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Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme

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(origins) Origins: Mr. Rabbit, Mr. Rabbit (22)
Lyr Req: Song with Rabbit's Ears - Burl Ives (4) (closed)


Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Jan 07 - 09:39 PM
Azizi 09 Jan 07 - 10:33 PM
Azizi 09 Jan 07 - 10:59 PM
Cluin 10 Jan 07 - 12:40 AM
GUEST,Wordless Woman 10 Jan 07 - 08:15 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Jan 07 - 10:54 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Jan 07 - 11:00 PM
GUEST 10 Jan 07 - 11:20 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Jan 07 - 03:15 PM
Cluin 11 Jan 07 - 03:21 PM
Azizi 11 Jan 07 - 06:04 PM
Azizi 11 Jan 07 - 06:48 PM
Cluin 11 Jan 07 - 06:52 PM
Azizi 11 Jan 07 - 06:53 PM
Cluin 11 Jan 07 - 06:55 PM
Azizi 11 Jan 07 - 06:57 PM
Cluin 11 Jan 07 - 07:10 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Jan 07 - 07:47 PM
Cluin 11 Jan 07 - 08:04 PM
Azizi 11 Jan 07 - 09:30 PM
Azizi 11 Jan 07 - 09:36 PM
Mo the caller 12 Jan 07 - 09:48 AM
Mo the caller 12 Jan 07 - 12:00 PM
Alba 12 Jan 07 - 12:55 PM
Azizi 12 Jan 07 - 03:17 PM
Mo the caller 13 Jan 07 - 05:11 AM
Azizi 13 Jan 07 - 06:53 AM
Mo the caller 13 Jan 07 - 09:48 AM
Azizi 13 Jan 07 - 12:21 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Jan 07 - 03:17 PM
Azizi 13 Jan 07 - 03:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Jan 07 - 04:30 PM
Azizi 14 Jan 07 - 12:15 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: WHO BUILT THE ARK?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 09:39 PM

Some folklorists consider the Brudder Rabbit-Mistah Rabbutt rhymes and games as successors to the Brer Rabbit stories and rhymes of the 19th c. African-Americans, but there seems to be a fair amount of overlap; more Brer Rabbit stories have been collected in the years since Joel Chandler Harris made his important collections in central Georgia. Have patting games always been a part of it along with the stories?
The following patting game rhyme is of the type which may be expanded by adding more questions and answers.

Lyr. Add: WHO BUILT THE ARK?

Chorus:
Uh! whoo built de ahk?
Brudder Norah, Norah.
Uh! who built de ahk?
Brudder Norah built de ahk.

1.
"Say, Mistah Rabbutt,
W'at makes yoe head so ball?"
"Glory be toe Gaud,
Iah bin er buttin' thoo de wall."
Cho. En, uh! whoo etc.
2.
"Say Mistah Rabbutt,
W'at makes yoe eyes so big?"
"Glory be toe Gaud,
I bin er wearin' fals' wig."
Cho. Sez, uh! whoo etc.
3.
"Say, Mistah Rabbutt,
W'at makes yoe nose so flat?"
"Er Glory be toe Gaud,
I'se bin cot in er trap."
Cho. En, etc.
4.
"Say, Mistah Rabbutt,
W'at makes yoe teeth so sharp?"
"Er Glory be toe Gaud,
I've bin cuttin' caun top."
Cho. Sez, etc.
5.
"Say, Mistah Rabbutt,
W'at makes yoe sides so thin?"
"Er Glory be toe Gaud,
Deze bin er skeetin' thoo de win'."
Cho. En, etc.
6.
"Say, Mistah Rabbutt,
W'at makes yoe legs so long?"
"Glory be toe Gaud,
Deze bin hung hon 'rong."
Cho. Sez, etc.
7.
Say, Mistah Rabbutt,
W'at makes yoe nails so long?"
"Glory be toe Gaud,
Deze bin diggin' hup caun."
Cho. En, etc.
8.
"Say, Mistah Rabbutt,
W't makes you cote so brown?"
"Glory be toe Gaud,
Hits humble toe de groun'."
Cho. Sez, etc.
9.
"Say, Mistah Rabbutt,
W'at makes yoe tail so w'ite?"
Glory be toe Gaud,
I keeries hit outer site."
Cho. En, etc.

