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Nursery Rhymes and Hidden Meanings

Does your child’s favorite nursery rhymes, contains hidden messages? It’s 100% possible.

Nursery rhymes have been used for years to entertain and delight children, especially during their preschool years.  But did you know that most of the nursery rhymes that your child loves so dearly are coded?  That’s right, nearly eight out of ten nursery rhymes from back in the day, contains hidden messages.

Let’s take a look at a few lines from the Sing a Song of Sixpence rhyme, shall we:

Sing a song of sixpence,

It is said that this song originated during the 1700, and was used by Blackbeard, a well-known pirate during those times, to attract new recruits for his ship; and seeing that piracy was against the law, punishable by death, pirates had to come up with unique ways to advertise their job openings.  After all Blackbeard believed in giving death not receiving it.

Sing a song of sixpence (sixpence meant money or some type of payment)

A pocket full of rye. ( a canteen of whiskey, in addition to money was offered)

Four and twenty blackbirds, (signified how man crewman was needed to carry out the task)

Baked in a pie. (Signified, the job description, which entailed robbing other vessels)

When the pie was opened, (Signified, when to execute the job)

The birds began to sing; (Signified, when the job was completed)

Wasn’t that a dainty dish? (Signified, how easy the job will be)

To set before the king, (Signified, how pleased Blackbeard will be); after all no delivery, no pay and you might end up walking the plank.

 As I said before, there are other nursery rhyme that holds hidden meanings or codes.

Back in the 16th and 17th centuries, just about all communications were coded in one way or the other; after all some undeguised conversations, could and would get you killed.  Where was the freedom of speak when you need it!

Do you know any nursery rhymes with hidden meanings? Why not share them.

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  1. lauralu

    On May 31, 2012 at 12:25 pm


    Very interesting thanks

  2. stevetheblogger

    On May 31, 2012 at 2:04 pm


    Another great article and well written. The nursery rhyme “Ring a Ring o’ Roses” is another interesting one.The rhyme has often been associated with the Great Plague which happened in England in 1665. A rosy rash, they allege, was a symptom of the plague, posies of herbs were carried as protection and to ward off the smell of the disease. Sneezing or coughing was a final fatal symptom, and ‘all fall down’ was exactly what happened.
    Keep them coming I await your next.
    Best Wishes
    stevetheblogger

  3. momofplenty

    On May 31, 2012 at 2:22 pm


    Wow, I knew about the message from “Ring Around the Rosies”, but I never heard of the Blackbeard story. Very nifty article indeed.

  4. KnightHeart

    On May 31, 2012 at 10:04 pm


    haha..can’t relate..i don’t know the song..but still thank you for the info..

  5. webintechs007

    On June 1, 2012 at 2:48 pm


    Interesting post…

  6. webintechs007

    On June 1, 2012 at 2:50 pm


    Interesting post…well written…

  7. Martin Kloess

    On June 2, 2012 at 7:24 pm


    I still have some violent childhood rhymes

  8. Lynn Hollis

    On June 4, 2012 at 11:16 pm


    …and I thought this was just a cute rhyme. Good article.

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