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Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes

GUEST,I tiddly i-tie and Taffy was a Welshman 01 May 12 - 02:10 AM
Azizi 11 Jun 08 - 10:22 PM
Azizi 11 Jun 08 - 10:13 PM
Azizi 11 Jun 08 - 10:03 PM
Mrrzy 10 Jun 08 - 08:25 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 10 Jun 08 - 02:51 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 10 Jun 08 - 02:36 PM
Mrrzy 10 Jun 08 - 02:22 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Jun 08 - 03:50 AM
Azizi 08 Jun 08 - 09:08 AM
Snuffy 08 Jun 08 - 06:15 AM
Azizi 07 Jun 08 - 08:21 PM
Mrrzy 03 Jun 08 - 05:28 PM
GUEST,suffolk miracle 03 Jun 08 - 07:17 AM
Bert 02 Jun 08 - 09:17 PM
Mrrzy 02 Jun 08 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 01 Jun 08 - 02:23 PM
Mrrzy 30 May 08 - 10:49 AM
trevek 28 May 08 - 07:07 AM
Mo the caller 28 May 08 - 07:04 AM
Azizi 27 May 08 - 10:00 PM
paula t 27 May 08 - 07:41 PM
Mo the caller 27 May 08 - 07:07 PM
Mo the caller 27 May 08 - 06:57 PM
Mo the caller 27 May 08 - 06:38 PM
Mo the caller 27 May 08 - 06:29 PM
Azizi 27 May 08 - 04:46 PM
Azizi 27 May 08 - 11:16 AM
Mo the caller 27 May 08 - 10:58 AM
Jean(eanjay) 27 May 08 - 10:29 AM
Mrrzy 27 May 08 - 10:10 AM
Azizi 23 May 08 - 11:50 PM
Azizi 23 May 08 - 11:25 PM
Wincing Devil 23 May 08 - 11:24 PM
Azizi 23 May 08 - 11:15 PM
GUEST,Neil D 23 May 08 - 11:07 PM
john f weldon 23 May 08 - 09:08 PM
Azizi 23 May 08 - 09:02 PM
Joe_F 23 May 08 - 08:44 PM
Azizi 23 May 08 - 08:42 PM
Jack Campin 23 May 08 - 08:39 PM
Snuffy 23 May 08 - 08:27 PM
Snuffy 23 May 08 - 08:25 PM
Azizi 23 May 08 - 08:17 PM
GUEST,Neil D 23 May 08 - 08:00 PM
Jack Campin 23 May 08 - 06:00 PM
Azizi 23 May 08 - 04:39 PM
Snuffy 23 May 08 - 08:38 AM
Mo the caller 23 May 08 - 03:51 AM
Mo the caller 23 May 08 - 03:36 AM
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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: GUEST,I tiddly i-tie and Taffy was a Welshman
Date: 01 May 12 - 02:10 AM

A saveloy is a low-quality processes sausage with the outside died a pinkish-red colour. Similar, usually larger, ones I've noticed in the supermarket are called 'polonies'. Saveloys are a traditional kid's party food here in new Zealand.

In the version I know, Taffy was not in bed. Taffy 'was from home - I returned the compliment and stole a marrow bone." (hardly more creditable)...


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Jun 08 - 10:22 PM

Here's another one of those "life stages" rhymes:

Subject: RE: When Susie Was A Baby
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 15 Mar 08 - 10:32 AM

WHEN LUCY WAS A BABY

you can do this with a jump rope, or a hand clap, i did it with hand claps. just an old Florida rhyme: LUCY When Lucy was a baby, a baby When Lucy was a baby She went a little like this: Wah Wah When Lucy was a toddler, a toddler, a toddler, When Lucy was a toddler She went a little like this: Wah Wah, suck my thumb When Lucy was a kid, a kid, a kid When Lucy was a kidShe went a little like this: Wah Wah, suck my thumb, give me a piece of bubble gum When Lucy was a teenager, a teenager, a teenager When Lucy was a teenager She went a little like this: Wah Wah, suck my thumb, give me a piece of bubble gum, ohh, ahh, lost my bra, left it in my boyfriend's car When Lucy was a grown up, a grown up, a grown up When Lucy was a grown up She went a little like this: Wah Wah, suck my thumb, give me a piece of bubble gum, ohh, ahh, lost my bra left it in my boyfriend's car, shh shh babies sleeping When Lucy was an grandma, a grandma, a grandma When Lucy was a grandma She went a little like this: Wah Wah, suck my thumb, give me a peice of bubble gum, ohh, ahh lost my bra, left it in my boyfriend's car, shh babies sleeping, god i'm old. When Lucy was dead, dead, dead, When Lucy was dead She went a little like this: Wah Wah, suck my thumb, give me a piece of bubble gum, ohh, ahh, lost my bra left it in my boyfriend's car, shh babies sleeping, god i'm old, great i'm dead
-Morgan; 5/16/2007; http://cocojams.com/


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Jun 08 - 10:13 PM

http://www.streetplay.com/discus/ is a website that contains a number of pages of children's rhymes as well as other examples/comments about children's games & memories. These examples are taken from the Girl Games: Clap & rhyme Archive through June 8, 2000 page:


