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Old 07-03-2011, 01:22 AM
tovangar2 tovangar2 is offline
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What's the nursery rhyme "Sing a Song of Sixpence" all about?

Well, I was always told that the "pocket full of rye" represents about how many stars one can see in the sky at night. Rye seeds are VERY small and a few thousand can fit in a pocket. The blackbirds are the hours and when the day breaks/the pie is opened the "birds begin to sing". The King is the sun counting out the golden days ("the money" cuz after all time IS money). The Queen represents the waning moon disappearing as it's eaten (the surface of the moon rather looks like "bread & honey"). "The maid" is the earth, "hanging out the clouds" (like we do). The final verse:

"She caused such a commotion that little Jenny Wren
Flew into the garden and put it back again"

In this the blackbird that pecked off our nose is the terrible cold at Midwinter. Little Jenny Wren is a herald of Spring that puts things right as the days again begin growing longer at the Winter Solstice.

I can't remember just now what the first line means.
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:16 AM
aldiboronti aldiboronti is offline
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It's always helpful to link to the report in question.

What's the nursery rhyme 'Sing a Song of Sixpence' all about?
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Old 07-03-2011, 07:24 AM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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Interesting, tovangar2, thanks for sharing it. As I wrote in that staff report, there are several origin stories, and no one knows for sure. I did mention the king as sun and queen as moon, and you've added some interesting additions to that.

So, welcome to the Straight Dope Message Boards!
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