We are currently making our way through this lil beauty at bedtime.
And what a treasury it is.
I can remember the day this book was purchased.
Hubby and I were busily preparing ourselves for parenthood in the only way we knew how - buying copious amounts of stuff.
We were at Toys R Us filling a trolley with stuff to fill the already full nursery with (because we were going to be good parents, damn it) and Hubby dropped the book in there.
He said he wanted to 'brush up' on his nursery rhymes for the baby and I said he was going to be the best daddy ever - or something pregnant like that.
Anywho, we have read / sang bits and pieces over the last couple of years,
but Magoo is hell bent on reading it from cover to cover at the moment.
It's great, thirty years on, to realise that you must have misheard Miss _____ back in Kindy or Prep.
To realise that your ears hang low "like a regimental soldier" not a regimented soldier (and it's your ears, not your boobs).
To realise that the teapot does not get all steamed up, but instead sees the teacups before shouting.
To learn that there are five verses to Twinkle Twinkle & Little Bo Beep - and I know only one for each.
I am enjoying revisiting some of my faves - like 'The Owl and the Pussycat'. I loved learning that one at school...
but am pretty sure the "lovely pussy" and "bong-trees" went right over my innocent little head back then.
But, then there is a little bunch of rhymes that have me shaking my not-so-innocent-anymore head.
Here we are worried about inappropriate content on the box and pop sluts corrupting our children. If you want some loose morals and depressing banter, revisit the classics.
Cop a load of this one -
Old Mother Hubbard (who knew you were such a morbid lady or a drinker?)
Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard to fetch her poor dog a bone;
But when she got ther the cupboard was bare and so the poor dog had none.
She went to the baker's to buy hime some bread;
But when she came back the poor dog was dead.
She went to the undertaker's to buy him a coffin;
But when she came back the poor dog was laughing...
She went to the tavern for white wine and red;
But when she came back the dog stood on his head...
Or this :
Two Cats Of Kilkenny (two violent little ferals)
Two cats of Kilkenny
Each thought there was one cat too many.
So they fought and they fit, and they scratched and they bit.
Til, excepting their nails and the tips of their tails,
instead of two cats there weren't any.
Or this for sweet dreams :
Ladybird, Ladybird (I'm afraid there's been an incident)
Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home.
Your house is on fire, your children are gone;
All but one and her name is Ann,
And she crept under the pudding pan.
Goosey,Goosey Gander (Prayer or pain)
Goosey, goosey gander
Whither shall I wander?
Upstair and downstairs
And in my Lady's chamber;
There I met an old man
Who would not say his prayers;
I took him by the left leg
And threw him down the stairs.
Not exactly bedtime lullaby stuff!
On that note, I don't think our obsession with babies and their sleep patterns is such a new concept either.
Long before Tizzie Hall (and her strict instruction manual on controlling another free willed little human person?), there were hundreds of rhymes penned about hushing bubs to sleep, rocking babies, bribing infants off to the land of nod and so on.
I've learnt a new rhyme too. One that rings so true to this Mum of one.
The Dove Says 'Coo, coo'
The dove says, "Coo, coo, what shall I do? I can scarce maintain two."
"Pooh! Pooh!" says the wren; "I have got ten and keep them all like gentlemen."
And maybe I should heed this pearl:
A Wise Old Owl
A wise old owl lived in an oak.
The more he saw the less he spoke.
The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why aren't we all like that wise old bird?