WHEN SUSIE WAS A BABY
when susie was a baby, a baby, when susie was a baby, she usedto go like this 'wah, wah' when susie was a child, a child, when susie was a child she used to go like this 'mommy, can I have a cookie?' when susie was a teenager, a teenager, a teenager, when susie was a teenager, she used to go like this 'mom,i'm using the phone!' when susie was a mother, a mother, when susie was a mother, she used to go like this 'your grounded!' when susie was a grandma, a grandma, when susie was a grandma, she used to go like this 'oh my aching back' when susie was dead, was dead, was dead, when susie was dead, she went like this 'hi, god'..........that's what it is now".
-KD on Friday, December 17, 1999


**

MISS SUZY WAS A BABY
Miss Suzy was a baby, a baby, a baby, Miss Suzy was a baby,and this is what she said! "ooh, aah, ooh aah aah!" (pretend to suck your thumbs, once each word)
Miss Suzy was a schoolgirl, a schoolgirl, a schoolgirl! Miss Suzy was a schoolgirl, and this is what she said! "ooh, aah, ooh aah aah!" (flip your hair back over your shoulders once each word)
Miss Suzy was a teenager, a teenager, a teenager, Miss Suzy was a teenager, and this is what she said! "ooh, aah, I lost my bra! I left it in my boyfriend's car!"
Miss Suzy was a teacher, a teacher, a teacher,
Miss Suzy was a teacher, and this is what she said! "ooh, aah, ooh aah aah!" (shake your finger once each word)
Miss Suzy was a mother, a mother, a mother,
Miss Suzy was a mother, and this is what she said! "ooh, aah, ooh aah aah!" (rock a pretend baby in your arms)
Miss Suzy was a grandmother, a grandmother, a grandmother, Miss Suzy was a grandmother, and this is what she said! "ooh, aah, ooh aah aah!" (rock in a pretend rocking chair)
Miss Suzy went to heaven, to heaven, to heaven, Miss Suzy went to heaven, and this is what she said! "ooh, aah, ooh aah aah!" (flap your "wings)
Miss Suzy went to he-ell, to he-ell, to he-ell, Miss Suzy went to
he-ell, and this is what she said! "ooh, aah, ooh aah aah!" (pretend to be poked by a pitchfork at each word)
-Lizzi; May 1, 2000

-snip-

[I also posted these examples on this Mudcat thread:thread.cfm?threadid=109480
Children's rhyme: When Susie Was A Baby]


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Jun 08 - 10:03 PM

Mrrzy, regarding the death of those schoolmates of yours, how terrible and sad!

I think you know and hopefully others know that that's not my intention and I don't believe it's the intention of anyone else posting to this thread to be facetious about death.

For some reason, I didn't expect this thread to be so somber and heavy duty-imagine that what with its title... But maybe the next examples that I found will lighten the vibe of this thread. I'll share them in my next post to this thread.


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 08:25 PM

I really need to read more of this hilarious author, ha ha!


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 02:51 PM

Rebecca
by Hilaire Belloc

Who Slammed Doors For Fun And Perished Miserably

A trick that everyone abhors
In little girls is slamming doors.
A wealthy banker's little daughter
Who lived in Palace Green, Bayswater
(By name Rebecca Offendort),
Was given to this furious sport.

She would deliberately go
And slam the door like billy-o!
To make her uncle Jacob start.
She was not really bad at heart,
But only rather rude and wild;
She was an aggravating child...

It happened that a marble bust
Of Abraham was standing just
Above the door this little lamb
Had carefully prepared to slam,
And down it came! It knocked her flat!
It laid her out! She looked like that.

Her funeral sermon (which was long
And followed by a sacred song)
Mentioned her virtues, it is true,
But dwelt upon her vices too,
And showed the deadful end of one
Who goes and slams the door for fun.

The children who were brought to hear
The awful tale from far and near
Were much impressed, and inly swore
They never more would slam the door,
-- As often they had done before.


Jim
by Hilaire Belloc

Who ran away from his Nurse and was eaten by a Lion

There was a Boy whose name was Jim;
His Friends were very good to him.
They gave him Tea, and Cakes, and Jam,
And slices of delicious Ham,
And Chocolate with pink inside
And little Tricycles to ride,
And read him Stories through and through,
And even took him to the Zoo--
But there it was the dreadful Fate
Befell him, which I now relate.

You know--or at least you ought to know,
For I have often told you so--
That Children never are allowed
To leave their Nurses in a Crowd;
Now this was Jim's especial Foible,
He ran away when he was able,
And on this inauspicious day
He slipped his hand and ran away!

He hadn't gone a yard when--Bang!
With open Jaws, a lion sprang,
And hungrily began to eat
The Boy: beginning at his feet.
Now, just imagine how it feels
When first your toes and then your heels,
And then by gradual degrees,
Your shins and ankles, calves and knees,
Are slowly eaten, bit by bit.
No wonder Jim detested it!
No wonder that he shouted ``Hi!''

The Honest Keeper heard his cry,
Though very fat he almost ran
To help the little gentleman.
``Ponto!'' he ordered as he came
(For Ponto was the Lion's name),
``Ponto!'' he cried, with angry Frown,
``Let go, Sir! Down, Sir! Put it down!''
The Lion made a sudden stop,
He let the Dainty Morsel drop,
And slunk reluctant to his Cage,
Snarling with Disappointed Rage.
But when he bent him over Jim,
The Honest Keeper's Eyes were dim.
The Lion having reached his Head,
The Miserable Boy was dead!

When Nurse informed his Parents, they
Were more Concerned than I can say:--
His Mother, as She dried her eyes,
Said, ``Well--it gives me no surprise,
He would not do as he was told!''
His Father, who was self-controlled,
Bade all the children round attend
To James's miserable end,
And always keep a-hold of Nurse
For fear of finding something worse.


