Search This Blog

Monday, March 11, 2013

Eleven Plus Nursery-Thymes

Some children may be given a good start towards the eleven plus by their mothers and fathers reading or singing nursery-rhymes or lullabies. Some parents may even have relied on:

Hush a bye baby, on the tree top,
When the wind blows the cradle will rock;
When the bow breaks, the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all.

The rhythm suggests a rocking movement. The words draw a little picture. But how many parents put their children to sleep at the top of a tree? But what happens if the baby is a baby bird? Then this turns from a nonsensical account to a story of real drama. Poor little birdie!

Is this one nonsense?

Eaper Weaper, chimbly sweeper,
Had a wife but couldn't keep her.
Had another, didn't love her,
Up the chimbly he did shove her.

Was Eaper a a bad man who stuffed his wife up a chimney? How sad for the poor wife!  Is the story of Eaper Weaper a sound story to tell to a little child? After all the words and rhyme may stay in the tender mind.

At what age do parents take it upon themselves to try to explain about poor little birds dropping off the top of trees and a man getting rid of an unwanted wife?

And what about politics? There is no doubt that `Georgie Porgie’ was not a very worthwhile man!

Georgie Porgie pudding and pie,
Kissed the girls and made them cry
When the boys came out to play,
Georgie Porgie ran away.

This last account was a sort of code about King James and the Duke of Buckingham! The general public could not mock the King so sang about him instead. Solving codes is considered, by some, to be an important component in ability tests. A rich diet of rhymes and lullabies may have helped! 

No comments: