By Albert Jack
From the overseas bestselling writer of Red Herrings and White Elephants—a curious consultant to the hidden histories of vintage nursery rhymes.
Who was once Mary relatively opposite, or Georgie Porgie? How may perhaps hello Diddle Diddle provide a vital astronomy lesson? Do Jack and Jill truly characterize the execution of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette? And if Ring round the Rosie isn’t in regards to the plague, then what's it rather about?
This booklet is a unusual, curious, and infrequently sordid examine the reality at the back of renowned nursery rhymes that uncovers the unusual stories that encouraged them—from Viking raids to political riot to smuggling slaves to freedom.
Read Albert Jack's posts at the Penguin Blog.
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Extra resources for Pop Goes the Weasel: The Secret Meanings of Nursery Rhymes
Arrows making a song, Mailcoats ringing –Odin makes our Olaf win! King Ethelred has discovered a chum, courageous Olaf will his throne safeguard; In bloody struggle continue his correct, Win again his land With blood-red hand, And Edmund his son upon his throne substitute – Edmund, the superstar of each royal race! Edmund, the son of Ethelred, succeeded his father as king of britain on 24 April 1016. regrettably, the big name of each royal race died later that yr, so the celebrations have been just a little untimely. London’s Burning LONDON’S burning, London’s burning, Fetch the engines, fetch the engines; hearth, fireplace, hearth, hearth! Pour on water, pour on water. ‘London’s Burning’ is a around, a musical composition within which or extra voices sing the exact same melody (and may possibly proceed repeating it indefinitely), yet with every one voice starting at diverse instances in order that various components of the melody coincide within the assorted voices, yet however healthy harmoniously jointly. (See additionally Frère Jacques and switch back, Whittington. ) The track is generally linked to the nice fireplace of London of 1666. yet in reality there were many severe fires in London, starting in advert sixty one while Queen Boudicca and the Iceni tribe torched where after chasing the Romans out of city. The flames have been so fierce that the ashes shaped a thick layer that may nonetheless be sincerely pointed out through sleek archaeologists. ‘London’s Burning’ is a relentlessly round music that may cross on for ever, reflecting the common fires that experience engulfed components of the capital. And of all of the recognized landmarks of London that experience usually been stuck up within the conflagration, St Paul’s, first in-built advert 604 on Ludgate Hill, has been the main common sufferer. In 675, a huge hearth broke out, destroying lots of the city, together with the Saxon cathedral of St Paul’s, principally developed of wooden. It used to be rebuilt in stone among 675 and 685, then destroyed by means of the Vikings in 961. A rebuilt St Paul’s was once, all over again, destroyed through fireplace in 1087 through the reign of William Rufus (see Who Killed Cock Robin? ). there have been extra damaging fires within the capital in 1130 and 1132, whereas in 1212 the good fireplace of Southwark destroyed huge elements of the city. In 1561, the cathedral was once burned after being struck through lightning, even supposing the remainder of London remained undamaged until eventually the good fireplace in 1666 ravaged every thing in its course, together with the unlucky cathedral all over again. In a later century, there has been one other form of hazard. in the course of an air raid on 12 September 1940, the final time London was once ablaze due to the hostilities of the second one global struggle, a German bomb with a not on time timing gadget hit the cathedral. The bomb may possibly simply have destroyed St Paul’s had it no longer been for the bravery of transitority Lieutenant Robert Davies, who risked his lifestyles to effectively defuse it. Davies was once later offered the George move for his activities. truly God isn't really a fireman, yet he could be a bomb disposal specialist – or a helper of bomb disposal specialists. Lucy Locket LUCY Locket misplaced her pocket, Kitty Fisher discovered it; now not a penny used to be there in it, basically ribbon ’round it.