Catching up on Tags!

The Small Joys Tag I was very kindly tagged for the Small Joys Tag by Steve and Muffin over @ Steve’s Country. Make sure you check out his blog here where he shares amazing nature pics and stories featuring his clever cat, Muffin! Only 3 Rules: Thank the blogger who nominated you.List fifteen of your […]

Nursery Rhymes

Yes, you read that (title) right.

As I was working on a speech (don’t get me started on that, a dedicated post is on the way) for school, I realised how inclined I was towards…nursery rhymes. Inclined, is too mild a word. I am seriously obsessed with them. There is this certain joy and mystery in them that I honestly crave. Yes, I wish I could go back to being a child.

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.

The above lines are from the famous nursery rhyme, ‘Row , row, row your boat’. It’s not the rhyme or the tune that caught my attention. The last line here, “Life is but a dream” hit me like a bus. I wrote a line in my speech which was for the topic ‘Human Beings Under Covid-19’ saying that we were finally realising that life was indeed a dream. One that we could wake up from, any second. What’s more, I was even more overwhelmed when I re-read my sentence, realising that I had unknowingly compared dying to waking up, implying that death, could be a new beginning. I ended up cutting that sentence from my speech to satisfy the time limit.

This pandemic has also shed light on our finite existence and has made many aware that life after all, is just a dream, one that we could wake up from, any second.
(From my speech)

But the fact that I’m still invariably drawn towards nursery rhymes shows that the child in me is still very much alive. I sing nursery rhymes to myself when I’m feeling blue or in the dumps and I swear they make a difference.

The thing is, they may be nursery rhymes written for kids learning to grow up, a little dose of life lessons saying ‘This is the world you’re going to grow up in. Do this and we’ll treat you nice.’ But we often fail to emphasise on how they are written by adults. Yes, I know 2 and 3 year olds can’t read/ write well enough to compose a rhyme. But because they’re written by adults, there’s often something hidden in these seemingly kiddy rhymes.

They dined on mince, and slices of quince
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon.
― Edward Lear, The Owl and the Pussycat

Naturally, I ended up trying to learn more rhymes and explore the various genres of nursery rhymes. You may or may not be surprised to learn that there are many ;
lullabies, fables, counting games(I feel so stupid writing this) etc.

I also discovered that many rhymes have disturbing backstories (I’m not going to include those here, but you can find those if you google it). I find it intriguing that I grew up listening to these songs and yet I feel like a complete stranger now.

One little Indian left all alone, he went out and hanged himself and then there were none.
― Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None

These were what set the standard by which I judged songs. They played a pivotal role in my growing up. I went to kindergarten solely to learn these (and sharing and caring and all that) but what’s funny is that I have just begun getting to know them.

Nursery rhymes are that sort of charms that are ever present, but never really seen. They make up this foundation of a life that we later build on. Like the human blood that courses through our veins, nursery rhymes are something that we all share in common. You must have learnt at least one someday, somewhere. Don’t tell me that you haven’t sung ‘Jack and Jill’ or ‘Little Bo-peep!

If you haven’t, well, you can begin right now.

The first poems I knew were nursery rhymes, and before I could read them for myself, I had come to love just the words of them, the words alone.
Dylan Thomas

Who’s to say you’re a grown up? Really, all this growing up and being ‘too old‘ is way too overrated. I’m 16 and I love nursery rhymes and watch Mr. Bean almost everyday. It may seem abnormal to some, but those are 2 of the very few things that I genuinely enjoy. Everything else is just…existing, simply because of its need to; not because I need it to.

I’ve said (written) this before. It is NEVER too late to evoke the child in you. He/she/they is invariably a part of your soul. You never grow up, you never stop being a child, you never lose your innocence or ability to imagine. The past, present and future you, simultaneously exist and everything and everyone is already there.

You’re just not looking hard enough.

Who ever thought I’d one day grow to love nursery rhymes? Little me/past me is probably shedding tears of pride now. I know, because I would, if future me started playing with dolls one day.

A nursery rhyme shapes your bones and nerves, and it shapes your mind. They are powerful, nursery rhymes, and immensely old, and not toys, even though they are for children.
― Katherine Catmull, Summer and Bird