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EuGene Folklore: Play Ground Hand Jives (69* d) RE: Folklore: Play Ground Hand Jives 30 Jun 07

AZ: A lot of activity since I was on yesterday. I didn't know anything about the grandma and hickory stick verse, but since it apparently came from slavery times, it could be more specific to African-American kids.

But, mention of the hickory stick did remind me or that old School days song about ". . . readin', writin' and 'rithmetic, taught by the tune of the hick'ry stick."

I have a vague memory of one that had the line "Teacher hit me with a ruler" but I just can't get a handle on the thing. Maybe it will come to me later.

And, the "Pretty little Dutch girl" verses that you and Mo listed do seem familiar to this old memory, especially where she tells about a boyfriend from Cincinatti, and best I recall, he had a wart on his nose.

Anyhoo, the story line may well vary in different geographical areas, but it follows the same basic pattern. I think that is the common thread that ties a lot of these little kids ditties together as they evolved over time as they spread from school to school and neighborhood to neighborhood. Also, Az, like you noted, often the origin of the little song and the meaning behind the original words gets lost over time.

Some other little songs from back in the 50's & 60's (when I used to hear them . . . some may still be around?):

"Annie had a steamboat,
the steamboat had a bell,
the steamboat went to heaven,
and annie went to . . .

Hell . . .o operator,
give me number nine,
if you don't,
I'll kick you in the . . .

Behind . . .the refridgerator,
there was a piece of glass.
Annie sat down on it,
and it cut her on the . . .

As . s . s . .k me no more questions,
and I'll to you no more lies.

That's all I can remember on that one.

Another common one we used to chant teasingly when fellow elementary school student got sweet on each other:

"(boy'sname) and (girl's name) sittin' in a tree,
First comes love,
Next comes marriage,
Then comes (boy's name),
Pushing a baby carriage."

Lastly, I remember a "nasty" chant us boys would do at about 7 or 8 years old (sung to the 7 Dwarfs' work song):

"Whistle while you work,
Hitler was a jerk.
Mussolini yanked his weenie,
Now it will not squirt."

Maybe, as this thread progresses I might think of some more.


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