Henry King
by Hilaire Belloc

The Chief Defect of Henry King
Was chewing little bits of String.
At last he swallowed some which tied
Itself in ugly Knots inside.

Physicians of the Utmost Fame
Were called at once; but when they came
They answered, as they took their Fees,
"There is no Cure for this Disease.

"Henry will very soon be dead.''
His Parents stood about his Bed
Lamenting his Untimely Death,
When Henry, with his Latest Breath,

Cried, "Oh, my Friends, be warned by me,
That Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, and Tea
Are all the Human Frame requires...''
With that, the Wretched Child expires.


George
by Hilaire Belloc

Who played with a Dangerous Toy, and suffered a Catastrophe of considerable Dimensions

When George's Grandmamma was told
That George had been as good as gold,
She promised in the afternoon
To buy him an Immense BALLOON.
And so she did; but when it came,
It got into the candle flame,
And being of a dangerous sort
Exploded with a loud report!
The lights went out! The windows broke!
The room was filled with reeking smoke.
And in the darkness shrieks and yells
Were mingled with electric bells,
And falling masonry and groans,
And crunching, as of broken bones,
And dreadful shrieks, when, worst of all,
The house itself began to fall!
It tottered, shuddering to and fro,
Then crashed into the street below-
Which happened to be Savile Row.

When help arrived, among the dead
Were Cousin Mary, Little Fred,
The Footmen (both of them), the Groom,
The man that cleaned the Billiard-Room,
The Chaplain, and the Still-Room Maid.
And I am dreadfully afraid
That Monsieur Champignon, the Chef,
Will now be permanently deaf-
And both his aides are much the same;
While George, who was in part to blame,
Received, you will regret to hear,
A nasty lump behind the ear.

Moral:
The moral is that little boys
Should not be given dangerous toys.


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 02:36 PM

Hilaire Belloc's verse is full of children dying, like the bratty little girl who knocks over a brick unto her head while slamming doors in a tantrum.


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 02:22 PM

From A A Milne, via my futile little brain:

Daffodwndilly
She wore her yellow sunbonnet
She wore her greenest gown
She turned to the south wind and curtsied up and down
She turned to the north wind and shook her yellow head
And whispered to her neighbor "winter is dead."

An a separate note, I didn't know anybody who'd died when I was growing up except one of my aunt's mom, until nearly the entire graduating class of my high school was wiped out in a nightclub fire my junior year... I think 30 out of 35 kids died, it was right after exams. I can't find anything in the news about it, it was overseas.


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 03:50 AM


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Jun 08 - 09:08 AM

It occurs to me that as the result of urban gang violence and drive-by shootings and other urban violence, there were many more funerals of their peers that my children as young adults attended or knew about. Ditto for my pre-teenage grandchild. Perhaps it's not fair to compare their teenage or pre-teen childhoods because the city that I grew up in was much smaller than this city. But I don't recall my city having any gangs at all-though as a teenager I was aware that there were gangs who faught with knives in the much larger relatively nearby city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

I can remember only three deaths of my peers by violence or otherwise. Two young girls I knew died in a house fire and one teenage boy who I didn't know well killed himself by jumping off a roof. I distinctly recall playing with these two girls and their sister the day before that fire. Partly as a result of the way they died, I admit to being hyper-concerned about house fires. If I recall correctly, the teenager died the summer of his senior year, prior to going off to college. His action surprised me because that was the first teenage case of suicide where I had even vaguely known the person. His action also surprised me in part because his family appeared to be considerably more economically well-off than most of the families I knew of. The fact that this teenager of all the teenagers I knew chose to kill himself reinforced my beginning awareness that people are very complicated beings. His action also reinforced my life long belief that money isn't everything-though it probably can be very helpful.

I feel that this thread needs to include prayers for the memory of all the children, teens, and adults who have passed from this life, regardless of how they passed on.

I say those prayers now.


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Snuffy
Date: 08 Jun 08 - 06:15 AM

Unfamiliarity with death is a fairly recent phenomenon for children: right up to my mother's generation (born 1921), especially with the large families that were common then, it was not unusual for children to have a brother or sister die in infancy. Or even have their mother die in childbirth, and the father remarry. And almost certainly they would lose several classmates before the end of their schooldays.

Death was something kids saw happening a lot all around them, and the songs may have helped them get their heads round it.


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Jun 08 - 08:21 PM

My condolences, Bert, on the loss of your mother when you were a child.

I'm not sure children understand that life is so percarious. I hope that most children don't find this out at an early age. But if they do-I hope that they have people who help them through those difficult times.

I don't know if children play a great deal of attention to the deeper meaning of words in rhymes and songs. I think that children are most concerned about the rhythm of the words. I also think that children are concerned about singing or reciting the version of the song or rhyme that they learned [which they refer to as "the right words" to the song or rhyme}. And I think that they are concerned about the words making some kind of sense to them [which is why some unfamiliar words are changed to words that are more familiar through the process of folk etymology].

But I don't think that most children nowadays who recite rhymes or sing songs that mention death are concerned with the esoteric meaning of death. Maybe past generations of children also didn't concern themselves with the meaning of death. But maybe in the "olden days" children had more personal experiences with death.

The movement rhyme "Aunt Jenny Died" that I posted above appears to me to make fun of the occurance of death. Maybe death was taken lightly because it was such a heavy duty occurance. I don't know.
It was just something I wondered about.


