March 30, 2010

Mother Goose Is the OG of Grossness!

In 1952, a guy named Geoffrey Handley-Taylor studied 200 traditional nursery rhymes. He found that about half of them were were not very nice! These nursery rhymes contained:
  • 1 case of cutting a human being in half
  • 1 case of decapitation
  • 1 case of death by squeezing
  • 1 case of death by shriveling (!)
  • 1 case of death by starvation
  • 1 case of boiling to death
  • 1 case of death by hanging
  • 2 cases of choking to death
  • 3 cases of death by drowning
  • 8 references to murder
  • 1 case of cannibalism
  • 2 references to graves
  • 9 cases of children being lost or abandoned
Worst of all, there were four cases of cursing in these kids' poems! (And not I'm even going to bother with all of the children in the nursery rhymes who were kidnapped or otherwise bothered by meanies.)

Geoffrey Handley-Taylor concluded this way: “Expressions of fear, weeping, moans of anguish, biting, pain and evidence of supreme selfishness may be found in almost every other page.”

Sheesh Mother Goose, lighten up a little!

1 comment:

  1. Ouch! And a handful of us thought fairytale adaptations from well-known film companies over the years terrified the very young.


No bad words, thanks!