All right, it’s time for another in my series of “Who Made Up All Those Stupid Nursery Rhymes?” I was at the library the other day and there was a book of nursery rhymes out on a table. So curious student and historian that I am, I looked through it. Lucky I hadn’t had my lunch yet or I would have had to pay for a barfed on library book. How do these things stay famous (and popular??) for so long? Hasn’t any parent ever bothered to read these things to see if they make any sense? If this is all it takes to go down in history, my gym socks should be in all the textbooks. They definitely have the main requirement. They STINK!!
Now I’m not saying all nursery rhymes are that bad. Let’s look at Baa, Baa, Black Sheep, for example.
Baa, baa black sheep
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir. Three bags full.
One for the master
and one for the dame.
And one for the little boy
who lives down the lane.
Now this isn’t exactly The Hunger Games, but it’s not that bad (if you’re around four years old, that is). Someone asks a sheep a reasonable question and the sheep gives a reasonable answer. And yes, I know sheep don’t talk, but hey, little kids might think they do especially after seeing all those cartoons on TV. And I’ll forgive the old-fashioned language because, hey, this poem is — how shall I put this? — old. It’s got a decent beat and the rhymes are decent. All in all, I give it 2 1/2 stars out of 4.
Okay, you ready for a venture into the land of dumbicity? Better get out the diarrhea medicine. Check out the next one, Hey Diddle Diddle:
Hey diddle, diddle.
The cat and the fiddle.
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed to see such a sport
and the dish ran away with the spoon!
Excuse me?? This thing makes absolutely no sense. Okay, it starts with a cute sound. Nothing wrong with “Hey, diddle, diddle.” But the second line is there only because it rhymes with “diddle.” It’s not like anything happens to the cat and the fiddle. Shouldn’t it say, “The cat played the fiddle”? At least that would go with the line #3. See, two impossible things happen at the same time and that makes the dog laugh. But then the dish runs away with the spoon? Not logical, people. We’re all involved with these dumb animals and then here comes a dish running away with a spoon. Huh?
The best you could say about this poem is that it was written by a poet with severe ADD. I mean, nothing connects. I give it one star out of four. And that one star is mostly out of pity.
For one more super-stupid example, let’s peruse — ooh, I just learned that one — one of the most famous rhymes out there: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.
Twinkle, twinkle little star.
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high.
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle little star.
How I wonder what you are!
I got nothing against the beat or the rhymes in this magnificent masterpiece of literature. It’s just that the author is such a box of rocks! Not once, but TWICE, he — I assume it’s gotta be a guy, but who knows, I guess a lady could be this dumb — wonders what a star is. “How I wonder what you are.” It sounds like this dude (or dudette) has spent quite a bit of mental energy (like maybe 80% of their capacity) contemplating this great mystery.
Hello! Message to author: A star is a big, hot ball of flaming gas. Sort of like you, you science-challenged ignoramus. They taught me this like in the third grade. Maybe it was even the second. I know this poem wasn’t written by a kid. So where were you when your second grade teacher was teaching you this?
I can’t take this anymore. These things get world-famous and yours truly Dr. Crankenfuss can’t even get a private meeting with the President to let him know about how he could make our country better. I know cause I wrote the White House and all I got was a computerized reply with a picture of the President and the First Lady. And it must have been an old picture cause I saw him on TV the other night and his hair is a lot grayer than that now.
So that’s all for today. I gotta rest. Nursery rhymes can make a grown boy cry.
From Your Dude with the ‘Tude,