith, a muffin-baker in Gray’s Inn Lane.” Young Gas also identified the “gentlemen” who employed the muffin-baker to act as go between, but those gentlemen denied involvement claiming they did not have “the slightest knowledge of the muffin-man.”

    In The Young Lady’s Book (1888), Matilda Anne Mackarness described the game as:
    The first player turns to the one next her, and to some sing-song tune exclaims:

    “Do you know the muffin man? The muffin man, the muffin man.
    Do you know the muffin man who lives in Drury Lane?”
    The person addressed replies to the same tune:

    “Yes, I know the muffin man. The muffin man, the muffin man.
    Oh, yes, I know the muffin man, who lives in Drury Lane.”
    Upon this they both exclaim:

    “Then two of us know the muffin man, the muffin man,” &c.
    No. 2 then turns to No. 3, repeating the same words, who replies in the same way, only saying, “Three of us know the muffin man,” &c. No. 3 then turns to No. 4, and so on round the room, the same question and answer being repeated, the chorus only varied by the addition of one more number each time.
    Verses beyond those described in the book have been sung. For example, the song may be concluded, “We all know the Muffin Man …”

  3. 5. Ring a Ring o’ Roses
    “Ring a Ring o’ Roses” or “Ring Around the Rosie” or “Ring a Ring o’ Rosie” is a nursery rhyme or folksong and playground singing game. It first appeared in print in 1881, but it is reported that a version was already being sung to the current tune in the 1790s and similar rhymes are known from across Europe. Urban legend says the song originally described the plague, specifically the Great Plague of London, or the Black Death, but folklorists reject this idea.

  4. 4. This little piggy:
    “This Little Piggy” or “This Little Pig” is an English language nursery rhyme and fingerplay.
    This little piggy went to market,
    This little piggy stayed home,
    This little piggy had roast beef,
    This little piggy had none,
    And this little piggy cried “wee wee wee” all the way home.[2]

    Wiggle the “big” toe
    Wiggle the “long” toe
    Wiggle the “middle” toe
    Wiggle the “ring” toe
    Wiggle the “pinky” toe and tickle the bottom of the foot

    The rhyme is usually counted out on an infant or toddler’s toes, each line corresponding to a different toe, usually starting with the big toe and ending with the little toe. A foot tickle is usually added during the “Wee…all the way home” section of the last line. The rhyme can also be seen as a counting rhyme, although the number of each toe (from one for the big toe to five for the little toe) is never stated.

  5. 3. Here we go down the Mulberry bush:
    It is an English language nursery rhyme and singing game.
    The simple game involves holding hands in a circle and moving around to the first verse, which is alternated with the specific verse, where the players break up to imitate various appropriate actions

  6. 2. Hot cross buns:
    “Hot Cross Buns” is an English language nursery rhyme, Easter song, and street cry referring to the spiced English bun known as a hot cross bun, which is associated with the end of Lent and is eaten on Good Friday in various countries.

    It is yummy:)

  7. 1. Mary had a little lamb:
    The nursery rhyme was first published by the Boston publishing firm Marsh, Capen & Lyon, as an poem by Sarah Josepha Hale on May 24, 1830, and was possibly inspired by an actual incident.

    There are competing theories on the origin and inspiration of this poem. One holds that John Roulstone wrote the first four lines and that the final twelve lines, less childlike than the first, were composed by Sarah Josepha Hale; others claim that Hale was responsible for the entire poem.

    As a young girl, Mary Sawyer kept a pet lamb that she took to school one day at the suggestion of her brother. A commotion naturally ensued. Mary recalled: “Visiting school that morning was a young man by the name of John Roulstone, a nephew of the Reverend Lemuel Capen, who was then settled in Sterling. It was the custom then for students to prepare for college with ministers, and for this purpose Roulstone was studying with his uncle. The young man was very much pleased with the incident of the lamb; and the next day he rode across the fields on horseback to the little old schoolhouse and handed me a slip of paper which had written upon it the three original stanzas of the poem…

    Mary Sawyer’s house, located in Sterling, Massachusetts, was destroyed by arson on August 12, 2007. A statue representing Mary’s Little Lamb stands in the town center. The Redstone School, which was built in 1798, was purchased by Henry Ford and relocated to a churchyard on the property of Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts.