"The air is accompanied with patting and shuffling of the hands and feet and a swaying motion of the body of those "wrapping him or her up" (as they term it) that can best be compared with the swaying motion of the head of a caged bear. Every few moments one of the *"wrappers" will jump upwards of a foot, and cry "Ah, Lawd!" or "Wrap hit hup, wrap hit hup!" or "Cum toe hit, boys! cum toe hit!" And they will keep this up until you wonder that both the "wrappers" and the dancers do not collapse from exhaustion."
*any connection to present-day term 'rappers'?
The rhyme "known by Virginia, Washington (D. C.) and Maryland Negroes.

From "Negro Songs and Folk-Lore," Mary Walker Finley Speers, Jour. American Folk-Lore, 1910, vol. 23, no. 90, pp. 435-436.


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Subject: Lyr Add: PETER RABBIT, HA! HA!
From: Azizi
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 10:33 PM

Here's another Mister Rabbit song from African American traditions:

PETER RABBIT, HA! HA!
Peter Rabbit, ha! ha!
Stole my cabbage, ha! ha!
Caught him in the garden! ha! ha!
Sop that gravy, ha! ha!
Ain't he pretty? ha! ha!

Peter Rabbit, ha! ha!
Stole my cabbage, ha! ha!
Caught him in the garden, ha! ha!
Suck his bones,ha! ha!
Ain't he pretty? ha! ha!

Source: Altona Trent Johns, "Play Songs Of The Deep South {Washington, D.C, The Associated Publishers Inc., 1944, p. 6}

Notations are given for this song on page #7. The song is listed as being sung "in a spirited manner".

The play directions are given as follows:

"All childen except two, i.e. the "Farmer" and the "Rabbit", stand in a large circle about a foot apart. They sing and clap throughout.

The "Farmer" is in the center and as the song begins, he chases the "Rabbit" who is outside of the circle in and out of the cirle between the singers until the "Rabbit" is caught.

Then "Farmer" joins the group, the "Rabbit" goes to center and becomes the "Farmer"; a volunteer "Rabbit" takes his place outside the circle and the game is resumed."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: Azizi
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 10:59 PM

Some years ago I read an article written in the mid 1950s as I recall about the large number of Rabbit songs that were known to African American children in the South. Regrettably, I don't remember the title of this article. However, the author [an African American woman]lamented how African American children in the urban South knew so few Rabbit songs when there was a time when so many of these songs were known and performed as circle games. Unfortunately, if that same author were to write about this genre of songs now, she would probably find that not one Rabbit song is known or performed nowadays by African American children in urban areas or rural areas-unless the song is taught in mostly non-existent public school music classes.

**

Altona Trent John's 1944 book "Play Songs From The Deep South" includes drawings by James A. Porter. These drawings show African American girls and boys having fun playing circle games. These children appear to be of elementary school age {6-12 years old or so}. No adult is shown in these drawings.

If someone from my community {Pittsburgh, PA} were to draw a realistic depiction of African American children playing circle games nowadays, it would show an adult {probably a pre-school or kindergarten teacher or a teacher's aid} directing girls and boys ages 2-5 years in a game of "Ring Around The Rosey" or "Hokey Pokey".

It appears to me that "Ring Around The Rosie" and "Hokey Pokey" are the only circle songs most adults {African American and other races/ethnicities?} at least in my area know. And it definitely appears that after kindergarten, most African American children don't play circle handclap games-except competition circle handclap games like Strolla Ola Ola/Stella Ola Ola

I believe that these old game songs [sans dialect] are worth sharing & studying*.

I also believe that the contemporary [post 1950] handclap rhymes, foot stomping cheers, cheerleader cheers, and other children's rhymes which have replaced "Rabbit songs" are also worthy of preservation, sharing, and studying.

* By 'studying' I mean considering their possible pyscho-social meanings and purposes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: Cluin
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 12:40 AM

I know several American Indian tribes had Trickster tales where Rabbit was the trickster, most notably around the Gulf Coast. Was there a Trickster Rabbit tradition that had roots in Africa as well?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: GUEST,Wordless Woman
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 08:15 PM

Coincidentally, during Tower Records' going-out-of-business sale last month, I picked up a CD of Scottish Children's Songs, recorded by Alan Lomax in 1951. Quite a few of the songs were familiar to me and it brought back such happy memories. I've shared them with several friends (all in our mid-50s) and all sorts of childhood songs and games came tumbling out of our memories. I'd love to hear more songs.

Sorry for highjacking your thread.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 10:54 PM

Indians of the southeast have tales involving a rabbit, who outwits a wolf; Prof. J. H. Vest has written in "American Indian Quarterly" and in "Weber Studies" about Bobtail and the Wolf.

