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Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme

DigiTrad:
JUMP ROPE CHANTS
THREE SIX NINE


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Richard Bridge 22 Jul 10 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,Rog 22 Jul 10 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,kath uk 28 Jun 10 - 04:45 AM
GUEST,unknown 31 May 10 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,Ron in Montreal 25 May 10 - 09:16 PM
GUEST,Avaree 24 May 10 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,swilliams 22 May 10 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,ASeparateReality 20 May 10 - 12:50 PM
GUEST,Ty Thomas 26 Apr 10 - 03:31 PM
Bryn Pugh 07 Apr 10 - 06:21 AM
Bryn Pugh 07 Apr 10 - 06:11 AM
GUEST 07 Apr 10 - 03:55 AM
GUEST,mikey 18 Mar 10 - 10:08 AM
GUEST,Sara 27 Feb 10 - 05:29 PM
Azizi 31 Oct 09 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,Shailvi 31 Oct 09 - 04:34 AM
Mo the caller 15 Sep 09 - 08:10 AM
Mo the caller 15 Sep 09 - 03:05 AM
GUEST 14 Sep 09 - 03:51 PM
Azizi 03 Sep 09 - 10:15 PM
GUEST,matou 03 Sep 09 - 09:46 PM
GUEST,KM 03 Sep 09 - 08:17 PM
Azizi 23 Aug 09 - 09:20 AM
GUEST 23 Aug 09 - 09:01 AM
Flash Company 06 Aug 09 - 10:56 AM
GUEST,Michelin Man 05 Aug 09 - 11:40 AM
GUEST,Michelin Man 05 Aug 09 - 11:38 AM
GUEST,Ang 05 Aug 09 - 06:45 AM
GUEST 12 May 09 - 06:00 PM
Azizi 10 Mar 09 - 09:19 PM
GUEST,alfred 10 Mar 09 - 09:01 PM
GUEST,Gibb 05 Mar 09 - 10:10 PM
GUEST,Elderly Fellow 05 Mar 09 - 02:52 PM
Azizi 05 Mar 09 - 05:55 AM
Azizi 05 Mar 09 - 05:05 AM
GUEST,Gibb 05 Mar 09 - 12:21 AM
Azizi 21 Jan 09 - 04:33 PM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Jan 09 - 03:58 PM
Azizi 21 Jan 09 - 11:45 AM
GUEST 21 Jan 09 - 11:07 AM
Azizi 06 Jan 09 - 10:05 AM
Azizi 06 Jan 09 - 10:00 AM
mg 05 Jan 09 - 08:24 PM
Weasel 05 Jan 09 - 03:45 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Jan 09 - 07:16 PM
Weasel 04 Jan 09 - 07:01 PM
Azizi 04 Jan 09 - 06:49 PM
Snuffy 04 Jan 09 - 05:31 PM
Azizi 04 Jan 09 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,John h 04 Jan 09 - 11:36 AM
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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 05:41 PM

100


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST,Rog
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 03:23 PM

NOT LAST NIGHT BUT THE NIGHT BEFORE
2 TOM CATS CAME KNOCKING ON MY DOOR
I OPENED THE DOOR TO LET ME IN AND
THEY HIT ME ON THE HEAD WITH A
ROLLING PIN,THE ROLLING PIN WAS MADE
OF BRASS THEY TURNED ME UPSIDE DOWN
AND SMACKED MY ARSE.
I WENT OUTSIDE TO GET SOME COAL AND
A BLOODY GREAT RAT RAN UP MY WHOLE
(HEARD AT SCHOOL IN PORTSMOUTH 1950'S


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST,kath uk
Date: 28 Jun 10 - 04:45 AM

My grandmas version in the early 60's was;

Not last night but the night before,
Three Tom cats came knocking at the door.
One had a fiddle,
One had a drum,
One had a poker sticking up his bum!
(North East England, aprox 1962)

Never forgot it cos my mum went mad at her for teaching me a rude song!