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 05:28 PM

Interesting point, Bert; I didn't know anybody who died, so I (think I) knew that the people in the songs were dead or dying...


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: GUEST,suffolk miracle
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 07:17 AM

Children's skipping rhymes:

When I die lay me in bed
With seven angels at my head.
Two to weep and two to pray
And three to take my soul away.

Green peas, mutton chops,
Tell me when your boyfriend drops.
I'll be there to bury him
And we will be together.


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Bert
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 09:17 PM

... However, I'm wondering whether an analysis of children's rhymes and songs might reveal ways that children work through the feelings of grief, pain, anger, and insecurity that they may feel about their experiences with the death of people they know or know of...

I don't think that children really believe the songs about death. They are just a game with no relationship to reality. My mother died when I was seven and I certainly never associated any songs with that event. The death in songs was no more real than someone who is shot when playing Cowboys and Indians - "lie down dead and count to twenty"


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Mrrzy
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 08:39 AM

The thing is, isn't it better for kids to have death to deal with in stories than pretend all stories have happy endings?


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 02:23 PM

"sam, sam the butcher's man
washed his face in a frying pan,
combed his hair with a wagon whell
and died of toothache in his heel"

Doesn't that appear in Old Dan Tucker as well?

Anyway, not sure it counts, but there is an Ukrainian lullabye about a big, furry cat who comes and eats the kid....


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Mrrzy
Date: 30 May 08 - 10:49 AM

I remember being frightened by Up The Airy Mountain, too.

And I love the Pete Seeger version of Henry My Son that had the Green and Yellow chorus!

Meanwhile, not quite thread creep, but I really dislike it when Disney takes a good fairy tale/children's story and ruins it by changing to a happy ending. The worst offender was The Little Mermaid, who is NOT supposed to get the prince, but rather fail and then turn to foam upon the water, which is what dead mermaids are. I can hardly wait for The Little Match Girl (Who Marries The Heartless Millionnaire)...

Contrast that to the amazing scene in Sleeping Beauty, I think, where the Prince has to deal with the evil witch "And all the powers of HELL!"


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: trevek
Date: 28 May 08 - 07:07 AM

"Goosey-goosey gander" has the old man being thrown down the stairs and breaking his back.

"Weile weile waile" has the old woman killing the baby.

"There was a man who had a horse-elum" has the horse dying.

"Found a peanut" (to tune of Clementine) involves a fatal dose of food poisoning.

"Clementine" drowning.

"sam, sam the butcher's man
washed his face in a frying pan,
combed his hair with a wagon whell
and died of toothache in his heel"


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Mo the caller
Date: 28 May 08 - 07:04 AM

Thinking about it, the last line in Old Roger as I remember it , started with Hey Ho
e.g Hey ho laid in his grave.

Paula reminds me of hearing my friends children (in the early 80s) singing the Bumble bee song - only a buble bee died in this, but it is similarly revolting

I've caught a little baby bumble bee
Won't my mummy be surprised at me
I've caught a little baby bumble bee
OH - it's stung me      (spoken)

I'm squashing up my baby bumble bee
..
Ugh - what a mess

I'm licking up my baby bumble bee
...
Ooh - I feel sick

I'm sicking up my baby bumble bee
...

Not sure if there were more revolting verses but it finishes with the spoken line
That was fun, lets go and catch another one.

I also heard that song used by children's entertainers at folk festivals about the same time.


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 27 May 08 - 10:00 PM

Let's hear it for Solomon Grundy, [who] found a peanut, or was his name Henry rather than Solomon?

And what happened to Old Roger?

:o)

Thanks, Mo and Paula for adding to this thread!


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: paula t
Date: 27 May 08 - 07:41 PM

How about that old classic "Found a peanut"? Kathryn loves to taunt us with that one on long car journeys.
Another one is a song we used to sing when I was a child. We thought it was hilarious at the time because we could make vomiting noises in the last verse!It went like this:

Where have you been all day, Henry my son?
Where have you been all day, my little one?
In the woods dear mother.
In the woods dear mother.
Oh mother be quick I'm going to be sick,
And lay me down to die.

What were you doing in the woods all day, Henry my son?
What were you doing in the woods all day,my little one?
Eating, dear mother.
Eating, dear mother.
Oh mother be quick,I'm going to be sick,
And lay me down to die.

What were you eating in the woods all day, Henry my son?
What were you eating in the woods all day, my little one?
Eels, dear mother.
Eels ,dear mother.
Oh mother be quick,I'm going to be sick,
And lay me down to die.

What colour were those eels you were eating in the woods all day,Henry my son?
What colour were those eels you were eating in the woods all day, my little one?
Green and yellow!
Green and yellow!
Oh mother be quick ,I'm going to be sick,
And lay me down to die.

Those weren't eels ,they were snakes you were eating in the woods all day,Henry my son.
Those weren't eels they were snakes you were eating in the woods all day, my little one.
Yeuch! (vigorous vomiting noises!)dear mother.
Yeuch!Dear mother.
Oh mother be quick,I'm going to be sick,
And lay me down to die.


Quite charming eh?


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Mo the caller
Date: 27 May 08 - 07:07 PM

Surprise, surprise, no mention of Solomon Grundy anywhere either.

Solomon Grundy
Born on Monday
Christened on tuesday
Married on Wednesday
Ill on Thursday
Worse on Friday
Died on Saturday
Buried on Sunday
And that was the end of Solomon Grundy.