There is much argument about where some of the Brer Rabbit stories originated; Africa, India or American Indian, but the arguments in some of these so-called scholarly studies are based on shaky or nebulous evidence, not substantiated very far into the past.
Most students, however, attribute the Brer Rabbit stories to African precursors; there the tales concerned many other animals besides hares. The Brer Rabbit stories may represent the survival of a segment of these stories.

In the West of North America, the principal tricksters are Coyote and the Raven.

The stories of the southeast as interpreted by Vest (others dispute some of his conclusions) are discussed by him at this Weber website:
http://weberstudies.weber.edu/archive/archive%20B%20Vol.%2011-16.1/Vol%2012.3/12.3Vest.htm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 11:00 PM

"The Brer Rabbit stories may represent the survival of a segment of these stories." This statement is incomplete without stating also that the stories were augmented and increased in variety in their new environment.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 11:20 PM

Thank you Q

Some of Axix's posting are more than a smidge-bit A-centric.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Jan 07 - 03:15 PM

Some of the Rabbit stories may have come from Europe. Students have pointed out the similarities between French animal tales and those of the African-American tradition, e. g., Iole Apicella of Yale New Haven Teachers Institute.
Similarities

The rabbit and the tortoise appear in the European stories.
In some stories, the trickster fox appears, e. g., "Roman de Renart," Pierre Saint Claud, is mentioned, although others are more familiar to English-speakers. In Africa, the fox is replaced by the jackel in some of the stories.

Courlander quoted this little rhyme from Louisiana cantes about Brother Rabbit:

Ai yè ya, Compère Lapin,
C'est ti bête qui conné sauté.
Wai yè ya, Papa Lapin,
C'est ti bête qui conné: sauté.

Ai ye ya, Brother Rabbit,
He is a little creature who knows how to jump.
(both lines repeated)
Harold Courlander, 1963, "Negro Folk Music, U. S. A.," p. 172-173.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: Cluin
Date: 11 Jan 07 - 03:21 PM

Which tradition has it that the "man in the moon" is actually a rabbit?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Jan 07 - 06:04 PM

"Was there a Trickster Rabbit tradition that had roots in Africa as well?"

See this excerpt from Three African Trickster Myths

"Almost all-traditional cultures tell stories featuring specific tricksters. For example, Coyote, Hare, and Raven are the featured tricksters across North America. West African trickster stories star Tortoise, Anansi the Spider, Zomo the Hare (African storytellers brought the latter to America where it was integrated with the native American hare eventually becoming Bre'r Rabbit) or Eshu, the mischievous messenger of the gods in Yoruba (Nigeria) mythology.

In Japan, tricksters are Badger, Tengu, mischievous trickster spirits, and Kitsune, a shape-shifter. In Europe and South and Central America the trickster can be Fox or Wolf. Norse mythology has Loki as their trickster. Greek mythology has Hermes as theirs. Of course, there are more in other cultures...

The common type of African folktale tells us about a very human-acting animal who uses his wit and cunning to take advantage of bigger and stronger animals. Sometimes this animal will help others, but it will always take care of itself first.

There are many, many African tricksters in myths and folktales. Some of them are:

1. Gizo- the spider trickster of the Hausa tribe of West Africa.He is sometimes a villain to the Hausa . His exploits include numerous adventures that are part of the repertoires of other African tricksters.

2. Anansi/ Kwaku (Uncle) Anansi- the spider, who behaves like a man, of the Ashanti and related Akan peoples of West Africa.
Anansi is the paramount trickster hero of the Ashanti and related Akan peoples. He is also a culture hero and, frequently, a buffoon. He is preoccupied with outfitting the creatures of the field and forest, men and even the deities.

Sometimes he is seen sympathetically, even as wise. He is more often characterized as cunning, predatory, greedy, gluttonous and without scruples. Although he may be admired for his frequent victories over those who are larger and stronger than himself, he does not usually gain moral approval. He can be shrewd, yet he is often stupid or an unwitting clown.

3. Ijapa - the tortoise of the Yoruba tribe of West Africa.
Ijapa is shrewd, sometimes wise, conniving, greedy, indolent, unreliable, ambitious, exhibitionistic, unpredictable, aggressive, generally preposterous, and sometimes stupid. Though he has bad character, his tricks, if ingenious enough, can excite admiration. Ijapa survived in the United States Black folklore as Brother Terrapin.

