"A Nursery Rhyme,
the first step to
your children's education"
There was an old woman: lyrics
Origins of the nursery rhyme
At first glance this would appear to be a purely nonsense rhyme but in fact it has origins in history! There are two choices of origin ! The first relates to Queen Caroline (the old woman) wife of George II who had eight children. The shoe refers to the British Isles. The second version refers to King George who began the fashion of wearing white powdered wigs and was consequently referred to as the old woman! The children were the members of parliament and the bed was the Houses of Parliament which he required them to have sessions in - even today the term 'whip' is used in the English Parliament to describe a member of Parliament who is tasked to ensure that all members 'toe the party line'.
There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
She had so many children she didn't know what to do!
So she gave them some broth without any bread,
And she whipped them all soundly and sent them to bed!
There was an old woman rhyme: origins and history