What Mother Goose Meant: Deconstructing Popular Nursery Rhymes in English (Paperback)

What Mother Goose Meant: Deconstructing Popular Nursery Rhymes in English By Debbie Barry Cover Image
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Nearly every English or American child is familiar with nursery rhymes, and many of the rhymes still retain something close to their original words and forms. Children learn nursery rhymes from their grandparents, parents, and other adults. They sing and dance to modern renditions on children's television and in daycares and preschools. Nursery rhymes persist into elementary school, and become part of a child's psyche. The authors and origin stories of individual nursery rhymes are usually lost to the ages. To fill that void, most nursery rhymes that existed before the middle of the 20th Century, more or less, have been collectively attributed to "Mother Goose." This book, the first in a series, looks at the deeper layers of a number of popular nursery rhymes to see what Mother Goose might have meant. It looks at social and historical contexts, and deconstructs some of the symbolism. It speculates, based on outside sources, and finds something reasonably intelligent to say. This is not the final say on anything; these interpretation may be just one of many, and not all may agree. That is fine. Nursery rhymes have many versions, and not all have the same words, or even the same number of stanzas. The selected versions in this book are generally the most familiar, comfortable form from the author's own experience, with sometimes an unfamiliar stanza or two. This book contains nursery rhymes that are in the public domain, but it is not intended for children. The discussions contin concepts and imagery that may be unsettling or disturbing. There are references to sex, death, war, prostitution, religious conflicts, and other mature topics. This is the first of a series. The author hopes to have at least eight books in the series before it is done.

About the Author

Debbie Barry lives with her husband in southeastern Michigan with their two cats, Mister and Goblin. They enjoy exploring history through French and Indian War re-enactment and through medieval re-enactment in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). Debbie grew up in southwestern Vermont, where she heard and collected many family stories that she enjoys retelling as historical fiction for young audiences, and as family and local history for genealogists, as well as memory stories of her own life. Debbie graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in dual majors of social sciences with an education concentration and of English in 2013. She is on hiatus from pursuing her master's degree in linguistics, specializing in teaching English as a second language (TESOL), at Oakland University, in Rochester, Michigan, as a result of going blind and battling long-term illness. Debbie went blind suddenly, without obvious cause, on December 15, 2014, at the age of 45. Her family, friends, and doctors expected her to give in to the darkness and become bitter and angry. Instead, Debbie chose to adopt a positive attitude, even when she felt anything but positive, and to find as much light as possible in her life. She wrote an autobiographical account of her first full year of living in the twilight semi-vision of blindness to share her experience with others; it was also therapy to help her face the darkness. Before going blind, Debbie was an avid, even voracious, reader. She enjoyed drawing in many traditional media and painting in acrylic, gouache, and watercolor. She enjoyed sewing, crocheting, needlepoint, embroidery, beadwork, spinning, and weaving. Since going blind, Debbie has turned to audio books from Audible.com, BARD Talking Books Library, and on CDs. She crochets blankets and crochets scarves for charity. She makes paper beads to make rosaries for the missions. She has recently begun exploring resuming drawing and painting with the limitations of her vision. Debbie is an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). She is a past member of the LEO Club, the Lions Club, the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), the Girl Scouts, the Explorer Scouts, and the Order of the Eastern Star (OES), as well as various academic and social groups in high school, college, and graduate school. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa, and the Golden Key Honor Society. She likes to be active.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781548614126
ISBN-10: 1548614122
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: July 5th, 2017
Pages: 552
Language: English