13 February 2016

History Of Three Blind Mice

Posted on 15 September 2011 by in Education, Humour, student research information

History Of Three Blind Mice

So many of the nursery rhymes that have long been sung by children, actually have an historical incidence at their base. Many of the words and lyrics of nursery rhymes were in fact messages that could be sung by children, in an apparently innocent manner.

Yet they were in fact, spoofs of the royal and political events of the day. Direct dissent would have lead to severe punishment and often death, but how could authorities punish children for singing a simple song? Particularly when the children were unaware of the true meaning.

Take a look at just one nursery rhyme.

Three blind mice, three blind mice,
See how they run, see how they run,
They all ran after the farmer’s wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a thing in your life,
As three blind mice?

Sounds such an innocent song at first, though a supposedly cruel act on the part of the farmer’s wife.

Yet has anyone ever seen an actually blind mouse, (apart from new borns), let alone three of them. They just wouldn’t survive in the real world. So what was behind this nursery rhyme?

Three Blind Mice

Three Blind Mice

The ‘farmer’s wife’ refers to the daughter of King Henry VIII, Queen Mary I. She was a staunch Catholic and believed it was her God-appointed task to violently persecute the Protestants of the day.

So severe was her conquest of protestants, that Queen Mary earned herself the name of ‘Bloody Mary’. The title ‘farmer’s wife’ was a reference to the massive estates which she and her husband, King Philip of Spain owned.

The three blind mice referred to three noblemen who refused to give up their Protestant beliefs and convert to Catholicism. They were convicted of plotting against the crown.

Perhaps the blindness referred in the rhyme, refers to their stubbornness and the blindness of their errors. However, the ‘cutting off of tails’, was not a ‘disfigurement’. In actual life, the three noblemen were burnt at the stake.

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  1. History Of Three Blind Mice - 19 September 2011

    [...] A lot of the nursery rhymes that children have long enjoyed, so infact have an historical incidence at their base. Take a look at three blind mice… [...]

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