19 Nursery Rhymes That Are Actually Really Disturbing

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We sang these as KIDS?

Nursery rhymes are a huge part of growing up, so it's easy to assume all the rhymes we learn as kids are innocent. However, many nursery rhymes are also based on true stories -- and their true meanings aren't exactly kid-friendly. In fact, seemingly innocuous nursery rhymes like "Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater" are actually cruel, terrifying fables about humanity's deepest and darkest urges. Who knew "Eeny Meeny Miny Moe" could actually be used as a cautionary tale?

There's a reason for this, of course. In the olden days, humans used to tell nursery rhymes as a way to spread rumors. Thus, the cute little animals and children in nursery rhymes once represented real-life figures who had been caught in horrifying scandals. That's why our favorite rhymes seem so innocent: We don't live in the Middle Ages, so we have no reason to think that a blind mouse is anything other than a blind mouse.

Of course, a lot of the people referenced in these rhymes and ditties are long gone -- so you don't need to feel bad about uncovering their deepest, darkest secrets. But we can guarantee you that when you get to the end of this list, you'll feel like your entire childhood was a lie. Get Started