Azizi, keep posting your analyses and details. If we were talking about adult folk songs someone would no doubt be warning of the dangers of unfounded speculation, maybe he doesn't open the children's threads. (And, of course, unfounded speculation into the origins of songs should not be passed on as 'gospel', but it's fun to wonder)


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Mo the caller
Date: 27 May 08 - 06:57 PM

Old Roger isn't there either, but is posted in a thread on Irish Childrens Songs
POOR ROGER
Poor Roger is dead and he lies in his grave,
Lies in his grave, lies in his grave,
Poor Roger is dead and he lies in his grave,
Lies in his grave.

They planted an apple tree over his head,
Over his head, over his head,
They planted an apple tree over his head,
Over his head.

The apples grew ripe and they all fell off
They all fell off, they all fell off,
The apples grew ripe and they all fell off,
They all fell off.

There came an old woman a-picking them up,
Picking them up, picking them up,
There came an old woman a-picking them up,
Picking them up.

Poor Roger got up and he gave her a kick,
Gave her a kick, gave her a kick,
Poor Roger got up and he gave her a kick,
Gave her a kick.

Which made the old woman go hippity hop,
Hippity hop, hippity hop,
Which made the old woman go hippity hop,
Hippity hop.

Much as I remember it except it was 'Old Roger'. And the third verse
The apples are ripe and ready to fall.
I'm not sure how the last 2 verses went, something like that


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Mo the caller
Date: 27 May 08 - 06:38 PM

I thought that would be sure to be in the Digitrad with more verses suggesting different repair materials and their drawbacks, but I searched for London Bridge is Broken Down and LB is Falling down, and only found a couple of songs refering to people singing it.
Odd.


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Mo the caller
Date: 27 May 08 - 06:29 PM

I dont think Inky Pinky Ponky was chanted as a tease, just sharing a rhyme, when we should have been getting on with our work.
All the (English) Nursery rhyme books, had London bridge in (also sung on the 'wireless' on Listen With Mother)
London Bridge is broken down
Broken down
Broken down
London bridge is broken down
My fair lady

How can we build it up again? ....

Build it up with (something and straw)...
- and straw will be washed away...
Build it up with silver and gold...
Silver and gold will be stolen away...

Build it up with stone so strong..
Stone will last for ages long
My fair lady.


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 27 May 08 - 04:46 PM

Here's a children's rhyme that includes a version of the inky pinky ponky rhyme that Mo posted on

Subject: RE: Origins: Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky
From: GUEST,mooseormeece? - PM
Date: 21 May 08 - 11:34 PM

I learned this and forgot most of it (not complete! but it goes sort of like this....
Down by the bay in beverly hills
where the bull frog jumps from bank to banky
and the heeps hops, coffee shops,
we all drink mochas and we wear flip flops
(faster)
I pledge allegence to the flag
Michal jackson makes me gag
coca cola has cafeine and now we're talking billy jean
billy jean when out of style now lets sit and talk a while
diddy diddy donkey
daddy had a donkey
donkey died, daddy cried
diddy diddy donkey!

theres a party round the corner wont you please please come
bring your own cappuchinos and your own chewing gum
what is your boy friends name?______ (whoever the clap lands on has to come up with a name)

_______ will be there blowing kisses in the air saying I love ______ (who ever came up with the name) saying I love_____ saying O U T spells you are out!
OR
______will be there blowing kissed in the air singin' I... Love...Ma..Ma...Mia, singin' I love ma...ma...mia singin' O U T spells you are out!

-snip-

This children's rhyme is made up off several strung together-possibly stand alone-rhymes. The rhyme starts with a version of "Down By The Banks of the Hanky Panky", and then moves to lines about Michael Jackson {starting with "I pledge allegiance to the flag". Those lines refer to the real life occurance in 1984. While Jackson was taping a Pepsi ad, special effects that were supposed to create smoke blew up, burning the singer's hair and scalp. Jackson had to be taken to a hospital. [Notice that the rhyme names "Coca Cola" as the soft drink instead of "Pepsi Cola". That's a bit of irony since these soft drinks are competitors].

I'm not sure if Michael Jackson was singing "Billy Jean", one of his hit songs during the filming of that commercial. But reference to that song also occur in most versions of the "I pledge allegiance to the flag" children's rhyme.

The line "diddy diddy donkey" is the beginning of another stand along rhyme that has been strung together to make one rhyme. The last strung together rhyme in this example either starts with the line "theres a party round the corner" or the line "what is your boy friends name?"

**

Help! I'm suffering from "Virgoitis" which is exhibited by excessive focus on details.

I'm sorry about that. From now on I'll try to control my tendency to excessively analysis stuff.

:o)


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 27 May 08 - 11:16 AM

Thanks, Mo. I like your story about how you heard the inky pinky ponkey rhyme-though I shouldn't encourage chiidren to taunt or tease another child when the teacher's back is turned-or any time for that matter.

I don't know the rhyme "Old Roger is dead." How does it go? I vaguely recall reading something about Solomon Grundy {died on Monday}. But that's all I can remember about that rhyme.

**

With regard to my memory of the line in London Bridge-"here comes the hammer to chop off her head", "hammer" was probably "hatchet". But since we kids didn't really know what a hatchet is, I think that we changed that unfamiliar word to one we were more familiar with-"hammer".

My memory of that song keeps changing. Maybe it was sung differently in different years. But this first verse popped into my mind this weekend:

London bridge is all built up
all built up
all built up
London bridge is all built up
My fair lady
-snip-

And then we'd sing the "London bridge is falling down" verse, and then the "hammer to chop off her head verse."

