Pop Goes the Weasel

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Pop Goes the Weasel

Post by Wizard of Oz » Fri May 22, 2009 5:10 am

.. it sometimes happens .. you buy a book after reading the flyleaf and having a random browse through some of the pages and later it disappoints .. so it was with Albert Jack’s, Pop Goes the Weasel .. I have long had an interest in the hidden meaning of nursery rhymes but had never gotten around to actually doing the research .. sooooooo when I was looking for a read while on holidays I grabbed this book off the shelf at a very good local bookstore ..

.. what goes wrong ?? .. simply put it doesn’t answer all the questions .. the coverage is often superficial .. too often there were characters left unexplained or portions of the rhyme were not touched upon .. for example in one of the origins for the nursery rhyme Jack & Jill the author traces the names back to an old Norse … tale of a young brother and sister, Hjuki (pronounced Juk-ee) and Bil, … who apparently stole a pail of water but nothing more is said about the other happenings in the nursery rhyme .. so I am left up the hill, so to speak ..

.. but for all that it is a delightful read and a beginning .. it did salve some of my yearning to know more about nursery rhymes while giving me a further itch and brought into to question some things I thought I knew, eg that Ring-a-Ring o' Roses is about the plague .. so now I must bustle off to find some of the referenced books from the reading list like The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes or Heavy Words, Lightly Thrown .. so much reading, so little time ..

A Wizard Went a Mowing

WoZ the wizard was sitting down,
His Nursery Rhymes to read.
“Go mow the lawn you scoundrel knave!”,
His love was heard to plead.
Mow the lawn?
What common dross,
I’ll show this scold who is the boss.

And so it was with lightly tread
The Wizard snuck away
“Come back, come back you scoundrel knave!
Or I will make you pay!
No bedly fun
'twill be your loss!"
And WoZ knew then who was the boss!

© WoZ 2009

WoZ mowing the lawn
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: Pop Goes the Weasel

Post by Bobinwales » Fri May 22, 2009 9:24 am

WoZ, the boss is always the boss. It's easier if you know your place. Lysistrata still lives.

As for nursery rhymes, I share your interest. Read Peter and Iona Opie. They have written several books and are the acknowledged experts.
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Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: Pop Goes the Weasel

Post by Wizard of Oz » Fri Oct 16, 2009 2:07 pm

.. Bob .. followed your suggestion and after searching eventually found a very good copy of the Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes in a 2nd hand bookshop in Canowindra .. well don't the Opies put the cleaners through many of the nursery urban myths !!! .. but isn't it just wonderful !! .. the detective work is great, although the Opies aren't necessarily the easiest people to follow in their style of writing .. I would love to attend a Nursery Rhyme Convention and watch the sparks fly as the historical proponents, from both sides of the Atlantic, set to in expounding what they believed to be the truth of the humble Nursery Rhyme .. even poor old Mother Goose finds her birthplace under claim from both sides of the watery divide .. I'm hooked and can see myself wanting to know more about this fascinating topic ..

.. there are many extremely interesting points for me .. the way that rhymes have been found once in print then have disappeared from the printed page only to turn-up some 200 years later, at a different place, printed in the original form .. and equally the way in which the earliest printed version is often gazumped by oral tradition going back hundreds of years .. the crisscrossing of rhymes that appear in several cultures .. and of course the way my memory is being jogged by faint rememberances of rhymes learned, lost and now struggling to resurface but often with slightly different words .. I'm loving it !! ..

WoZ who would a wooing go, heigh ho says Rolley ....... (Who the hell is Rolley ???)
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