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Encyclopedia > Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary
William Wallace Denslow's rendition of the poem, 1901
Mistress Mary, according to Denslow

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary is an English nursery rhyme; an alternate first line is Mistress Mary, quite contrary. Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... William Wallace Denslow Copyright notice from Denslows Mother Goose of 1901 - note the use of the word, Rex even at that date William Wallace Denslow (May 5, 1856–March 29, 1915) was an illustrator and caricaturist remembered for his work in collaboration with author L. Frank Baum, especially his... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... A nursery rhyme is a traditional rubbish sony that edgar nursery invented while feeding a pig from his asssong or poem taught to young children, originally in the nursery. ...



Alternate last line:

And pretty maids all in a row

Explanations

Like many nursery rhymes, it has acquired spurious historical explanations. One is that it refers to Mary I of Scotland, with "how does your garden grow" referring to her reign, "silver bells" referring to (Catholic) cathedral bells, "cockleshells" insinuating that her husband cheated on her, and "pretty maids all in a row" referring to her babies that died. However, Mary Queen of Scots was accounted a great beauty. She was also not known for killing "rows and rows" of people, although her husband, Darnley, was mixed up in a murder, and her lover and third husband, Lord Bothwell, was thought to have arranged the murder of Darnley. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


Another is that it refers to Mary I of England and her unpopular attempts to bring Roman Catholicism back to England, identifying the "cockle shells," for example, with the symbol of pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint James in Spain (Santiago de Compostela) and the "pretty maids all in a row" with nuns. Queen Mary I of England (18 February 1516 – 17 November 1558), also known as Mary Tudor, was Queen of England and Queen of Ireland from 6 July 1553 (de facto) or 19 July 1553 (de jure) until her death. ... Location map of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia Santiago de Compostela (also Saint James of Compostela) is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia. ...


These explanations vary; it is identified with Mary I of England for roughly the same reasons as with her Scottish counterpart; her husband Phillip II of Spain was barely interested in her (hence the word "cockleshells"), the "How does your garden grow?" being a mockery of her womb (and her inability to produce heirs) or the common idea that England had became a Catholic vassal or "branch" of Spain and the Habsburgs. "Quite contrary" could be a reference to the her unsuccessful attempt to reverse church reforms made by her father Henry VIII and brother Edward VI. The "pretty maids all in a row" could be a reference to miscarriages as with the other Mary or her execution of Lady Jane Grey after coming to the throne. "Rows and rows" may refer to her infamous burnings and executions of Protestants. Philip II of Spain (1527 – September 13, 1598), King of Spain (r. ... For other meanings see Henry VIII (disambiguation). ... Edward VI (12 October 1537 – 6 July 1553) became King of England, King of France (in practice only the town and surrounding district of Calais) and Ireland on 28 January 1547, and crowned on 20 February, at just nine years of age. ... Lady Jane Grey (1537 – February 12, 1554), a great-grand-daughter of Henry VII of England, reigned as uncrowned queen regnant of the Kingdom of England for nine days in 1553. ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ...


Alternatively, capitalising on the queen's portrayal by Whig historians as 'Bloody Mary', the "silver bells and cockle shells" referred to in the nursery rhyme could be colloquialisms for instruments of torture. The 'silver bells' may refer to thumbscrews, while the 'cockleshells' are thought to have been instruments of torture which were attached to the genitals. Finally, 'maids' might be a reference to 'maidens' which were early guillotine-like devices used to sever heads. The Whigs (with the Tories) are often described as one of two political parties in England and later the United Kingdom from the late 17th to the mid 19th centuries. ... Torture is defined by the United Nations Convention Against Torture as any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he... Scottish thumbscrew Scottish thumbscrews This page is about the torture device. ... A sex organ, or primary sexual characteristic, narrowly defined, is any of those parts of the body (which are not always bodily organs according to the strict definition) which are involved in sexual reproduction and constitute the reproductive system in an complex organism; namely: Male: penis (notably the glans penis... The Maiden, an older Scottish design. ...


Still, some argue that no proof has been found that the rhyme was known before the eighteenth century, while Mary I of England and Mary I of Scotland were contemporaries in the sixteenth century. Some historians suggest that the song was invented by Protestants and Anglicans to mock the reign of either Mary at the time or long afterwards.


Quoted

Mary Mary is one of the many bizarre Fables imprisoned at the Golden Boughs Retirement Village in the comic Jack of Fables. Here she is depicted as looking like Marilyn Monroe, and disagrees with everything. Another character comments that if Mary Mary says that a scheme is sure to fail, it will inevitably succeed. Poirots Early Cases is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie late in her career. ... Agatha Mary Clarissa, Lady Mallowan, DBE (15 September 1890 – 12 January 1976), also known as Dame Agatha Christie, was an English crime fiction writer. ... Cover of a 1911 publication of The Secret Garden This article refers to the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. ... Frances Hodgson Burnett Frances Burnetts blue plaque in central London Frances Hodgson Burnett, (November 24, 1849 - October 29, 1924) was an English–American playwright and author. ... Monster Movie is the debut album by Krautrock Band Can. ... Can was an experimental rock group founded in Germany in 1968. ... Rufus 1990 album for Alligator Records, That Woman Is Poison! Rufus Thomas (March 26, 1917 – December 15, 2001) was a rhythm and blues and soul singer from Memphis, Tennessee, who recorded on Sun Records in the 1950s and on Stax Records in the 1960s and 1970s. ... The blues is a vocal and instrumental form of music based on the use of the blue notes and a repetitive pattern that typically follows a twelve-bar structure. ... The Smashing Pumpkins (circa 1995) left to right: James Iha, DArcy, Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin. ... Spearhead is a band with Michael Franti and Radio Active. ... The Eagles are an American rock music group that originally came together in Los Angeles, California in the early 1970s. ... Live Forever is a song by British rock group Oasis, written by Noel Gallagher. ... Oasis are an English rock band, formed in Manchester in 1991. ... For other uses of the term, see fable (disambiguation). ... Jack of Fables is a spin off of the comic Fables. ...


References

  • The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, Iona and Peter Opie

  Results from FactBites:
 
Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (262 words)
Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary is an English nursery rhyme.
Another is that it refers to Mary I of England and her unpopular attempts to bring Roman Catholicism back to England, identifying the "cockle shells," for example, with the symbol of pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint James in Spain (Santiago de Compostela) and the "pretty maids all in a row" with nuns.
Alternatively, capitalsing on the queen's potrayal by whig historians as 'Bloody Mary', the "silver bells and cockle shells" referred to in the nursery rhyme could be colloquialisms for instruments of torture.
Mary I of England - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3545 words)
Mary, the fourth and penultimate monarch of the Tudor dynasty, is remembered for her attempt to return England from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism.
Mary Tudor was a cousin, once removed, of Mary, Queen of Scots, with whom she is often confused by those unfamiliar with British history.
When Mary ascended the Throne, she was proclaimed under the same official style as Henry VIII and Edward VI: "Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, and of the Church of England and also of Ireland in Earth Supreme Head".
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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