Ya see, many of the songs that we sang with our kids had some rather disturbing origins. This is only one of many!
“Sing A Song Of Sixpence” Was A Pirate Recruiting Song
Photo credit: Jean Leon Gerome Ferris
Originally, “Sing A Song of Sixpence” wasn’t sung by kids—it was sung by pirates. And it wasn’t just a song. It was a coded message.
When a crew would dock into a harbor, they’d often need to hire more people. Pirates, though, can’t exactly put up a billboard advertising that they’re looking for people to rob and plunder. So, they started singing a song of sixpence whenever they wanted to let people know they were hiring.
The “sixpence” was advertising the daily pay on the ship, and “a pocket full of rye” was a promise to provide each pirate with a leather bag full of rye whiskey. The “blackbirds” were pirates, and a pie was a trap. With us, the song promised, you’ll lure rich ships into thinking you’re their friend—and then spring out and raid their riches.
If you want to know of some other songs with strange origins, you can find them right here!
Coffee out on the patio this morning. Low 70s right now...