  8. Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep: it is from England, first redorded in 1870 by James William Elliot, there are many variations to the rhyme. There are references to a children’s game called “Bo-Peep”, from the 16th century, including one in Shakespeare’s King Lear (Act I Scene iv), but little evidence that the rhyme existed

    Lucy Locket lost her pocket: it is from England, from 1842, it share tune with “Yankee Doodle”. The rhyme was first recorded by James Orchard Halliwell in 1842, but there is evidence that it was popular in Britain and America at least in the early nineteenth century.

    Monday’s child is fare of face: it is a fortune telling song, we can use it to teach the days of the week, it was firsd recorded in 1838 in A. E. Bray’s Traditions of Devonshire. It is supposed to tell a child’s character or future based on the day of birth.

    One, two, three, four, five, Once I caught a fish alive: it is a popular English language nursery rhyme and counting-out rhyme. It had only the first stanza, and dealt with a hare not a fish. The modern version is derived from three variations collected by Henry Bolton in the 1880s from America. The song was sung on the children’s television program Barney & Friends.

    There was an old lady who lived in a shoe: it is a popular English language nursery rhyme. Debates over its meaning and origin have largely centered on attempts to match the old woman with historical female figures who have had large families, although King George II (1683–1760) has also been proposed as the rhyme’s subject. George II was nicknamed the “old woman”, because it was widely believed that Queen Caroline was the real power behind the throne.[a] According to this explanation, the children are the Members of Parliament (MPs) that George was unable to control.

    This little piggy went to the market: it is an English language nursery rhyme and fingerplay. In 1728, the first line of the rhyme appeared in a medley called “The Nurse’s Song”. The first known full version was recorded in The Famous Tommy Thumb’s Little Story-Book, published in London about 1760. In 2013, Australian children’s music group The Wiggles wrote a song “This Little Piggy Went to Market” with the same lyrics as the original This Little Piggy with different background music. In the same year, BilinguaSing released a bilingual version of the song in English and Spanish.

  9. Old McDonald!
    The first versions of this song appeared in 1917 and was originally called “Old MacDougal”
    The song “Old MacDougal” went something like this:
    Old MacDougal had a farm in Ohio-i-o,
    And on that farm he had some dogs in Ohio-i-o,
    With a bow-wow here, and a bow-wow there,
    Here a bow, there a wow, everywhere a bow-wow.

    There was one other that was called “Old Missouri” from 1922 according to the bookOzark Folksongs, by Vance Randolph in 1980.

    There are also other versions or variants which were published that date back even further than 1917. Take for example “The Farmyard” dating to 1908. This went like this:

    Up was I on my father’s farm
    On a May day morning early,
    Feeding of my father’s cows
    On a May day morning early,
    With a moo moo here and a moo moo there,
    Here a moo, there a moo, Here a pretty moo.
    Six pretty maids come and gang along o’ me
    To the merry green fields of the farm-yard.

  10. Doctor Foster went to Gloucester,
    In a shower of rain…

    The rhyme was first published in its modern form in 1844, although the rhyming of ‘puddle’ with ‘middle’ suggests that it may have originally been the archaic ‘piddle’ for a stream and that the verse may therefore be much older.The first recorded text was:
    It was suggested by Boyd Smith (1920) that the rhyme may be based on a story of Edward I of England travelling to Gloucester, falling off his horse into a puddle, and refusing to return to the city thereafter. There is a rhyme published in Gamer Gurton’s Garland (1810) with a similar form:
    Old Dr. Foster went to Gloster,
    To preach the work of God.
    When he came there, he sat in his chair,
    And gave all the people a nod.
    This variant and the late date of recording suggest that the medieval meaning is unlikely.
    Two other explanations have been proposed.
    1. That Doctor Foster was an emissary of William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, who visited Gloucester with instructions that all communion tables should be placed at the east end of the church instead of their post-Reformation or Puritan position in the centre of the chancel: but that he had not been able to reach Deerhurst because the Severn was in flood.
    2. That it refers to an incident in the play Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe wherein he is referred to as Doctor Fauster by a person who he caused to get wet crossing a river by conjuring a straw into a horse which changed back to the straw in the middle of the river.

