5 horrifying stories behind our favorite childhood songs

Seeing the title of this article, there may be a few questions running through your mind. I’m going to take a wild guess about what these questions are and answer them. Is this article full of creepy stories? – Yes. Is it possible that this would ruin my childhood? –  Maybe. Why am I still reading this, should I stop?-  No. Brace yourself. It is about to get creepy.

Ring around the rosie

Personally, I used to look forward to falling down. It did hurt a lot but it was the best part. It’s so tragic that this got on the list but turns out that the song is a shady reference to the Great Plague (Black Death) in London in the 17th Century. Interpreters have said that in this reference, the ring around the rosie alludes to some form of skin rash caused by the plague and the pocket full of posies are the medicinal herbs carried around in treatment of the rash. The ateeshoo ateeshoo sneezing sound was made by those afflicted with the illness right before they all fall down and die. Yikes!

Rock – a – bye – baby

Ugh. I hate that this one made it to the list. One of my personal favorites. It seems so harmless until you take a literal look at the lyrics. I mean, imagine a video showing:

‘when the bough breaks the cradle will fall and down will come baby, cradle and all’



Monsieur Bello taught me this one when I was like 8 years old. If you had your own Monsieur Bello, you learnt this French song in the class about the parts of the body or should I say, Les parties du corps. Most of what you probably remember from singing this song is your younger self screaming ‘Et la tête!’ ‘Et le cou!’ The English translation of the lyrics are

‘Lark,nice lark, Lark, I will pluck you. I will pluck your head. I will pluck your beak. I will pluck your eyes. I will pluck your neck’.

Sigh. I feel betrayed too. Why did no one tell us this? PS – If you can’t remember the song, refresh your memory here.



Jack and Jill

Innocently, we rhymed about how Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water but then Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after. Bad news, there’s a theory that this rhyme is about the beheading of King Louis XVI of France and subsequent beheading of his wife, Queen Marie Antoinette. The thought of this is just so.…you know, creepy.



Humpty Dumpty

Yes, Humpty Dumpty got dragged into this. I hate it too. Apparently, Humpty Dumpty isn’t a guy with a big head or an egg like we all thought. History suggests that HD is a canon used during the English Civil War. Simply, Humpty Dumpty fell off a wall getting destroyed so badly that all the king’s men and all the king’s horses couldn’t put Humpty together again. I’ll let you breathe a sigh of relief by telling you that these stories have faced strong criticisms of inconsistent dates, remote possibility etc. Nevertheless, knowing that stories of war and death surround our favourite kid jams is just WOW. I still wouldn’t take those good old days back though. Was this a lot to take in? Yeah, me too.



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