Mudcat Café message #1385439 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #21456   Message #1385439
Posted By: Azizi
22-Jan-05 - 04:13 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Railroad Bill
Subject: RE: Origins: Railroad Bill
Possible thread drift:

We'll probably never know, but I wonder if there is any connection between Railroad Bill and this children's rhyme:

HELLO BILL

Hello Bill
Where you goin Bill
Downtown Bill
What for Bill
To pay my gas bill
How much Bill
Ten dollar bill
Goodbye Bill

from Arnold Siskind, "Harlem Photographers 1932-194O" p. 26

Though it's composed as a dialogue, this play on words rhyme is chanted in unison while doing hand claps, jumping rope, or bouncing a ball.

I vaguely remember as a child chanting that first line as "Hello, Hello, Hello Bill/where are you going Bill"etc.

Again, this rhyme may have nothing to do with Railroad Bill, and there's probably no way of finding out if it does or doesn't.