1) yes, Cinderella came from sweeping out the chimney which is why that song cracks me up as her name WASN'T pretty!
2) In the version I was referring to they cut off parts of their feet, one cut off a slice of her heel and the other loped off her big toe.
3)bubonic plague, the sores were called "roseys" and when the disease progressed a ring would form around the sores. Posey (the flower) was considered a treatment for the sores. "ashes ashes" came from cremating the bodies of the dead. "We all fall down" as in drop dead. Kinda makes you rethink singing the song huh?
4)In the original version of the story by Beatrix Potter Mrs Twitchit was so mad when she found her kittens without clothes and dirty that she gave them all a bath, spanked them and sent them upstairs, then when her friends came over (the reason for the clothes in the first place) she told the friends that her kittens were sick and couldn't come down to tea. (ie, she lied).
5) "a bowl full of mush and a quiet old lady who is whispering 'hush' " which Subvet and I do daily....sometimes not quite in a whisper ;-)
Thanks for all the answers folks, this was fun.