It makes sense that the bridge would have to be built {up} before it fell {down}. I've found that children like their rhymes to make sense to them. Or, at least, it seems that way to me much of the time. {Notwithstanding the fact that hammer to chop off her head doesn't make much sense. But I submit that most urban young children have seen hammers, but may have never seen a hatchet, except, perhaps a fake one with a Halloween costume, or maybe a real one that is held by a fire fighter?}


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Mo the caller
Date: 27 May 08 - 10:58 AM

I only heard Inky Pinky Ponky (which I posted before I went off for the long weekend) once, it was chanted while the teacher's back was turned by the girl in the next desk.

We put the "chopper to chop off your head" after Oranges and Lemons.
Played as described, but when a child was caught the two making the arch would ask "Oranges or lemons?" and you would whisper your choice. The arch people would have decided which of them headed the Oranges and which the Lemons, you would be told who to stand behind. When everyone had been caught the game ended with a tug-of-war.
This was a game we were organised into playing at childrens parties (up to age 10 I suppose, though there would be younger and older cousins and siblings).

Have we mentioned
Solomon Grundy born on Monday.....Died on Saturday, Buried on Sunday
That was the end of Solomon Grundy.
And
Old Roger is dead.

Those were two more that I only heard from adults not other children.


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 27 May 08 - 10:29 AM

As a child I had a book which had a real effect on me. It was more of a poem than a rhyme but I think it is worth mentioning.

The Fairies

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl's feather!

Down along the rocky shore
Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds
Of the black mountain-lake,
With frogs for their watch-dogs,
All night awake.

High on the hill-top
The old King sits;
He is now so old and gray
He's nigh lost his wits.

With a bridge of white mist
Columbkill he crosses
On his stately journeys
From Slieveleague to Rosses;
Or going up with music
On cold starry nights,
To sup with the Queen
Of the gay Northern Lights.

They stole little Bridget
For seven years long;
When she came down again
Her friends were all gone.
They took her lightly back,
Between the night and morrow,
They thought that she was fast asleep,
But she was dead with sorrow.
They have kept her ever since
Deep within the lake,
On a bed of flag-leaves,
Watching till she wake.

By the craggy hill-side,
Through the mosses bare,
They have planted thorn-trees
For pleasure here and there.
Is any man so daring
As to dig one up in spite,
He shall find the thornies set
In his bed at night.

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl's feather!

- W. Allingham

It is the third poem listed in this link:

fairy poetry


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 May 08 - 10:10 AM

I knew 2 versions of Old Man - went to bed with a hole in his head and he couldn't get up in the morning is one, and the other is Bumped his head when he went to bed. I never got the impression he was dead, though, even with the hole in his head.

My version of Hudge Fudge went Hudge, Fudge, call the judge, mama got a newborn baby / Not a boy, not a girl, just an ordinary baby / Wrap it up in tissue paper send it down the elevator / ...and then there were stops for all the floors. No dead baby.

Yes, those Germans sure knew how to scare kids into being good, eh!


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 23 May 08 - 11:50 PM

Hello, Wincing Devil. I'mma let someone else have the pleasure of debunking that myth the connection between "Ring Around The Rosie" and the Plague.

But, with regard to your comment, "What idiot puts a baby in a tree anyway?", here's a rather longish excerpt from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock-a-bye_Baby which provides some theories about the origin of the song "Rock-A-bye Baby"{On The TreeTop}:

"Rock-a-bye Baby" may be an American nursery rhyme and lullaby, whose melody may be a variant of the English satirical ballad Lilliburlero. Originally titled "Hushabye Baby", this nursery rhyme was said to be the first poem written on American soil. Although there is no evidence as to when the lyrics were written, it may date from the 1600s. It is rumoured that it was written by a young pilgrim who sailed to America on the Mayflower. He was said to have observed the way native-American women rocked their babies in birch-bark cradles, which were suspended from the branches of trees, allowing the wind to rock the baby to sleep. However, the branches holding the cradles sometimes had a habit of breaking, causing the cradle to fall and the baby in it to get hurt.[citation needed] Rock-a-bye as a phrase apparently was first recorded in 1805. The nursery rhyme suggests a falling, apparently related to a terrible accident in 1706 where the Earl of Sandwich's son was tossed without warning from his cradle. The cradle was later found in the Thames River empty and alone.

Another source reports that Effie Crockett, a relative of Davy Crockett, wrote the lyrics in 1872 while babysitting a restless child.[citation needed]

In Derbyshire, England, local legend has it that the song relates to a local character in the late 1700s, Betty Kenny (Kate Kenyon), who lived with her charcoal-burner husband, Luke, and their eight children in a huge yew tree in Shining Cliff Woods in the Derwent Valley, where a hollowed-out bough served as a cradle. [1]

Yet another theory has it that the song, like "Lilliburlero", refers to events immediately preceding the "Glorious Revolution". The baby is supposed to be the son of King James II of England, who was widely believed to be someone else's child smuggled into the birthing room in order to provide a Catholic heir for James. The "wind" may be that political "wind" or force "blowing" or coming from the Netherlands bringing James' nephew and son-in-law, William III of England, a.k.a. William of Orange, who would eventually depose King James II in the revolution. The "cradle" is the House of Stuart Stuart monarchy.[2]"...


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 23 May 08 - 11:25 PM

Neil D, don't mind me. I was in a double entendre mood, but that too, has passed.

