Nursery Rhymes Lyrics Are Weird and Creepy

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I remember my mother singing for me when I was a baby “Baa baa black sheep” and “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary”, those songs resided in me and I found myself as a mother now singing it to my own child. Slowly I started singing those nursery rhymes all the time by myself without no reason and of course it’s contagious so my husband was doing it as well.

The more I listened to those songs, the more I got confused on what the words actually mean, some don’t really make sense such as:

Three blind mice, three blind mice,
See how they run, see how they run,
They all ran after the farmer’s wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a thing in your life,
As three blind mice?

I decided to research this song and I found out it’s based in English history. The ‘farmer’s wife’ refers to the daughter of King Henry VIII, Queen Mary I whose also known as Bloody Mary. Mary was a very committed Catholic and she forced her beliefs across the country. The ‘three blind mice’ were three noblemen who didn’t agree on her ways so they were convicted of plotting against the Queen but she did not have them dismembered and blinded as inferred in Three blind mice, instead they were burned at the stake. That was an interesting backstory to a children song ? Same as “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary”, it also speaks about her and her violent rulings. You could read more about those two nursery rhymes here.

One of my son’s favorite songs is Skip to My Lou and reading about this song was a journey by itself. The song is a popular American partner-stealing dance from the 1840s.

“Skip to My Lou” is a simple game of stealing partners (or swapping partners as in square dancing). It begins with any number of couples skipping hand in hand around in a ring. A lone boy in the center of the moving circle of couples sings, “Lost my partner, what’ll I do?” as the girls whirl past him. The young man in the center hesitates while he decides which girl to choose, singing, “I’ll get another one just like you.” When he grasps the hand of his chosen one, the latter’s partner moves to the center of the ring the game. It is an ice-breaker, providing an opportunity for the participants to get acquainted with one another and to get into a good mood.

The “lou” in the title comes from the word “loo”, a Scottish word for “love”.

I’m confused, how is this a children’s song ?

Fly in the buttermilk, Shoo, fly, shoo

Is it a farming related song ?

There’s a little red wagon, Paint it blue

Uh why ?

Can’t get a red bird, Jay bird’ll do

…. okay ?

Cat’s in the cream jar, Ooh, ooh, ooh

Also animal abuse ?

It doesn’t really make sense to me how’s the lyrics correlate with each other basically. Maybe I’m reading too much in this but I’m sure some parents thought about this while singing to their children those songs.

I asked a fellow blogger Karalee (Tales of Belle) to chime in with her opinion since she’s a mom as well and here’s her opinion about this:

A lot of nursery rhymes seem to have a darker meaning, so I researched two my daughter likes: Brother John and London Bridge Is Falling Down. I grew up hearing Frère Jacques in French from my mother, and my daughter knows the English version Brother John. She likes singing “are you sleeping”, which made me wonder if there was a deeper meaning. The nursery rhyme is about a friar who overslept and he needs to ring the bells for the morning pray. The origin is believed to be about Frère Jacques Beaulie who was a Dominican friar in France. Other theories believe the nursery rhyme is about taunting Jews, Protestants, and Martin Luther and also mocking Dominican monks in France for their sloth and comfortable lifestyles. Even though the origin theories are not the brightest, the nursery rhyme itself does not have a dark meaning, which is a nice relief. Now for London Bridge Is Falling Down. I played the game while singing London Bridge as a kid and now I play the game with my daughter. The nursery rhyme is about rebuilding the London Bridge and how difficult it was bridging the River Thames. However, the theories about the origin are disturbing. One theory believes the nursery rhyme is about the destruction of the bridge by Olaf II of Norway while another theory believes children were sacrificed and buried in the foundation of the bridge to prevent it from collapsing. Luckily there is no evidence of children being sacrificed, but the thought is terrifying. A more plausible theory is that the nursery rhyme came about when the London Bridge was damaged by fire then eventually rebuilt and replaced. Even though the child sacrifice theory is disturbing, I am glad it is not proven and the nursery rhyme does not have a darker meaning. The lyrics for these two nursery rhymes are straightforward and do not have a dark meaning, but some of the origin theories are rather dark.

I’d love to know your thoughts about this, have you ever questioned the songs you sing for your children while the seemed innocent and pure ?

