Why are some nursery rhymes "violent" and horrendous?

Jack fell down and broke his crown while Jill tumbled after...

Rock-a-bye-baby fell down with his cradle when the bough of a tree broke...

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall from the wall and had to be pieced back together by a bunch of soldiers...

London Bridge fell crashing down, my lady...

Little bears jumping on the bed fell off and broke their heads...

Funny how we all hate violence, and then introduce them early to our kids at their early development stage...

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Many nursery rhymes were meant to poke fun at the nobility.

    Humpty Dumpty was a canon.

    Mary Quite Contrary was Mary I who murdered those that were not Catholic.

    Georgie Porgie was about George III's madness.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm glad you brought that to my attention. I grew up listening to those stories (nursery rhymes), and it never occurred to me they were violent. Compared to what most children see and hear on the T.V. shows, movies, and evening news, the nursery rhymes are really tame. But maybe it is a way of giving our young a hint that there are dangers in the world. Hopefully it hasn't warped any of the minds and characters of our infants. As long as a child has good parenting and they are given the best gift of all, time, they will be just fine.

  • 1 decade ago

    some of them were originally sang as a way to protest the government. An example was Ring-around the rosy, although right now its a child song it was originally about the boubonic plague in Europe. Another one although not exactly a nursury rhyme is the story Alice In Wonderland. It protests many things but the most famous is the mad hatter who represents the hat makers who were dying from the mercury in glue which eats the brain.

    Source(s): report for english
  • 1 decade ago

    There have been so many documentaries showing wildlife in their own habitats teaching their young to beware of danger. Indeed everyone from Meier-cats to Lions and Elephants warn and shelter their young. We may or may not be considered wild but we are no less concerned with cluing our young into the nature of the world they live in. It is a survival tactic.

    Ring around the rosie was a game we played in our earliest years. It rehearses the survival technique of the Plague.

    Ring around the rosie... describes the look of the outbreak.

    a pocket full of posie.... herbs thought to protect one from the contagion

    1,2,3 and we all fall down...the message is that we die.

    Its a child's' game in a harsh world. Wait for the first pandemic, we will see folks preparing their young in like manner.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Most nursery rhymes are records of actual events and violent acts are the most memorable. usually we tell about them in the vain hope that the same situation can be avoided in future.

  • 1 decade ago

    back when most of this nursery rhymes were written the content was not seen as overly violent and times have changed

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