:o)

**

As a child, I recall singing:

"It's raining, it's pouring
The old man is snoring"

But I never heard those other two lines. Given the topic of this thread, I assume you meant that the old man didn't get up because he had "kicked the bucket" {meaning "died"} ?

Btw, who was "the old man" anyway? Were we actually referring to God when we said this? Interesting...I never thought of that before.
I recall my mother telling us kids that thunder was God talking.And I guess "lightning" occurred when God was angry-but I don't think my mother ever told me that...


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Wincing Devil
Date: 23 May 08 - 11:24 PM

What about "Ring around the Rosie" ostensibly about Black Death and "Rock A Bye Baby". When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall and most probably kill baby. What idiot puts a baby in a tree anyway?


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 23 May 08 - 11:15 PM

john f weldon, I associate those two lines

"Here comes a candle to light you to bed
Here comes a chopper to chop off your head"

with the children's singing game "London Bridge Is Falling Down"

Are they part of the version of London Bridge that you know?

I remember singing

First verse:
London bridge is falling down
falling down
falling down
London bridge is falling down
My fair lady.

Second verse: [this was sometimes omitted]
Take a key and lock her* up
lock her* up
lock her* up
Take a key and lock her* up
My fair lady.

Third verse
Here comes the hammer to chop off her* head
chop off her* head
chop off her* head
Here comes the hammer to chop off her* head
My fair lady.

* "Her" was changed to "him" if a boy was the one caught, However, even if the "prisoner" was a boy, the ending was always "My fair lady".

I certainly didn't uderstand what the words to this song meant. For instance, I didn't know that "London" was a city anywhere, or what that "London bridge" actually referred to a bridge [or as a little child knew what a "bridge" was]. And I didn't know what "My fair lady" meant. As an adult. I'm guessing that it meant "My beautiful lady", but as a child I didn't have a clue what it meant, and actually didn't really care whether the words meant anything at all. In addition, I don't think that I thought of the words to the song as being gruesome, although someone chopping off another person's head is certainly gruesome. Words to this singing game and other singing games were just words that were sung and actions that were played because that's how we learned them. I don't even remember how I learned this song & its accompanying actions. I suppose that some older child or my mother or some teacher taught it to me & my sisters.

Here's how I remember playing London Bridge in Atlantic City, New Jersey in the early-mid 1950s:

Girls and boys [probaby 6-10 years old] played this game without adult initiation by having two kids stand facing each other. These "guards" would make an arch by stretching their arms above their heads and holding the other child's hands. I'm calling them guards, but I don't think we called them anything or maybe we called them "the leaders". As I recall, these two were the only ones who sung the song.

The other players formed a line and walked under that arch {which I suppose represented the bridge, but I don't think I knew that as a child}. The line of children started out walking moderately fast in time with the song. But, when the song got very near the end of the second verse {or the end of the first verse if the second verse was omitted}, the children walked faster because no one wanted to be the one who got caught. At the beginning of the second verse {or the beginning of the third verse if the second verse was omitted} the two "guards" brought their arms down and still tightly held each other hands. By this action, they "caught" the child who was walking under the arch at that time. This child was the "prisoner" {although we didn't use that referent or any referent except "the one who got caught". That "prisoner" stayed inside the enclosed hands throughout the second verse {if it was sung} and the third verse. The "guards" swayed back & forth while singing the "here comes the hammer to chop off your head" verse. The other children remained in the line watching. They may have sung too, but my recollection of that is cloudy. At the end of the third verse, supposedly, the prisoner became one of the guards, and the song continued from the beginning. One of the former "guards" was supposed to join the line with the other children. I believe this "former guard" was supposed to go to the end of the line. The second time the game was played, that former guard was also supposed to join the line of children, and in that way, every player would have a turn as the guard. However, sometimes because of the strength of their personality :o) the "guards" refused to relinquish their roles, and kept on singing and capturing other children in their handhold until-for whatever reason-the game ended.

The object of London Bridge was not to be "captured" in the handhold. Notwithstanding the words of the song's third verse, the action of the game didn't have anything inat all to do with a person's head. There wasn't any touching or chopping motions or hitting that occurred near or actually to the captured child's head.

**

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Bridge_is_Falling_Down provides the lyrics to several versions of "London Bridge" that don't include this "hammer [or chopper] to chop off her head" line. However, that article describes a similar performance activity of a line of children walking through an arch formed by two children.

**

PS: My children grew up with this song because I taught it to them. My recollection is that their friends and schoolmates [in Pittsburgh, 1980s] didn't know this game/song. Also, the children in the after-school groups that I facilitated in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the late 1990s to 2006 didn't know this singing game before I taught it to them.

It seems that the only singing games that they did know were the circle games "Ring Around The Rosie", "Hokey Pokey", and "Little Sally Walker" {which I knew as "Little Sally Ann}, and "Going To Kentucky". Actually, the children in the late 1990s, knew two versions of "Little Sally Walker". Two examples of this updated version-"Little Sally Walker {Was Walking Down The Street}" are posted on this page of my website: http://cocojams.com/games_children_play.htm. I collected one of those examples from some children in a Pittsburgh, PA neighborhood-and then subsequently heard it sung by other children when I asked about it. The other remarkably similar example was posted in 2004 by LNL on Mudcat's Children's Street Songs thread. And, if I recall correctly, this newer version of "Little Sally Walker" has been posted on that same Mudcat thread or another Mudcat thread at least one other time by another person.