4. Spider - of the Fiote People of Central Africa.

5. Hare - of the Bantu peoples of the Republic of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Zambia.

The Hare is found in stories in most parts of Africa. One southern African story tells how Hare lost humans the chance of immortality. The moon sent Hare to the first people with the message, "Just as the Moon dies and rises again so shall you." But Hare got the message wrong and told them, "Just as the Moon dies and perishes so shall you". When the Moon found out what Hare had said, she beat him on the nose with a stick, and since that day Hare's nose has been split.

6. Jackal - of the Hottentots of the Kalahari Desert and its fringes (Namibia and western Botswana).

7. Jackal - of Somalia.

8. Abunuwas (also called Kibunwasi) - from East Africa and other offshore islands of Zanzibar, Madagascar and Mauritius.
Abunuwas is sometimes also called Kibunwasi. He was originally a celebrated eighth century Arab poet. He is genial, clever, cynical and a flouter of morals. Abunuwas is the human equivalent of the spider, the tortoise and the hare of Africa folklore.

9. Eshu- the mischievous messenger of the gods of the Yoruba tribe of southern Nigeria.

When the first African Americans brought trickster tales with them to the United States and the Caribbean West Indies they began to make up new trickster tales of their own about the kind of animals they encountered in the American South, Jamaica, the Bahamas and other Caribbean Islands. All of these new tales kept the pattern of the African trickster tales where a resourceful animal hero having human traits used deceit and sly trickery, and sometimes magic, to get what it needed from bigger and strong animals.

Many freed slaves from England returned to Freetown, Sierra Leone after they fought for the British during the Revolutionary War. Some slaves from the Caribbean and those from slave ships captured by the British navy also returned to Sierra Leone. These peoples became known as Sierra Leone Creoles and today they outnumber the Mende and Temne inhabitants who had migrated from central Africa. So some trickster tales that had come originally from Africa, moved to America and the Caribbean and then returned to Africa through the Sierra Leone Creoles".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Jan 07 - 06:48 PM

Somewhat off topic, but this may be of interest to some folks here:

Regarding #2 in my last post to this thread, the word "Anansi" literally means "spider" in the Akan language of southern Ghana and The Ivory Coast.

"Kwaku" does not mean "uncle". "Kwaku" is an Akan day name which means "male born on Wednesday". [Females born on Wednesday are named "Akua" or "Akuba"].

See this excerpt from Ghana Web :

"The akragya as mentioned earlier are seven planetary deities believed to assist the Supreme Being in dispensing the Kra's (souls). The seven deities' names are where we get our names for the seven days of the week, Sunday through Saturday. According to the day of the week that you are born on, you're supposed to inherit the personality of the corresponding deity, which is why most Africans name their children (soul name) based on the day of the week they're born on (natal day)....

[for example]-"Wednesday deity name-AKU; male name-KWAKU; female name; AKUA; planet name; (Mercury); peronality Wise and learned"

-snip-

"The Book Of African Names" edited by Chief Osuntoki {Drum & Spear Press, 1977; reprinted in 1991 by Black Classic Press} indicates that the meaning of Wednesday {Wukuada)is "Fame".

**

Btw, Mudcatter Quarcoo's name is a variant form of the name Kwaku.
And the name "Quack" which can be found on listings of enslaved African Americans and Black people in the Caribbean probably also came from this Akan day name.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: Cluin
Date: 11 Jan 07 - 06:52 PM

Thanks for the above post, Azizi. I remember hearing (reading) the tale of Hare's split nose now. I was pretty sure it came from somewhere in Africa, but I wasn't sure. Probably mentioned in a Joseph Campbell book somewhere.

My brain needs a defrag.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Jan 07 - 06:53 PM

Also #2 in the list of African tricksters, I believe the person who wrote this line about Anansi {Ananse} probably meant 'outwitting' rather than "outfitting". Therefore that line should read "He is preoccupied with outwitting the creatures of the field and forest, men and even the deities".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: Cluin
Date: 11 Jan 07 - 06:55 PM

Wondered about that...

Had a picture in mind of a big spider running a departmentl store.

Walmart.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Jan 07 - 06:57 PM

LOL!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: Cluin
Date: 11 Jan 07 - 07:10 PM

Ijapa the tortoise reminds me of Tippy Turtle, a recurring animated character from mid-80s Saturday Night Live.

Hey, Tippy Turtle!
Whatcha gonna do today?
"First I'm gonna bother everybody I meet
Then I'll prob'ly go home and get drunk."


