On the tree top,
When the wind blows
The cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks
The cradle will fall,
Down will come baby,
Cradle and all.
But it is disturbing, isn't it? So I like this Baby Blues cartoon strip version...
Wanda (singing to baby Wren):
Rest your sweet head
You're very tired
And it's time for bed
No boughs to break
Secure on the ground
You're not in a tree
So sleep safe and sound.
Darryl: You changed the lyrics.
Wanda: A cradle in a treetop, Darryl? That's insane!
That would be an example of a fractured nursery rhyme. These other two were found on the Net:
Hey diddle, diddle, the cat took a piddle,
All over the bedside clock.
The little dog laughed to see such fun.
Then died of electric shock.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the kings' horses, and all the kings' men...
...Had scrambled eggs,For breakfast again.
Some fractured nursery rhymes are racier, like this one:
Jack and Jill went up the hill
To have a little fun.
Stupid Jill forgot the pill
And now they have a son.
Finally, there are nursery rhymes for middle age!...
(Sydney Altman and illustrator Marty Riskin, 'A Collection of Wise and Witty Poems for Adults')