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Old 03-03-2010   #21
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Re: Creepy Nursery Rhyme/Tale of the Day

Thanks for mentioning Suck-a-Thumb! It was mentioned with Struwwelpeter in light of the game The Clock Tower in an RPG forum.

The wiki page:

Struwwelpeter Struwwelpeter

Public domain text:

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/12116

Animation:


Wiki about the Clock Tower games:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clock_Tower_(series)

About the first game:

Clock_Tower:_The_First_Fear Clock_Tower:_The_First_Fear

Death scenes from the game (spoiler warning):

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Old 03-03-2010   #22
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Re: Creepy Nursery Rhyme/Tale of the Day

There are many versions of The Hearse Song / The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out. Here are two of my favourites:
Quote
The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out
The Worms Crawl In,
The Worms Crawl Out,
Into your stomach,
And out your mouth.
They eat your intestines,
They scramble your heart.
Now you feel like
You’re all apart.
This is how
It is to die
You end up looking
Like apple pie!
And another one, slightly more elaborate, less nursery-rhymeish:

Quote
Don't ever laugh as the hearse goes by
For you may be the next to die.
They put you in a big black box
then cover you up with dirt and rocks.

All goes well for about a week
and then your coffin begins to leak.
The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out
The worms play Pinochle on your snout.

They eat your eyes, they eat your nose
They eat the jelly between your toes.
A big green worm with rolling eyes
crawls in your stomach and out your eyes.

Your stomach turns a slimy green
and puss pours out like whipping creme.
Spread it on a slice of bread,
that's what you eat when you are dead.
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Old 03-03-2010   #23
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Re: Creepy Nursery Rhyme/Tale of the Day

Quote Originally Posted by MadsPLP View Post
There are many versions of The Hearse Song / The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out.
I know it from The Pogues:

The worms crawl in and the worms crawl out
The ones that go in are lean and thin
The ones that fall out are fat and stout
Your eyes fall in and your teeth fall out
Your brains come tumbling down your snout
Be merry my friends
Be merry

Last edited by tartarusrussell; 03-08-2010 at 01:54 PM..
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Old 03-04-2010   #24
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Re: Creepy Nursery Rhyme/Tale of the Day

Quote Originally Posted by tartarusrussell View Post
Quote Originally Posted by MadsPLP View Post
There are many versions of The Hearse Song / The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out.
I know it from The Pogues:
Yes of course!

Those worms had been crawling around in my head since this thread was started, but I couldn't really remember from where they entered my head. Mildly embarrassing, given how much I have listened to that Pogues album (I have never really been able to decide which of the first three I like best, and I even like the two that came after If I Should Fall From Grace With God).
I knew I knew them worms from somewhere.

Edit: when re-reading this thread, I kinda had the impression that the above "Yes of course!" sounded sarcastic. I should like to add that it wasn't, and that I was only happy to finally remember where the worms came from.

Last edited by MadsPLP; 03-10-2010 at 06:05 PM..
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Old 03-05-2010   #25
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Re: Creepy Nursery Rhyme/Tale of the Day

This is great fun!

The following seemingly harmless nursery rhyme always disturbed me (and--as an adult --I can see why):

Hickety, pickety, my black hen,
She lays eggs for gentlemen;
Gentlemen come every day
To see what my black hen doth lay,
Sometimes nine and sometimes ten,
Hickety, pickety, my black hen.

"...the uncanny is to me the defining trait of this strange and terrible world and our strange and terrible minds." --Thomas Ligotti
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Old 03-05-2010   #26
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Re: Creepy Nursery Rhyme/Tale of the Day

This one's nice and simply Ligottian:
There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse.
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

There's a disturbed quality about otherwise innocent-seeming nursery rhymes like this one. Here, the simple repetition of "crooked" slowly warps all of these simple figures (the man, the cat, the mouse and the house) into horrible parodies of themselves.

The redundancy of the rhyme borders on becoming insipid until the rather brilliant last line. Thanks to that final image, the rhyme becomes a fantastic, self-contained, tightly packed nightmare.

