Mudcat Café message #2394745 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #26926   Message #2394745
Posted By: Azizi
21-Jul-08 - 11:02 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Oh my, I want a piece of pie
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh my, I want a piece of pie
Wow! This is one of the families of rhymes that I'm focusing on in the book I'm compiling about the structure, text, and possible sources of "contemporary" {1950s on} English language children's rhymes.

Thank you, Seth for starting this thread almost 8 years ago. And thank you, Georgia A for posting an example that served to bring this thread to my attention and to the attention of others. I didn't even think to check to see whether Mudcat had an archived thread of this rhyme.


I've found a number of different versions of this rhyme-some in books of American children's rhymes, some posted to other Mudcat threads, and some examples posted on the handclap rhymes page of my website. These rhymes are usually performed as partner handclaps. And their text is usually made up of two {and usually more} verses that are found in other children's rhymes or which could be recited alone. What makes this family of related rhymes difficult to pin down is that there's no one name for the rhymes. I usually call them "Take A Peach. Take A Plum" or "Oosh Ashe". However, children {usually girls between the ages of 6-12 years} who "sing" these rhymes now, and those adults {usually women} who remember them from their childhood, rarely call them by those names. The names given to these rhymes are literally all over the place. I usually use the first line of the rhyme for its title, even though the first line may be part of an introduction to the rhyme, and not the "actual" rhyme.

I'll add two examples in this post and then I'll add to examples in my next post to this thread. The "titles" are given in capitol letters and aren't recitd.

Shake, shake, shake
Eeny meeny
That's a queeny
Ooh ba Yhumbalina
Ah cha ca che Liberace
Oh baby I love you
Yes I do.
Take a peach
Take a plum
Take a piece of bubble gum
No peach
No plum
Just a piece of bubble gum
Oooshe ahshe
Oooshe ahshe
I want a piece of pie
The pie too sweet
I want a piece of meat
The meat too tough
I want to ride the bus
The bus too full
I want to ride the bull
The bull too black
I want my money back
The money too green
I want a diamond ring.

-Barbara Michels, Bettye White, Apples On A Stick, The Folklore of Black Children {Houston, Texas 1983, p. 17}


take a piece, take a plum take a piece of bubble gum. no piece, no plum no piece of bubble gum. i like coffee, i like tea, i like the preety boy and he likes me so step back dumb boy, you dont shine, i'll meet you round the corner and beat your behind. last night, the night before, i met my boyfriend at the candy store. he bought me ice cream, he bought me cake, he bought me home with a stomach ache. i said "mama, mama, i feel sick. call the doctor QUICK,QUICK,QUICK! doctor, doctor before i die. i close my eyes and i count to five. 1..2..3,4,5 i'm alive." see that house on top of that hill? that's where me and my boyfriend live. cook that chicken, burn that rice. com on baby, lets shoot some dice!
-lesa; ,"Schoolyard games", April 10, 2005