Monday, July 4, 2011

Jack Sprat

I have recently been diagnosed with coronary heart disease. This occurs when the coronary arteries which deliver oxygen to the heart muscle become narrowed or blocked by plaques.
While I am waiting for an appointment for a coronary angioplasty I am doing everything I can to reduce the risk of a heart attack.

One of these things is changing my diet and reducing all saturated fat from it.

I have been amused a little, as I am over weight but hubby is so skinny it makes him almost underweight.
So where I am reducing the fat I am conscience that it is not so much of a necessity for him. And what comes to mind (although it is reversed for us) is the old nursery rhyme...

Jack Sprat could eat no fat
His wife could eat no lean
And so betwixt the two of them
They licked the platter clean.

The origin to the words of Jack Sprat can be found in British History!

The Jack Sprat alluded to in this English poem is reputed to be King Charles I (1625-1649) and Henrietta Maria, his Queen (1609-1669). Apparently, when King Charles (Jack Sprat) declared war on Spain, parliament refused to finance him (leaving him lean!) So his wife imposed an illegal war tax (to get some fat!) after the angered King (Jack Sprat) dissolved Parliament. The first publication date for the lyrics of this nursery rhyme can be traced to 1639

Below is the version from The Little Mother Goose (1912). This version includes a "Moral"...

Jack Spratt could eat no fat,
His wife could eat no lean,
And so, betwixt them both, you see,
They licked the platter clean.
Better to go to bed supperless than to rise in debt.

I discovered on another website that...

Due to the always changing political climate in today's society, the above nursery rhyme has been changed to read:

Complications arose during a non-congressional investigation of dietary influence. One person of the male gender was unable to assimilate adipose tissue, and another person, of the female gender, was unable to consume tissue consisting chiefly of muscle fiber. A reciprocal arrangement between the two, who also happened to be a party of a domesticated alliance, allowed for the total consumption of the viands under consideration, which was ultimately achieved, thus, leaving the original container of the viands devoid of any contents.

I was aware there was a second verse but couldn't remember it. Upon searching I discovered there were in fact four verses to the rhyme.

Jack Sprat could eat no fat
His wife could eat no lean
And so betwixt the two of them
They licked the platter clean

Jack ate all the lean,
Joan ate all the fat.
The bone they picked it clean,
Then gave it to the cat

Jack Sprat was wheeling,
His wife by the ditch.
The barrow turned over,
And in she did pitch.

Says Jack, "She'll be drowned!"
But Joan did reply,
"I don't think I shall,
For the ditch is quite dry.".

1 comment :

  1. Sorry to see you have another mountain the climb. When will someone put that ladder back!
    I have friends who are very thin and very fit. They both have very high makes no difference. A lot of these problems are in the genes. Heart problems- weight- arthritis etc. Take care of yourself. Maa.