    One little, two little, three little Indians

    It is generally thought that this song was adapted, possibly by Frank J. Green in 1869, as “Ten Little Niggers”, though it is possible that the influence was the other way around, with “Ten Little Niggers” being a close reflection of the text that became “Ten Little Indians”. Either way, “Ten Little Niggers” became a standard of the blackface minstrel shows. It was sung by Christy’s Minstrels and became widely known in Europe, where it was used by Agatha Christie in her novel of the same name. Variants of this song have been published widely as children’s books; what the variants have in common is ‘that they are about dark-skinned boys who are always children, never learning from experience’. Because this song, and even the original term Indians, have become politically sensitive, modern versions for children often use “soldier boys” or “teddy bears” as the objects of the rhyme.

    I’m a little teapot
    Short and stout

    Clarence Kelley and his wife ran a dance school for children, which taught the “Waltz Clog”, a popular and easy-to-learn tap dance routine. This routine, however, proved too difficult for the younger students to master. To solve this problem, George Sanders wrote The Teapot Song, which required minimal skill and encouraged natural pantomime. Both the song and its accompanying dance, the “Teapot Tip”, became enormously popular in America and overseas. published in 1939

    The rhyme dates back at least to the 18th century.
    The roots of this poem are so dark that they should not be allowed anywhere near children. Jack and Jill are actually France’s Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette, who were convicted of treason during the French Revolution, otherwise known as the Reign of Terror, and beheaded. Jack or Louis XVI, lost his “crown,” i.e. his throne and his head. And Jill, or Marie Antoinette’s head soon came tumbling after.

  12. Mary Mary Quite Contrary
    The oldest known version was first published in Tommy Thumb’s Pretty Song Book (1744).
    The Mary referred to in this rhyme, is Mary I, daughter of Henry VIII and his first wife, Katherine of Aragon. Henry VIII wanted to marry Anne Boleyn, and petitioned the Catholic Church for a divorce time and time again, which was refused. So, he isolated himself from the Catholic Church, and created the Anglican Church. As a result of this, England was, at the time of Mary’s reign, divided between Catholics and Protestants. When Mary came to the throne, she wanted to convert England to Catholicism again, going “contrary” to England’s wishes, since most of England was happily Protestant.
    Her short reign, from 1553 to 1558, was marked thus, by the execution of thousands of Protestants. The “silver bells” and “cockleshells” are torture devices from her time, and the “pretty maids all in a row” are referred to the hundreds of women burnt at the stake for the crime of being Protestant.

    There are several interpretations of what people think the meaning of the poem was. Some say that the silver bells stood for Catholic Cathedral bells, the cockle shells stood for the pilgrimage to Spain and the pretty maids in a row stood for a row of nuns.

    Others claim the meaning was about torturing her victims. Silver bells stood for thumb screws that were torture devices, cockle shells that was a genital torture device and the pretty maids in a row stood for the people lining up to be executed by the Halifax Gibbet, which is the same as the guillotine. This interpretation I believe to be the real one, as the meaning of “How does your garden grow?” is said to refer to the cemetery, being that the more deaths, the more the cemetery “garden” would grow.

    As with all the interpretations, the mystery behind which one is the true origin still remains.
    (Szőllős Kata)

  13. Lavender’s blue, dilly dilly,
    The original version of this English rhyme in 1672 was about a pair of young lovers and not appropriate for the nursery. However, over the years, it evolved into a favorite lullaby. Some use “diddle, diddle” instead of “dilly, dilly.” Either is correct so take your choice.
    (Szőllős Kata)

  14. The Wheels on the Bus
    “The Wheels on the Bus” is an American folk song dating no later than 1939 written by Verna Hills. It is a popular children’s song in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and Canada, and is often sung by children on bus trips to keep themselves amused. It has a very repetitive rhythm, making the song easy for a large number of people to sing, in a manner similar to the song “99 Bottles of Beer”. It is based on fellow traditional British song “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush”.
    The song is now very popular for children in several other languages.
    (Szőllős Kata)

