NurseryRhymes.com is a free site offering lyrics and music to hundreds of popular nursery rhymes that have been passed down through the ages. Use our site to keep kids entertained, find lyrics to a nursery rhyme that you can’t remember, or bring you back to a happy time when you were a child.
A nursery rhyme is a traditional rhyme or children’s song in the English-speaking world. The term nursery rhymes are often referred as Mother Goose nursery rhymes. Most of the rhymes and poems date back to seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Thomas Carnan had introduced the term Mother Goose for nursery rhymes when he published a collection of English poems, Mother Goose’s Melody, or, Sonnets for the Cradle in 1780.
Cradle song or lullaby
The oldest recorded kids’ songs and rhymes were originally the lullabies or cradle songs which were intended to lull the little babies to sleep. The term lullaby is believed to be derived from the words, “la, la” or “lu, lu”. These were the sounds made by nannies and mothers to keep the child quiet and calm. And the term “bye bye” or “by by” is thought to be another lulling sound or is used to wish good night. Earlier the lullabies were recorded incidentally in the written form. Several medieval English verses which were related to the birth of Jesus took a form of cradle songs.
A French rhyme was recorded in the 13th century, which was very similar to “Thirty days hath September”. Short rhyming songs for children from the later Middle Ages were recorded as apostils. Later, in the mid 16th century, the rhymes were recorded in English plays. Th oldest surviving English poem is “Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man”. Most of the nursery rhymes were not recorded in a written form until the 18th century.
Meaning and origin
It has been argued that most of the nursery rhymes have hidden meanings and origins. Katherine Elwes has associated the rhymes with real people or historical events in her book, ‘The Real Personages of Mother Goose’ which was published in 1930.
Role of rhymes in child’s development
Research has conclusively shown that rhyme enhances the spatial reasoning ability of a child, which aid mathematics skills. It also plays a vital role in developing kid’s language and literacy skills.