Popular Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes Starting with 'O'

Old King Cole

This poem dates thousands of years ago to the 3rd century. However, the fact of the matter is that the real history of this nursery rhyme cannot be traced well. This is because historians find it hard to distinguish between the Cole being implied. It is believed that there were 3 kings in Britain who had the name Cole.  According to history of kings in Britain, the author (Geoffrey of Monmouth) indicated that king Cole was the king of all the Britons.


Old Mother Hubbard

This nursery rhyme has a lot of history behind it. The rhyme is used to allude to the then Cardinal Thomas Wolsey who was one of the most important church leader in 16th century. Thomas Wolsey was a very strict clergyman who took his work very seriously. It is because of this seriously to his job that he angered the then King of England by the name of King Henry VIII.  During this period of time, the king wanted to divorce his long time wife, Queen Katherine. The poem was created during this time as the king was very much in love with Anne Boleyn who he was deeply in love. Cardinal Wolsey did not believe in divorce or lust so he failed to accept the request by the king. In this poem, King Henry was referred to as the doggie. On the other hand, the bone referred to divorce. Thomas Cranmer later facilitated the divorce which led to the breakage from Rome. This started the English Protestant Church.


One Two Buckle My Shoe

This poem had numbers in mind. In fact, it was all about lace making which depicted various class roles in the United Kingdom during the 16th, 17th and 18th century. The words one two buckle my shoe was used to refer to the lace maker or any person who was busy preparing to go to work early in the morning. On the other hand, 3, 4 closed the door while the lace maker shut the door to the shop so that they could begin the chores for the day. 5, 6 pickup sticks: These sticks were wooden pins that were used for the lace making process. 7, 8 used to lay them straight as the pins were placed on the machine. The numbers went on and on up to 20 where dinner was served. Most importantly, 11 &12 referred to as the gardeners while 13 and 14 referred to the maids who were waiting in the house.


One Two Three Four Five

This is a very common educational poem. Its intention was to educate young children on the best way to count. The poem, 1, 2,3,4,5 was developed for the education sector and was published in 1888. It was noted that the children who used the poem had a better grasp into numbers. They basically understood well how to count and deal with numbers. While it is used, the poem has been changed to ‘once I caught a fish alive’ which is today commonly used.


Oranges and Lemons

While the origin of Oranges and Lemons is not documented, it should be noted that in 1665 a dance called Oranges and Lemons was very common. This dance was very common in many parts of London. What has never been known is on the real words to the song of the dance. Many believe that the words in the poem were used in the square dance. Many generations have fallen in love with the words ‘oranges and lemons’. Even in the 21st century, they are still used commonly. Going deep into the poem shows that there is a correlation between the words of the poem and those of churches of London.


On Top of Old Smoky

On Top of Old Smoky originated in America in 1951.

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