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I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes

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Azizi 20 May 05 - 12:50 AM
Azizi 20 May 05 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,Joe_F 20 May 05 - 09:47 AM
Azizi 20 May 05 - 10:05 AM
Abby Sale 20 May 05 - 10:52 AM
SINSULL 20 May 05 - 11:41 AM
SINSULL 20 May 05 - 11:48 AM
SINSULL 20 May 05 - 12:01 PM
Azizi 20 May 05 - 12:04 PM
Azizi 20 May 05 - 12:12 PM
Azizi 20 May 05 - 12:15 PM
Azizi 20 May 05 - 12:19 PM
Bev and Jerry 20 May 05 - 01:04 PM
Barbara 20 May 05 - 10:39 PM
Bev and Jerry 21 May 05 - 01:14 AM
GUEST,Joe_F 21 May 05 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,smiler 21 May 05 - 09:34 AM
Abby Sale 21 May 05 - 10:33 AM
The Fooles Troupe 21 May 05 - 07:28 PM
GUEST,Joe_F 22 May 05 - 10:23 AM
GUEST,JennyO 22 May 05 - 10:44 AM
GUEST,Azizi 22 May 05 - 12:13 PM
Snuffy 22 May 05 - 06:23 PM
Bev and Jerry 22 May 05 - 06:37 PM
The Fooles Troupe 22 May 05 - 08:21 PM
Pogo 22 May 05 - 10:46 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 22 May 05 - 11:12 PM
Barbara 22 May 05 - 11:22 PM
wysiwyg 22 May 05 - 11:27 PM
GUEST 23 May 05 - 06:25 AM
Azizi 23 May 05 - 06:47 AM
Azizi 23 May 05 - 06:53 AM
GUEST,Inukshuk 23 May 05 - 07:37 AM
The Fooles Troupe 23 May 05 - 08:35 AM
Snuffy 23 May 05 - 09:36 AM
The Fooles Troupe 23 May 05 - 09:47 AM
Snuffy 24 May 05 - 08:16 AM
Azizi 24 May 05 - 10:22 AM
Bev and Jerry 24 May 05 - 05:25 PM
wysiwyg 24 May 05 - 05:35 PM
Snuffy 24 May 05 - 07:16 PM
GUEST,Puffenkinty 24 May 05 - 08:15 PM
Snuffy 24 May 05 - 08:29 PM
Azizi 24 May 05 - 09:09 PM
Azizi 24 May 05 - 09:13 PM
Azizi 24 May 05 - 09:29 PM
Azizi 24 May 05 - 09:46 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 May 05 - 09:51 PM
Pogo 24 May 05 - 10:13 PM
GUEST,WYS 24 May 05 - 10:36 PM
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Subject: I'm Rubber . Your Glue;Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 20 May 05 - 12:50 AM

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

-snip-

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}:

TWO WAY PASS AWAY
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


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 20 May 05 - 09:11 AM

One 'family' of children's rhymes that I'm particularly interested in is the 'Ink stink' rhymes.

Here are two examples from that family of children's rhymes:

Ink stink.
A bottle of ink.
Somebody let out
an awful stink.
It was Y-O-U!

{from my memories of my childhood in Atlantic City, New Jersey,1950s and various other children 1970-2002, including 8 year old African American girl, Fort Pitt Elementary School, Pittsburgh, Penn. 2002; }

I remember the first four lines being said when someone farted, also known as 'letting out wind' and 'passing gas'.

The addition of the last line marks this as an elimination rhyme that was used to choose "It" in hide and go seek and other chasing games.

This example was given as part of my daughter's second grade class room's assignment to recite 'choosing It' rhymes.

****

Stunk in the barnyard. **
Pee yew!
Who did it come from?
From you.

{8 year old African American boy, Fort Pitt Elementary School,
Pittsburgh, Penn. 2002; classroom assignment to recite 'Choosing It" rhymes}

** Although in this case, the boy clearly said 'stunk', I'm wondering if other people say 'Skunk in the barnyard. Pee yew!"


Azizi


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 20 May 05 - 09:47 AM

Happy Birthday to you.

You belong in the zoo.

*

Silence in the courtroom! The monkey wants to speak.

Whoever speaks now is the monkey for a week.

The monkey's in the courtroom, eating a bowl of beans,

While ----'s on the toilet, sinking submarines.

