Like many nursery rhymes from centuries ago, this can sound brutal to today's ears...
There was an old woman, her name it was Peg;
Her head was of wood, and she wore a cork leg.
The neighbors all pitched her into the water,
Her leg was drown'd first, and her head follow'd a'ter.
I wonder if this rhyme is a riddle. There's no indication that it is in my nursery rhyme books - which include some of the most comprehensive collections of nursery rhymes (like The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes and The Annotated Mother Goose). Yet it does sound like Peg isn't a person, since "her head was of wood, and she wore a cork leg." Could Peg be something else?
Also, her head and leg should float being made of wood and cork.
If you know anything about the meaning of this rhyme, please email me. Thanks! Mama Lisa
Thanks and Acknowledgements
This rhyme can be found in The Little Mother Goose (1912), illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith, and printed in the USA.