Most nursery rhymes were never intended for children.
For centuries, these ballads came from bawdy folk songs or spoofs on social issues of the day, often sung or recited as limericks in local taverns.
“Nursery” wasn’t used to describe them until efforts were made in the nineteenth century to clean them up as children’s lullabies.
In 1697, a French writer, Charles Perrault, published Tales of My Mother Goose, a collection of fairy tales, including “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Puss in Boots”.
Many legends surround the origin of the real Mother Goose.
According to Eleanor Early, a Boston writer from the 1930s and 40s, the original Mother Goose was a real person who lived in Boston in the 1660s.
In The Real Personages of Mother Goose from 1930, Katherine Elwes Thomas mentions that “Mother Goose”, or “Mère l’Oye”, may be based upon ancient legends of the wife of King Robert II of France.