Friday, June 5, 2015

Hey Diddle Diddle, the Cat and the Fiddle

When I was a little girl, on the wall of my bedroom were what I assume to be wooden cut outs of the Cat and The Fiddle, the Cow, the Moon, the laughing dog and the hand holding Dish and the Spoon. 

Little did I realize I was being subversive. 

Hey diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon:
The little dog laughed to see such fun,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

It seems this nonsense nursery rhyme may have been anything but.

In April of 1483 Edward IV of England died.  His brother Richard became regent on behalf of his  nephew, Edward V, aged 13.  But, Richard had other plans.  Edward V and his younger brother disappeared into the Tower of London, were declared illegitimate, and therefore ineligible to rule, by Parliament and were never seen again.  Kindly Uncle Richard became King Richard III on July 6, 1483. 

To say that his citizens were suspicious may be an understatement.  But to declare themselves openly suspicious was to shorten one's lifespan.  Therefore, the creation of the nonsense verse.  One of Richard III's supporters and a great help in the securing of the throne, was Sir William Catesby, known to the public as the Catte.  The Catte was supposed to have thought up the fiddle that made Richard king, the murder of Edward  VI's two sons.  Thereby, Richard could run away with the crown and the country.

Subversive finger pointing at the King ,who was just  recently found buried under a parking lot.  Who would have thought.

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