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: You have to die of something. :||


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 20 May 05 - 10:05 AM

Thanks for posting your examples Joe!

I remember the "Happy Birthday to you' rhyme as:

Happy Birthday to you.
You live in the zoo.
You look like a monkey.
And you smell like one too.

****

I also vaguely remember a rhyme that said "Order in the court!"
I'm not sure if it was the same as your silence in the court.

Does anybody else remember any "Order [Silence] in the court" rhymes?


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Abby Sale
Date: 20 May 05 - 10:52 AM

I remember "I'm rubber. You're glue." from grade school in the late 40's. This was among white (mixed ethnic) boys on Long Island. It was a response to some slight, of course. Same as "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me." I recall we always had the feeling, having said the latter (much more defiantly) that retreat was indicated. There was the (mandatory) expectation that the other would then look around for some sticks and stones. Seemed only natural. "I'm rubber," on the other hand, was not seen as defiant and was more of a "sour grapes," surrender response.

Now that I think of this, I've seen a number of write-ups of this stuff (the Opies and Lib of Congress "Afro-American Blues & Game songs" and English Folk-Rhymes_, GF Northall come to mind) but I don't recall much of any discussion of the emotional content & force of the stuff. When is it serious and when is it clearly formulaic or just kidding?

You might make something of that. Maybe.

If you come across it, I'd be very, very interested to learn the game song (and how it was played) that Len Chandler & Bob Kaufman collected in Alabama (or New Orleans) that became "Green Rocky Road."


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: SINSULL
Date: 20 May 05 - 11:41 AM

Order in the court room!
Monkey wants to speak!
Speak, monkey, speak!


And the first to speak is the monkey. Used in our family car for years in an attempt to keep five battling kids quiet.


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: SINSULL
Date: 20 May 05 - 11:48 AM

A sailor went to the 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.

This was a ball bouncing song with the ball passed under your leg for sea and see. Also used in a hand clapping game.

Another one:
A my name is Alice and my husband's name is Al. We come from Alabama and we sell apples.
B my name is Bernice and my husband's name is Bob...you get the idea.

The ball was passed under the leg for the letter and the names beginning with the letter.




From 9 year old boys:
Who slit the sheets?
I slit the sheets.
Whoever slit the sheets
Is a good sheet slitter

One smart fellow, he felt smart
Two smart fellows they felt smart
Three smart fellows
They all felt smart


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: SINSULL
Date: 20 May 05 - 12:01 PM

Made you look
Made you look
You stole your mother's pocket book (or penny book)

after telling someone they they had a stain on their blouse or their shoelace was untied.

One that went on forever and I forget the beginning:

I went to Japan
To see a man
He gave me a nickle to buy a pickle
The pickle was sour
So I bought a flower
The flower was dead so I bought a bed
The bed was broke so I bought a rope
The rope was

It went on until "out goes Y-O-U.


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 20 May 05 - 12:04 PM

Thanks for your examples, Abby.

I was taught 'Sticks and Stones' in the 1950s. I recall this rhyme being taught to children by adults who wanted to reduce the hurt that was likely to occur when children became the victims of name-calling {including racial slurs}. I don't remember children ever using in any exchange with peers.

And Abby, thank you also for the resources that you cited. I am interested in the questions that you raised about "the emotional content & force of the stuff. When is it serious and when is it clearly formulaic or just kidding?"

With regard to the song "Green Green Rocky Road", I remember 'being introduced' to the African American singer Odetta by way of a record she made that included this song. And one day a long time ago [1980s?]I caught the tail end of a Sesame Street segment that had African American children chanting this rhyme while performing a line game {2 verticle lines with an 'alley' in the middle like the 'The Soul Train Line"}.

The closest version of that song I have ever found is "Oh, Green Fields, Roxie". That song is included in "Step It Down" Bessie Jones and Bess Lomax Hawes' 1972 book on African American children's game songs & rhymes from the Georgia Sea Islands {published by theUniv. of Georgia Press, pps 74-75}. However, instead of 'Roxie", the word {actually the phrase} I thought I heard in the Odetta record and TV segment was was 'rocky road'.

Bess Lomax Hawes writes that this is an adaptation of British song "Green grow the rushes, oh". Though Hawes didn't say so, it appears that "Roxie" {a girl's personal nickname or name from "Roxanne"} and "Rocky Road" are examples of folk etymology.