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Living by Numbers

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I work in the IT department so I got asked for help by employees, over things that deserve my attention or sometimes I would view it as ridiculous favors. This is one of the times that I got asked for help by a lady who made my eyes roll into their own orbits. She came to me asking for help regarding Twitter, it’s not exactly in my job description to help employees with their own personal accounts but I said I’ll listen to her till the end. So she has a private account and gets following requests, she accepts EVERYONE and then proceeds to follow EVERYONE. Does that make sense ? For me it honestly doesn’t.

Twitter have set a limit for following accounts which is 5000 and this lovely smart lady keeps getting an error that she cannot follow anyone anymore because she reached the limit and she’s asking my help. There’s a fine line between idiocy and ignorance, and I feel like stating the obvious in her condition but I won’t because I’m trying so hard to nice and I’m going to say she’s just ignorant. I felt like I want to give her a lecture about this but I’ll sum it up here in a more detailed way, how I view social media and how we are living by numbers.

Do you genuinely care about those 5000 people or accounts that you have the time to read every tweet they post ? Do they post interesting content that you feel the need to follow over 5000 accounts ? I think you just want more followers because those numbers excite you and having a private account makes people curious about your account and how you gained over 17k followers while having a private account. Do you personally know every person you follow ? Did you at least have a brief conversation with that person so you would easily press the follow button or was it blindly follow for follow mechanism ?

It just baffles me that she replied after all what I said “Don’t you feel that you have to follow a person after that person had the time to follow you ?” No, I don’t feel that I’m obliged to. What if that person posts things that would upset me, maybe inappropriate content. You’re not really forced to follow anyone who follow you, I wouldn’t get upset if I follow someone and that person didn’t follow me back it just common sense to me.

This incident got me thinking how social media made us care a bit too much about numbers next to our names or handles, how much traffic I can get for my blog and how many people that follow me on social media such as Instagram and Twitter, how many likes I could get from posting photos. I get that people can make a living out of that but sometimes it gets out of control and reality isn’t about likes, followers and replies. I’d love to know your view on this matter and what do you think about this situation.

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But I Like Being Alone …

I’ve had this heated debate with a coworker about this so I decided to post it on my blog and see what you readers would think about this.

I personally think that having an alone time to spend with yourself is good for your mental health so sometimes I would disconnect from the world and have some peace and quiet thinking alone. I don’t really need someone to be there for me, I don’t need someone to help me if I had some issue unless it’s a big deal obviously but I’m okay with it, I just like my personal space. It’s not like I don’t trust my friends or anything, maybe because I’m an introvert but I think it’s completely fine when someone just wants to be alone. 

Now the other side of this argument as the coworker was saying that it’s wrong and you should be there for that person who just asked you to be alone and I would disagree with it to an extent because if I know the person is just going through some personal problems they’ll either talk about it if they want to or keep it to themselves and deal with it on their own. I won’t be upset if a close person to me told me that they want their alone time because I’m not the kind of person who would pressure someone to talk to me.

Some people take this as an insult and a bit too personal like “Why aren’t you telling me what’s wrong, why don’t you trust me” I get that but I don’t mean it that way, I just like being alone sometimes … It’s quite simple really, not exactly complicated.

I would love to think what you think about it, do you agree or disagree ?

Thank you for reading and have a nice day.

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Being Friends With Your Ex

Can you be friends with your ex … NO.

At least my case I think so.

Some people are completely fine in staying friends with their exes but I’m from the other side who can’t because no matter how much I try to avoid getting hurt, I will eventually. Probably because I’m quite an emotional person, I fall apart into tears really easily. I used that ‘Skill‘ to my advantage whenever I want to write a free verse poem, I usually feel something and amplify it then write it.

I tried staying friends with an ex, feeding myself the excuses that ‘well, we are more mature now and we can keep this in control‘ like I said, excuses. You can’t really erase a feeling you had for a person you spent a great amount of time with, I noticed that in myself that I bury it deeply till I see that person and all the memories rush out without any control. One of the mistakes I did with my exes is associate a song with the person so after we broke up, I can’t listen to that song and keep skipping it even though I can just delete it but I don’t. One of the reasons I can’t be friends with my ex is that I know he knows me more than anyone and that makes me feel exposed against him so I choose to avoid him.

Recently I had some encounter with my ex which made me realize that it’s absolutely impossible for me to stay friends with him that I had to block him. I’m not really the kind of person to erase people out of my life by blocking, I actually think that’s quite immature but it felt required after what have been said and I think I’m okay with it.