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST,unknown
Date: 31 May 10 - 08:35 AM

Not last night but the night before
24 robbers came knocking at my door
I went downstairs to let them in
and this is what they said to me

Ballerina ballerina turn around
Ballerina ballerina touch the ground
Ballerina ballerina do the splits
Ballerina ballerina count to six


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST,Ron in Montreal
Date: 25 May 10 - 09:16 PM

This is the version I heard in the 1950's from my Scotish ancestors living in the Gaspe region of Quebec Canada.

Not last night but the night before
Three big tomcats came to my door
They knocked at the door and I let them in
I knocked them down with a rolling pin
...

There was more but I do not remember.

It is truly amazing how this rhyme circulated (and changed) through so many cultures and countries
- and all before the internet.


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST,Avaree
Date: 24 May 10 - 06:18 PM

Not last night but the night before
twenty four robbers came knocking at my door,
as i ran out, they ran in
and hit me on the head with a rolling pin,
i asked them what they wanted,
and this is what they said,
chinese lady turn around,
chinese lady touch the ground,
chinese lady do a high kick,
chinese lady get out of here quick!

~hope this helps


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST,swilliams
Date: 22 May 10 - 04:35 PM

yall all saying it wrong


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST,ASeparateReality
Date: 20 May 10 - 12:50 PM

Not last night but the night before,
24 robbers came a knocking at my door,
I went out to see who it was,
and what do you think they said to me...

Lady, lady, turn around,
lady, lady, touch the ground,
lady, lady, show your shoes,
lade, lady, that will do.


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST,Ty Thomas
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 03:31 PM

This is so funny to me. This past weekend my cousin & I were trying to teach our daughters the jump rope & hand games we played as kid's & we were haveing a hard time remmembering this one, but we finally got it. We jumped rope to this rhyme

Not last night but the night before.
25 robbers came knocking at my door
As I ran out (we would run out the rope)
They ran in (we would run back into the rope)
They hit me on th ehead with the rolling pin.
I asked them why they did it, and this is what they said.
Jonny struck a match and the match went out but the bottom of the match was still sticking out.

The end of the rhyme makes no since to me at all but it was a fun game to play w my cousin's and friends.


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 06:21 AM

Sory, Azizi, I hadn't noticed that the first one had been posted previously. To make up for this here is a rhyme we used to sing (?) on Pancake Tuesday :

Pancake Tuesday, a very happy day
If you don't give us a holiday, we'll all run away.
Where shall we run to ? Down Cotton Lane !
Here comes Teacher with a big fat cane!
Eating toffees, cracking nuts,
Swallowing pancakes down her guts.

Cotton Lane was the street on which the reformatory - sorry - infants and juniors school - which I attended, was to be found.


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 06:11 AM

Dear Azizi,

If you are still collecting kids' skipping (jump rope) rhymes, here are three I remember from a "misspent" (BG) childhood -

One, two, three
Mother caught a flea.
She put in the tea pot
To make a cup of tea.
The flea jumped out -
Mother shouted out
"Here comes a copper (police man)
With his arse hanging out!".

Red, White and Blue-
The dirty kangaroo
Went behind the dustbin
To do a number two.

(dustbin = trash can ; I don't need to explain number two, do I ?)

Red, White and Yeller
Me mother had a feller.
The feller died, me mother cried
Red, White and Yeller.


Kindest, Bryn


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 03:55 AM

Not last night, but the night before
Twenty-Four dicks came knockin' at my door
I went down stairs to let one in
He hit me on the head with a rolling pin

Now, the rolling pin was made out of brass
Fell off the table and broke my arse
So, I went up stairs to go to bed
And a bucket of shit fell on my head


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST,mikey
Date: 18 Mar 10 - 10:08 AM

i got it from a book.


Not Last night but the night before
three young tomcats cam to my door
one had a fiddle and one had a drum
and one had a pancake stuck to his bum!

thats it thats all bye


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST,Sara
Date: 27 Feb 10 - 05:29 PM

I just found this thread my grandmother used to always say this rhyme my mom said she believes it was a jump rope song from when she was a kid... My grandmothers mom was from England, but my grandmother was from here (New Jersey, USA).. anyway the version I know and love is:
Not last night but the night before
a pickle and a lemon came knockin on my door
I ran down stairs to let them in
they hit me over the head with a rolling pin
I ran upstairs to get my gun
you oughta see the pickle and the lemon run


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: Azizi
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 05:24 PM

Thanks for that example, GUEST,Shailvi.


