Nursery rhymes are short, traditional poems sung or chanted by children in the United States, Britain, and many other countries. Some nursery rhymes in use today originated as long ago as the Middle Ages, though most first appeared in print in 18th and 19th century Britain.
Why pigs? Because pigs were the cottager’s annual meat supply. Pigs didn’t require a lot of space, and fattened on mast (forest refuse including acorns) and scraps, a pig produced a lot of meat. Every country child knew pigs.
Here’s a piggy nursery rhyme most everyone knows. Dating to the late 1800s, it’s listed in the Roud Folk Song Index, a database of nearly 200,000 references to more than 25,000 English language songs and rhymes collected from oral traditions all over the world:
To market, to market, to buy a fat pig,
Home again, home again, jiggety-jig;
To market, to market, to buy a fat hog,
Home again, home again, jiggety-jog. Continue reading “Piggy Nursery Rhymes”