I Just Found Out ‘Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater’ Is Really About Murder!
I know that I shouldn't be so surprised that a nursery rhyme is about murder; many of those old timey nursery rhymes have a dark history behind them. But, because it is the Halloween season and pumpkins are everywhere I thought now would be a good time to research this nursery rhyme.
It all started this morning when Buzz and I were discussing the Wisconsin man who grew a 2,520 pound pumpkin. The man was certain his pumpkin was going to win biggest in the country and a nice sum of more than $20,000. However, a crack the size of a fingernail disqualified him from winning. A crack the size of A. FINGER.NAIL. Can you believe that?! Anyway, here's that man who isn't even salty about it.
My hats off to him for not being angry about it, because I would have cried! But look at the size of that pumpkin! I mentioned someone could live in it! Then Buzz brought up the classic nursery rhyme "Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater"- you know how it goes:
Peter, Peter pumpkin eater,
Had a wife but couldn't keep her;
He put her in a pumpkin shell
And there he kept her well.
Catchy right? To be honest, it already sounds a bit morbid. "He put her in a pumpkin shell and there he kept her well"? What the heck, right?
According to NurseryRhymesMG.com, this particular nursery rhyme was published in the late 18th century. The history behind it has some dispute. Some believe it's all about a chastity belt. It's believe that the wife of Peter was unfaithful, and so he put her in a "pumpkin shell" or a chastity belt. That's just one theory.
However, most people believe that it's actually about murder. Apparently in this iteration, Peter's wife is a prostitute, and because Peter can't handle it, he kills her and puts her body inside a pumpkin. Murder, simple as that.
Happy Halloween, be sure to check pumpkins for body parts!