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A Short Analysis of the ‘Little Bo-Peep’ Nursery Rhyme

‘Little Bo-Peep’ is a classic nursery rhyme, probably one of the most famous in the English language. But what are the origins of ‘Little Bo-Peep, and what does it mean? Before we attempt an analysis of this children’s rhyme, here’s a reminder of the words:

Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep,
And can’t tell where to find them;
Leave them alone, and they’ll come home,
Bringing their tails behind them.

Little Bo-Peep fell fast asleep,
And dreamt she heard them bleating;
But when she awoke, she found it a joke,
For they were still all fleeting. Read the rest of this entry

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A Short Analysis of the ‘Little Jack Horner’ Nursery Rhyme

‘Little Jack Horner’ has attracted a good deal more speculation than many other famous nursery rhymes, and others have had a fair bit. But for some reason, this little children’s rhyme about a boy eating a Christmas pie and pulling out a plum has been the subject of more debate than 90% of nursery rhymes in the English language. Why has the rhyme of ‘Little Jack Horner’ attracted such wild analysis, interpretation, and speculation? First, here’s a reminder of the words:

Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating a Christmas pie;
He put in his thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
And said, ‘What a good boy am I!’

We mentioned in our analysis of another nursery rhyme, ‘Sing a Song of Sixpence’, that some scholars or enthusiasts of nursery rhymes seem to want to make all of them about the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the English Reformation. But Read the rest of this entry

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