Pop Goes the Weasel: The Secret Meanings of Nursery Rhymes

Front Cover
Allen Lane, 2008 - Nursery rhymes - 292 pages
13 Reviews
In Pop Goes the Weasel, Albert Jack explores the strange and fascinating histories behind the nursery rhymes we thought we knew, showing that their real meanings are far from innocent. Who were Mary Quite Contrary and Georgie Porgie? How could Hey Diddle Diddle offer an essential astronomy lesson? And if Ring a Ring a Roses isn't about catching the plague, then what is it really about? This ingenious book delves into the hidden meanings of the nursery rhymes and songs we all know so well and discovers all kinds of strange tales ranging from Viking raids to firewalking and from political rebellion to slaves being smuggled to freedom. From the grim true story behind 'Oranges and Lemons' to the deadly secrets of Mary Quite Contrary's garden, and from how Lucy Locket lost more than her pocket to why Humpty Dumpty wasn't egg-shaped at all, Pop Goes the Weasel is a compendium of surprising stories you won't be able to resist passing on to everyone you know. 'An irresistible treasure-trove'
Daily Mirror 'Most of us can still recite the words to nursery rhymes we learned as children, but how many know the real meanings behind our most familiar verses? Albert Jack reveals hidden histories of cannons, courtesans and vengeful queens'
Guardian 'The history behind nursery rhymes is not only highly specific but often splendidly grim'
The Times Albert Jack has become something of a publishing phenomenon, clocking up hundreds of thousands of sales with his series of bestselling adventures tracing the fantastic stories behind everyday phrases (Red Herrings and White Elephants), the world's great mysteries (Loch Ness Monsters and Raining Frogs) and nursery rhymes (Pop Goes the Weasel).

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Pop Goes the Weasel: The Secret Meanings Of Nursery Rhymes

User Review  - NurseryRhymes01 - Goodreads

ABC Song | ABC Songs for Children | Nursery Rhymes | BEST Nursery Rhymes Collection from Kidscamp http://goo.gl/mElCn9 Read full review

Review: Pop Goes the Weasel: The Secret Meanings Of Nursery Rhymes

User Review  - Jenn - Goodreads

Very interesting, but written by a Brit, so some of the lyrics & rhymes are different from what we say in the US. It would be interesting for him to look at how things change when they cross the pond (he does this with a few things, like Yankee Doodle, but not enough.) Read full review


Was Going to St Ives
Bobby Shafto
Flour of England

28 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

When not engaged in research, Albert Jack lives somewhere between Guildford and Cape Town, where he divides his time between fast living and slow horses, neat vodka and untidy pubs.

Bibliographic information