Monday, July 29, 2013

What astronauts found on the Moon and never related

"Hey Diddle Diddle" ["Hi Diddle Diddle", "The Cat and the Fiddle", or "The Cow Jumped Over the Moon"]

Hey diddle diddle,
The Cat and the fiddle,
The Cow jumped over the moon.
The little Dog laughed,
To see such sport,
And the Dish ran away with the Spoon.


There are numerous theories about the origin of the rhyme, these include: James Orchard Halliwell's suggestion that it was a corruption of ancient Greek, probably advanced as a result of a deliberate hoax; that it was connected with Hathor worship; that it refers to various constellations (Taurus, Canis minor, the Big Dipper etc.); that it describes the Flight from Egypt; that it depicts Elizabeth, Lady Katherine Grey, and her relationships with the earls of Hertford and Leicester; that it deals with anti-clerical feeling over injunctions by Catholic priests for harder work; that it describes Katherine of Aragon (Katherine la Fidèle); Catherine, the wife of Peter the Great; Canton de Fidèle, a supposed governor of Calais and the game of cat (trap-ball). This profusion of unsupported explanations was satirised by J.R.R. Tolkien in his fictional explanations of 'The Man in the Moon Stayed Up Too Late'. Most scholarly commentators consider these unproven and that the verse is probably meant to be simply nonsense. The melody commonly associated with the rhyme was first recorded by the composer and nursery rhyme collector James William Elliott in his National Nursery Rhymes and Nursery Songs (1870).

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