BTW, I checked the DT under that title and also under 'Green Fields Roxie' and didn't get any hits.

While "Oh Green Field, Roxie" isn't a put-down rhyme and may actually 'belong' in the thread on African American secular folk songs, I don't have a problem with including the words to that children's game song in this thread.

ADD: OH GREEN FIELDS ROXIE

"Step It Down",
Bessie Jones & Bess Lomax Hawes, pp. 74-75

Lead Singer               Group Voices
Oh green fields.          Roxie

Oh green fields.          Roxie

Tell me who you love,    Roxie

Tell me who you love,    Roxie

{Lead voice solo}

Ph Miss {Mabel}your
name is called,
Come take as seat right side
your love,
Shake his hand and let him go
Don't let him sit in that chair
no more.

-snip-

Notes from book "..When accompanied by a solid offbeat clap, thiscan be the most jazzily rhythnic of all Mrs Jones' plays.

Form: Ring of children standing and clapping. In the middle of the ring is a chair with a player sitting in it. The 'caller' who leads the singing, stands by the chair.

[first line & second line] All players clap

[third line] caller leans over to player in the chair, who
             whisper the name of another player to the caller

Directions given for lead voice solo:
Caller sings the whispered name.
Player called struts to chair, shakes hands eith player in chair
and sits down. First player dances back to the ring and the game is repeated without pause."

-snip-   

As you can see the performance instruction for version of the song is much different than what I remember from the television segment that I saw.

FWIW, I don't recall this game at all from my childhood. And I have never seen it performed or mentioned among African American children in the Pittsburgh, Penn. area {1969-2005}.



Ms. Azizi


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 20 May 05 - 12:12 PM

Sinsull-Thanks! I just PM'ed you.


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 20 May 05 - 12:15 PM

Ugh!!

Correction: "Oh Miss {Mabel}... in "Oh Green Fields, Roxie"


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 20 May 05 - 12:19 PM

Re: the "I made you look" rhyme

When I was growing up in the 1950s, Atlantic City, New Jersey,
I remember kids saying;

I made you look,
You dirty crook.
You stole your mother's pocket book.
You turned it in
You turned it out
You turned it into
a saurkraut.

{This was played the same way Sinsull remembers}


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 20 May 05 - 01:04 PM

Children's rhymes are a wonderful example of the oral tradition. They are passed along from kid to kid for decades, even centuries, with very little variation - certainly less variation than folk songs. If a kid makes a change in a rhyme, he will be considered wrong by his peers and they will let him know.


Children's rhymes have been collected by many people, especially Ben Bodkin, but kids never learn them from a written source.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Barbara
Date: 20 May 05 - 10:39 PM

In the fifties in Detroit, Michigan, white kids said:
I'm rubber, you're glue
Everything you say
Bounces off me and sticks on YOU!

Order in the courthouse
Monkey wants to speak.
First one to speak is a monkey for a week.
Speak, Monkey, speak.
(which often led to some smart aleck saying the original speaker was the monkey)

Chosing rhymes:
Ein, zwei, drei, horsengoggles.

One potato, two potato, three potato, four
Five potato, six potato, seven potato, you're....OUT!

And on Einie meenie miney moe, we would end it with
...let him go. My mother says to choose the very best one, so
O...U...T spells out you GO!


Cry baby cry,
Stick your finger in your eye,
Tell your mother it wasn't I,
Cry baby, cry.


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 21 May 05 - 01:14 AM

I see Germany, I see France
I see somebody's underpants

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 21 May 05 - 08:57 AM

Sinsull: We had: "I love my love with an A because she is adorable. I hate her with an A because she is asinine. I feed her on acorns & artichokes, and she lives in Ashtabula, and her name is Audrey." Alice & the White Knight (I think it is) play that game in _Through the Looking-Glass_.

"Teacher, teacher, I declare,/ I see ----'s underwear."

There was a tease chant convention in my childhood (1940s, Beverly Hills, CA) based on the color of some article of clothing the teasee was wearing: ", ,/ You " -- say, "Green, green,/ You're mean"; "White, white,/ You're a sight".

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: Bless you, you will be blameless yet, For God forgives, and men forget. :||


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: GUEST,smiler
Date: 21 May 05 - 09:34 AM

There's an article about childrens rhymes in todays Times (UK) newspaper, in the magazine section, not sure if its on line. Great piece though.


