Friday, May 4, 2012

Children's Nonsense

Emma and I have been watching Disney movies and listening to nursery rhymes a lot lately. I have a few observations that I just have to share with you.

1. Disney princesses come from screwy families. 

Ariel and Belle have no mothers. Cinderella and Snow White are missing their fathers and raised by horrible step-mothers. Only Aurora and Rapunzel have both parents, but in both cases, some crazy lady has it out for them.

Why do we love these stories so much?

2. Some nursery rhymes are really morbid and spooky. 

The rhythm and melody of a lot of these rhymes sound exactly like those of a fourth grader taunting another kid. "Hackett, Hackett, makes a lot of racket!" isn't so very different from "Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater."

The lyrics are what really gets me, though.

Peter, the pumpkin eater, couldn't manage to keep a wife until he put her in a pumpkin shell and "there he kept her very well." That sounds like an episode of Criminal Minds to me.

Even though "Four and twenty blackbirds (were) baked in a pie" they still manage to sing when the pie is open. Creepy. Then, the royal maid is outside hanging up the clothes, when "along came a blackbird and pecked off her nose." Really?!?! Is this a Hitchcock film?

What about the old man who is snoring while it's raining, it's pouring? "He went to bed and bumped his head and couldn't get up in the morning." The poor man is concussed and we're teaching our children to sing about it.

Why have I never noticed or thought about these things before?
And we wonder why our society is so messed up.


  1. At least with the Disney story it has a happy ending... that over all odds... having not so prefect lives... they have a happy ending. At least that is what I think when I watched Cinderella.

  2. I actually don't share some of those nursery rhymes with my children. I don't think we should encourage our daughters to be kept very well in a pumpkin. They can keep themselves! There are lots of good rhyming books that give them the same experiences! I know that sounds radical for a teacher but just because we have always done it, is not a reason to keep doing it! Okay, my two cents about nursery rhymes. :) lol

    I agree with Dawnette on the Disney! The good triumph's over evil even when the odds are against them. The message is unconditional love is what beats the odds. Also, the princesses are nice people even though they have had adversities in their lives. It is overall a good example of how to live our lives.

    Thanks for posting these observations, I am glad I am not the only one who noticed this. I have been thinking about these oddities for some time actually. That's probably why I have so much to say about them!

  3. Check it out. Baking live birds into a pie was a real thing: "It is known that a 16th-century amusement was to place live birds in a pie. An Italian cookbook from 1549 (translated into English in 1598) contained such a recipe: 'to make pies so that birds may be alive in them and flie out when it is cut up' and this was referred to in a cook book of 1725 by John Nott" (

    1. Dude! Jess, that's AMAZING! We should test our culinary skills out on these recipes some time. :)