What did the old nursery rhyme's sound like?
January 23, 2016 9:29 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know of youtube videos or audio collections that share early nursery rhymes, some forgotten and out of use, what they sounded like, melody or tone of the rhyme?

I've discovered this delight that I may read these rhymes and verse from the 18th and 19th centuries online but I find it very frustrating that I can tell many are meant to be sung and I wonder what is left of knowledge of what the songs or melodies or little rhyming structures sounded like. I know plenty of "mother goose" rhymes are still in use and I can find the popular ones on line easily but I know there were many more collections than mother goose I'm thinking specifically original collections like Tommy Thumb, the universal songster, sonnets for the cradle and the like.

I know there are some really really cool collections of anglo saxon and old English poetry and verse online which I love listening to, I am just wondering if there are any audio collections that share what some of these English rhymes and verses of the 18th and 19th centuries sounded like. Either there isn't much of this sort of thing or I'm dreadful at searching for it. Thank you so much if you know anything about this! I'm also open to CD's or audio files to be bought if there is such a thing as the old versions of these older poems/songs collected with melodies in tact or reconstructed.
posted by xarnop to Media & Arts (2 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This collection at the British Library of Iona and Peter Opie's sound recordings might have some of the rhymes you'd like to hear chanted or sung.

Here, a 1957 BFI clip of English jump rope and bouncing games gives a good idea of the melody and cadence of several songs as they were performed in the middle of the last century.
posted by Francolin at 10:29 AM on January 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Francolin thank you that is a wonderful find!! I got lost down the wormhole of BFI videos how cool! I also found this lady who sings historic kid songs from different areas of England, so cool!! Searching Iona Opie has pulled up some people covering the songs so I can hear some of the older rhyming songs. Thanks!!!!
posted by xarnop at 4:47 PM on January 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

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