Mary Mary quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockleshells
And pretty maids all in a row.
A sweet nursery rhyme dating back to Olde England. A simple straightforward tale about a gardening green thumb?
Apparently not. Like many nursery rhymes that sound sweet enough, this one too has sinister roots. It tells of Mary Queen of Scots.
How does her garden grow? Fertilized by the bodies of many, many protestants. How pretty is her garden filled with silver bells and cockleshells. No again. These were slang terms for torture devices. As for the pretty maids…. guillotines.
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