Why Are Birds So Popular In Nursery Rhymes?
World Nursey Rhyme Week has got us thinking about the popularity of birds in our favourite nursery rhymes and why birds are so popular among our childhood favourites! Many of today’s most popular nursery rhymes have been passed down countless generations. Yet, have you ever stopped and wondered what the author was trying to convey?
Five Little Ducks:
You may remember reciting the the 5 Little Ducks nursery rhyme as a child while also doing some simple hand actions. This fun nursery rhyme also has a darker side, teaching childing not to go too far or they will get lost like the little ducks. Within the nursery rhyme each little duck goes missing one by one until there are none left!
Sing A Song Of Sixpence:
Within the nursery rhyme Sing A Song Of Six Pence, 24 black birds are baked in a pie for the King. As revenge another black bird swoops down and pecks off the maid’s nose. A simple interpretation of this nursery rhyme is that the birds are seeking revenge for baking 24 birds in a pie. There are also many other interpretations, one of which states that the 24 birds represent the hours spent baking for the King.
One For Sorrow:
The nursery rhyme One For Sorrow originates from the superstitions that it is bad luck seeing a magpie. Within the nursery rhyme each number of magpies signifies a different meaning including silver, gold, children and even secrets!
A Wise Old Owl:
The nursery rhyme A Wise Old Owl refers to the traditional image that owls are wise and intelligent. A Wise Old Owl gives children the important life lesson that by listening they will gain knowledge, allowing them to become wise just like the owl.
Hush Little Baby Don’t Say A Word:
Hush Little Baby Don’t Say A Word is a typical lullaby sung by parents to their children. In the lullaby the baby is told to hush and that the parent would buy them a mocking bird. The mocking bird represents a bird which is well known for its beautiful song and ability to mimic other sounds.
Birds don’t just appear in our favourite nursery rhymes, they are also found in many famous novels and pieces of literature. When it comes to literature numerous authors choose to use birds as symbolism or as a metaphor. Authors dating back hundreds of years have used birds to represent positive and negative ideologies including freedom, death, bad omens, intelligence and elegance!
Don’t forget to leave us a comment if you or your children know of any other popular nursery rhymes or novels which contain birds!