Humpty Dumpy

Nayabimarsha (Weekly Newspaper from Nepal)

As with many nursery rhymes over the years their meaning and story behind them change with the changing society. One such rhyme is Humpty Dumpy. The 20th century rhyme states “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.” Today he is typically portrayed as an anthropomorphic egg. Probably making illusion to a short and clumsy person, fragile like an egg. As a character and literary allusion, Humpty Dumpty has appeared or been referred to in many works of literature and popular culture, particularly English author Lewis Carroll’s 1871 book Through the Looking-Glass, in which he was described as an egg. He was popularized in the United States on Broadway by actor George L. Fox in the pantomime musical Humpty Dumpty, becoming the longest-running Broadway show until it was surpassed in 1881 by Hazel Kirke. However, when you read some of the earlier versions dating back to 1797 nearly a hundred years earlier, it seems he could have been something much more important. The earlier version of the rhyme says “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. Four-score Men and Four-score more, Could not make Humpty Dumpty where he was before.” According to some historians Humpty Dumpty was the name of a cannon used by English Royalists in the English Civil War of 1642-1649. The civil war was fought between the Royalist who supported the King, and the Parliamentarians who support the Parliament. History says, a one-eyed gunner named Thompson managed to get a cannon colloquially called ‘Humpty Dumpty’, to the top of the tower of St Mary at the Walls church in Colchester, a Royalist stronghold. This was a strategic position and it could guard the city from the invading Parliamentarians troops wreaking untold destruction on their forces below. The Parliamentarians therefore got a huge cannon from the Tower of London, fired it at the wall of the church tower below the cannon and managed to dislodge the pair of them and the cannon came crashing to the ground. All the efforts of the Royalist forces couldn’t lift it back up to its previous strategic position. Hence the line, Could not make Humpty Dumpty where he was before.

This story reminds us of man and his fall from grace into sin, which broke him into spiritual pieces. No amount of man`s strength nor wealth of man can put him back together. He is separated from God because of his sin. The prophet Isaiah writes in his book Isaiah chapter 59 verse 2 “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” Man is broken in many pieces just like the cannon at the bottom of the tower and therefore man has no fellowship with God. That is why Jesus Christ came, he being perfect is able to put man back together and place him once again in his rightful position through his life, suffering, death on the cross and resurrection. When Jesus Christ, God the Son died on the cross, he made peace with God the father so that all who believe on him could also have His peace. When man believes on Jesus, then man is put back together and given his position of favour with God. The prophet Isaiah also writes in his book Isaiah chapter 59 verse 1 “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:” God hears man when he believes on Jesus Christ, man can once again stand before the face of God, and the separation is fixed as man can have fellowship with God.


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