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 23 May 08 - 11:07 PM

Azizi,
    We used to chant that when I was a kid whenever it would rain. Especilly in the summertime when we would otherwise be out running the neighborhood. I never even thought of a double entendre for "get up in the morning". LOL.
                        Neil


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: john f weldon
Date: 23 May 08 - 09:08 PM

Here comes a candle to light you to bed
Here comes a chopper to chop off your head


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 23 May 08 - 09:02 PM

Jack and Joe, when I wrote the question "Are you guys* serious?", I hadn't read your post yet and was referring Neil D's post and Snuffy's two posts.

I was reading much too much into their examples. But I'm all better now, and I'll refrain from being off-task henceforth and forever more...Well, maybe that's a bit too much to expect. How's this? I'll try to be as good as I can be.


All jokes aside, I really appreciate the scholarship shared by posters to this thread.

* In this context "guys" mean males & females


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Joe_F
Date: 23 May 08 - 08:44 PM

Azizi: "Baby, baby, naughty baby" is in _The Annotated Mother Goose_ (W. S. Baring-Gould & C. Baring-Gould, Eds., Potter, New York, 1962), p. 226. The book has a bibliography, but no references to it. Certainly, the use of Bonaparte as a bogeyman strongly suggests that it is British & early enough for Napoleon still to be thought of as The Enemy.


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 23 May 08 - 08:42 PM

Are you guys doing this on purpose??

Okay. Alright. I need to remind myself-think about the children..think about the children.

**

Thanks, Snuffy for the definition for saveloy-I think.

Lol.


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 May 08 - 08:39 PM

"Water, water, wallflower" is in Ritchie's "The Golden City", recorded in Edinburgh in the early Fifties.

There's one song theme which dates back to the 17th century in Scotland as "Jenny jo" and is also found in German in "Das Knaben Wunderhorn" (set by Mahler as "Irdisches Leben"). A child is starving, but before she can get any bread it has to be (in successive verses) sown, grown, reaped, threshed, milled, kneaded and baked... and it's too late, she dies. There were several catastrophic famines in 17th century northern Europe and that's presumably where it comes from. The moral point, that the desperate *can't wait*, isn't made in any other song I know of.


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Snuffy
Date: 23 May 08 - 08:27 PM

There was an old man called Michael Finnegan
He grew fat and then grew thin again
Then he died and had to begin again
Poor old Michael Finnegan
Begin again


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Snuffy
Date: 23 May 08 - 08:25 PM

Never heard of "Inky pinky ponky" but we had a similar one (NE Cheshire, UK, early 50s)

Charlie, Charlie, chuck chuck chuck
Went to bed with three young ducks
One duck died
Charlie cried
Charlie, Charlie, chuck chuck chuck


In England a saveloy is a boiled sausage, very bright orangey pink and about 9 inches to a foot long, sometimes served deep fried in batter. I believe the name derives from "cerebellum" as it was originally made from the brains of animals, and is similar to a German Cervelatwurst


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 23 May 08 - 08:17 PM

Neil D, I was gonna write something flippant about the last line of that example you posted. But I thought I better not, since this is a thread about children's rhymes.

:o)


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 23 May 08 - 08:00 PM

It's raining, it's pouring
The old man is snoring
He bumped his head and went to bed
And couldn't get up in the morning.


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 May 08 - 06:00 PM

I learnt the "shave and a haircut" tune in England in the 1950s as

Bombs and bananas
Fried chips

which I assume dates from WW2.


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 23 May 08 - 04:39 PM

Elfcall, thanks for that information about the "Joy To The World" parody. The fact that that parody was on The Simpsons explains why it appears to be so widely known.

**
"Mo, how is "inky pinky ponkey" played? Is it a jump rope rhyme, a hand clap rhyme, a counting out {choosing it} rhyme or some other kind of rhyme?

And what is a "savaloy" as mentioned in this line "Along came a savaloy and hit him on the head"

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Snuffy
Date: 23 May 08 - 08:38 AM

Taffy was a Welshman. Taffy was a thief.
Taffy came to my house and stole a leg of beef.
I went to Taffy's house. Taffy was in bed.
I picked up a poker and bashed in his head.


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Mo the caller
Date: 23 May 08 - 03:51 AM

"Go tell Aunt Rhodie the old grey goose is dead"
"Who killed cock robin?"
"Ding dong bell, pussy's in the well"
Those I got from books, this one I heard at school (London, early 50s)
Inky pinky ponky
Daddy bought a donkey
Donkey died
Mummy cried
Inky pinky ponky.

this one my sister learned a few years later
I-tiddly-i-ti eat brown bread
I saw a sausage fall down dead
Along came a savaloy and hit him on the head
I-tiddley-I-ti
Brown bread

In those days we were not the mixed race community that London is now, very white and English. So the nonsense words and the exotic savaloy may have had an element of mocking foriegners in. (I-ti = Italian)
The "tune" of the last 2 line was the same as
Shave and a haircut
Two bits.
I.e. spoken with rythm and intonation.


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Subject: RE: Mention of Death in Children's Rhymes
From: Mo the caller
Date: 23 May 08 - 03:36 AM

Kat, the song about tying the leaves on the tree comes from a short story The Last Leaf   by O'Henry about a young woman who gets pneumonia and predicts she will die when the last leaf falls from ivy she can see from the window. An old neighbour goes out in the night to paint the last leaf on the glass and the sufferer recovers. But the friend catches pneumonia and dies. Not a children's story.


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