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Who, or What, Was Mother Goose?

Mother Goose sounds old fashioned, so let’s bring her story up to date
© McGill Univ., Canada, chapbooks collection View Large

Mother Goose was sometimes illustrated as an old country woman wearing a tall hat and riding on the back of a goose. Or sometimes as just a big, motherly goose wearing reading glasses and a bonnet, a friendly figure children could trust.

This show is made possible by Jim and Birte Falconer of Seattle, Idie Ulsh, and the Horizons Foundation.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

Who, or What, Was Mother Goose?

Written by Bob Sundstrom
 
This is BirdNote.

Mother Goose sounds old fashioned, so let’s bring her story up to date. Everyone knows Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. They’re Disney stories, right? Not exactly: three centuries before they helped make Disney famous, they were among the original Mother Goose tales. And hundreds of classic nursery rhymes, like Three Blind Mice and Humpty Dumpty, were also first gathered under Mother Goose’s wing.

Such stories and rhymes were long part of Europe’s oral folklore. The stories were first published in France, in 1697, as Tales of My Mother Goose. The book appeared in English soon after.

Just who, or what, was Mother Goose? The name originates in an old French euphemism: stories told by elder women were called “tales told by Mother Goose.”

Mother Goose was sometimes illustrated as an old country woman wearing a tall hat and riding on the back of a goose. Or sometimes as just a big, motherly goose wearing reading glasses and a bonnet, a friendly figure children could trust.

There’s something timeless about big feathery friends for children, even today.

For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.

This show is made possible by Jim and Birte Falconer of Seattle, Idie Ulsh, and the Horizons Foundation.

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Music: "The English Dancing Master: Bouree"; Artist: Broadside Band and Jeremy Barlow; Album: Popular tunes in 17th Century England; Publishing: 1980 Harmonia Mundi
BirdNote’s theme composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler; Managing Producer: Jason Saul; Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
© 2019 Tune In to Nature.org   February 2019   Narrator: Michael Stein
 
ID#  mothergoose-01-2019-02-04   mothergoose-01

References:
 
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/mother-goose
http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/04/who-was-the-real-mother-...
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Mother-Goose-fictional-character
http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/04/who-was-the-real-mother-...
http://m.rhymes.org.uk/mother-goose-origins.htm

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