Deciphering Nursery Rhymes

How the hell does Humpty Dumpty make sense at all? I mean, does it even have a moral? Let’s take a look at just how weird this rhyme is:

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall; Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.”

I get that part, Humpty was minding his own business on a wall, and he fell.

“All the king’s horses, and all the king’s men; couldn’t put Humpty together again.”

This is the part that annoys me, why were the king’s horses trying to put Humpty together? They are horses, they don’t have thumbs! They would only be making things worse. I don’t think this king was very bright. Plus wasn’t Humpty Dumpty an egg? Why would they even try to put him together? If I were the king, I would just make omelets out of him. The last lines of the rhyme should be:

“All the king’s horses, and all the king’s men, had omelets for breakfast over and over again.”

After doing a little research I have come to find that “Humpty Dumpty” is actually 18-century slang for someone who is clumsy. In that case, maybe it was a good thing that they didn’t try to eat him. But I still can’t help but wonder what the moral is. Was there a big wall-sitting problem in the 1800s? Why would you even sit on a wall if you knew that you were clumsy? Unless… you didn’t know how clumsy you were, and no one wanted to tell you. This probably meant that no one liked you. This is starting to make sense now. They were making fun of people that they didn’t like, those old timey jerks weren’t too different from us after all.

Here’s another thing I don’t get: they were trying to put him back together. With what? What kind of medical treatment could they have performed in the 1800s that would save a person who was literally in pieces? They didn’t even have duct-tape yet! Well, I guess they had glue…

This reminds me of another nursery rhyme that is a little disturbing, Jack and Jill which, doesn’t seem like a very happy thing to read to your children before they drift off to dream land.

“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.”

What’s the moral in this one? Don’t try to hydrate yourself or you’ll die? It was suggested to me that perhaps Jack and Jill were horsing around and suffered because of it. This just turns the moral into “Don’t try to have fun, or you’ll crack your skull open.”

I bet this little limerick was written by overprotective parents. With all of these disturbing stories sung to them before bed, how did the children of the 1800s not grow up to be psychopathic serial killers? Then again they did have Jack the Ripper. Wait, Jack…do you think that the Jack from Jack and Jill, Jack & the Bean Stock, Jack Jump over the candlestick, and Little Jack Horner, were all created and sung to a child who later became so disturbed that he became the serial killer named Jack the Ripper? Sweet savory beard of Zeus! This is the discovery of a lifetime! It’s sad to think that people would probably be more excited about this if they weren’t so preoccupied horsing around and making fun of people that they hate, and being over-protective parents.

Oh man, some things never change.