  15. Rain, rain go away

    History of “Rain rain go away” poem
    The origin of the lyrics to “Rain rain go away” is said to date back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I(1533-1603), one of the English Tudor monarchs. During this period of English history there was constant rivalry between Spain and England culminating in the launch of the Spanish Armada in 1588.
    The Spanish Armada consisted of many Spanish galleons and was sent to invade England. The Armada was led by Duke of Medina Sedonia and the the fleet numbered over 130 ships. The English fleet, under Admiral Lord Howard, totalled 34 small Navy vessels and 163 armed merchant ships.But the great Spanish Armada was defeated. Only 65 Spanish galleons and just 10,000 men returned to Spain. The attempt failed, not only because of the swift nature of the smaller English ships but also by the stormy weather which scattered the Armada fleet. Hence the origin of the “Rain rain go away” Nursery rhyme!

  16. Itsy Bitsy Spider

    The lyric to the song “Itsy Bitsy Spider” create a finger rhyme for children. All children love trying to mimic the actions of Itsy Bitsy Spider song. The movements and actions of Itsy Bitsy Spider help children to improve their manual dexterity whilst repeating the words of the song. The name of the spider seems to vary but ‘Itsy Bitsy spider’ is believed to be the most popular version although in England Itsy Bitsy Spider is known as Incy Wincy spider! The history and origin of the Itsy Bitsy spider rhyme cannot be traced, it is believed just to be a fun finger rhyme that has survived the test of time.

  17. London Bridge is Falling Down

    It may date back to bridge rhymes and games of the Late Middle Ages, but the earliest records of the rhyme in English are from the seventeenth century. The lyrics were first printed in close to their modern form in the mid-eighteenth century and became popular, particularly in Britain and the United States in the nineteenth century.
    There are several theories behind the origin of this rhyme, but the one that really stands out is the one about human sacrifice. It was believed that a bridge would collapse unless a human sacrifice was buried at the foundations. The practice is called immurement, which is the “practice of entombing someone within a structure, where they slowly die from lack of food and water.”
    The rhyme is often used in a children’s singing game, which exists in a wide variety of forms, with additional verses. The most common is that two players hold hands and make an arch with their arms while the others pass through in single file. The “arch” is then lowered at the song’s end to “catch” a player.
    (Szőllős Kata)

  18. “There was an old lady” 🙂

    Nonsense rhyme which aids memory retention.
    A favourite Nursery rhyme amongst children whose famous lyrics of “There was an old lady” aidmemory retention. The poem is a relatively modern rhyme and therefore has no origin in history! The imagery of “There was an old lady” paints a very strong picture which stimulates the imagination whilst emphasising the relative sizes and order of the creatures mentioned. The lyrics to “There was an old lady” become more incredulous as they progress and there is almost a sense of relief and also astonishment at the startling ending of the story! “There was an old lady” is perhaps better described as a traditional folksong, the words of which have been set to music and recorded by many various artists.

  19. BAA, BAA, BLACK SHEEP (1731)
    Though most scholars agree that “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” is about the Great Custom, a tax on wool that was introduced in 1275, its use of the color black and the word “master” led some to wonder whether there was a racial message at its center. Its political correctness was called into question yet again in the latter part of the 20th century, with some schools banning it from being repeated in classrooms, and others simply switching out the word “black” for something deemed less offensive. In 2011, news.com.au reported on the proliferation of “Baa, Baa Rainbow Sheep” as an alternative.

      While this rhyme sounds innocent enough, it actually dates back to feudal England, and is not so innocent. There was an extremely harsh wool tax imposed on the farmers back then by King Edward I in the 13th century. One-third of the wool was taken for the king or the Master, one-third for the Church or the Dame, and one-third for the farmers. Some older versions of this rhyme ended with “But none for the little boy / Who cries down the lane,” showing us just how little was left for the people who cultivated the wool.
      (Szőllős Kata)

  20. “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” is a popular English lullaby. The lyrics are from an early 19th-century English poem by Jane Taylor, “The Star”. The poem, which is in couplet form, was first published in 1806 in Rhymes for the Nursery, a collection of poems by Taylor and her sister Ann. It is sung to the tune of the French melody Ah! vous dirai-je, maman, which was published in 1761 and later arranged by several composers including Mozart with Twelve Variations on “Ah vous dirai-je, Maman”.[1] The English lyrics have five stanzas, although only the first is widely known. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 7666. This song is usually performed in the key of C Major.
    The song is in the public domain,[2] and has many adaptations around the world

