At first, these children's songs seem sweet and innocent, but after I reveal the supposed truth behind the lyrics, you'll never look at them the same way again. Are these stories true, or do some people just want to ruin everything that's happy and good? I don't know. There is a lot of debate over most of these.
You might already be familiar with the backstory for this one but here it is anyway:
Ring around the rosy
Pockets full of posies
We all fall down
This song is about the black plague. I do not know how it became a popular children's game but it did. Red rings surrounding rosy bumps were one of the first signs of plague. People carried little bags of herbs, or "posies" to try to ward off the disease. The bodies of plague victims were cremated to avoid further spread of the disease. "We all fall down" refers to dying.
That is the supposed explanation anyway. According to Snopes.com, it's wrong. Could this innocent children's song reference something other than happiness and flowers? You be the judge.
Rock a bye baby in the treetop
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall
And down will come baby, cradle and all
How this ever became a popular lullaby, I have no idea. Seriously people, you're singing a song to children about a baby in a cradle in a tree. Then the cradle gets blown down by the wind. The baby probably dies from this fall. Yet you sing this song to make children fall asleep. That's sadistic, in my opinion.
London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down
London Bridge is falling down, my fair lady
Innocent enough, right? Well it's just a song about a bridge falling down, what could be wrong with that? Well, there is a theory that this song is about burying children in the foundations of the bridge, possibly alive. It was based on the idea that a bridge would collapse unless a human sacrifice was buried in its foundations. It seems to me that this idea is a little bit far-fetched, but who knows?
There are some other nursery rhymes with far more sick and twisted theories around them, but I won't get into those. Have a nice day.