Childhood Rhymes

30 Oct

This makes me grin to remember…While eating dinner, Chuck and I managed to have a random, round-about conversation during which we came up with one line of a rhyme we both remembered from our respective childhoods.  We racked our brains to put together the rest of the rhyme and finally, with the help of Google, we managed to find the full versions of that rhyme and some others we learned as kids.  Chuck remembers them as double-dutch songs but I remember them as songs my girlfriends and I would sing while we did a silly hand slapping game (any girl who was mildly conscious during the 1980’s should know what I mean when I say “hand slapping game”…I have no idea how else to describe it).  Okay here are the ones I remember the most…


Miss Susie had a steamboat,
The steamboat had a bell,
Miss Susie went to heaven,
The steamboat went to
Hello operator,
Give me number nine,
If you disconnect me,
I’ll kick your big
Behind the ‘frigerator, there was a piece of glass,
Miss Susie sat upon it,
And cut her big fat
Ask me no more questions,
Tell me no more lies,
The boys are in the bathroom,
Zipping up their
Flies are in the city
Bees are in the park,
Miss Susie and her boyfriend
Are kissing in the
D-A-R-K, D-A-R-K, Dark! Dark! Dark!

Then there’s this one….

Miss Susie had a baby,
She named him Tiny Tim
She put him in the bathtub,
To see if he could swim
He drank up all the water,
He ate up all the soap,
He tried to eat the bathtub
But it wouldn’t go down his throat.
Miss Susie called the doctor,
Miss Susie called the nurse,
Miss Susie called the lady,
With the alligator purse
In came the doctor,
In came the nurse,
In came the lady,
With the alligator purse
Mumps said the doctor,
Measles said the nurse,
Hiccups said the lady
With the alligator purse
Miss Susie punched the doctor,
Miss Susie kicked the nurse,
Miss Susie thanked the lady
With the alligator purse

And then one not about Miss Susie…

Annie Mae, where are you going?
Upstairs to take a bath.
Annie Mae, with legs like toothpicks,
And a neck like a giraffe?
Annie Mae got in the bathtub.
Annie Mae pulled out the plug.
Oh my goodness, Oh my soul!
There goes Annie Mae down that hole!
Annie Mae? Annie Mae? – Gurgle, gurgle, gurgle.

And you can’t forget this one:

Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack
All dressed in black, black, black
With silver buttons, buttons, buttons
All down her back, back, back
She asked her mother, mother, mother
For fifty cents, cents, cents
To see the elephant, elephant, elephant
Jump the fence, fence fence
They jumped so high, high, high
They touched the sky, sky, sky
And didn’t come back, back, back
Till the fourth of July,

I also remember a very long, complicated rhyme my dad taught me, but it’s inappropriate so I won’t put it here (It’s called “The Signifying Monkey” – anyone else know that one?  Chuck’s never heard of it and when I Googled it, I was surprised to learn that it was a popular rhyme in the 70’s in African American communities and that it stems from a rhyme way back in the day from Africa…which doesn’t make much sense because my dad is not very African…but I digress.)

Do you remember any of these?  Do you remember other ones that I’m forgetting? Do you remember spending endless recess periods on the blacktop doing a hand slapping routine with your friends while reciting these rhymes?

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