Mudcat Café message #2289404 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #109480   Message #2289404
Posted By: Azizi
15-Mar-08 - 09:28 PM
Thread Name: Children's rhyme: When Susie Was A Baby
Subject: RE: Children's rhyme: When Susie Was A Baby
Hello, The Doctor.

Thanks for posting an example of "Suzie Had A Baby".

I like to think of variants of the same children's rhyme and similar children's rhymes as being part of a "family". In that respect, I'd consider "{Miss} Suzie Had A Baby" as being a very distant relative of "When Susie Was A Baby"-meaning they're not really part of the same family. However, the "When Susie Was A Baby" and "When Billy Was One" rhymes are siblings or at least very close cousins.

The main reason why I would consider "When Susie Was A Baby" and "When Billy Was One" as being part of the same family is that both of them are what I call "life stages" or "actions at consecutive ages" rhymes, meaning the rhymes provide verbal snapshots of the featured character at consecutive stages of her or his life, or the rhymes describe actions the character does at consecutive ages. When. The rhymes recount that when the featured character is at a certain stage of her or his life-with the life stages given in consecutive order from the youngest life stage to the oldest-then she or he does something that is considered descriptive of that life stage. Or the rhymes recount that when the central character is a certain age-with the ages given in consecutive order from the youngest age to a certain agreed upon age-then the character does some action that rhymes with that numerical age.

Here's another example of this life stages/actions at consecutive ages family of rhymes:

WHEN BILLY BOY WAS ONE
Two people sit facing each other. I'll do my best to describe the handclap motions... Cross down - start by crossing both hands over your chest, with your finger tips touching your shoulders, then uncross them and smack your thigh's. Your left hand will smack your left thigh and right hand, right thigh. The next step is to clap. When you clap, you begin singing the song. (For example: (cross down) (Clap), When Billy Boy was one..... (now begin claping with your partner - your right hand claps with their right hand - then you clap your hands together, next your left hand claps with your partner's left hand, then you clap your hands together. Repeat until the verse is over. When you start the next verse, begin again with cross down, slap your thighs, When Billy Boy was two...etc.

VERSES When Billy Boy was one, he learned to suck his thumb. Thumb Billy, Thumb Billy, half past one. When Billy Boy was two, he learned to tie his shoe. Shoe Billy, Shoe Billy, half past two. When Billy Boy was three, he learned to climb a tree. Tree Billy, Tree Billy, half past three. When Billy Boy was four, he learned to close the door. Door Billy, Door Billy, half past four. When Billy Boy was five, he learned to swim and dive. Dive Billy, Dive Billy, half past five. When Billy Boy was six, he learned to pick up sticks. Sticks Billy, Sticks Billy, half past six. When Billy Boy was seven, he learned to pray to heaven. Heaven Billy, Heaven Billy, half past seven. When Billy Boy was eight, he learned to roller skate. Skate Billy, Skate Billy, half past eight. When Billy Boy was nine, he learned to tell the time. Time Billy, Time Billy, half past nine. When Billy Boy was ten, he learned to catch the hens. Hens Billy, Hens Billy, half past ten. Cross down, then end!
-Jackie; 8/28/2007; www.cocojams.com