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Abby Sale
Date: 21 May 05 - 10:33 AM

I recall boys singing

Happy Birthday to you.
You belong in the zoo.
Get plastered, you bastard,
Happy Birthday to you.

But I don't specifically remember it sung to any actual birthday child.

I know we used several counting and choosing (as in teams) rhymes but they're blanked at the moment.


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 21 May 05 - 07:28 PM

Happy Birthday to you.
You belong in the zoo.
You were born with the monkeys,
And you look like one too.

The 'Monkeys' Birthday song verses were sung to mature age well known friends as a tag on to the normal verse, before or after the 'why was he born' verse, in the same way that Aussies sometimes call their closest friends 'bastard'....


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 22 May 05 - 10:23 AM

In my previous posting, I rashly used elbows to enclose the variables in the formula, and HTML ate the contents. Here it is with braces instead:

{Color}, {Color}, you('re) {rhyme}.

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: The best includes the beginning of the decline. :||


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: GUEST,JennyO
Date: 22 May 05 - 10:44 AM

I've just remembered one from my childhood - growing up in an Australian country town in the 50's. I remember it being done very rhythmically, but I don't remember there being any actions though. I don't think I've ever heard it since - don't know why I remembered it now:

Rin Tin Tin
Swallowed a pin
He went to the doctor
The doctor wasn't in.
He walked (ran?) through the door
And fell through the floor
And that was the end of
Rin Tin Tin.


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: GUEST,Azizi
Date: 22 May 05 - 12:13 PM

Foolestroupe:
I gather from your comments on 21 May 05 - 07:28 PM that you live in Australia. I'm interested in knowing the years that you sang this rhyme and by 'mature age'...friends do you mean that adults [as well as children sang it as a good natured jest?"

And what do you mean by the "why was he born verse" for Happy Birthday?

****
Bev and Jerry-would you please provide some demographics for the example that you cited?

I remember saying
I see London. I see France.
I see {somebody's} underpants.
[Atlantic City, New Jersey 1950s]   

****
Smiler: could you please provide more information about the article in the newspaper that you referred to in your post {is Times the full name of the newspaper?}.

****

Thanks for the examples. Keep them coming!


Ms. Azizi


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Snuffy
Date: 22 May 05 - 06:23 PM

Azizi

"Why was he born so beautiful
Why was he born at all
He's no bloody use to anyone
He's no bloody use at all"

sung to the hymn tune ST. ANNE (O God Our Help In Ages Past)is often sung as part of a trilogy for adult birthdays in Britain and former colonial areas, especially when there has been drink taken. The other two songs are "Happy Birthday To You" and "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow"


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 22 May 05 - 06:37 PM

I see Germany, I see France
I see somebody's underpants


We were both brought up in Cleveland, Ohio (but we got over it). We remember saying and hearing this in elementary school in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 22 May 05 - 08:21 PM

The 'why was he born' was not always sung at a child's birthday party - usually only by adults to adults - often at a workplace (usually sober) - or at some other 'adult gathering' where booze was available - then you would most likely get all three of the trio of songs.

If done for a child, it would usually be by some uncle who thought the child was getting 'mature'.

The monkey stuff was usually more kids stuff (I seem to remember late 50's on in Aus) by kids for kids, but was also a more 'grown up' thing - I have heard several 'variations' on the verse done, usually when there is some 'oneupmanship' happening. Australians didn't use to go much along with the US custom of a 'roast' - usually only a couple of minutes of embarrassment is enough - just enough to say 'now you are one of us, cause you've had this done to you too'.

For very young children - under 7-8, most rational adults don't see the need to confuse the poor child and warp their mind with either of these addons ... :-)


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Pogo
Date: 22 May 05 - 10:46 PM

I'm going to the circus I'm going to the fair
To see a senorita with flowers in her hair
Shake it senorita shake it if you can
Shake it like a bowl of soup and do the best you can
Rumba to the bottom
Rumba to the top
Then turn around and turn around
Until you make an S-T-O-P STOP!

This was a girl's game mostly we would get in a circle, clap in rhythmn and the 'senorita ' would dance then close her eyes and turn around until we yelled stop!

