Revisiting some nursery rhymes

I did not find an appropriate category for this. Broadly it could fit in the Poetry category, hence the inclusion. Suggesting ‘Children’s category’ where we can have stories and poems to bring them back into reading texts instead of only forwards which are more forwarded than read. This is just a suggestion.

This is a very modest attempt to change some nursery rhymes which appear unnecessarily cruel. I am sorry to use the word ‘cruel’ and I would be deeply sorry if it hurts anybody because we have all grown up with them enjoying these rhymes. I have not written the original one as these rhymes are known to everybody.


John and Jane
Yes papa! 
Eating sugar? 
No papa! 
Have these apples
Yes papa! 
Love you children
Ha! ha! ha!  

[I wonder if there’s any need to teach children how to lie [being smart] to their parents and get away] 

Humpty dumpty sat on a chair, 
Humpty dumpty sang with love and care. 
All the king’s forces all the king’s men, 
Sang along with him over and over again!!   

[Why should children laugh at the fall of Humpty dumpty and at the fact that he couldn’t be put together again…is this not violence!]   

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water, 
Jack came down when he was done 
And Jill came dancing after.   

With them they bring a bird that sings, 
It fell off from a tree, 
They cared for it to cure its wings, 
Until it flew, was free. 

[Children are taught to laugh at other’s miseries…how long can we go on laughing at Jack breaking his crown… if only we could help children learn empathy]. 

While I respect the popularity of these rhymes, I have questions on their relevance in times where there is no dearth of torture. Children are disproportionately exposed to a lot of violence and chicaneries. I feel it is necessary to re-tell these otherwise beautiful nursery rhymes in a constructive way.

© supratik 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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