Mudcat Café message #23464 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #4300   Message #23464
Posted By: Jerry Friedman
10-Mar-98 - 02:03 PM
Thread Name: Children's Street Songs
Subject: RE: Children's Street Songs
From my growing up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, the only songs I can remember hearing with games were girls' jump-rope and hand-clapping chants. Girls' games were beneath my boyhood dignity, so the only hand-clap rhyme I remember was "A sailor went to sea sea sea/ To see what he could see see see,/ But all that he could see see see/ Was the bottom of the deep blue sea sea sea."

Our fifth-grade class put on a musical dramatization of the whitewash scene from Tom Sawyer (with a black boy as Tom, a white boy as Jim, and a black girl as Ben--it was the '60s). At one point there were girls playing a game with a song like

What do you do, Punchinello, Punchinello?
What do you do, Puchinello in your shoe?

We can do it too, Punchinello, Punchinello,
We can do it too, Punchinello in your shoe!

I'm not at all sure about the shoe part. This may have been in the script, or it may have been something from the students, in which case for some reason I think it would have been from black girls in the class.

Now in Espanola, New Mexico, I see kids playing in the street or their yards now and then, but I never hear songs or chants. This is a good point to feel sad about the demise of the unique Spanish children's folklore of northern New Mexico.