Hand clapping rhymes

Shame shame shame
I don't wanna go to school no more more more
There's a big fat teacher by the door door door
If she grabs you by the collar
Lord you better holler
I don't want to go to school no more more more

I've also heard a version of this where it was Mexico and a policeman

I also remember a version of the sailor rhyme in that we made a miltarsalute when we said see see see. It also added

" Chop chop chop " *make a chopping motion with the hand on the arm*
" Doo Wop Shoo Wop " *do a little boogie dance*
" Chiiina " *turn the eyes upward with the fingers "

And then at the end it was all sung at once " My sailor went to see see see...chop chop chop...doo wop shoo wop...china "

And of course a song I learned at my work from a co-worker..hehe name sounds a bit funny in this day and age

Bimbo bimbo where you gonna go-e-o
Bimbo bimbo what you gonna do-e-o
Bimbo bimbo does your momma know
that you're going down the road to see a little girl-e-o?
Now Bimbo's got two big blue eyes
that light up like a star
and the way to light them up
is to buy him candy bars
Cracker Jacks and bubble gum to start his day off right
With a hole in his pants and his knee stickin' out
He's just big enough to walk...Ohhhh
*repeat first verse up to girl-e-o*

there's others but can't recall them right off hand...


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 22 May 05 - 11:12 PM

I came to see this thread late. Many of the postings bring back (dim) memories of 55-60 years ago. We recited many of the same counting out games or put downs with some variation in the Los Angeles area. eg

Inka Bink,
A bottle of Ink.
The cork fell out and you stink.

I'm rubber, you're glue,
Everything you say sticks to you.

I know you are. Now what are you.

We're twins: your face and my ass. (Junior High taunt)
I see London, I see France,
I see -----'s underpants.

One potato, two potato three potato, four
five potato, six potato seven potato more.

Eenie Meenie Miney Moe
Catch a N....r by the toe,
If he hollers let him go,
Eenie meenie miney moe.
O U T spells out you go.
(my dad heard us say this and punished us for the racial slur. So somehow we started to substitute the word t...r,I mean tiger).

If we did not get the person out we wanted, we might add to the above counts: My mother told me to choose this (very) one.

Mayhap I'll think of others, but it was a very long time ago!

John Hindsill

I remember singing the following song (shortly after WWII, the Big one)to the tune of Whistle While You Work:
Whistle while you work
Hitler is a jerk.
Musellini is a weenie.
The Japs are just the same.
The dad noted above told us that while it was ok to sing about Hitler and Musellini, it was wrong to use the word Japs, and to lump the whole group with bad individuals. I guess my dad was a pretty smart guy! And ahead of his time.


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Barbara
Date: 22 May 05 - 11:22 PM

Ah, and in my Republican white collar suburb of Detroit, in the 50's we sang:
Whistle while you work
Stevenson's a jerk
Eisenhower has the power
Whistle while you work.

Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: wysiwyg
Date: 22 May 05 - 11:27 PM

There is at least one thread thoroughly discussing "Eenie Meenie Miney Moe" that should receive any further discussion on that one. (A link to that thread would also be in order, here.)

Here's one for the collection:

(insert name) is a nut;
He has a rubber butt.
Every time he turns the corner,
Putt putt putt!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: GUEST
Date: 23 May 05 - 06:25 AM

I taught 17 years in city centre schools and I always kept a sharp ear on the playground. Whenever we had to have indoor recess, I'd get the kids going on those timeless playground chants. Each youngster would get a turn. I swear they used to get some from their grandmothers. How else would you explain this one on 1988?
"One two three alarie
I saw sister Mary
Sitting on a bumblarie
Kissing Charlie Chaplin."


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 23 May 05 - 06:47 AM

Foolestroupe;
Help me out here. I'm sorry but I'm a little slow on the uptake. What 'trio of songs' are you referring to in your post on 22 May 05 -08:21 PM?

You wrote "The 'why was he born' was not always sung at a child's birthday party - usually only by adults to adults - often at a workplace (usually sober) - or at some other 'adult gathering' where booze was available - then you would most likely get all three of the trio of songs."
-snip-

I assume that you are talking about that song that Snuffy - PM
Date: 22 May 05 - 06:23 posted [If I haven't said it before, Thanks, Snuffy!]

I'm interested in the idea that there are adult put down songs and adults might also perform variations of songs that originated as chidren's rhymes/songs.