The gist of this random post is … He’s an ex for a reason, no matter how hard you justify it and it’s really hard to control your feelings and emotions, and be just friends with that person. I would love to know your thoughts about this, can you be friends with an ex ?

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Being Nice ≠ Being Flirty

Couple of months ago I posted about me being too nice and mentioned some coworker who’s getting too comfortable with me and getting close and I wasn’t really comfortable with that. I decided write a follow-up about it and turn this post to a rant because it’s been bothering me for quite awhile.

In the post I mentioned earlier, this coworker has literally crossed all the lines I’m trying to keep between us and basically started flirting, and I could honestly say it’s all my fault since I’m too nice and I hate being mean. I could post some screenshots of the things he keeps sending to me on Instagram direct messages but they are all in Arabic, he moved his title from being just a coworker to complete creepy stalker because he sent to me a message when I was leaving work which I can translate to “Hey gorgeous, I see you are leaving late today” I didn’t see him at all and it made me really uncomfortable like he’s stalking me and these messages were increasing, I started ignoring them but he just won’t stop. He even messaged me saying “Why did you get married ? You look so young and I was really surprised when you mentioned your husband and even got a son” I can assume he got fed up from how I keep pushing him away and dropping hints about my husband when he really wants to flirt with me thinking I’m approachable because I seem lonely since my husband travels a lot. I was thinking to even post a picture of me and my husband holding hands or something with a romantic caption just to show him back off I love my husband. I didn’t want to be mean but I sent him a message to stop sending me flirty messages because I’m married and I’m really uncomfortable with this, he said sorry but I really wanted to block him. The problem is, I see his face at work and he calls my work phone several times and I ignore.

So here’s my little rant about this because for some reason this dude isn’t the first one who thinks it’s okay to approach a girl just because she’s nice and replied to his messages. I hate being a feminist about all this but seriously it’s not okay to assume she’s into you just because she replied/smiled/laughed/exchanged phone numbers/commented on anything on your social media/listened to your problems. It’s not acceptable also to think we are being flirty because of that, if you are comfortable talking to that person it’s fine but don’t cross the lines that person put completely obvious to you. Think of it this way, would you like it if you saw these messages on your partner’s phone ? It’ll go down in two ways, either you’ll think your partner is cheating on you or you’ll get furious from this creepy stalker who’s harassing her while she’s politely saying “F#$% off”

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The Motherhood Rant

It’s been awhile since I wrote a proper rant post and since I’m already in my rage mode because one of my co-workers decided to stop talking to me for nearly 3 weeks now for no apparent reason, I’m the kind of person who has quick temper so I’m seriously tempted to throw a stapler to her face just so I give her a reason to stop talking to me like she’s doing now … b*!%$. Anyway so I’ve been thinking about writing this post for awhile of some things people say regarding motherhood that irritates me.

Moms don’t have time to take care of themselves

I’ve always disagreed with this statement, being a mother is exhausting and tiring true but we mothers need an alone time. It’s all about time management, have an hour or two just for yourself to do whatever you want for yourself. Whatever we choose to do in this alone time is our choice, whether I want to take care of myself or just sleep because being sleep deprived is a bonus trait comes with motherhood. Also taking care of ourselves doesn’t necessary mean beautifying alone, it also mean drinking enough water in a day or not forgetting to eat since we are hectic and all over the place from kids.

And let me end my point with this statement, in Arab countries men think we take care of ourselves for them. No, we do it for ourselves not for husbands or guys in general so stop assuming that if I had a new haircut or decided to wear makeup that day just to impress my husband.

Don’t think about your figure since you are a mother now

No no no, I will forever care about my figure. Those sagging sides and boobs will still make me feel insecure about myself. It’s not easy to ignore these imperfections in our bodies and be one of the people who preach body positive rants and pretend to not care, at least for me I think.

I hate it when ladies say “Oh you had your first child you’ll go down hill from now on so no need to bother yourself in trying to lose weight or getting back your former glory body” I honestly can’t just stop bothering in trying to regain my old body, I know I can’t return super skinny or have a model-like body but I can try to lose my baby weight for myself because I feel comfortable seeing my body that way.

Your marriage life will now be loveless

This statement that irritates me the most, I mean I get it babies take most of the time that couples don’t have time to be together as much but it doesn’t mean the feelings between those two will all the sudden fade just because of a baby. Like I said in my first point, it’s all about time management. Couples should have a time to be together, try go on a date while leaving their children with a babysitter or even relatives if possible.