Essentially he practiced cruel, bothersome practical jokes on innocent bystanders, wreaking havoc in little ways. One episode had him scribbling "I have a bomb! Put all your money in a bag and slide it across to me or I'll explode it here and now!" on the back of a withdrawal slip (remember those?) at a bank and putting it bank in the pile, then sitting back giggling to wait and watch for the poor unfortunate wretch who tried to use it.

I have a particular fascination with Trickster myths and stories. Always have. I always thought Loki was the most interesting character in Norse myths. Without him, the Aesir would have just sat around getting fat.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Jan 07 - 07:47 PM

Somehow the middle part of my last post was cut out and the reference to the article by Iole Apicella of the Yale New Haven Teachers Institute, on "Similarities between African Folktales and French Folktales," was lost. The article discusses the stories in general, and the African tricksters are compared with those in the "Roman de Renart" by Pierre Saint Claud. The fox is important in European trickster stories.

http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1993/2/93.02.01.x.html

Similarities

All cultures seem to have smart or trickster animal stories.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: Cluin
Date: 11 Jan 07 - 08:04 PM

Often the Trickster is also Creator or Manfriend. Prometheus fulfilled a Trickster role.


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Subject: Lyr Add: RABBIT IN THE PEA PATCH
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Jan 07 - 09:30 PM

Shifting gears back to Mistah Rabbits songs, here's an example of a play party song from the vinyl record "Old Mother Hippletoe, Rural and Urban Children's Songs (New World Records, Recorded Anthology of American Music; 1978)


RABBIT IN THE PEA PATCH
Rabbit in the pea-patch, shoo-lye-love (sing sentence 5x)
Shoo-lye love, my darling
You love Miss Sally (substitute another name;5x)
Shoo-lye-love, my darling 
You stole my partner, shoo-lye love (5x)
Shoo-lye-love, my darling 
But I'll get another one, shoo-lye-love (5x)
Shoo-lye-love, my darling
Pretty as the other one, shoo-lye-love (5x)
Shoo-lye-love, my darling     

**
According to the record notes written by Kate Rinzer, this song was sung in unison by children who were watching the game being played. Boy and girl couples performed this "play party game" by skipping hand in hand around a lone boy. The boy would eventually "steal" a girl of his choice from one of the couples. The person who is now alone becomes the new "rabbit in the pea-patch".

-snip-

I think part of the reason for the demise of these songs is that their references are foreign or outdated....For instance, what's a pea patch? I figure a pea patch is probably a small patch {garden} where peas {beans? like string beans?} are grown. But I bet if you sung this song to American kids they'd likely to giggle over the word 'pea' since it sound just like the word 'pee'...I think that's reason enough-if I were teaching this song to children- to change the word 'pea' to "beans"....

Also, note the co-ed feature of this song...That's another reason why not just this song, but play-party songs in general aren't played now...When's the last time you saw girls and boys over six years old playing circle games, let alone circle games where the boys and girls are partnered up? It just ain't happenin...at least not in my neighborhood...

I'd love to know if children 7-12 years old in your neck of the woods play singing games together at their own initiation, and not directed by an adult in school, after-school, or summer camp programs.  


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Jan 07 - 09:36 PM

**

See this interesting article on Kansas Play-Party Songs by Myra E. Hull
{November, 1938 (Vol. 7, No. 4), pages 258 to 286
Transcribed by lhn; digitized with permission of the Kansas State Historical Society.

Here's Myra Hull's definition of play-party songs:
"The play party was invented for the benefit of those young people who liked to have a good time, but whose parents did not permit them to go to dances. Fifty years ago, in my native community, near Douglas, the young people were divided into three groups: those who were not allowed to attend any parties, but found their social excitement at literary societies, singing schools, spelling bees, or even in revival meetings; those who attended play parties; and those lost souls who went to dances"

-snip-

Note that the author says "young people" and not "children". If they are performed at all, play-party songs appear to have been relegated to pre-schoolers and kindergarten children, and are usually not chidlren initiated. However, in the "olden days", play-party songs were "played" by teenagers and young adults.

It's fascinating the changes that have occurred as the world turns...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: Mo the caller
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 09:48 AM

Then there are those dreadful games like "Postman's knock" which I can't see anyone wanting to play. At least nowadays people do not need the 'permission' of a party game to kiss whoever they want to. It was slightly outdated in my youth, but taught by adults.

