Fairy Tale Friday – Humpty Dumpty

Fairy Tale Friday - Humpty Dumpty

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
Four-score men and Four-score more,
could not make Humpty where he was before.”

*Published in Juvenile Amusements by Samuel Arnold in 1797

Who is Humpty Dumpty?

In American nursery rhymes, he is depicted as an egg, but the earliest published version gives no description of Humpty. In fact, the original poem was thought to be a riddle. The question being. Who is he?

Without a doubt, this rhyme originated in England. However, there are many theories put forth for consideration throughout the years. Some say Humpty was King Charles I, or King Richard III because Humpty Dumpty was slang for a short, clumsy person. One theory suggested that Humpty wasn’t a person at all, but was a canon at the church of St. Mary’s At The Wall in 1648.

One thing is clear, this rhyme reads like a victory song, taunting a loser—Humpty Dumpty.

But who is he?

Let’s take a closer look.

He’s sitting on a wall. Which could mean that he’s elevated himself above others? He has a sense of importance. I would say it’s a false sense of importance because he’s sitting and not standing. He isn’t repairing the wall. He isn’t using the height of the wall to scope out the land. He isn’t surveying his surroundings for the enemy. This shows me an arrogant, conceited person looking down on those around him.

Next, we see him have a great fall. He wasn’t pushed. He wasn’t shot off the wall. He fell. It takes an extremely clumsy person to fall while sitting down. Or a drunk one.

I’d like to propose that Humpty Dumpty was a drunk. Or a drug addict. Now, here me out. When you are under the influence you have an inflated ego. You think you are invincible. Have you ever heard the term ten-foot-tall and bullet proof? Most drunks (I was once one of them.) feel good. So, they think they look good. They think they are good. But in actuality, while they are stumbling around everyone is laughing and making fun of them. Eventually, they will fall.

“Four score men and four-score more
could not make Humpty where he was before.”

This phrase could have one of two meaning. It could mean that during his fall Humpty was so badly damaged that he was beyond repair. Or it could mean that he learned his lesson, and no amount of men (peer pressure) couldn’t make him drink again.

Have you ever been drunk on a wall like Humpty?
Have you fallen?
Did you learn your lesson?
Or, are you still letting people talk you into climbing back up on the wall?

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King’s horses. And all the King’s men.
Couldn’t put Humpty together again?”

They are many of you reading this today who have been delivered from an addiction. Please don’t climb back up on the wall. Please don’t go back to your old life. The King’s men can’t help you stay sober, but the King can. And though you may love another Humpty Dumpty, you can’t force them to stay grounded. Just be there when they fall, and tell them about the King that wants to help them.

If you still think my analogy of Humpty Dumpty as a drunk is a little farfetched, consider this:
The Oxford English Dictionary (1857) defined Humpty Dumpty as “a drink made of brandy boiled in ale”. You can translate that as being a shot of whiskey in a glass of beer.

Don’t be a Humpty Dumpty!!!

and it fell: and great was the fall of it. Matthew 7:27

 Fairy Tale Fridays are posted on the first Friday of the month.

Hi, Bridgett here.
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