A Rhyme You May Not Know

The man in the wilderness asked of me

“How many strawberries grow in the sea?”.

I answered him as I thought good,

“As many red herrings as grow in the wood.”


Wolfe H. (Ed) 1931 The Less Familiar Nursery Rhymes


0 thoughts on “A Rhyme You May Not Know

  1. There a quite a number of rhymes, some no longer p.c., that make interesting reading. Others are familiar, but have additional verses that may not be known.

  2. An interesting and curious rhyme. In fact along the East Coast here, sea-anemones used to be traditionally called Sea-Strawberries, just as Smoked, gutted herring are known as Red-Herrings; both, of course, were here in vast numbers in the eighteenth century.

  3. Must admit I havent heard that one either I hope Rhymes never go out of fashion my grandkids love hearing them it would be good if the schools would teach them might help the children with learning poetry too 😉

  4. It is fascinating what curiosities can be found in literature. Some of the other rhymes in the book are equally as interesting in a variety of ways.

  5. It’s a thought Lilian1. I don’t remember being taught rhymes in class; I was taught rhymes at school, you picked them up in the playground as part of child’s play. It is the long-standing traditional way.

  6. Nice little rhyme, I would imagine it would have a historical meaning, along the lines of Munzly’s comments. Of course we have one that began in the Peak not too far from here in Eyam “Ring a ring a roses, pocket full of posies, atishoo, atishoo they all fall down” alluding to the great plague, the origins which are attributed to this pretty little village.

  7. Yes, Mick, the origins of ring-a-ring-roses are oft told. You are right about double or even treble meanings. some meanings are over-laid in time and they become entwined.

    The rhyme could be making some reference to sea anemones, however, the red herrings probably relate to something else. Herrings were ubiquitous.

Thanks for visiting me. Please share your thoughts and ideas. Comment here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.