Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Mother Loosey Goosey

As some might have noticed, I am fascinated by the small differences that individuals have - especially if those differences have been passed down by family members. This doesn't make one group of people or family better than another. It just makes life extra interesting to me! Like pronunciation, I have found that nursery rhymes fall into this category. It is odd that the same nursery rhymes have been a large part of most of our childhoods yet there are some big differences in how we were taught them (and how most of us are now passing them on to our children.) It seems Mother Goose is really more Mother Loosey Goosey. The following are some of the versions that were taught to Aaron and me by Mom and Dad....along with some alternate versions I've heard from friends and other family members.

Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full.
One for the master, one for the dame,
One for the little boy who lives down the lane.
Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full.

Alternate versions: Some use the pronoun 'my' before master & dame. And, some use the line 'But none for the little boy, who cries in the lane.'

Hickory dickory dock,
The mouse ran up the clock,
The clock struck one, the mouse ran down,
Hickory dickory dock!

Alternate versions: Instead of 'the mouse ran down,' some use 'and down he run' so that it rhymes. I like that!

Rock-a-bye, baby, in the tree top.
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock.
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all.

Alternate versions: I've heard many sing "Hush-a-bye, baby" in the first line.

I'm a little teapot, short and stout.
Here is my handle, here is my spout.
When I get all steamed up, here me shout.
Tip me over, and pour tea out.

Alternate versions: I guess the big "controversy" is whether one says 'TEA' or 'ME' in the last line.

Patty cake, patty cake, baker's man
Bake me a cake as fast as you can.
Roll it...Pat it...
Mark it with a B.
And, put it in the oven for baby and me.

Sometimes we also ended it this way:
Roll it... Pat it...
Mark it with a T.
And, put it in the oven for Tracy and me.
(It always worked out well if the first initial of the baby rhymed with 'me.')

Alternate versions: This seems to be the rhyme with the most variance. Some folks throw the cake in the oven, and others simply throw it away. Some folks don't pat it at all and say "Roll the dough." There's all sorts of endings after that. I just heard some new ones while I was down in Arkansas.

So, the big questions are the following: How did you learn Patty Cake? Are there other nursery rhymes that you were taught that seem different from the versions that others were taught?

6 comments:

Dani said...

Well, we learned teapot differently...

I'm a little teapot, short and stout.
Here is my handle, and here is my spout.
When I get all warmed up, then I'll shout.
Tip me over, and pour me out.

As for Patty Cake, we were throw it in the oven sort of people. ha :)

Did everyone learn the little dances too?

If you want to look at neat/weird difference between families, watch the way people make sandwiches.

Ceridwen said...

This comment has nothing to so with your post but I have a question...

Who is Katie (on your links) and is the Karla that she refered to in her blog Karla Humes and if so is the Asa that she is engaged to the Fulmer's cousin?

audreysnanny said...

I never did like the words to Rock a bye baby. When I sang this to the kids, I changed the words. Mine went:
Rock-a-bye-baby, in the tree tops.
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock. When the bough sways, the baby will sleep. And Mommy and Daddy love baby for keeps.

I know it was kinda stupid, but I felt better. Funny how silly words make you feel one way or another.

strem said...

Audreysnanny: I don't think those changes were stupid at all. The original song is pretty scary - especially for a baby and parents! I LOVE your words! I'll have to remember those. Thank you very much for sharing them!

Dani: We had a talk about your version of Teapot last night. And, one of our sisters, Sister Barb, did do the teapot dance as she sang her version. It was very entertaining. I learned dances, melodies, and clapping rhythms to some but not to all. You'll have to demonstrate when we meet up at a church meeting. Thanks for the tip on the sandwiches. Maybe I'll probe into that topic down the line.

Dani said...

I remember more of the dances than I do the songs to be truthful.

Sandy-san said...

Each nursery rhyme you stated is how I grew up learning them except for I'm a Little Teapot. Than the alternate version is what I remember.