Back to the start of the thread.
30 years ago there was a UK radio programme called "Listen with Mother" for preschool children where I heard and liked a version of this song

Mister Rabbit, mister rabbit your ears are mighty long
Yes oh lo-ord they're put on wro-ong
Ev'ry little soul must shine shine shi-ine
ev'ry little soul must shi-ine shine shine.

Mister Rabbit, mister rabbit your tail is might white
Yes oh lo-ord I'm getting out of sight
Evry...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: Mo the caller
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 12:00 PM

Misre rabbit, mister rabbit, you're in a mighty habit
Coming in my garden, eating all my cabbage
...
that verse must have come begore the last verse (with the sp mistake) above


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Subject: Lyr Add: FIVE LITTLE RABBITS
From: Alba
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 12:55 PM

Rabbits - a Counting Rhyme


Five Little Rabbits

Five little rabbits
(Hold up all 5 fingers )
Sitting by the door,
One hopped away,
And then there were four.
(Bend down one finger)

Refrain
Hop, hop, hop, hop,
(Clap each time you say hop)
See how they run!
Hop, hop, hop, hop,
(Clap each time you say hop)
They are having lots of fun!

Four little rabbits
(Hold up four fingers)
Under a tree,
One hopped away,
And then there were three.
(Bend down one finger)

Refrain

Three little rabbits
(Hold up three fingers )
Looking at you,
One hopped away,
And then there were two.
(Bend down one finger )

Refrain

Two little rabbits
(Hold up two fingers)
Resting in the sun,
One hopped away,
And there was one.
(Bend down one finger)

Refrain

One little rabbit
(Hold up only one finger)
Left all alone,
He hopped away,
And then there were none.
(Hide hand behind your back)

Refrain

Hop, hop, hop, hop!
(Clap each time you say hop)
All gone away!
Hop, hop, hop, hop!
(Clap each time you say hop)
They'll come back some day.


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Subject: Lyr Add: LITTLE BUNNY FOO FOO
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 03:17 PM

LITTLE BUNNY FOO FOO
Lyrics: Traditional
Music: Traditional


Little Bunny Foo Foo
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin' 'em on the head

Down came the good fairy and she said

"Little Bunny Foo Foo,
I don't want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin' 'em on the head
I'll give you three chances
And if you don't behave
I'll turn you into a goon"

The next day

Little Bunny Foo Foo
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin' 'em on the head

Down came the good fairy and she said

"Little Bunny Foo Foo,
I don't want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin' 'em on the head
I'll give you two more chances
And if you don't behave
I'll turn you into a goon"

The next day

Little Bunny Foo Foo
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin' 'em on the head

Down came the good fairy and she said

"Little Bunny Foo Foo
I don't want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin' 'em on the head
I'll give you one more chance
And if you don't behave
I'll turn you into a goon"

The next day

Little Bunny Foo Foo
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin' 'em on the head

Down came the good fairy and she said

"Little Bunny Foo Foo
I don't want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin' 'em on the head
I gave you three chances
And you didn't behave
Now you're a goon! POOF!"

The moral of the story is
HARE TODAY, GOON TOMORROW

**

"Little Bunny Foo Foo" is usually listed as 'traditional'.
I suppose 'traditional' here means traditional with regards to USA culture, but I'm not sure.

Most resources indicate that this children's song is of unknown origin.

This notation was posted on a Grateful Dead website along with the above lyrics: "[Little Bunny Foo Foo was]"Played occasionally by the Grateful Dead as an instrumental 'tuning'. But Brent once sung some of the lyrics (on 3 May 1987..."

http://www3.clearlight.com/~acsa/introjs.htm?/~acsa/songfile/LITTLEBU.HTM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: Mo the caller
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 05:11 AM

I never knew you had field mice over there, we certainly do in the UK. And I imagined the goon was a reference to The Goon Show on the BBC.
But I'm probably wrong, the only time I heard Bunny Foo Foo it was chanted, not sung. That was at a church young people's holiday concert in 1968.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 06:53 AM

Mo, one reason why I like "Little Bunny Foo Foo" is its ending line.
I'm sure you probably 'got' that that line is a witty play on words of the saying "here today, gone tomorrow".

**

http://www.answers.com/topic/goon gives these definition for "goon"

n. Slang.
1. A thug hired to intimidate or harm opponents.
2. A stupid or oafish person.

{3}[Probably ultimately short for GOONEY, simpleton.]
-snip-

I think that the #2 and #3 meanings are most applicable to the meaning of goon as it is used in that song. However, it was because "Little Bunny Foo Foo" was 'bobbin field mice on the head" and didn't heed the warning to stop doing so, that he {or she} was turned into a goon. So I guess there's an element of the first definition in that song too.

