There was an Old Woman
There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
She had so many children she didn’t know what to do!
So she gave them some broth without any bread,
And she whipped them all soundly and sent them to bed!
There are two choices of origin!
The first relates to Queen Caroline (There was an old woman) wife of King George II who had eight children. The second version refers to King George who began the men’s fashion for wearing white powdered wigs. He was consequently referred to as the old woman! The children were the members of parliament and the bed was the Houses of Parliament - even today the term ’whip’ is used in the English Parliament to describe a member of Parliament who is tasked to ensure that all members ’toe the party line’. As a point of historical interest the wigs worn by women of the period were so large and unhygienic that it became necessary to include mousetraps in their construction!
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