Walking around the streets of London makes me appreciate all the more the staying power of the Nursery Rhyme. For example, I think many of us have heard before that 'Ring around the Rosy' refers to the plague that wiped out 15% of London's population in 1665. And who could forget that 'London Bridge is falling down' yet again, due to the many reconstructions of the bridge over the years.
I think this is why I couldn't help but recite to myself 'Do you know the muffin man?' while walking on Drury lane located near the popular neighborhood of Covent Garden. Surprisingly, I did not see a single muffin shop! I seriously think there is a business opportunity there, even if you sell 'cupcake' type muffins, and not the 'English muffins' which is what the poem is actually referring to.
Interestingly, a rhyme that has grown somewhat nearer to my heart is the rhyme 'Pop goes the Weasel'. Apparently this tune started off as a dance without any lyrics, and a few nonsense lyrics started cropping up here and there. One of these verses is 'Up and down the city road, in and out the eagle, that's the way the money goes, pop goes the weasel'. City Road just happens to be a block away from where we live, and 'the eagle' is a pub located on that street. Now, I can't say that I'd be willing to pawn my coat (apparently this is one of the common theories as to what pop goes the weasel actually means) just to have a few pints, but I wouldn't put it past some of my British friends.