"Humpty Dumpty" is a character in an English nursery rhyme, probably originally a riddle and one of the best known in the English-speaking world. He is typically portrayed as an anthropomorphic egg, though he is not explicitly described so. The first recorded versions of the rhyme date from late eighteenth-century England and the tune from 1870 in James William Elliott's National Nursery Rhymes and Nursery Songs. Its origins are obscure and several theories have been advanced to suggest original meanings.
Jack and Jill
"Jack and Jill" (sometimes "Jack and Gill", particularly in earlier versions) is a traditional English nursery rhyme. The Roud Folk Song Index classifies this tune and its variations as number 10266. The rhyme dates back at least to the 18th century and exists with different numbers of verses each with a number of variations. Several theories have been advanced to explain its origins and to suggest meanings for the lyrics.
London Bridge Is Falling Down
"London Bridge Is Falling Down" (also known as "My Fair Lady" or "London Bridge") is a traditional English nursery rhyme and singing game, which is found in different versions all over the world. It deals with the depredations of London Bridge and attempts, realistic or fanciful, to repair it. It may date back to bridge rhymes and games of the late Middle Ages, but the earliest records of the rhyme in English are from the seventeenth century. The lyrics were first printed in close to their modern form in the mid-eighteenth century and became popular, particularly in Britain and the United States in the nineteenth century.
Mary Had a Little Lamb
"Mary Had a Little Lamb" is an English language nursery rhyme of nineteenth-century American origin. The nursery rhyme was first published by the Boston publishing firm Marsh, Capen & Lyon, as an original poem by Sarah Josepha Hale on May 24, 1830, and was inspired by an actual incident. The rhyme is also famous for being the first thing recorded by Thomas Edison on his newly invented phonograph in 1877. It was the first instance of recorded verse. In 1927, Edison reenacted the recording, which still survives. The earliest recording (1878) was retrieved by 3-D imaging equipment in 2012.
Baa, Baa, Black Sheep
"Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" is an English nursery rhyme, the earliest surviving version of which dates from 1731. The words have changed little in two and a half centuries. It is sung to a variant of the 1761 French melody Ah! vous dirai-je, maman. Uncorroborated theories have been advanced to explain the meaning of the rhyme. These include that it is a complaint against Medieval English taxes on wool and that it is about the slave trade.
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Nursery rhyme", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.