Sterlintimes
Very British! ~ Memorable Images 22
Nursery Rhymes
SterlingTimes Homepage

Nursery rhymes provide strong images of Britain. Many towns have their own rhymes: St Ives, Banbury, Gloucester. Many are now considered to be very politically incorrect. I will be expanding upon this in due course.

Nursery rhymes (or as they came to be known in the United States-"Mother Goose" rhymes) are part of the oral tradition-most cannot be dated with any certainty. Like fairy tales and folk tales, many are centuries old. Most of them are anonymous although some more recently authored rhymes (such as "Twinkle Twinkle" and "Old Mother Hubbard" and "Mary Had a Little Lamb" [which one critic has said is the best known four line verses in the English langauge]) for which we do know the date of publication and the author have found their way into the canon of more traditional nursery rhymes. ["Old Mother Hubbard" was written down in 1804 when a woman was urged by her brother-in-law to "go write down one of her stupid little rhymes-sold 10,000 copies.)
Some are specific to the British tradition; others such as Humpty Dumpty is known in France, Scandinavia, Switzerland, and Germany. From Additional Notes on
Puffin Book of Nursery Rhymes
On Saturday night I lost my wife,
And where do you think I found her?
Up in the moon, singing a tune,
And all the stars around her.

*

Little Tommy Tittlemouse
Lived in a little house;
He caught fishes
In other mens' ditches.

The Mother Goose Treasury (1966)

        A huge 217 page treasury of traditional nursery rhymes, many of
        which you know, many you only think you know, and many more
        you've probably never heard of. All are beautifully illustrated by
        Briggs in a myriad of sizes and shapes, and many are in colour.

Zelo Nursery rhymes

List of rhymes from Zelo provided at the foot of this page.

Forward to Memorable Images 23
Back to Memorable Images 21