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST,Shailvi
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 04:34 AM

The version i heard goes like...

Not last night but the night before
24 mothers came knocking at my door..
I went down to let them in...
i hit them on the head with a rolling pin..
Some ran east and some ran west...
the rest flew ova the Cookoo's nest..

or something like that...
and in between each line, it was like the audience say
* step back baby step back...


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: Mo the caller
Date: 15 Sep 09 - 08:10 AM

There was a misplaced line there. I'll repost it and maybe a moderator will delete the other.

The example posted on Aug 5th ending

1 called Peter, 1 called Paul
but the third little pussy didn't have a name at all"

is another example of the folk-magpie-process.

Those lines sound as if they are stolen from the souling rhyme (N.W. England). Which used to be recited door to door on All Souls Night, before American pumpkins took over.

Soul, a soul, a soulcake
Please good missus a soul cake
.....
One for Peter, one for Paul
And one for him who made us all.

Though thinking about it there was also a rhyme I learnt as a child in London c1950, which at the time I never associated with the apostles

2 little dickie birds sitting on a wall
1 named Peter 1 named Paul
Fly away Peter, fly away Paul.
Come back Peter, come back Paul.

It was a finger-play. Started with 2 fists with a finger up. When the birds fly away the fingers go behind the back, then come back again.


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: Mo the caller
Date: 15 Sep 09 - 03:05 AM

The example posted on Aug 5th ending

1 called Peter, 1 called Paul
but the third little pussy didn't have a name at all"

is another example of the folk-magpie-process.

Those lines sound as if they are stolen from the souling rhyme (N.W. England). Which used to be recited door to door on All Souls Night, before American pumpkins took over.

Soul, a soul, a soulcake
Please good missus a soul cake
.....
One for Peter, one for Paul

Though thinking about it there was also a rhyme I learnt as a child in London c1950, which at the time I never associated with the apostles

2 little dickie birds sitting on a wall
1 named Peter 1 named Paul
Fly away Peter, fly away Paul.
Come back Peter, come back Paul.

It was a finger-play. Started with 2 fists with a finger up. When the birds fly away the fingers go behind the back, then come back again.
And one for him who made us all.


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 03:51 PM

1970's Liverpool, possibly from 1940's / 50's Liverpool

d'ya know last night?
dya know the night before?
three black cats came knockin' at the door
they said
If ya dont let us in
we'll knock the door in
and you won't see your mother or your father anymore.


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 10:15 PM

GUEST,KMm thanks for posting that example. That "step back baby step back line at the end adds an interesting rhythmic piece to that rhyme. I'm guessing that's a relatively new addition.

**

GUEST,matou, thanks also for sharing your example and sharing demographical information. Your version is the first time I've read or heard any food being the ones who came to the door. That's interesting.

**

By the way, this forum has lots of discussion threads about children's playground rhymes. Here's a link to another thread.
thread.cfm?threadid=4300
Children's Street Songs

When you click on that page, below that title, you'll find a number of other hyperlinked threads. I'm sorry that this particular discussion doesn't have any such list.

I hope guests will continue to visit here or join-since membership is free (click on the icon up the top near the right end of this page, and follow those instructions).

Thanks again!

Ms. Azizi


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST,matou
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 09:46 PM

Not last night but the night before,
A lemon and a pickle came knockin' at my door.
I went downstairs to let 'em in,
And they hit me on the head with a rollin' pin.

I was born in 1949. Washington,D.C. So, I must have heard it in the early '50's.


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST,KM
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 08:17 PM

Not last night but the nigth before
24 robbers knocked at my door
i oppened up the door and let them in
then hit them on the head with a rolling pin
step back baby step back


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Aug 09 - 09:20 AM

Thanks to all who have posted to this thread.

Keep those examples coming!

**

Guest 23 Aug 09 - 09:01 AM, thanks for including a date with your example.

