Do the Hump, do the Humpty Hump!
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July 17th, 2005

Do the Hump, do the Humpty Hump!

Picking on Nursery Rhymes may seem like an easy target, but really, why do we teach young kids these stories that make no sense. What are we trying to teach them?

11 Awesomes Comments!

  1. BlueNight

    It illustrates the inadequacy of the military-industrial complex for addressing health care needs. Duh!

  2. admin

    Great point!

  3. Kester Taylor

    It’s actually not a nursery rhyme at all; it’s a riddle. We teach it to children to get them to think about it; normally you just see: Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall // Humpty Dumpty had a great fall // All the king’s horses and all the king’s men // Couldn’t put Humpty together again. And that’s it. You’re supposed to figure out what he is. Picture books put him all dressed up in his suit because it looks cute and stuff, but really they’re just ruining a classic riddle.

  4. admin

    A riddle eh? Thanks for letting us know Kester!

    So I guess an artizan could put together a vase, and that a person could be put together by doctors. It sits on a wall, so that line is trying to prevent the answer from being abstracted like “a kingdom” or “democracy”, unless that kingdom’s main defense was a great wall of some sort. But what about any other fragile solid holding a liquid? Like a bottle of milk? Or a cask of wine? Or urn of monkey saliva?

  5. aeonsama

    It’s the kingdom’s defense.

    It sits on a wall and the king’s warriors on horse back would not be able o put it back if the walls were breeched.

  6. aeonsama

    Muhahah It’s also to do with England colonies. Puzzle that one out!

  7. Kester Taylor

    The only defense (and it’s a weak one) for the riddle’s singularity is that eggs (having the potential to contain living creatures) lend themselves more readily to personification than do other things that would fit the riddle. Also they were (and are) commonplace, and it’s generally regarded as a good idea to only tell riddles to people that they could rightly guess the answer to.

  8. A-Sphinx-I-Ate

    Humptey Dumpty sat on a wall (remained neutral)

    Humptey Dumpty had a great fall which all of the kings horses (calvary) or all the kings men (at arms) could help him recover from.

    So either a landed noble or, more likely, a land itself which was divided among the warring parties of which Humptey Dumpty would chooose neither side.

  9. Learned Knave

    I’d also heard somewhere or another that it had to do with glue being made from horses at one point. Rather, that’s why the horses were there. Not sure how true that is, or if it fits with the (far cooler) idea of it being a riddle…

  10. emptyhaven

    What I know is that it’s actually about a cannon mounted on the wall of this castle on a hill (not named Humpty Dumpty; that’s just for the nursery rhyme). The cannon was strategically located that it could shoot enemies trying to climb the hill towards the castle. In one particular decisive battle, the cannon fell and shattered. King’s men here means his servants, and horses refer to the knights or cavaliers. Not once is it mentioned that an egg fell. That’s just what I’ve been told. I could be wrong though.

  11. Anonymous

    That’s all quite strange. I was pretty sure I remembered Humpty Dumpty being a protest song about a popular noble that had been wrongfully executed. The parents taught it to their children and had them sing it around the castle as children are much less likely to be beheaded for making anti-establishment commentary.