The Rhyme: Old Mother Hubbard
Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard
To get her poor dog a bone
But when she got there
The cupboard was bare
And so her poor little dog had none.
In my initial glance at this nursery rhyme, I would say this one is pretty straight forward. This old lady is obviously poor and can't even give her starving dog a bone.
Not so! Here's what the research has provided:
Some speculate that Old Mother Hubbard could be a portrayal of Cardinal Wolsey, King Henry the 8ths advisor- for some time. If you've ever watched The Tudors on Showtime (love!) he's played by the guy from Jurassic Park. He was a VERY important man for his time, but failed to follow through with the King's divorce from his then Queen Katherine of Spain. As the story goes, he wanted a divorce so he could marry Anne Boleyn.
In this rhyme, the "dog" is King Henry and the "bone" refers to the divorce. The cupboard of Old Mother Hubbard is a symbol for the Catholic ChurchTherefore, Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard: The Cardinal went to the Church
To fetch her dog a bone: To try and get King Henry a divorce.
But when she got there, the cupboard was bare: But when the Cardinal presented his case, he was shut down
And so her poor dog had none: And the King wasn't granted a divorce.