Mary Mary quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockleshells
And pretty maids all in a row.
You most likely have heard this nursery rhyme. If you thought it was just a normal, sweet nursery rhyme, then you thought wrong.
Mary Mary Quite Contrary has a dark meaning, as do many nursery rhymes, such as London Bridge and Ring Around the Rosie. If you wish to not have your child hood ruined, I ask that you leave now.
Mary Mary, quite contrary; this phrase speaks of Queen Mary, also better known for "Bloody Mary", due to her love for killing and the numerous people she had killed. Contrary means opposite, so the phrase "quite contrary" in the line is meaning that Mary was the opposite; she hated people.
How does your garden grow?; In a picture drawn by the talented Scottish artist, Shona Penny had drawn a garden including flowers and beautiful plants, but if you look more, you see multiple sharp weapons. The garden also has a meaning of all the people she killed, because in a garden you can have many flowers and plants.
With silver bells and cockleshells; this doen't stand for the flowers. Silver bells and cockleshells are actually torture devices that were used to punish. The 'silver bells' were thumbscrews which crushed the thumb between two hard surfaces by the tightening of a screw. The 'cockleshells' were believed to be instruments of torture which were attached to the genitals.
And pretty maids all in a row; The 'maids' were a device to behead people called the Maiden. Beheading a victim was fraught with problems. It could take up to 11 blows to actually sever the head, the victim often resisted and had to be chased around the scaffold. This also refers to when Queen Mary would kill the useless maids...