Mudcat Café message #1488835 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #81350   Message #1488835
Posted By: Azizi
20-May-05 - 12:50 AM
Thread Name: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
Subject: I'm Rubber . Your Glue;Children's Rhymes
IMO, children's rhymes are a little respected, and usually neglected folk art that can provide unique perspectives on the lives, interests, concerns, expectations, hopes, and fears of children.

I'm interested in collecting examples of children's rhymes whose words include teases; taunts, put downs; come backs; and smart remarks.

An example of a put down rhyme is this one that I heard recited by various African American girls, approximate ages 8-10 years {Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; 2000-2003}.

I'm rubber. You're glue.
What you say
bounces off me
and sticks to YOU.


No handclaps or other actions accompanied this rhyme, though I imagine that it could be included in a handclap rhyme or a foot stomping cheer.


An example of a smart remark rhyme is this foot stomping cheer that I collected from African American girls {approximate ages 9-12 years old; Braddock, Pennnsylvania, 1985}:

Group              Two way pass away
                   Two way pass away
Soloist #1         (Well) my name is Kayla
Group               Two way pass away
Soloist #1         And if you don't like it
Group               Two way pass away
Soloist #1         You can kiss what I twist
Group               Two way pass away
Soloist #1         And I don't mean my wrist.

{This rhyme accompanies a steady, bass sounding, syncopated foot stomping {individual}handclapping routine. The entire cheer is repeated until every member of the group has had one turn as soloist. Each sololist substitutes her name or nickname}.


I am interested in collecting these rhymes and documenting their words, category, peformance directions, if any. For the folkloric, historical record, I am also interested in documenting the demographics of these rhymes {who says them {girls, boys, race/ethnicity; age of children and/or youth}; where {city/state and nation if outside of the USA}; and when they were recited {approximate years such as 1960s or 1990s}.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am working on a book on children's rhymes and may be seeking posters' permission to use examples and any accompanying commentary from their posts.

When ever possible, I am interested in including in that publisned collection documentation of the race/ethnicity of these rhymes because -generally speaking-it appears from my research thus far that there are some differences between the types of rhymes known to and recited by children of different races/ethnicities.

Thank you for any help you can give me in documenting the existence of teasing/putdown rhymes, or any other sub-set of children's rhymes that you remember or may have recently heard from children around you.

Azizi Powell