It would be great if people posting children's playground rhymes on this thread and on other threads would also include as much general demographical information as they can. By general demographical information I mean:

-where you learned or first heard the rhyme (city/state if in the USA, city, country if outside of the USA)

-when (year/decade you learned or first heard this rhyme such as 1970s, or mid 1990s)

-who (gender, age/s of persons chanting rhyme; the children's/youth's race/ethnicity would also be interesting to know)

Also, it would be helpful to include how the rhyme/song was performed (for instance, handclap rhyme, jump rope/skipping song)

Thanks again!

-Azizi


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Aug 09 - 09:01 AM

The way I remember it from the 70's is:

Not last night, but the night before
24 robbers came knocking at my door.

As I went out to let them in
They hit me on the head with a rolling pin.

I asked them what they wanted

And this is what they said:
Spanish Dancer do a kick, split

Turn around, touch the ground,
Get out of town!

Spanish Dancer, come right back
Sit on a tack
Read a book, but do not look!


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: Flash Company
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 10:56 AM

Somewhere in my record collection I have Fats Waller singing:-
Last night or the night before,
Twenty four robbers came to my door,
Opened the door and let them in,
Hit me on the head with a bottle of gin.
I warn you,
You'd better beware,
I warn you,
Those robber men are everywhere

Can't remember the rest but will look it up if anyone is interested

FC


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST,Michelin Man
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 11:40 AM

I heard the Skipping Rhyme submitted by 'Elderly man' almost 50 years ago. Sung by my daughters (East Yorkshire)

They got told off because it was rude.


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST,Michelin Man
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 11:38 AM


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST,Ang
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 06:45 AM

I remember from being little

"not last night but the night before
3 black cats cam knocking at the door
1 called Peter, 1 called Paul
but the third little pussy didn't have a name at all"

that's all I can remember but it ends with something like

"she took him in and he got fat
She called him Pat and that was that"


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST
Date: 12 May 09 - 06:00 PM

Not last night, the night before,
2 tom cats came knocking at the door.
I went down to let them in,
and they knocked me down with a rolling pin.
The rolling pin was made of brass,
they picked me up and smacked my ass.
I went up to get in bed,
and fell in the pi** pot,
heels over head.
I went down to clean my shirt,
a spark came off,
and burnt my firt!


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: Azizi
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 09:19 PM

Guest, alfred, I've never seen or heard that example before.

Too bad you forgot to include geographical information and year or decade you learned it.


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST,alfred
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 09:01 PM

the one i heard was:not last night but the night before,24 n-words knocked on my door,ran upstairs to get my gun,tripped on the toilet on the run,couldn't swim couldn't float,goddamn log went down my throat,ran downstairs to get a drink,smashed my balls on the kitchen sink..i forget the rest. my stepbrother taught it to me when i was 10 or so.


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST,Gibb
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 10:10 PM

Hi Azizi,

Sounds like a cool book/project! It will be especially interesting to hear your analyses of these rhymes in terms of their possible impact on ethnic/racial dynamics, as you suggested. It would be an understatement to say that in that particular town (in which I grew up till age 8) there was some sort of (atypical?) transformation going on with respect to people's ethnic/racial attitudes.   For one, it was a majority African-American suburb in the Northeast. Second, it had recently been awarded the title of an "All American City," which I believe is usually given out based on perception of diversity. We even had a town song, which we sang in school, that bragged about being an "All American City."

Of course, as a kid I never thought about these things at the time. When recently I mentioned, to my parents, my memory of my fondness for the song "Ebony and Ivory," which I'd sing to myself for hours while swinging on swings, they laughed and said "It figured!"--something about that town I guess, a vibe (an agenda?) that I wouldn't have noticed being born there, but must have struck them as different from the (other) towns/environments they grew up in.

Hopefully sometime soon I'll get a chance to ask my sis (2-3 years my senior) about some of the rhymes she remembers.

Gibb


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST,Elderly Fellow
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:52 PM

I found this one in the Menu of a Hotel restaurant in Inverness, UK.

"Not last night, but the night before, Two little Kittens came knocking at my door, One had a Trumpet, One had a Drum, And one had a Pancake, stuck to his Bum".

That sounds to me like a Girl's Skipping rope chant.


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: Azizi
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 05:55 AM

Hello, again Gibbs.

