Victuals and Drink

There was an old woman, and what do you think?
She lived upon nothing but victuals and drink;
Victuals and drink were the chief of her diet,
And yet this old woman could never be quiet.

We’re nearing the end of the alphabet and finally we come to a good old obnoxious drunk. In this case, I kind of like that the subject is a woman. Too many women in these rhymes are meek and weak. Let’s have ourselves a ruddy-faced, sailor-mouthed, falling down, cackling old alcoholic hag for a change. Well, probably still not the best rhyme for children, but is it really any worse than the extremely popular ones that have girls who are afraid of spiders and must take the blame for their brothers and can be bought and sold? I think not!

Verdict: Can we turn this into a bar song to sing in unison next time we’re all drunk together?

It’s widely understood that Aesop’s fables had a lesson to impart to the reader. It’s less commonly known, but no less true, that the original Grimm’s fairy tales contained a lot of violence and sexual content that was inappropriate for children. But what about Mother Goose? Were the colorfully illustrated nursery rhymes in your Little Golden Book really so innocent? Were they carefully curated to be only about silliness and pat-a-cake? Let’s explore the reality together in this year’s Blogging From A to Z April Challenge.


  1. Since it started with “There was an old woman”, I immediately started reading it to the song “The old lady who swallowed a fly”.

    Drinks are much preferable over flies. 🙂



Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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