    Mikolovics Zsuzsa

  21. RIDE A COCK-HORSE (c. 1725)
    Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
    To see a fine lady upon a white horse;
    Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
    And she shall have music wherever she goes

    The modern rhyme is the best known of a number of verses beginning with the line “Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross”, some of which are recorded earlier. The earliest surviving version of the modern rhyme printed in London in 1784, differs significantly from modern versions in that the subject is not a fine lady but “an old woman”. The version printed in Tommy Thumb’s Song Book in America in 1788, which may have been in the original (c. 1744) edition, has the “fine lady”, but the next extant version, in The Tom Tit’s Song Book (printed in London around 1790), had:

    A ring on her finger,
    A bonnet of straw,
    The strangest old woman
    That ever you saw.

    The instability of the early recorded lyrics has not prevented considerable speculation about the meaning of the rhyme.
    A medieval date had been argued for the rhyme on the grounds that the bells worn on the lady’s toes refer to the fashion of wearing bells on the end of shoes in the fifteenth century, but given their absence from so many early versions, this identification is speculative. Similarly, the main Banbury Cross was taken down around 1600, but other crosses were present in the town and, as is often the case, the place may have retained the name, so it is difficult to argue for the antiquity of the rhyme from this fact.
    A “cock horse” can mean a high-spirited horse, and the additional horse to assist pulling a cart or carriage up a hill. It can also mean an entire or uncastrated horse. From the mid-sixteenth century it also meant a pretend hobby horse or an adult’s knee.
    The fine lady has been associated with Queen Elizabeth I, Lady Godiva and Celia Fiennes, whose brother was William Fiennes, 3rd Viscount Saye and Sele (c. 1641-1698) of Broughton Castle, Banbury, on the grounds that the line should be ‘To see a Fiennes lady’. There is no corroborative evidence to support any of these cases. (Bernáth Zsuzsa)

    There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.
    He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
    He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
    And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

    The rhyme was first recorded by James Orchard Halliwell in the 1840s and gained popularity in the early twentieth century. Some say the town of Lavenham is believed to have inspired this rhyme. Others maintain the poem originates from the history of King Charles I of England (1600–1649). The crooked man is reputed to be the Scottish General Sir Alexander Leslie. He signed a covenant securing religious and political freedom for Scotland. The “crooked stile” in the poem was the border between England and Scotland. “They all lived together in a little crooked house” refers to the fact that the English and Scotts had at last come to an agreement, despite continuing great animosity between the two peoples, who nonetheless had to live with each other due to their common border.

  22. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.. Published in 1797

    Humpty Dumpty was a colloquial term used in fifteenth century England describing someone who was obese. This has given rise to various, but inaccurate, theories surrounding the identity of Humpty Dumpty. The image of Humpty Dumpty was made famous by the illustrations included in the ‘Alice through the looking glass’ novel by Lewis Carroll. However, Humpty Dumpty was not a person pilloried in the famous rhyme!

    The History and Origins of the Rhyme
    Humpty Dumpty was in fact believed to be a large cannon! It was used during the English Civil War (1642 – 1649) in the Siege of Colchester (13 Jun 1648 – 27 Aug 1648). Colchester was strongly fortified by the Royalists and was laid to siege by the Parliamentarians (Roundheads). In 1648 the town of Colchester was a walled town with a castle and several churches and was protected by the city wall. Standing immediately adjacent the city wall, was St Mary’s Church. A huge cannon, colloquially called Humpty Dumpty, was strategically placed on the wall next to St Mary’s Church.

  23. “Mary, Mary, quite contrary, How does your garden grow?” Published in1744,

    actually isn’t such a lovely story if you dive into the dark history behind the rhyme. The Mary that is portrayed in this nursery rhyme is none other than Mary Tudor, also known in historical infamy as “Bloody Mary”. Mary was the daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon (the first wife of Henry VIII). It seems that in an attempt to break away from the Church of England, she tried to revert back to the Catholic Church as soon as she became Queen. It was said that she persecuted and murdered many Protestants. Her reign of terror became widely known over the course of history, thus giving her that well deserved title of “Bloody Mary”.There are several interpretations of what people think the meaning of the poem was. Some say that the silver bells stood for Catholic Cathedral bells, the cockle shells stood for the pilgrimage to Spain and the pretty maids in a row stood for a row of nuns.

