there was an old woman

who lived in a shoe;
she had so many children, she didn’t know what to do!
she gave them some broth, without any bread
she spanked them all soundly, and sent them to bed. . .

"this ryhme refers to King George who began the fashion of wearing white powdered wigs and was consequently referred to as the old woman! the children were the members of parliament, the bed the Houses of Parliament, which he required them to have sessions in; even today the term 'whip' is used in the English Parliament to describe an MP who is tasked to ensure that all members 'toe the party line'"
well there you go! but I don't do politics (here) so we'll move swiftly on. . .

there was an old lady who swallowed a fly
I don't know why she swallowed a fly - perhaps she'll die
there was an old lady who swallowed a spider
that wriggled and wiggled and tiggled inside her
she swallowed the spider to catch the fly
I don't know why she swallowed a fly
perhaps she'll die. . .
etc etc


"nonsense nursery rhymes aid memory retention - this one has no basis in history - but just watch a child's face the first time the rhyme is repeated to them! sheer delight in what is happening - the imagery paints a very strong picture which stimulates the imagination, whilst clarifying the relative size and order of all of the animals mentioned; the words become more incredulous as they progress and there is almost a sense of relief and also astonishment at the abrupt ending of the tale!"
it was a bit long, so I've spared you the whole story - but what were the old men up to, one wonders?

there was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile
he found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile
he bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse
and they all lived together in a little crooked house

"this poem originates from the English Stuart history of King Charles 1: the crooked man is reputed to be the Scottish General Sir Alexander Leslie; the General signed a Covenant securing religious and political freedom for Scotland; the 'crooked stile' is the border between England and Scotland, the 'crooked house' refers to the fact that the English and Scots had at last come to an agreement: the words reflect the times when there was great animosity between the English and the Scots"
ah! more politics - now there's a surprise
I used to like the idea of a crooked six-pence. . .

my father used to collect sixpences (pre 1969, I think was the date). . . he had jars and jars of them (hidden in the food cupboards, to confuse the burglars) - he collected them because the amount of silver in a pre-1969 sixpence was worth more than six-pence itself, and I suppose he envisaged that one day he'd trade them in and make some money. . .

. . .the thing about my father was that he collected lots of things, because "one day" they'd be worth money - but he never traded anything in: his rainy day came and went and he still never cashed in his savings or traded in his collections

I never understood that

when we were little, my brothers and I had toys which we weren't allowed to play with - they had to stay in the original boxes on a shelf, because one day - in mint condition - they'd be worth a lot of money

I nicked some of these toys a long long time ago, so my children could play with the things I wasn't allowed to - and, true to his dread, the toys all ended up broken or lost. . .

. . .but at least, I thought, at least someone had finally enjoyed playing with them

life's strange, eh

have a good day today
play with your toys
don't worry it they break


KAZ said...

Ah sixpences.
I have a fully working old machine for Wrigley's chewing gum that takes old sixpences.

Dave said...

My toys are all packed away. I have nothing and no-one left with which to play.

Mel said...

I still have toys in their boxes.

But the kiddos toys got played with like you wouldn't believe.
Of course, I probably have more toys than the children ever did. LOL

You've now inspired me to open up my farm moonclay which is sitting on the office bookshelf....which means that none of my 'end of month' stuff will be getting done on time. :-)

As himself would say "Oh dear. What a shame. Nevermind."

Mel said...

I do so hope that today's a 'feeling better' day for you.


'Shot said...

Toys are meant to be played with. Its cruel to deny them of fulfilling their special purpose.

Anonymous said...

remember beanie babies? We collected loads and kept them with the tags still on because supposedly they'd be worth a lot of money with the tags on in the mythical future. It became such common knowledge that a beanie baby with the tag on was 'worth more' than without that the beanie baby people started making 'tag protectors' - little tag-shaped plastic things to clip around the tag so it wouldn't get bent or fall off. And everyone bloody went out and bought the damn things. Then beanie babies went out of fashion, and everyone realised that there were so bloody many of them left with the tags on that it made absolutely no damn difference whether they had tags on or not. In the end, they were just mass-produced stuffed toys. And the beanie baby people were LAUGHING.

Gordie said...

But who was the crooked cat? And who the mouse?

fathorse, outed as a consumer and a conformist. My illusions are shttered...

Anonymous said...

I wrote a story (long,long ago) about The Old Toymaker coming at dead of night to take back the toys that had not been played with.(It was considered too dark for publication for children and I wondered why forbidden toys was not also considered dark...)
Grown-ups, eh!