A Sinister Tale
The "Hark, hark the dogs do bark" rhyme dates back to 13th century England. The origin of "Hark, hark the dogs do bark", reflected in the words, is seeped in history. Wandering minstrels or troubadours and beggars went from city to town singing their songs (some in rags and some in tags and one in a velvet gown). Messages of dissent to the common people were often found in secret meanings to the words of their ballads. In this way the propaganda of the day was safely passed from one community to another. These secret messages could lead to plots and uprisings against the royalty, clergy and politicians of the day. Even further back in time, in Saxon England, professional storytellers, called 'scops', would also travel around the country telling stories for their living. During outbreaks of the Bubonic Plague strangers were looked upon with horror! Dogs barking alerted the townspeople to strangers in their area, hence the words "Hark, hark the dogs do bark ..."