Mother Goose. Old King Cole. Mary Contrary. The cow jumped over the moon. Hickory, Dickory, Dock. We all know the famous childhood rhymes of days gone by. Sadly, it seems to me that these beautiful gems have fallen into a dusty drawer that the children of yesteryear have forgotten. When I recall these poetries, I remember days of carefree childhood when we were entertained by the silly images of Mother Goose and leaping cows, fiddling cats and flying blackbirds. In today's "advance advance advance" age, the simple things of old are cast aside as unfit rejects. Where have the simplicities of the imagination disappeared to?
I have often wondered what exactly each of these rhymes signifies. What hidden meanings lie beneath the catchy phrases? Perhaps Mary Had a Little Lamb should bring to mind images of the Blessed Virgin and her Son, Jesus Christ, the perfect lamb sent to die for our sins. Glancing at other rhymes, while we may not know the full back story, we can still find countless means of enjoyment and entertainment within the playful verses. My favorites involve the hand clapping such as Pease Porridge Hot or Knick Knack Paddy Wack. These provide not only means of laughter and fun, but they also improve the hand-eye coordination.
Do you have a favorite childhood rhyme or story? Do your children know it? If not, teach it to them. It will connect the past to the present and continue the beautiful tradition of Mother Goose for generations to come. Besides, if you're home schooling, teaching your children memorization skills at an early age is a definite plus. And what better way to memorize than with the funny songs and rhymes of innocent children? Perhaps I'll continue this post at some point if I discover more back stories to the famous fables of old. Or if you know of some, I'm sure we'd all be interested to learn.