Nursery Rhymes in Popular Culture


The Questionable Nature of Nursery Rhymes

If you think about it, rhymes that have been popular among children and their parents for centuries have pretty ghastly scenarios. There are things like plagues, unbearable taxes, religious persecution, prostitution, animal torture, beheadings, and the list goes on. All of this has been told to countless infants by well-meaning parents since about the middle of the 14th century. They were written and published during the 17th-19th century as the classics that people know today.

The Renaissance

It was during these three centuries that they came to be characterized by a certain distinctive meter set to music. This form made it easy for parents to teach and for the children to learn. Experts on the subjects say it is the perfect method to form emotional connections and to cultivate language learning in very young children. Of these two, the emotional connection is greater. It is a practice that effectively creates a parent-child bond. In addition, the emotional connection connects the children to appropriate themes like self-control, social etiquette, and academics.

The Most Important Century as Far as Rhyme are Concerned

In particular, throughout the 19th century, these rhymes set to music crept into culture and became a lasting and foundational part of it. The source material of many of the themes of these rhymes is varied and very interesting. Two of the earliest and most influential rhymes of the 19th century were Popular Rhymes of Scotland in 1826 and Mother Goose’s Melodies in 1833. This rhyme craze soon spread all over the world. Many of them written at this time were sung to tunes written during the 18th century.

Its Growth As a Respectable Form of Literature

During the 18th century, they were so respected that it was often included in books of great poetry. After the publication of the two seminal books already mentioned, more and more books were published taking them extremely seriously. By the end of the century, books of them were composed by academics, linguists, and anthropologists of the highest order. The adoption of rhymes by pop culture further enabled modern children to adapt to the society of the modern age. They are as a result a huge factor in what society has become today. This is why they are often the subject of much psychoanalysis, criticism, and social study.

Those For and Against Nursery Rhymes

There is a growing segment of society that takes great umbrage to the material in rhymes that comes across as offensive and there have been moves to remove these elements. Most, however, are firm in the position that it is one of the most iconic and important pieces of pop culture. We as a worldwide culture have seen variations of classic rhymes in TV shows, movies and online videos. They are a staple of today’s pop culture.