This month in Storytime Saturday we will be looking at the origins of Jack and Jill.
This is a very well known nursery rhyme and is probably sung by almost every parent who has children, but where did it originate.
Jack and Jill went up the hill,
to fetch a pail of water,
Jack fell down and broke his crown
and Jill came tumbling after.
A popular theory is that the rhyme is about King Louis XVI of France and his deposition and beheading in 1793 and his Queen Marie Antoinette whose head cam tumbling after. However this is unlikely as the first printing of Jack and Jill predates Louis’ deposition and beheading.
There are a few other theories as to its origin. It is thought that it is possible for Jack and Jill to originate in the 13th Century, however there is little evidence to back this up.
Another popular theory is that Jack and Jill is based on an old Norse myth. The myth talks about the Moon (Mâni), who stole two children from Earth Hjuki and Bil as they collected water from a well. The theory suggests that Hjuki through time and translation would eventually become Jack and Bil would become Jill.
Although there are a number of theories none are able to be confirmed in history and therefore the true origins seem to be lost in time.
Resources Used to write this piece: