11 Brutally Honest Versions Of Nursery Rhymes

Why do we expose our children to this violent filth?

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1. "Who Killed Cock Robin?"

A sparrow murders a robin with a bow and arrow. The blood flows freely and is collected in a dish, for some reason, by a fish. The sparrow is eventually tried and hanged by an angry crowd of woodland creatures.

2. "Oh My Darling, Clementine"

A woman with big feet drowns in front of her lover, who does nothing to save her, pleading that he doesn't know how to swim. After her death, he becomes involved with her sister.

3. "Rock-a-Bye Baby"

For reasons that defy explanation, a parent leaves a baby ("cradle and all") in the upper branches of a tree. Predictably, when the wind gets up, the branch breaks, and the baby falls to its death.

4. "Three Blind Mice"

An angry knife-wielding woman chases three panicking sightless mice and severs their tails. The mice are blamed for it.

5. "Sing a Song of Sixpence"

Twenty-four innocent blackbirds are trapped inside a pie and baked. Although they escape apparently unharmed, one – presumably maddened by its ordeal – returns, and bites the nose off a household servant.

6. "Jack and Jill"

Two children fall down a hill while carrying out heavy lifting. One suffers apparently serious head injuries.

7. "There Was An Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe"

An abusive mother starves her children and whips them. The focus of the story, however, is on the shape of her novelty house.

8. "Humpty Dumpty"

A man falls off a high wall and is terribly injured. Despite the attentions of the best medical horses in the kingdom, he dies. There is no textual support for the claim that the man was an egg.

9. "Froggy Went A-Courtin'"

A heavily armed frog attempts to seduce a mouse. After successfully doing so, he is (or, according to some reports, they are both) eaten, either by a snake or a duck.

10. "Cockles and Mussels"

The unquiet spirit of a tradeswoman haunts the streets of Dublin after she dies of plague.

11. "Oranges and Lemons"

The listener is threatened with beheading during a conversation between anthropomorphic church bells.