    Others claim the meaning was about torturing her victims. Silver bells stood for thumb screws that were torture devices, cockle shells that was a genital torture device and the pretty maids in a row stood for the people lining up to be executed by the Halifax Gibbet, which is the same as the guillotine. This interpretation I believe to be the real one, as the meaning of “How does your garden grow?” is said to refer to the cemetery, being that the more deaths, the more the cemetery “garden” would grow.

  24. 6. OLD MOTHER HUBBARD /1805/
    The rhyme is thought to refer to Thomas Wolsey’s failure to secure Henry VIII a divorce from Catherine of Aragon to enable him to marry Anne Boleyn. In the rhyme Wolsey is Old mother Hubbard, Henry VIII is the dog while the bone is the divorce and the cupboard the Catholic church./TVORDY BEATA/

  25. 4. LITTLE JACK HORNER /1725/
    It is thought to refer to a Jack Horner who lived at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1536. Jack Horner served the abbot of Glastonbury and was instructed to take a huge Christmas pie to the King. Inside the pie were the deeds to the Manor of Mells in Somerset. The plum almost certainly refers to those deeds./TVORDY BEATA/

  26. 3. GOOSEY GOOSEY GANDER /1784/
    It is thought to date from the time of the English Reformation when Henry VIII separated the English church from Rome. Many people were still secret Catholics and often had ‘bolt holes’ or ‘priest holes’ built into their rooms where visiting Catholic priests could hide if the building were searched./TVORDY BEATA/

  27. 3. GORGIE PORGIE /1850/
    It is thought to refer to George IV who weighed 17 stone and had a 50 inch waist. He was a great womaniser and fathered several illegitimate children. He was also something of a coward and disliked getting involved in any form of violence. However, he was happy to fund illegal bare-knuckle fighting and it is said that during one bout a man was killed and George quickly ran away from the scene for fear of being implicated.

  28. 2. LITTLE BOY BLUE /1744/
    This may be a rhyme warning shepherds of the dangers of falling asleep instead of watching over the flock.

    The rhyme has also been suggested to refer to Thomas Wolsey, the son of a butcher who rose during the reign of Henry VIII to become a Cardinal and the most important man in the land. He is said to have been vain (blowing his own horn) and also to have creamed of riches for his own benefit rather than those of his ‘flock’. /TVORDY BEATA/

  29. 1. THIS OLD MAN /1906/
    Originates from the time ot the Irish potato famine. The biggest clue to the meaning lies in the lyrics most particularly ‘paddywhack’ and to a lesser extent ‘knick-knack’.

    A Paddy is still used by the English to refer to the Irish. Whack means to hit once hard and forcefully. A knick-knack is a trinket or other trivial object. Knick-knack may also refer to the practice of tapping out a rhythm using spoons.

    Historically there was a great deal of resentment by the Irish people towards the English who conquered Ireland and began to settle in the sixteenth century. The English owned much of the best land and rented houses and land to the native Irish. The staple food of the Irish was the potato. However, in 1845 the potato crop failed and the resulting famine led to a 25% fall in the Irish population from deaths and emigration. English landowners did nothing to help their tenants and often turned them out of their houses. Animosity between the Irish and English rose and in Ireland the Irish Republican Army was formed to drive the English out.

    Many Irish men became tinkers selling pots, pans, cutlery and other knick-knacks door to door in England. Most of them were told to ‘go away’ and may have been given a whack as they were sent on their way. The old man may also have played knick-knack using spoons or other objects hoping for his audience to throw him a few pennies. The people that would see the Irish starve would happily give a bone to a dog. Irish tinkers traditionally lived in a caravan on wheels that was pulled by a horse – hence ‘rolling home’. Alternatively ‘rolling home’ may refer to the old man coming home drunk – possibly having spent what he had earned in the pub. /Tvordy Beata/

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