1082. Jack and Jill my foot

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after

Up Jack got and home did trot
As fast as he could caper
He went to bed and bound his head
With vinegar and brown paper.

Have you ever heard such balderdash?

The only reason they went “up the hill” was because “hill” rhymes with “Jill”. Obviously, one doesn’t go UP a hill to get water. If anything, one would go DOWN. In fact, they could have gone to a well to get water. It certainly makes more sense. All they need do is change the name from “Jill” to “Nell”.

Jack and Nell went to a well.

It’s possible they went to a “water hole in the bog”, but what girl’s name rhymes with “water hole in the bog”? Brook?

Jack fell down and broke his crown. Presumably they mean “crown of the head”. Well, if he broke that he’d be dead and not capering home to wrap things up with vinegar and brown paper. In all likelihood, he broke his arm. But “arm” doesn’t rhyme with “down”. At least not in my book.

Lies! Lies! Lies! I shudder to think of the lies that have been told throughout history for the sake of a rhyme. Imagine the fibs told by Shakespeare in all those sonnets. No wonder he wrote his plays in blank verse. And the whoppers scattered throughout Milton’s Paradise Lost. Phew! We won’t even begin to go into the Iliad and the Odyssey.

I could indeed go on about Jack and Jill to illustrate further this proclivity to lie for the sake of rhyme, but I won’t. Suffice to say that “water” doesn’t rhyme with “after” like the author clearly thinks it does. This makes it a lie in an unrhyme. Is there nothing true and sacred left in this world of ours?

18 thoughts on “1082. Jack and Jill my foot

  1. Yvonne

    Thank goodness there are clear minded critics such as you to show us the falsity of the rhymes that were thrust down our unknowing gullets in our nursery days. I’ll have to book extra therapy sessions, for sure.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Thanks, Yvonne. I always get a thrill when readers take my marvellously educational postings seriously and need counselling as a result. One of the most devastating nursery rhymes is Humpty Dumpty, because it ridicules fat people.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yvonne

        And, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick pokes fun at those of us who choose to be sedentary.

        London Bridge is falling down feeds into our basophobia. We could go on all day, and just might, but you no doubt have to work for a living.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Shubha Athavale

    I loved this post of yours Bruce.
    Rock-a-by baby
    On the tree top,
    When the wind blows
    The cradle will rock.
    When the bough breaks,
    The cradle will fall,
    And down will fall baby
    Cradle and all.

    This is a nursery rhyme that I find the worst…….which heartless person conceived of this?

    Liked by 2 people


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