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A Short Analysis of the ‘Sing a Song of Sixpence’ Nursery Rhyme

‘Sing a Song of Sixpence’ is one of the best-known nursery rhymes in English literature, but its words are so baffling and odd that it almost qualifies as nonsense literature. Whilst not quite up there with ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’ in the nonsense stakes, ‘Sing a Song of Sixpence’ is nevertheless an odd little children’s rhyme. What does it mean, and what are its origins?

Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye,
Four and twenty blackbirds
Baked in a pie.

When the pie was opened
The birds began to sing—
Wasn’t that a dainty dish
To set before the king? Read the rest of this entry


A Short Analysis of Thomas Hood’s ‘I Remember, I Remember’

‘I Remember, I Remember’ is, along with ‘The Song of the Shirt’, Thomas Hood’s best-loved poem. Although much of the rest of his work is not now much read or remembered, ‘I Remember, I Remember’ has a special place in countless readers’ hearts. Although its meaning is fairly straightforward, it’s worth probing the language of Hood’s poem a little deeper, as closer analysis reveals why this poem is held in such high regard.

I Remember, I Remember

I remember, I remember,
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon,
Nor brought too long a day,
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away!

I remember, I remember,
The roses, red and white,
The vi’lets, and the lily-cups,
Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs where the robin built, Read the rest of this entry

A Short Analysis of the ‘Hickory Dickory Dock’ Nursery Rhyme

‘Hickory dickory dock’ is one of the most recognisable nursery rhymes in the English language, but what its original purpose or meaning may have been is less clear. What does ‘Hickory dickory dock’ actually mean? Does it mean anything? First, here’s a reminder of the words:

Hickory, dickory, dock,
The mouse ran up the clock;
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down,
Hickory, dickory, dock.

It’s worth noting that this version is taken from Iona and Peter Opie’s The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford Dictionary of Nusery Rhymes), but some versions offer a different fourth line, and an alternative rhyme with ‘one’: Read the rest of this entry