Saturday, April 27, 2013

Nursery Crimes

Do parents still read nursery rhymes to their children? Probably not. Nowadays, nursery rhymes are probably considered inappropriate—as well they should be. Take, for example, this classic:
Jack be nimble,
Jack be quick,
Jack jump over
The candlestick.
Clearly an invitation for children to play with matches and possibly set their pants on fire.

Then there's that lazy Little Boy Blue, who was supposed to be looking after the livestock but instead took a nap under a haystack. And Tom Tom the Piper's son, guilty of grand theft swine. And remember Wee Willie Winkie?
Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town,
Upstairs and downstairs in his nightgown,
Tapping at the window and crying through the lock,
Are the children in their beds, it's past eight o'clock?
These days, running around town in your nightgown and tapping at windows would almost certainly get you arrested. As a matter of fact, as I recall, that's exactly what happened in the Bullwinkle's Corner version.

Remember Bullwinkle's Corner?

When I hear nursery rhymes in my head, I often hear them in the sweet, gentle voice of my mother, who used to read them to me at bedtime when I was a child. However, I'm just as likely to hear them in the stentorian, adenoidal voice of Bullwinkle J. Moose.

Bullwinkle's Corner originally aired over fifty years ago, as part of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show (aka Rocky and His Friends).  If you're too young to have seen it (or too old to remember it), some kind soul has posted most of the segments on YouTube.

"Now," as Rocket J. Squirrel would say, "Here's something you'll really like..."

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