11 Beloved Nursery Rhymes That Kids Should Never Hear

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On a rainy Saturday afternoon, my son and I were running around town and I could tell he was becoming more annoyed by the minute. I decided to liven things up with a sing-along. Since it was raining, I started with, what else: "It's raining, it's pouring. The old man is snoring. He went to bed with a lump on his head and didn't --" But I abruptly stopped in the middle of that verse. Wait. What? I never really thought about it before, but this dude "didn't get up in the morning." Does that mean he died?


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I quickly changed the lyric to something lame like, "He didn't want to go to work in the morning." To which my son piped, "That's not right." But I didn't want to sing about death and dying to a 4-year-old. It's just too weird. But when I really started to think about it, so many of our favorite childhood songs are totally terrifying. From death, violence, to some very strange stories about gender relations, take a look at the 11 creepiest nursery rhymes we sing to our kids. Who came up with this stuff and why do we keep signing it?

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What other nursery rhymes should be on this list? And more importantly, how should we talk to our kids about the rhymes that already exist? Let us know!

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