Monday, September 24, 2007

Hey diddle diddle....

Copyright Bill Reed 2007

Hey diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon,
The little dog laughed to see such a sight,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

The origin of the poem is unknown however I found two theories regarding it.

One theory is that it is a parody about Queen Elizabeth I, 1533 - 1603 ( the only surviving child of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn). The cat is supposed to be Queen Elizabeth and the dog Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester. She refered to him as her lap dog. The dish being a server at the royal court and the spoon a taste-tester. Seems they ran away together and when they were caught were confined in the Tower of London. Don't mess with the Queen Mum.
Another theory is, during the early times in England when no one could read or write, the poem refered to constellations only visible in the April night sky.

Hey diddle diddle, the cat (Leo) and the fiddle, (Lyre) the cow (Taurus) jumped over the moon (the moon); The little dog (Canis Minor) laughed to see such a sight, and the dish (Crater- a dish shaped constellation) ran away with the spoon (Ursa Major, the Big Dipper).

April is the only month when these constellations can be seen in the night sky, thus signaling planting time to the farmers.

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