This children's song sounds silly, but listen closely to the lyrics and you're in for a surprise.

Three blind mice,

Three blind mice,

See how they run!

See how they run!

They all ran after the farmer's wife.

She cut off their tails with a carving knife.

Have you ever seen such a sight in your life?

As three blind mice,

Three blind mice.

The lyrics to "Three Blind Mice" start out innocently enough. Although you may wonder how or why the unfortunate rodents lost their vision and why we're so joyfully watching the poor sightless animals run, it's the later lines of the lyrics that take you aback when you pay attention to the words. They all run after the farmer's wife, who "cut off their tails with a carving knife!

If you've ever pondered this nursery rhyme's meaning, you are surely not the first. Plenty of people have speculated about the history of this song whose lyrics leave you scratching your head. One of the more popular theories about the origin is that "the farmer's wife" refers to Queen Mary I of England. She and her husband, Philip of Spain, owned large farming estates. The queen -- also known as Bloody Mary for her ruthless tactics in keeping people in line -- was a staunch Catholic. The theory is that the three blind mice allude to a group of Protestant bishops who were plotting against her. According to history, she did get the better of them, though not by leaving them blinded or dismembered. She chose a popular method of execution at the time: burning at the stake. Not quite the kind of thing that comes to mind when you think of children's nursery rhymes, is it?

Even though this colorful tale is used to explain the song's origins, there is not enough evidence to support it. Like many popular nursery rhymes and nursery rhyme songs, a major reason the lyrics seem so nonsensical is probably because they've changed over time. Through the ages, what tends to stick through oral tradition are the lyrics and melodies that are the simplest to learn and the easiest for kids to sing along to, even if they don't make much sense to those of us who try to connect the dots.

While the narrative may seem a bit surreal, even disturbing to adults, but children find the "Three Blind Mice" nursery rhyme song whimsical and humorous. It's a silly song -- and probably not much more than that.