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
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.