Are these adult putdown songs sung at birthday parties and/or andother events like bachelor parties before weddings??

Does anyone else have any examples of this?

****

Pogo:
Would you please provide some demographical information for your examples? I have collected different versions of those rhymes that you have given from African American girls in Pittsburgh PA 2000s {Going to Kentucky/going to the fair/to see the sister Rita [or "senorita" or 'sister Reena'] with the flower in her hair etc}..I have also collected "I don't want to go to Mexico" from African American girls in Pittsburgh & Philadelphia late 1990s/2000s; and "I don't want to go school" from African American woman from Cleveland, Ohio area {early/mid 1990s}. Btw, This handclapping rhyme comes from "I Don't Want To Go To Macys [department store]

I believe your sailor rhyme is 'A sailor went to sea sea sea". I've also collected versions of that rhyme from the same populations of children I have mentioned.

I am interested in knowing in White girls [and boys?] also know and play these rhymes.

****
John on the Sunset Coast,
I love your examples-especially "We're twins: your face and my ass". I hadn't seen that one before. And I agree that your father was a smart guy!

****
Barbara, I appreciate your post on 22 May 05 - 11:22 PM. That and John's 'Hitler is a jerk' example reminded me that there are political reasons for putdown taunts.

Does else have any more examples of these kinds of taunts?

****
Susan,

I had never seen or heard your example either. It's a great addition. Thanks for posting it!

****
It's remarkable how there is so much similarity in these rhymes over time and place and between different populations.

Thanks to all!

Please keep the examples coming and please remember to include demographical info!


Ms. Azizi


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 23 May 05 - 06:53 AM

Guest 23 May 05 - 06:25, we almost crossed posted.

Thanks for your entry. In one of the Opie books that couple wrote that there will always be children's rhymes about Charlie Chaplin. But I've not heard any around my neighborhood {Pittsburgh.Penn}.

Would you please post where you heard this rhyme in 1988.

I'm guessing that you heard it somewhere in the UK, but I could be off by a continent.


:O)


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: GUEST,Inukshuk
Date: 23 May 05 - 07:37 AM

Yes, at least a continent! This was in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. A veritable seething hotbed of childhood rhymes and taunts. I truly believe that a lot of those simple lines helped us to deal with the pain of growing. Especially "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me." Naive as I am, I still believe that.
Keep up the search. Out of the mouths of babes, etc.


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 23 May 05 - 08:35 AM

The 'trio' of birthday songs refers to the post by Snuffy - 22 May 05 - 06:23 PM


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Snuffy
Date: 23 May 05 - 09:36 AM

Bimbo was recorded in the 1950s by (I think) Jim Reeves, and was a favourite on children's radio programmes in Britain at the time. I recall it as:

Bimbo bimbo where you gonna go-e-o
Bimbo bimbo what you gonna do-e-o
Bimbo bimbo does your momma know
that you're going down the road to see your little girl-e-o?


Now Bimbo's got two big blue eyes
that light up like a star
and the way to light them up
is to buy him candy bars
Cracker Jacks and bubble gum to start his day off right
And ev'rybody follows him, just to ask him for a bite.

Though Bimbo is a ???????? he's quite the roving kind
And though he's just a little boy he's got a grown up mind.
He'll always ????????????????? and talk his baby talk
With a hole in his pants and his knees stickin' out
He's just big enough to walk


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 23 May 05 - 09:47 AM

Snuffy,

you've just reminded me of another popular song of the same period "Knees up, pat him on the Popo".
Next line - "let's hear him laugh".


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Snuffy
Date: 24 May 05 - 08:16 AM

Baby songs seemed very popular back then - remember "20 tiny fingers" or "The naughty lady of Shady Lane"?


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 24 May 05 - 10:22 AM

Am I the only one on this side of the ocean who doesn't know any of those songs that Snuffy and Foolestroupe are talking about?

Lyrics, please!

****

I wonder if anyone else remembers these rhymes from their childhood or knows if kids are still saying them today {I remember saying these in Atlantic City, New Jersey in the 1950s, but I'm sure they are much older}:

Liar, Liar,
pants on fire.

**

Where's [someone's name]
In her skin.
When she jumps out. You jump in.

**

What's your name?
Puddin Tane.
Ask me again,
and I'll tell you the same.

**

See my pinkie.
See my thumb.
See my fist.
You better run.

