Peter, Peter? Run For Your Life!

We’re all familiar with our share of nursery rhymes, right?

Well, I thought that I was… Until I read a few to Bennett and realized that some of them are just downright bizarre!  This isn’t going to stop me from reading them necessarily, but I DO have to wonder where some of this twisted content was dreamed up!

Okay.  What’s with Three Blind Mice?  Have you ever considered it?  It’s kinda sick, what with the carving knife and all!  Oh, do you remember the carving knife?  Pretty sure that’s a new bit of info for me.  Don’t mess with the farmer’s wife.

Three Blind Mice


Then there’s Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater.  Uhhhh…  I guess that part, the title, is the only part that I remembered because it’s really weird.  He had a wife, but couldn’t “keep” her (what’s THAT supposed to mean… and how do you explain that to a child?!), so he kept her in a pumpkin?  HUH?  I think this one should be called Peter, Peter?  Run For Your LIFE!

Peter Pumpkin Eater

And I can’t help but wonder about Old King Cole.  Did the same people conjured up Alice in Wonderland come up with this little ditty, too?    I’m a little suspicious about the “bowl” that makes him so merry…  Did he live in a yellow submarine?

Old King Cole

And what ever happened to the old man?!  It’s Raining, It’s Pouring leaves me with a cliffhanger!  He “couldn’t get up in the morning”?!  Like… Did he EVER get up in the morning… or the afternoon… or later that evening… or EVER, ever again?  How hard did he bump his head?!  Disturbing.

Raining Pouring

I might need to write my own nursery rhymes.  They’d be so tidy.  Mice would keep their tails; old men would wake up after the storm; Old King Cole would develop some new extracurricular activities, perhaps involving himself in the community; Peter would have a loving, faithful wife and not feel the need to resort to pumpkin confinement…


  1. June 14, 2013
    Haylee Deener

    I realized the same thing when I had kids. The nursery rhymes are very strange!!! They really make no sense at all.

  2. June 14, 2013

    when you consider that many of the nursery rhymes were written about gruesome events in the middle ages, you gotta wonder why they’re even called nursery rhymes.

    “ring around a rosy” is about the bubonic plague

    “three blind mice” and “mary, mary, quite contrary” are about a British queen nicknamed “Bloody Mary”

    i did a search and came up with a host of pages that explain so many of the rhymes:

    fun stuff!

  3. June 14, 2013

    Grimm’s fairy tales feel the same way. I never realized how dark they were until I was an adult.

  4. June 14, 2013

    Humpty Dumpty was the one that got to me. After I had kids. Yea, strange is right.

  5. June 14, 2013

    As for Peter, maybe he saw “Boxing Helena”. Nursery rhymes aren’t the only strange writings we encounter.

  6. June 17, 2013
    Aunt Manny

    BAH HA HA HA. They are kind of disturbing. yikes.

  7. July 3, 2013
    Aunt Ethelyn

    Can’t remember the author, but there is a book out there which is Christian Mother Goose Tales. I had it for my grands and these were not scary.

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