I'm writing to let you know that I took the liberty of reposting the "I Like Coffee I Like Tea example on this Mudcat thread:

thread.cfm?threadid=100653
Down Down Baby-Race in Children's Rhymes*

*In some parts of the USA anyway, "Down Down, Baby" is a commonly used contemporary name for the "I Like Coffee I Like Tea" ["I Love Coffee I Love Tea"] family of rhymes.

**

Also, Gibbs, I plan to edit a book (sometime) on examples of this rhyme, and as per the agreement that I have with Mudcat founder/owner Max Spiegel and Mudcat chief moderator, Joe Offer regarding use of guests posts, I intend to include your post in that collection.

Fwiw, the first book that I will publish will focus on examples of "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky" rhymes. Many of those examples came from guests posts to this Mudcat thread:

Origins: Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky

**
To you Gibbs, and to all guests whose posts I have included and will include in these (projected) folkloric collections of children's rhymes, and to the members whose prior permission/s I have received to include their posts, I give my sincerest thanks!!

Azizi Powell


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: Azizi
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 05:05 AM

Hello, Gibb.

Thanks for sharing your remembrances of girls chanting this handclap rhyme, including adding demographical information. This example is the first one that I have found that mentions the problems that can occur when this rhyme is clapped by two or more girls of different races. And in a lot of ways, I think that dilemma is progress toward lessening the confrontation between races that is reflected in this rhyme.

Here's my take on that "you don't shine" phrase:

In this context, "shine" means to be as radiant as the sun or stars. Saying "you don't shine" to a boy means that you don't think that he is anything special (in looks, and/or in actions, or in his very being) as he or she thinks he is. Perhaps that use of "shine" comes from the outer (or inner glow) that people are said to have because of their auras or their spirit. Theorectically , the aura* of a good or great person shines brighter than that of a person who is evil or ordinary. And a charismatic person would be described as shining brightly.

A somewhat related use of "shine" is when a person says "I took a "shine" to him (meaning "I liked him").

*auras are usually unseen colored lights that surround a person's body; the different colors are said to reflect the person's thoughts and feelings.


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST,Gibb
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 12:21 AM

Stumbled on this because I was remembering the "I like coffee, I like tea" clapping rhyme, and wondering what the ol' Mudcat had to say.

I went to elementary school starting in 1980, in Bloomfield, Connecticut (adjacent to Hartford). The girls (including my sister) did clapping games on the bus everyday it seemed, and when they hung out in the street, etc. Demographic note: my family is White; Blacks (including many Jamaicans) are a majority in the town, and were most of our playmates.

The version to this one went:
"I like coffee, I like tea
I like a Black/White boy an' he likes me
So step back White/Black boy, you don't shine
I'll get a Black/White boy to beat your behind."

The girls would switch the race of the boy, depending on who was singing. Sometimes there'd be confusion if a White and a Black girl were playing together, and they'd sort of get jumbled up on that word and try to push their version. Sometimes they would agree on a skin tone based on a previous conversion about who the girl whose "turn" it was actually "likes." The reason why I remember distinctly that they did it both ways was that as a little kid I tried to imagine what "you don't shine" meant. I'd try to reason what skin tone "shined" more! Needless to say, I never figured it out!


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: Azizi
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 04:33 PM

Malcolm thanks for that reminder.

Before I posted that, I was wondering if 'clout' could mean 'dish cloth'.

So does "An' ane gat the dish-clout o'er his bum" mean "And got a dish cloth on his bum"?

Does this mean that the person was swiped with a dish cloth for being impertinent or for some other reason?


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 03:58 PM

Don't place too much trust in online dictionaries. A clout in this context is a cloth, and a 'dish-clout' is a piece of fabric used for wiping and/or drying dishes. Nowadays more commonly 'tea-towel' or 'dish-rag'; 'clout' in that sense is a bit old fashioned and used chiefly in Scotland and the north of England.


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: Azizi
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 11:45 AM

Thanks for sharing that version, Guest 21 Jan 09 - 11:07 AM.

In case someone else besides me needed this information, because the word "clout" was unfamiliar to me, I looked its meaning up online. Apparently it means clout "a blow, especially with the fist". And "bum" as used here means "butt".

