Wili's Barbs
I Blog Therefore I Yam
April 6, 2008

As a young man I decided o read the whole Bible from cover to cover. It took me quite a while to do so, and no one could ever convince me that it was ever meant to be a single narrative. A similar goal I set myself back in college was to read all three volumes of Capital. It wasn’t until I read the third volume that I learned about the history of my ancestors the lowland Scots and the dirt poor Irish peasants, how they had been forced off their lands to make sheep runs, and what their lives must have been like in the teeming slums of proletariat London. Reading Mother Goose rhymes has been a similar revelation. It’s as if all the collective memories of a lost tribe had been codified in the apparent nonsense of these nursery ditties. One site, which contained no documentation and was of the kind I train my students to be suspicious of as a source, nevertheless had some fascinating interpretations of the stories behind them: http://www.rhymes.org.uk/a114-boys-and-girls.htm


I look forward to finding other, perhaps more scholarly sources, but this guy really did have some interesting ideas. Girls and Boys Come Out to Play, for example, was presented as an account of children who worked twelve hour shifts in factories, and whose only chance to be children was at night, at the cost of food and precious sleep.

So Governor Goose’s Primary Rhymery can in no way be considered an improvement on the original rhymes, rather as a tribute to them, and, like them, an attempt to impose meaning on the chaos of a brutal time in our history.

2008-04-07 05:12:42 GMT
Comments (1 total)
I'll have to check out that site ... and others. The interpretation of 'Girls and Boys Come Out to Play' is pretty interesting.
2008-04-09 03:43:05 GMT