As a kid, we have always enjoyed singing nursery rhymes at our preschool. But do you know when were our favorite rhymes first published and their origin? Let’s learn about the origin of popular rhymes and when were they composed.
Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush
“Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush” is a one of the kids’ favorite nursery rhyme and singing game. The rhyme was first recorded in 19th century by James Orchard Halliwell as an English kids’ game in the mid-19th century. Historians believe that the song originated with female prisoners at HMP Wakefield. They took a sprig from Hafield Hall, which was then nurtured and it grew into a fully mature mulberry tree. The prisoners exercised around this mulberry tree in the moonlight. Till date, there is no evidence to support his theory.
Some historians also associate the rhyme with Britain’s struggle to produce silk. The mulberry trees were a key habitat for the cultivation of silkworms, so they grew the tree in a large scale. In nineteenth and eighteenth centuries, Britain tried to compete with China’s silk production but suffered a huge loss as mulberry trees were too sensitive to frost and all withered. The traditional lyrics ‘Here we go round the mulberry bush / On a cold and frosty morning’ is therefore considered as a joke about the hurdles faced by the industry.
Baa Baa Black Sheep
“Baa Baa Black Sheep” is a popular English nursery rhyme. Several theories are associated with the origin of the song. It is popularly believed that it is a complaint against Medieval English heavy taxes on wool.
Hickory Dickory Dock
“Hickory Dickory Dock” is a well-known nursery rhyme in English-speaking world. Few experts came up with the theory that the rhyme originated as a counting-out rhyme. In the nineteenth century, Westmorland shepherds used the numbers Hevera (8), Devera (9) and Dick (10). Another popular theory related to its origin is that the “Hickory Dickory Dock” song is based on an astronomical clock at Exeter Cathedral, which has a small hole in the door for the resident cat to catch mice. That’s really interesting!
Mary Had a Little Lamb
“”Mary Had a Little Lamb” is one of the kids’ favorite nursery rhymes. It is a delightful tale of Mary and her little lamb, who followed her to school one day. It is a poem by Sarah Josepha Hale and is inspired by a real incident. A young girl named Mary Sawyer had a pet lamb that she took to her school at the suggestion of her sibling.