Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: The Reason Behind the Rhyme

Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: The Reason Behind the Rhyme
by Chris Roberts examines the history behind children’s nursery rhymes. Most children’s rhymes came from adult songs and poems that were handed down and altered over centuries, and most were expurgated for childrens ears in the Victorian age. Roberts traces many of them further back and examines various theories of their origins. Hearing the unexpurgated versions is interesting, and the book is an entertaining read, but is a bit light on sources and a bit long on speculation, with a few too many off-topic asides. Many of his explanations make sense, but a few too many of them seem to have the same set of explanations, or no clear reason why one theory would be preferred over another.

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