As prescribed by Paulina Constancia

Rhyme & Reason (1) – Jack and Jill

One of the joys of parenthood is reading and singing nursery rhymes. It makes you feel young again. If your day is not going so well and you see your child smile to that rhyme or tune, your mood changes and your troubles seem to just disappear.

This week I bring you “Rhyme & Reason”. I share with you the stories behind some of the most familiar nursery rhymes. However, a lot of them are not suitable for your little one. You might want to just keep the tale to yourself. 

Today we start off with JACK and JILL.
“Jack and Jill”
Mixed Media Art by Salley Mavor/Wee Folk Studio
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;
And went to bed and bound his head
With vinegar and brown paper.

King Louis XVI
Image Source

The Story Behind
Jack and Jill
Info Source

The roots of the story, or poem,  of Jack and Jill  are in France. Jack and Jill referred to are said to be King Louis XVI – Jack -who was beheaded (lost his crown) followed by his Queen Marie Antoinette – Jill – (who came tumbling after). The words and lyrics to the Jack and Jill  poem were made more acceptable as a story for children by providing a happy ending! 

The actual beheadings occurred during the Reign of Terror in 1793. The first publication date for the lyrics of Jack and Jill  rhyme is 1795 – which ties-in with the history and origins. The Jack and Jill poem is also known as Jack and Gill – the mis-spelling of Gill is not uncommon in nursery rhymes as they are usually passed from generation to generation by word of mouth.
Death by Beheading!

Queen Marie Antoinette
Image Source

On the gruesome subject of beheading it was the custom that following execution the severed head was held up by the hair by the executioner. This was not, as many people think, to show the crowd the head but in fact to show the head the crowd and it’s own body! Consciousness remains for at least eight seconds after beheading until lack of oxygen causes unconsciousness and eventually death. FYI: The guillotine is associated with the French but the English were the first to use this device.

Watch “Jack and Jill – Meaning behind the Nursery Rhyme” 

Learn more about King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette
Read more about JACK and JILL – there are actually other beliefs about’the story behind the rhyme’.

Watch a new version of the Nursery Rhyme/Song “Jack and Jill”

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This entry was posted on October 7, 2012 by in Uncategorized.
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