Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after.
–Old English nursery rhyme

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Doesn’t it seem odd that Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water? A water well is seldom found on top a hill, and streams flow downhill, so why climb uphill for water which could be fetched below with far less effort? It seems that the English had a penchant for verse that makes little sense, as epitomized by 19th Century nonsense-verse masters Lewis Carroll, W. S. Gilbert and the subject of my May 12 post, Edward Lear.

Well, what’s good enough for those three
is more than good enough for me,
so for the third or more post in a row,
with nonsense verse I shall go:


Hello, Joe! Whatta you know?
Hello, Will! I don’t know Jack. Whatta you know?
I know Jack. Do you know Jill?
Jack and Jill from up the hill?
I thought you said you don’t know Jack.
I don’t know Jack; I know Jack and Jill.

Say what…you will: if you know Jill, you know Jack.
Say what? You Will. I Joe. I mean, I’m Joe. Just so you know.
I know you Joe! Now back to Jack…
I don’t know Jack. Why bring up Jill ?
So ends our tale of woe, and of Joe & Will
Who don’t know Jack and never will.