There’re too many ways to show affection, even by talking on bed before sleeping is therapeutic by it’s own. Cuddling from time to time while the baby is sleeping doesn’t take that much time as well so why assume couples all the sudden fall out of love just because they have babies now ?

Okay now that I’ve vented out my thoughts I’ll continue imagining throwing the stapler to my coworkers’s face, I’ll probably throw the printer just in case I missed.

Surviving First Year of Marriage

The forever fight over the blanket whenever you two want to sleep. The bad habits you both have to tolerate with each other. First year of marriage doesn’t go smoothly as your imagination may play in your head, it can start bumpy and will require quite an amount of patience. This post may be a bit oriented to the Muslim community but hopefully somethings would be relatable for newly weds.

I got married on 19th of December 2014 to relative of mine, he is older than me by eight years which made me think much about it. I had my doubts and fears that maybe we aren’t compatible and I should call the whole thing off but part of me wanted to go through this. Most of my fears were residing around our age, and the most recurring question “What if he couldn’t understand me because I’m younger than him ?”

Growing up in a Muslim community, you were probably brought up with the idea that we shouldn’t talk to the opposite sex for some reason and how wrong it was. Of course I don’t agree on that idea because when you do get married it’s like throwing you into water when you don’t know how to swim. All the sudden you would be living with a total stranger and you don’t know how to interact with this person, you don’t know his/her personality or likes and dislikes. While you repeatedly may hear the older family members saying “Love comes after marriage” and I agree with that part but not fully, the way I see it during the engagement it’s all hearts and flowers kind of love but understanding the true love is when you spend more time with this person, seeing the worst part of this person and still be there for them. That’s why I always encourage ladies who are about to get married to keep the engagement period longer so she can get to know this person more and know for sure that she wants to spend the rest of her life with.

First year of marriage is when you really get to know the person you agreed to spend your whole life with. This person would get to see your bare face without makeup, she’ll get to see your true manners at home, he’ll get to see your insecurities and imperfections. Of course the first year is also when disagreements and conflict of opinions starts to show, and arguments would occur from time to time but that’s completely normal because each person has his/her own opinion and you should respect that. Instead of hitting walls of disagreements with no result, always try to find a middle ground between you two.

Let me share few things I learned during my first year of marriage:

  • There’s no winner in an argument. Arguments happen when opinions conflict with each other, and by this stage neither would be right or wrong because it’s only opinions each person wants to voice out.
  • Experience what your partner enjoys. Whether it’s a restaurant, music or even a tv show, try to experience it with your partner because you’ll show them you care about their likes and dislikes and who knows you might like it.
  • Honesty is the key to a healthy relationship. You might’ve read this everywhere on tumblr or twitter but I can assure you, it’s  vital aspect in every relationship. Never hide something because you feel it’s going to hurt them.
  • Try to include their opinion in a decision. When you’re about to make a decision, make sure you ask for their opinion to make them feel included.
  • Don’t force them to change just because you don’t like something about them. Change happens from within a person not forced, if you don’t like a certain habit about them you can talk it out instead of forcing them to change for you.
  • Love doesn’t always mean hugs and kisses. Love takes many forms not through showing affection only, can be simple words showing care or even an advise. Later on, saying I love you would be the same as looking in the person’s eyes and just understand it without saying it.
  • Don’t expect them to be your everything. What I mean by that is your partner shouldn’t be your finance adviser, your therapist, your burden bin to be exact. If you complain too much, they’ll get bored and annoyed by you.
  • Don’t let his/her personality over-shadows yours. Living with a person for awhile may grow some habits in you as your partner but don’t reach a point where your personality is shaping to be like that person, your personality is who you are and in my opinion couples should build each other to the best not wipe the whole character and rewrite it.
  • Gifts are nice from time to time. Who wouldn’t like a simple gift ? Giving each other gifts makes you both appreciative of each other, and when you get them something they like would mean you actually care and listen to this person.
  • Have a ‘me time’. It’s okay to have a separate time away from each other, it helps a lot in fact.
  • Go on dates every week. Make a day solely for your partner and spend it together as a date or even just walking around the neighborhood.

I’m sure there’re plenty of other points I should mention but these are my major lessons I learned during my first year of marriage. How did you survive your first year of marriage ?