Friday, August 7, 2009
Is there anything sweeter and more innocent than watching children dance while they sing their favorite nursery rhyme? Well, that depends on who you ask. There are almost as many theories on the origins of Mother Goose and nursery rhymes, as there are rhymes themselves.
The most widely accepted theory is that 'Mother Goose' was actually a woman named Elizabeth Goose who lived in the late 1600's. After years of listening to Elizabeth sing to her grandchildren, her son-in-law, Thomas Fleet, published Mother Goose's Melodies in 1720.
Another popular theory is that 'Mother Goose' was actually a witch. Early drawings depict her with a pointy nose, glasses, and witch hat. The origins and hidden meanings of many of today's most well known nursery rhymes are used to support this theory.
While the true origin of Mother Goose remains a mystery, it does make me wonder why songs such as "London Bridge is Falling Down", and "Ring Around the Rosie" are so easily accepted as fun songs for the children.