:>)


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 24 May 05 - 05:25 PM

Liar, liar
Pants on fire
Nose as long as a telephone wire


We still recite this one - everytime we hear one of Bush's speeches.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 May 05 - 05:35 PM

Xxx and Xxxx sitting in a tree,
K- I- S- S- I- N- G.
First comes love,
Then comes marriage;
Then comes xxx with a baby carriage.

~S~


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Snuffy
Date: 24 May 05 - 07:16 PM

What's your name?
Mary Jane
Where d'you live?
Down the grid
What house?
Mickey Mouse
What number?
Cucumber
What street?
Pigs feet
etc etc (forgotten the rest)


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: GUEST,Puffenkinty
Date: 24 May 05 - 08:15 PM

I remember a rhyme to choose
who was "it" for "Hide and Seek"

My mother and your mother
Were hanging out clothes,
My mother gave your mother
A punch in the nose.
What color blood came out?

The caller then named a color, e.g.
Red. Then the caller spelled while
indicating each person:
"R E D" spells red and you are IT!"


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Snuffy
Date: 24 May 05 - 08:29 PM

If our Bob gave your Bob a bob on the nose .....

How did the rest of it go?


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 24 May 05 - 09:09 PM

Snuffy,
When I was growing up in New Jersey in the 1950s I remember hearing and saying: "What's your number? Cucumber".

Here's another rhyme in the pattern of your example posted on 24 May 05 - 07:16 PM.:

Where you live?
In a sieve.

-snip-

This pattern of short rhyming sentences is very much a part African American [and others] oral tradition.

Here's some additional examples of jive talk used by children, youth,and adults:

See ya later, alligator.
After while, crocodile?

****

What's the word, mocking bird?
What I said, cabbage head.

****

If I'm lyin I'm flyin.
[and] grits aint groceries
and Mona Lisa is a man.

-snip-

Incidently, Music Slang Expressions indicates that the word 'alligator' in the rhyme provided above referred to a jazz musician:

Alligator       Originally, a slang term for "Musician".
                Very early in Jazz history, musicians referred
                to themselves as "alligators". Now it simply refers
                to any Swing Devotee (abbrev. 'Gator or Gate)
                Note: Louis Armstrong is often called 'Gate Mouth',
                from the same source.
                Ex:
                'Cat' #1: See ya later, alligator.
                'Cat' #2: After while, crocodile.


Gate or Gator   Jazz musician. Originally used as a
                loving and warm description of Louis Armstrong.
                Folks said his mouth was as large as a "Satchel",
                from which came one of his nick-names -"Satchmo".
                He was also called "Gate Mouth", referring to an
                'Alligator's mouth' (see Alligator definition above)
                above) from which we get the expression "Gate" or
                "Gator" - originally denoting a person as a musician,
                but today it denotes anyone.
                Ex: 'Skin me' "Gate". (Shake hands)

-snip-

Well, if 'alligator' mean a musician, what does 'crocodile' mean? [Maybe that question belongs in the current 'Imponderable' thread].

Frankly, that definition kinda fishy to me...I'm sticking to my belief that most people who said "See ya latah alligatah; afta while crocodile" figured they were talking about the animals with those names- nothing more and nothing less.

And, while I'm on a roll, I guess that saying "Skin me'"Gate" must have been waaay before my time.

In my day {and night} we'd say [and I still say} "Give me some skin" or "slap me five" ...

'Cause this only tangentially has anything what so ever to do with children's rhymes, but oh well, it bes that way sometime..


Azizi


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 24 May 05 - 09:13 PM

Sorry,

I need to correct the punctuation of this example:

"What's the word?", mocking bird.

{Meaning: "What's happenin?" or "Whassup?"


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 24 May 05 - 09:29 PM

Okay, I was tryin to do two things at one time, and proved that I can't do that worth a darn..

Here's another punctuation correction:

After while, crocodile.

and no, I didn't use the preview feature.

That woulda been two much like right.

And speaking of 'right', since I'm writing anyway, I might as well add this other rhyme to the mix {not that it's a put down rhyme, but neither are many of the rhymes & saying that are already in this thread}. So here goes:

Good night. Sleep tight.
Don't let the bedbugs bite.


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 24 May 05 - 09:46 PM

Boy, I shoulda quit when I was half way ahead.. but no-when you're on a roll, it's too much like right to slow down and PREVUEW what you wrote..

