The Instigator
Pro (for)
4 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Nursery Rhymes have Sick Meanings

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/20/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 917 times Debate No: 55096
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)




This debate will be called, "Nursery Rhymes have Inner Meanings."

If need be I will define words for Con in the first round.

1 round for acceptance
2 round for case
3 round for rebuttals
4 round for voting issues



I accept =)
Debate Round No. 1


I will be looking at 5 different nursery rhymes and I'll show you that inside of them are terrible meanings.

Exhibit 1: Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,
All the King's Horses and all the King's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

Most people look at this rhyme and remember the egg in a story book they’ve read but in looking at the real context of this rhyme we realize that Humpty Dumpty dates back to the Civil War. Humpty Dumpty is a rhyme showing how a cannon named Humpty fell during the war and because there was no time it wasn’t put back together.

Exhibit 2: Ring Around The Rosie
Ring around the rosy
A pocketful of posies
"Ashes, Ashes"
We all fall down!

This rhyme dates back to the Great Plague. The symptoms included a rosy rash, which inspired the first line. It was believed that the disease was carried by bad smells, so people frequently carried pockets full of fresh petals. The "ashes, ashes" line is believed to refer to the cremation of the bodies.

Exhibit 3: Baa Baa Black Sheep
Baa baa black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full.
One for the Master,
One for the Dame,
And none for the little boy,
who cries down the lane.

The song is not about sheep, or little boys. King Edward I knew that he could make some decent cash by taxing the sheep farmers. Because of the new taxes, one third of the price of a sack of wool went to the king, one third to the church and the last third to the farmer. Nothing was left for the shepherd boy, crying down the lane.

Exhibit 4: Mary, Mary, quite contrary
Mary, Mary quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row

This rhyme is a reference to Queen Mary the 1. The garden refers to growing cemeteries, as she filled them with the Protestants she killed. Silver bells and cockle shells were instruments of torture and the maiden was a device used to behead people.

Exhibit 5: For want of a nail
For want of a nail the shoe was lost
For want of a shoe the horse was lost
For want of a horse the rider was lost
For want of a rider the battle was lost
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail

This rhyme shows that if you don’t have basic necessities in life it will lead to terrible consequences.

Through the past 5 rhymes I have shown that innocent sounding rhymes actually have sick and terrible meanings.

Vote Pro.



While it is true that Nursery Rhymes have sick meanings, it doesn't imply that they have the same meaning as they did at the time of their inspiration.

The past shouldn't define a song as long as it is interpreted to have an innocent meaning. Kids can still sing these songs with the freedom to enjoy and laugh together.
Debate Round No. 2


“it is true that Nursery Rhymes have sick meanings” This debate has been on the fact that nursery rhymes have sick meanings. Because con has conceded the fact that nursery rhymes do indeed have sick meanings I deserve the win of this debate.

“it doesn't imply that they have the same meaning as they did at the time of their inspiration.” No, it doesn’t, but they still have the meanings.



Truth_seeker forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Vote pro!


Truth_seeker forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: As Pro pointed out in the 3rd round, Con conceded that Nursery Rhymes ave sick meanings. Conduct to Pro for Con's forfeit.