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Let's face it: everything is a lot more horrifying than you thought when you were a kid. Pick even the most childlike, innocent thing you can think of, and the odds are that there's a deeply disturbing story behind it.

For instance, nursery rhymes. We grew up memorizing these seemingly nonsense lines of verse from Mother Goose, which seem to exist for no other reason than to keep toddlers entertained. There couldn't possibly be some kind of weird, twisted history to them, could there?

Well, guess what ...

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 thing in your life,

As three blind mice?

We Thought it Meant...

A trio of unfortunate rodents on a mission to find out where the hell they are, eventually run into an old woman who just happens to be skilled in chopping small defenseless animals to pieces. So this one's actually already kind of disturbing on its own.

But Some Experts Say...

The farmer's wife in the poem is an allusion to the 16th Century Queen "Bloody" Mary I, and her enthusiasm for everything involving torture, death, and basically finding new ways to go down in textbooks as history's biggest bitch. The three mice supposedly represent three noblemen who got together and said, "Gee guys, maybe this Mary lady isn't all there." and were consequently prosecuted for conspiring against the queen.

Not afraid to cut a motherfucker.

If you're cringing at the thought of what the cutting off of their three "tails" symbolizes, don't worry. She didn't cut off their dongs. No, she proved she had some form of human empathy, and simply burning those suckers at the stake instead.

Georgie Porgie

Georgie Porgie pudding and pie

Kissed the girls and made them cry

When the boys came out to play

Georgie Porgie ran away

We Thought it Meant...

Some playground creep who seemed to lose his balls at the sight of young men.

But Some Experts Say...

The whole thing refers to a torrid gay sex scandal involving King Charles I.

Georgie Porgie is thought to be a caricature of George Villiers, the 1st Duke of Buckingham and hardcore pretty boy. He was rumored to be a lover to Anne of Austria, the Queen Consort of France who was notorious for just about everything except for being pretty. Or really looking like a woman at all.

Possibly a dude.

So after having a fling with the, er, somewhat masculine Anne, it was a pretty smooth transition for Villiers to switch teams. Not one to do anything half way, the man Villiers chose to woo just happened to be King Charles I. Through the king, Villiers was able to become very powerful and influential, and was even knighted as a--and we're not making this up--Gentleman of the Bedchamber, a title Georgie's parents were surely proud of.

Eventually, Parliament got sick of the bastard and cut off the relationship. As a man of love, Villiers fought for his darling Charles valiantly by pretty much screaming, "Well...okay!" Thus the reference "When the boys came out to play, Georgie Porgie ran away."

As for what exact innuendo "Pudding and pie" represents, we'll let you use your imagination.

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Goosey Goosey Gander

Goosey Goosey Gander, whither shall I wander?

Upstairs and downstairs and in my Lady's chamber.

There I met an old man who wouldn't say his prayers,

So I took him by his left leg and threw him down the stairs.

We Thought it Meant...

The town hobo breaking in to various women's rooms and throwing their partners down stairs for being religiously inconsistent.

But Some Experts Say...

Back in 16th century Europe, most people were busy either fighting off plagues or killing off Catholics. Priests especially were in high demand as there was a reward for the Protestant who was able to find and execute one.

The method of execution was often tying him by the legs and throwing him down a flight of stairs (thus the last line in the rhyme). Unless he would begin to say his prayers in English rather than Latin, he would bounce down the steps faster than your childhood Slinky. If he did give in, he was spared by--oh wait, no. They threw him down the stairs regardless.

So that's all well and good, but what the hell does the phrase "Goosey Goosey Gander" have to do with anything?

Well, it's thought that "Goosey" is referencing an old slang term "goose" which was a nice but roundabout way of saying "voluptuous lady of the night" which in turn is a euphemism for "goddamn dirty hooker." In fact, the term "goose bumps" was originally slang for the red bumps caused by venereal diseases.

The more you know, kids!

Pop Goes the Weasel

All around the mulberry bush

The monkey chased the weasel;

The monkey thought 'twas all in good sport

Pop! goes the weasel.

A penny for a spool of thread,

A penny for a needle-

That's the way the money goes,

Pop! goes the weasel.

We Thought it Meant...

Spontaneous combustion in the animal kingdom, along with an assertion that all monkeys are douchebags.

But Some Experts Say...

Pop goes the Weasel is a merry tune centered on an all too familiar children's theme: the cycle of poverty in society.

A good chunk of the poem is made up of plays on words that are themselves Cockney slang terms from the old days. So for instance, "Pop" is a slang term meaning to pawn something (that is, sell it at a pawn shop) while "weasel" translates to "coat". Does that help? No?

Well, the deal was that no matter how piss poor a London man was back in the day, he was expected to own a suit in order to dress nicely on Sunday. The trick to being able to do this was to pawn your suit ("Pop goes the weasel") on Monday and then purchase it back before Sunday.

One of the lesser-known, but more traditional verses states:

Up and down the City road,

In and out the Eagle,

That's the way the money goes,

Pop! goes the weasel.

The Eagle refers to The Eagle Tavern in northern London, reminding young ones about excessive poverty due to heavy drinking and depression--a lesson that every child should know by age 5.

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Mary, Mary Quite Contrary

Mary Mary quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells and cockleshells

And pretty maids all in a row.

We Thought it Meant...

A cute old woman with an interest in horticulture. Oh, and it has the word "cockleshell." We like that.

A dick bouquet of cockleshells. Weiner.

But Some Experts Say...

Queen "Bloody" Mary was popular enough to frequent a number of nursery rhymes, which is pretty impressive all these centuries later. How many nursery rhymes do you appear in? Yeah, that's what we thought. You need to start doing something with your life.

Anyway, in this delightful tune, Mary is addressed first-hand about all of the poor saps she's sent to the graveyard (her garden). The silver bells refer to instruments of torture that crushed the thumb with the tightening of a screw, and cockleshells (heh) were torture devices that were attached to the genitals. Come on, don't act surprised. They're called cockleshells for God's sake.

The maids in the final line allude to the newly invented guillotine, which was nicknamed The Maiden.

They called it "The Maiden" because the first moniker, "Captain Choppy," never caught on [citation needed].

If your childhood isn't sufficiently ruined check out The Gruesome Origins of 5 Popular Fairy Tales or take a look back at 8 Kids Movies That Lied to Us.

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