Saturday, April 20, 2013

Who is Mother Goose?

Walt Disney's "The Truth About Mother Goose from 1957 part one above, part two here.

      The familiar figure of Mother Goose is an imaginary author of a collection of fairy tales and nursery rhymes which are often published as Mother Goose Rhymes. As a character, she appears in one "nursery rhyme". A Christmas pantomime called Mother Goose is often performed in the United Kingdom. The so-called "Mother Goose" rhymes and stories have formed the basis for many classic British pantomimes. Mother Goose is generally depicted in literature and book illustration as an elderly country woman in a tall hat and shawl, a costume identical to the peasant costume worn in Wales in the early 20th century, but is sometimes depicted as a goose (usually wearing a bonnet).


      Mother Goose is the name given to an archetypal country woman. English readers were familiar with Mother Hubbard, already a stock figure when Edmund Spenser published his satire "Mother Hubbard's tale", 1590; with the superstitious advice on getting a husband or a wife of "Mother Bunch", who was credited with the fairy stories of Madame d'Aulnoy when they first appeared in English. Mother Goose is credited with the Mother Goose stories and rhymes; yet no specific writer has ever been identified with such a name. An early mention appears in an aside in a versified chronicle of weekly happenings that appeared regularly for several years, Jean Loret's La Muse Historique, collected in 1650. His remark, ...comme un conte de la Mère Oye ("...like a Mother Goose story") shows that the term was already familiar.
       In addition to being the purported authoress of nursery rhymes, Mother Goose is herself the title character of one such rhyme:
Old Mother Goose,
When she wanted to wander,
Would ride through the air
On a very fine gander.
Jack's mother came in,
And caught the goose soon,
And mounting its back,
Flew up to the moon.
Mother Goose on Youtube: Mother Goose Club * Mother Goose Collection from Barney * Mother Goose Goes to Hollywood, 1938 * Mother Goose Melodies, 1931 *

The classic Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes revamped with a distinct motif by modern authors:
  • Mother Goose in Prose by L. Frank Baum
  • "Mother Goose and her Fabulous Puppet Friends" by Diane Ligon
  • The Space Child's Mother Goose by Frederick Winsor: Mother Goose for scientific children.
  • eNursery Rhymes by Mother Mouse: Mother Goose in the computer nursery.
  • Nursery Rhymes Old and New: Mother Goose meets Mother Mouse face to face.
  • Mother Goose Tells the Truth About Middle Age by Sydney Altman: Mother Goose for baby boomers.
  • New Adventures Of Mother Goose by Bruce Lansky: Mother Goose with the violence abridged.
  • Christian Mother Goose by Marjorie Ainsborough Decker: Mother Goose gets religion.
  • Mother Goose Rhymes, 1938 WPA mural by Elba Lightfoot at Harlem Hospital, New York, NY
  • The Inner City Mother Goose by Eve Merriam: Urban Mother Goose.
  • Black Mother Goose Book by Elizabeth Murphy Oliver: Ethnic Mother Goose.
  • Mother Goosed - Brighton Gay Panto, by the Pure Corn Company 2010.
  • Monster Goose by Judy Sierra illustrated by Jack E. Davis. Harcourt, 2001.
Regionally flavored Mother Geese:
  • Panto Mother Goose, book & lyrics by Kenn McLaughlin, music by David Nehls, Houston, TX Pantomime, 2012
  • The Alaska Mother Goose: North Country Nursery Rhymes by Shelley Gill
  • An Appalachian Mother Goose by James Still
  • Tutu Nene: The Hawaiian Mother Goose Rhymes by Debra Ryll
  • Texas Mother Goose by David Davis
  • Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes Texas Style by Vicki Nichols
  • Deep in the Desert by Rhonda Lucas Donald, illustrated by Sherry Neidigh
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