**

YouTube has 455 video hits for the title "Little Bunny Foo Foo".
Here an example of this song that I thought were kinda cute-ignoring the fact that kids might like the boppin on the head action & references in that song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFzaUo3PZ4

"Little Bunny Foo Foo" is also featured in this videotaped medley of children singing songs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aVy7TDTaFk


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: Mo the caller
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 09:48 AM

Ah, that's the tune for Punchinello.
"what are you doing little punchinello, what are you doing punchinello dear
I'm doing this....etc
We'll do it too...
One child stand in centre of ring, does an action (v2), the others copy it (v3)

Sorry for hopping away from the thread.


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Subject: Lyr Add: PUNCHINELLA
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 12:21 PM

Continuing to be off topic but Mo started it :o}

In my childhood and as late as 2004 I've heard children sing the song "Punchinella" {not Punchinello}.

The Punchinella tune that I remember and that I've heard isn't like "Little Bunny Foo Foo". It's moderate tempo and thus faster than "Little Bunny" etc.

I can't think of a children's song that's similar to it and this is when I deeply regret that I don't know how to read or write music notes.

The words that I remember, and read, and collected are similar to the ones you gave, Mo. Here's the version from my childhood {Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1950s}:

PUNCHINELLA
What can you do
Punchinella, Punchinella
What can you do Punchinella in the shoe

[Oh] we can do it too
Punchinella Punchinella
We can do it too
Punchinella in the shoe

[Oh] who do you choose
Punchinella Punchinella
Who do you choose
Punchinella in the shoe

-snip-

In Pittsburgh, PA area children sang {and adults remembered the song as being- "What can you do Punchinella/47/what can you do Punchinella in the shoe." The rest is the same as above...

I think the 47 is from Heinz 47 {the catsup maker, because it's based in Pittsburgh..That's just speculation, but I can't think of any other reason for it.

I think the "in the shoe" version is folk etymology for a line I've read "Punchinella, funny you". The "in the shoe" version may come from the Buster Brown shoes that I can barely remember which apparently had a picture of Buster [or was it Buster Brown & his dog Tige inside the shoe. For more info on Buster Brown, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buster_Brown

**

The Punchinella song that I recall from my childhood and that I've heard late 1990s/to date is similarly to the way you described it, Mo. And the play activity is just about the same, too. Here's some more details about the play directions.

Children {and adults joining with the children} form a circle with one center person. The people forming the circle clap while singing the 1st and 2nd verse. In the game song groups that I facilitated, children added foot stomping on beat to their accompanying hand claps. The person in the center of the circle doesn't sing. The center person does the same movement throughout the 2nd & 3rd verses {such as either hopping on one foot, jumping jacks, or a step from a popular dance}.

In the 4th verse, the people forming the circle either continue singing while clapping [and stomping] or they form hands and move counter clockwise while singing [this is the way I recall doing it in my childhood]. At the same time, the center person closes her {or his} eyes, covers her eyes with her right hand, and then standing in basically one spot, spins around in the center of the circle with her left arm outstretched, pointing to people who are forming the circle. The person who the center person is pointing to at the end of the song becomes the new center person.

Theoretically, the new center person is supposed to immediately go to the center of the circle and the old center person is supposed to immediately rejoin the circle. The game is then supposed to start without any break in performance. However, in my experience faciliating those after-school/summer program game song groups [for predominately African American girls and boys ages 5-12 years old 1997-2005] a lot of children were very hesitant to go into the center of the circle. Many of these children didn't want to be the center person because that would mean they would be the center of attention, and they feared people making fun of them. Therefore, when we got near the end of the last verse, these children would step away from the circle, or semi-hide behind someone else, or otherwise try to avoid being picked. Of course, there were also always some children {girls or boys} who loved being the center of attention in the center of the circle, and they would rush to take the place in the center for the person who really was picked.

Btw, this manner of picking the new center person is the one I remember from my childhood. And it's the same way the center person is picked for all circle games that I've seen African American and non-African American children play. However, I've read that at one time the new center person was purposely picked by the old center person strutting or dancing up to the person she or he wanted to select.

I'm curious about which way folks here recall and/or have observed the center person being picked.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 03:17 PM

This thread has lost its subject.
Trivia- Goon was coined in 1921 by F. L. Allen, "a stolid, usually unimaginative person, esp. a writer or public figure."
Allen defined Washington and Gladstone as goons and Lincoln and Disraeli as jiggers (look on life with a genial eye).

