Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Marveling With Mother Goose

THE RHYME: THREE BLIND MICE

Three blind mice, three blind mice
See how they run, see how they run
They all ran after the farmer's wife
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife
Did you ever see such a sight in your life
As three blind mice?

Okay- so upon my first read I think this rhyme is pretty straight forward. Three blind mice running around this house and somehow they must mistake the smell of the farmer's wife and cheese and end up running after her. This lady, the farmer's wife is terrified of mice and grabs a knife and cuts off their tails and then we have three blind mice running around with tail stubs.

But, what does this rhyme actually mean??
According to rhymes.org this rhyme came from English history. The "farmer's wife" refers to King Henry VIII's shunned daughter Mary I. Mary I would later take over the throne from her father after his death (and then death of Henry's only son). She was given the nickname "Bloody Mary" for the death and persecution she brought to Protestants. Mary was a staunch Catholic and as we all know Henry threw that out the window and made himself head of the church.
The reference to "farmer's wife" is a guise for the three massive estates that Mary and her husband owned. The "three blind mice" were Protestant noblemen convicted of plotting against the Queen. They were burnt at the stake.

So to summarize:
Three blind mice, three blind mice - three noblemen who are blinded by their faith (perhaps?)
See how they run, see how they run- see how they plot against the Queen (perhaps?)
They all ran after the farmer's wife (they all plotted against Queen Mary for her Catholic persecution of the Protestants)
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife- Queen Mary had them burned at the stake
Did you ever see such a sight in your life- Did you ever see three men so stupidly blinded by their faith that they would openly try to destroy the Queen
As three blind mice- As these three noblemen

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