But I bet you noticed that I used the wrong "two too to" word, didn't you?

Okay, here's my penance-I'll share with you a really great children's rhyme that I collected in 1985 from African American girls,ages around 9-12 years old in Braddock, Penn {near Pittsburgh, Penn}.

TWO WAY PASS AWAY
Group                Two way pass away
                Two way pass away
Soloist #1        Well my name is Shana
Group                Two way pass away
Soloist #1        They call me "Shay" "Shay"
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 lips
Group                Two way pass away

(Repeat this cheer with the next soloist and continue until every girl has had one turn as the soloist.

-snip-

I believe the refrain of this rhyme comes from "Tu way-packa-way", the signature chant of the New Orleans [African American] Wild Indian groups. However, I didn't know anything about those groups at the time I heard this rhyme so I spelled that 'two' wrong.

I'm sorry to say that I have never met anyone else who remembers this cheer since I heard it that day in 1985. And that's a shame because I would certainly give it high marks for creativity and attitude.

****

Okay, I'm outa here.

If you find any mistakes in this post, please correct them yourself.

:>}


Azizi Powell


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 May 05 - 09:51 PM

From my childhood in the 40's in southern Wisconsin... white males, mostly, but I imagine the girls said them, too.. probably when we were 6-10 years old.

Down in the gas house, hello Pete
Did you ever get a whiff of .....'s feet

Fatty, fatty two by four
Couldn't get through the bathroom door
Had to do it on the floor

Here comes the bride,
Fair, fat and white.

(Guess we had a politically incorrect attitude toward the weight-challenged.)

School's out, school's out
Teacher let the fools out

Man... this could go on and on..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Pogo
Date: 24 May 05 - 10:13 PM

Azizi: The Senorita song and the Shame Shame Shame song, I remember from my childhood, I'd say early/mid 1980's in rural North Carolina around the Cape Fear region and they were very popular chants among both african-american and white children. About that same time, there's also another one popular among the little girls something like a doctor song but I all I can remember of it is " Let's get the rhythmn of the hands *clapclap* (repeated twice) another one where we got the rhythm of the feet and we stomped in cue and " Let's get the rhythmn of the hooot dog " upon which we would put our hands on our hips and swivel them in a circle. It was similar in structure to the sailor rhyme in that at the end we would do the motions all together " Let's get the rhythm of the *clap-clap* *stomp-stomp**some other ones I can't recall now* and then end with " hoooot dog " and the hip swivel.

There was also the ever popular Miss Mary Mack rhyme and the 'dirty' Miss Lucy rhyme

Miss Mary Mack Mack Mack
All dressed in black black black
with silver buttons buttons buttons
all down her back back back

She asked her mother mother mother
for fifteen cents cents cents
to see the elephant elephant elephant
jump over the fence fence fence

He jumped so high high high
Into the sky sky sky
That he didn't come back back back
Till next july lie lie

and the 'dirty' one

Miss Lucy had a tugboat
The tugboat had a bell
The steamboat went to heaven
The tugboat went to...

hellllo operator
please dial me number nine
if you disconnect me
I'll kick your fat

Behind the frigerator
There lay a piece of glass
Miss Lucy sat upon it
and broke her big fat

Assssk me no more questions
Tell me no more lies
The boys are in the bathtub
Eating worms and flies

and a clapping game I learned at girl's camp I would say hmmm mid 90's I think, in the same area. We would sit in a circle with one hand resting palm up under our neighbors' hand and going around the circle slap our neighbors' hand

Down by the banks of the Hanky Panky
Where the bullfrogs jump from bank to banky
Singin' e-i-o-u
Um sacka dilly wacka...ker-plop

whoever had ker-plop! was eliminated from the circle and it would be speeded up.

Also about mid-eighties there's Cinderella dressed in yella went upstairs to kiss a fella, made a mistake and kissed a snake how many doctors did it take? and then counted off (this was a jumprope rhyme)

Snuffy: Heh so that's where it came from. A coworker passed that along to me and said in turn she learned it from her mother. Same region only more recently.


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Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: GUEST,WYS
Date: 24 May 05 - 10:36 PM

What's up, buttercup?

What's the deal, spinnin' wheel?

Where you been, cute-as-sin?

~S~


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