Mudcat Café message #1373780 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #4300   Message #1373780
Posted By: Azizi
07-Jan-05 - 01:16 PM
Thread Name: Children's Street Songs
Subject: RE: Children's Street Songs

I just read over my notes to the "get out the way rhymes" that I've collected over time.

I had remembered correctly the words that my daughter Jozita gave me for "Hey! Hey! Get Out The Way".

But with regards to the "Beware" chant, I should have written that the words "Beware/ready. set. go" serve as an introduction to that chant. According to the notes I had written in 1998, that introduction isn't always used, although it was recited by several girls who chanted the rhyme for me taht year.

And my memory really paid tricks on me when I wrote that my daughter, Tazi, my daughter-in-law, Toya, and her son Montel had also recited "Beware." Actually, they recited a completed different
"get out the way" chant. Here's the words to "WE DON'T STOP FOR NOBODY" as recited by my daughter in 1997 from her memory of Pittsburgh, Pa in the early 1980s:

We don't stop for nooobody
Can you dig it.
Can you dig it.
{repeat words continuously while linking arms and walking down the sidewalk}

The words "Can you dig it" was not said as a question.

In 2001, I received a very similar version of this chant from Toya. She remembers this chant from the mid 1980s {Pittsburgh, PA}.
Instead of repeating the "Can you dig it" line, Toya recited the last line as "Are you with it". During that same visit, Montel unexpectedly joined his mother in reciting this chant. His version was basically the same as his mother's. The only difference between the two versions was that Montel chanted the 2nd line as "Can you get it".

It's possible that these slightly different versions are the result of faulty memory. But if children really did say "Can you get it" ,
I wonder if the change was made because by 2001 the once popular saying "Can you dig it" had long since been retired from regular use- in Black neighborhoods anyway.

I guess we'll never know...

Again, sorry for MY faulty memory. This shows the importance of having and referring to back up notes and other documentation-like sound recordings or visual recordings-when trying to collect, preserve, and share examples of rhymes.