1082. Jack and Jill my foot
© Bruce Goodman 3 July 2017
Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after
Up Jack got and home did trot
As fast as he could caper
He went to bed and bound his head
With vinegar and brown paper.
Have you ever heard such balderdash?
The only reason they went “up the hill” was because “hill” rhymes with “Jill”. Obviously, one doesn’t go UP a hill to get water. If anything, one would go DOWN. In fact, they could have gone to a well to get water. It certainly makes more sense. All they need do is change the name from “Jill” to “Nell”.
Jack and Nell went to a well.
It’s possible they went to a “water hole in the bog”, but what girl’s name rhymes with “water hole in the bog”? Brook?
Jack fell down and broke his crown. Presumably they mean “crown of the head”. Well, if he broke that he’d be dead and not capering home to wrap things up with vinegar and brown paper. In all likelihood, he broke his arm. But “arm” doesn’t rhyme with “down”. At least not in my book.
Lies! Lies! Lies! I shudder to think of the lies that have been told throughout history for the sake of a rhyme. Imagine the fibs told by Shakespeare in all those sonnet. No wonder he wrote his plays in blank verse. And the whoppers scattered throughout Milton’s Paradise Lost. Phew! We won’t even begin to go into the Iliad and the Odyssey.
I could indeed go on about Jack and Jill to illustrate further this proclivity to lie for the sake of rhyme, but I won’t. Suffice to say that “water” doesn’t rhyme with “after” like the author clearly thinks it does. This makes it a lie in an unrhyme. Is there nothing true and sacred left in this world of ours?