[Which goes to show you that "English" English isn't always the same as "American" English]


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 11:07 AM

I have an old version where cats not robbers come through the door.

No last nicht but the nicht afore
three black cats cam' roarin' at the door
Ane got whiskey, ane got rum,
An' ane gat the dish-clout o'er his bum.


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: Azizi
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 10:05 AM

Correction-

Imo, such projects should include racial/ethnic demographical information about the individuals who remember these rhymes.

Also, sorry. I forgot to say thanks to Weasel. Thanks also, mg, for sharing that example and including demographical information.

mg, I've read the Spanish dancer version before, but hadn't associated the Spanish dancers with Gypsies [meaning the Spanish dancers were Gypsies?}. Or are you saying that the rhyme said "Gypsy dancers" instead of saying "Spanish dancers"?


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: Azizi
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 10:00 AM

Weasel, though I admit that I cringed when I got to the "n word" in your example, I think that it's important to collect examples of children's playground rhymes that include racial referents.

This could be an interesting research project for some folklorist/s. Imo, such projects include racial/ethnic demographical information about the individuals who remember these rhymes.

In my opinion, studying these types of children's rhymes could tell us something about "the ways things were" {and hopefully not the way things still are}. But those kind of research projects can't happen if people don't collect these types of rhymes.

That said, I have an entirely different view of actually singing children's rhymes that contain derogatory racial references or rhymes that put down other races/ethnicities/religious groups etc.

Even if the rhyme has is associated with happy memories of your childhood, I don't think it should be passed down to another generation of children unless it's words are "cleaned up" {such as what occured with the "Eenie Meenie Minie Mo" counting out rhyme}.


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: mg
Date: 05 Jan 09 - 08:24 PM

Here is what we did in Longview, Washington, USA in the mid 50s..

Not last night but the night before
24 Spaniards (gypsies?) came knocking at my door
Asked them what they wanted this is what they said
Spanish dancers do the splits
Spanish dancers give a high kick
Spanish dancers turn around
Spanish dancers leave the town


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: Weasel
Date: 05 Jan 09 - 03:45 PM

I wouldn't dream of performing it at all nowadays nor of teaching it to kids, but when we were kids it was just a rhyme and meant as little to us as all the other versions. I mentioned it because no-one else had.

Cheers


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Jan 09 - 07:16 PM

Since in this day and age that version is considered inappropriate, how would (or would you?) perform it? What substitutions would you consider appropriate?

SRS


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: Weasel
Date: 04 Jan 09 - 07:01 PM

In the version I learnt as a kid it was:

You know last night, you know the night before
Three little nigger boys come to our door
One 'ad a thrumpet, one 'ad a drum
And t'other 'ad a poncake stuck to 'is bum).


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: Azizi
Date: 04 Jan 09 - 06:49 PM

Oh, that's right. I had forgotten that. Thanks, Snuffy.

I've read that in the olden days males as well as females wore nightgowns. I guess but did they call them "chemises"? {if that's the plural of "chemise"} But I thought that chemise were only worn by females? How can a person wearing a chemise have a jimmy?


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: Snuffy
Date: 04 Jan 09 - 05:31 PM

"Shimmy" is a corruption of chemise, and means a thin night gown or similar garment (Scroll down the Wikipedia article to Modern usage of the term)


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: Azizi
Date: 04 Jan 09 - 11:54 AM

LOL!

I didn't know that "shimmy" was another word for "butt". And children in some cultures might not know what you meant by "jimmy". They might think you meant that you burnt a boy named Jimmy...

Well, maybe not...


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Subject: RE: Not Last Night But The Night Before-rhyme
From: GUEST,John h
Date: 04 Jan 09 - 11:36 AM

Here's a Hull version of the two tom cats; My mother waited till I was about fifty years old before revealing the full version of verse two...Not for more delicate readers.

You know last night, the night before,
Two tom cats came knocking at the door.
I went downstairs to let them in,
They hit me on the head with a rolling pin.

I went upstairs to get into bed,
They threw the pisspot at my head.
I went downstairs to dry my shimmy,
Fell in the fire and burnt my jimmy.


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