This usage was lost, and current usage seems to have devolved from E. C. Segar's comic strip featuring Popeye (1933); the character 'Alice the Goon,' dim-witted and muscular. By 1938, used by college students for a stupid person. Later, an undesirable; from novels by Spilane and others.
(From Lighter, "Historical Dictionary of American Slang," vol. 1)

Punchinello has been around for a long time:
The Italian clown in puppet shows, 17th c. and later. Probably the origin of Punchinella rhymes, etc. From Pollecinella, referring to the chicken-like nose on the character.
Later uses include:
2. Name of a political-satiric magazine in the later 1800's.
3. Maker of nostrums and snake-oil, used advertising heavily, 19th c.


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLE MISTER RABBIT and BRA' RABBIT {OYSCHA
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 03:45 PM

Okay, back on subject.

In August 2004, I posted a comment on Lyr Req: Mr. Rabbit thread.cfm?threadid=48941#1250694 whichcontains two other old African American Rabbit songs both from Thomas W. Talley's 1922 collection "Negro Folk Songs". Those songs are titled "Rabbit Hash" and "Rabbit Soup".

**
Also, Dorothy Scarborough's 1925 book "On The Trail of Negro Folk Songs" has this variant of "Ole Mister Rabbit" that I don't believe is posted in either this thread or the Lyr Req: Mr Rabbit thread:

OLE MISTER RABBIT
Ole Mister Rabbit,
You're in a mighty habit
Gwine in mah garden,
Cuttin' down mah cabbage.
Um-hum-um-hum.

Ole Mister Rabbit,
Your hair looks brown,
You'se gwine so fas'
You'se hittin' de groun'.
Um-hum-um-hum.

[Scarborough's notation indicates that this was sent in by Wirt Williams, of Mississippi, as sung by Anna Gwinn Pickins]

**

Here's two other fragments of rabbit songs that Scarborough includes in that book:

BRA' RABBIT {OYSCHA'}
Bra' Rabbit, wa''ere da do dere?
"I da pickin' oyscha' fa' young gal.
Da oyscha' bit mah finger,
Da young gal tek dat fa' laugh at."

[noted as sung rather fast, given by Nuss Enilie Walter, of Charleston, South Carolina, {sung} in the Gullah dialect]

MET MISTER RABBIT ONE NIGHT
Met Mister Rabbit one night,
all dressed in a plug hat.
He turned his nose up in the air,
Said, "I'se gwine to Julia's ball,
So good night, possums all".

[noted as sent in by Lydia Gumbel of Straight College, New Orleans, and described as a Creole song]


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Subject: Lyr Add: BRER RABBIT
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 04:30 PM

With the notable exception of Joel Chandler Harris, no one bothered to collect Brer Rabbit stories and rhymes before 1890. Emma M. Backus collected some of the stories in the 1890's, also from Georgia, published in the JAFL. In collections many are combinations with other rhymes from other songs, and we know little of their history or evolution.
Noted in another thread, 95164 (This mornin', etc.), This mornin , is this one (known in the UK, see post by Mo the Caller, above).

64. BRER RABBIT
O Brer rabbit! you look mighty good this mornin', (2x)
O Brer rabbit, you look mighty good,
Yes, by God! you better take to the wood,
This mornin', this evenin', so soon.

O Brer Rabbit! yo' ears mighty long, this mornin', (2x)
O Brer Rabbit, yo' ears mighty long,
Yes, by God! dey's put in wrong,
This mornin', this evenin', so soon.

O Brer Rabbit! yo' tail mighty white, this mornin', (2x)
O Brer Rabbit, yo' tail mighty white,
Yes, by God! yer better take to flight
This mornin', this evenin', so soon.

E. C. Perrow, 1911, JAFL, vol. 24, no. 43

The tales collected by Emma Backus have never been published in book form and thus are unknown to the general public.


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Subject: Lyr Add: I'LL GET YOU, RABBIT!
From: Azizi
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 12:15 AM

I'LL GET YOU, RABBIT!

Rabbit! Rabbit! You'se got a mighty habit,
A-runnin' through de grass
Eatin' up my cabbages;
But I'll git you shore at las'.

Rabbit! Rabbit! Ole rabbit in de bottoms,
A-playin' in de san',
By tomorrow mornin',
You'll be in my fryin' pan.

Source: Thomas W. Talley, "Negro Folk Rymes", Kennikat Press edition, pg 116


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