"...the uncanny is to me the defining trait of this strange and terrible world and our strange and terrible minds." --Thomas Ligotti
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Old 03-08-2010   #27
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Angry Re: Creepy Nursery Rhyme/Tale of the Day



Even as a child, I knew the following nursery rhyme was repellant:
"This Old Man"

This old man, he played one,
He played knick-knack on my tongue
With a knick-knack, paddy whack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played two,
He played knick-knack on my shoe.
With a knick-knack, paddy whack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played three,
He played knick-knack on my knee.
With a knick-knack, paddy whack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played four,
He played knick-knack on my door
With a knick-knack, paddy whack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played five,
He played knick-knack on my thigh
With a knick-knack, paddy whack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played six,
He played knick-knack with some sticks.
With a knick-knack, paddy whack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played seven,
He played knick-knack up in heaven.
With a knick-knack, paddy whack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played eight,
He played knick-knack on my pate
With a knick-knack, paddy whack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played nine,
He played knick-knack on my spine.
With a knick-knack, paddy whack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played ten,
He played knick-knack on my shin.
With a knick-knack, paddy whack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.
Note that this is the version of the nursery rhyme/song of which I'm familiar. I know there are more benign, extant versions of it, but this is more or less the one I always heard repeated when I was a child.

NO--I do NOT want that old man playing knick-knack with my knee, shin, thigh, spine, and/or most certainly not with my tongue!

Are children really supposed to be lulled into a false sense of security by the silly image of that whacky old trickster "rolling home" at the end of each stanza?

It's really an extraordinary piece, and I can't imagine that I'm the only person with a warped enough mind to read the truly disturbing subtext throughout this old chestnut of a nursery rhyme. My strong feelings of repulsion towards it (and the old man's hidden agenda) were evoked immediately upon hearing it as a child; not simply in retrospect.

Presently, I can't help but to be put in mind of two Ligotti pieces: one poetry ("He Made Them Laugh Sometimes") and one prose ("The Frolic"). One may argue that the implied threat in "This Old Man" is of a more purely visceral (and very likely sexual) nature than the ones in the Ligotti pieces, but lines like "He played knick-knack up in heaven" do suggest that the old man has a more mysterious, spectral quality.

At any rate, I won't be reading this one to my kid.


"...the uncanny is to me the defining trait of this strange and terrible world and our strange and terrible minds." --Thomas Ligotti
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Old 03-08-2010   #28
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Re: Creepy Nursery Rhyme/Tale of the Day

Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Locrian View Post
It's really an extraordinary piece, and I can't imagine that I'm the only person with a warped enough mind to read the truly disturbing subtext throughout this old chestnut of a nursery rhyme. My strong feelings of repulsion towards it (and the old man's hidden agenda) were evoked immediately upon hearing it as a child; not simply in retrospect.
By the end of this song, Jonathan Davis is seized with pure knick-knack-paddy-whack madness:

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Old 03-08-2010   #29
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Re: Creepy Nursery Rhyme/Tale of the Day

I've heard multiple versions of this rhyme as well. 'Hive' and 'gate' for five & eight, for instance. Linguistic drift can make for interesting versions of many familiar songs. The version you present, Jon, is, well, extremely rife with physicality. I'm not sure what the titular Old Man is up to, but I find his behavior extremely disturbing and highly suspect. Looking at this rhyme as you present it, it is easy to view the Old Man and his bizarre actions in a very insane sort of light. Knick-knack on my spine? No way, not happening. That sounds *terrible*.-Jimmy

"The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane."

-Nikola Tesla, July of 1934
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Old 03-08-2010   #30
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Re: Creepy Nursery Rhyme/Tale of the Day

“The Story of Augustus, Who Would Not Have Any Soup,” from the German of Heinrich Hoffmann (printed in The Home Book of Verse for Young Folks, selected by Burton Egbert Stevenson [New York, 1915], pp. 62-63)

Augustus was a chubby lad;
Fat, ruddy cheeks Augustus had;
And everybody saw with joy
The plump and hearty, healthy boy.
He ate and drank as he was told,
And never let his soup get cold.

But one day, one cold winter’s day,
He screamed out—“Take the soup away!
O take the nasty soup away!
I won’t have any soup to-day!”

Next day begins his tale of woes;
Quite lank and lean Augustus grows.
Yet, though he feels so weak and ill,
The naughty fellow cries out still—
“Not any soup for me, I say:
O take the nasty soup away!
I won’t have any soup to-day.”

The third day comes; O what a sin!
To make himself so pale and thin.
Yet, when the soup is put on table,
He screams, as loud as he is able,—
“Not any soup for me, I say:
O take the nasty soup away!
I won’t have any soup to-day.”

Look at him, now the fourth day’s come!
He scarcely weighs a sugar-plum;
He’s like a little bit of thread,
And on the fifth day, he was—dead!
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