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.

She fed them all broth without any bread,

then whipped them all soundly and sent them to bed.

This nursery rhyme was supposedly written to make fun of King George II and his wife. They had eight children who were apparently driving the woman quite mad.

Another thought is that it refers to King George who began the men’s fashion for wearing white powdered wigs in the 1700’s. 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! (

16″x20″ oil on canvas Copyright Bill Reed 2007

About toonsville

I'm a retired animator and Director and I've worked mostly on TV Saturday morning cartoon shows. I started in the industry in 1966 at The Disney Studios in Burbank as an in-betweener on 'The Jungle Book' and worked at Filmation Studios, Hana Barbera, MGM, Universal, Cartoon Network and several others during my 42 years in the business.
This entry was posted in artist, Bill Reed animator, Director, oil painting. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to There was an old woman…

  1. Anonymous says:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s