Teddy bear, teddy bear, you’re a ho

My daughter has developed a new fixation. Apparently she spends every recess with a group of girls, jump roping.

That’s fine with me. More than fine, actually—I recall a similar period in my own girlhood where jumping rope was pretty much the pinnacle of all that mattered to me. It’s good exercise, it’s a useful social construct, and very few parents have received phone calls asking them to come immediately and tend to a child who had a tragic jump roping accident.

Truly, it has the potential to be the perfect recess activity.

Perhaps this is why I find myself so conflicted, today, upon hearing more about how this time is typically spent. I mean, I’m aware that many of our children are growing up way too fast, but this is just something I never expected.

Today we were in the car and Chickadee started telling me all about how she’s learned a few new jump roping chants. First she proudly recited:

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn around,
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, touch the ground.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, reach up high,
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, touch the sky.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn out the light,
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say goodnight.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, go to sleep,
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, count some sheep!
One! Two! Three! Four!

“See, we’re counting the sheep, Mama,” she patiently explained. I thanked her for the clarification and pointed out that the teddy bear jump rope rhyme is even older than I am. She seemed skeptical. I recited a slightly different version of it for her, which only seemed to cement her certainty that I had NO idea what I was talking about.

Anyway, that was fine.

Next, she moved on to this:

Cinderella, dressed in yellah
Went upstairs to kiss a fella.
Made a mistake and kissed a snake.
How many doctors did it take?
One! Two! Three! Four!

“This time we’re counting the doctors.” So helpful, my child.

“Really? I thought maybe you were counting sheep,” I teased, but my heart really wasn’t in it. I was turning the rhyme over in my head, and just as “Ring Around The Rosey” has grim and somewhat sinister roots, I was realizing that this chant was not nearly so innocent as it seemed.

Cinderella, dressed in yellah
Went upstairs to kiss a fella.

I don’t really care what Cinderella is wearing. Why is she going UPSTAIRS to kiss a fella? She has a secret rendezvous planned? Does she often climb the stairs with this single mission in mind? She doesn’t have to stop and iron anything, even?

Made a mistake and kissed a snake.

Metaphorically speaking, I feel for Cinderella. I do. I mean, who amongst us HASN’T kissed a few snakes by accident? But I don’t think this is metaphorical. I think Cinderella was planning on kissing something easily confused with a snake, to have managed to kiss a snake instead. And I think Cinderella needs to stop dressing in yellow and offering head to the local boys.

How many doctors did it take?

How many doctors did it take for WHAT? To detox her of snake poison? To cure her of syphilis? To teach her that that’s not a very good way to become popular? I’m confused.

Also, horrified.

I told myself that I was overreacting. I was overanalyzing. IT’S JUST A CHILDREN’S RHYME, I told myself. But before I could convince myself that this was true, Chickadee had one more rhyme to share, and this one was CLEARLY her favorite:

Fudge, fudge, call the judge.
[Girl’s name]’s having a baby,
her boyfriend’s going crazy!
How many babies will she have?
One! Two! Three! Four!

And then I drove the car off the side of the road into a ditch and we all died. But not before I managed to clamp a chastity belt over my daughter’s pink flowered underpants.

Okay, I MAY have gone a tad overboard with the Cinderella thing. But THIS? I asked Chickadee what it’s called, and she said “Fudge” (which, don’t get me started on what word that’s clearly a substitute for), but I think REALLY this one is called “hauling my babydaddy into court.”

Which is JUST what every parent wants her eight-year-old singing about on the playground. I mean, if she gets really good at jump roping, she should be ready for as many babies as she can pop out by the time she’s twelve or so, right?

I have no idea why she looked so confused when I said, “Young lady, tomorrow you are going to get out on that playground and play on the monkey bars until you fall and break your arm or you’re going to be in BIG TROUBLE, MISSY.”


  1. Jenn

    I remember the “fudge fudge call the judge” thing from when I was a kid, howevah, I do not remember the line about the boyfriend going crazy, nor did the phrase “baby daddy” ever occur to me. Ah, the innocence of my youth!

    Or not, because my sister reminded me that when we were in elementary school, the cool thing to do was chant “Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees, look at these!” and then stick out our non-existant chests. We were AWESOME.

  2. InterstellarLass

    Are you kidding me?!?! I remember the Teddy Bear and Cinderella rhymes from when I was in elementary school. But the fudge baby rhyme? Out of an eight-year-old? Holy hell. My daughter prefers the hand clapping games. Miss Mary Mack and a couple of others. Some of those I remember, but some of them are new too. But nothing to do with fudge babies.

  3. Fold My Laundry Please

    I remember the Teddy Bear and the Cinderella one from my elementary school days, but the fudge one is new to me. It makes me wonder what elementary school kids do nowadays (nowadays…listen to me turn geriatric!). Even my husband was a shocked by the words and he’s pretty clueless when it comes to inuendo! Nudge, nudge, know what I mean? Know what I mean?

  4. CeCe

    I’m 25 and we did the exact same Cinderella rhyme, and I can tell you that I had NEVER thought about it that way. As for the newer “fudge” one.. umm.. I have nothing to say about that.But we certainly had our dirty rhymes when I was young, and I had NO CLUE how bad they were. I’m going to be a mess when my kids are jumping rope!

  5. Daily Tragedies

    I’m with CeCe…countless hours of jumping rope to the Cinderella song and NOT ONCE was the “snake” called into question. Which is probably a good thing. Ahem.

    However, that Fudge one? Brand new to me! And, I have to say, not nearly as creative as Teddy Bear or Cinderella. I’m disappointed in today’s youth, regardless of how many babydaddies they happen to have.

  6. Jenny

    We did the cinderella one, too – and I distictly remember thinking it was a dirty rhyme – I must have been eight or nine at the time.

    Also big at my school was the little song:

    Tra la la boom-de-ay, I met a boy today, he gave me 50 cents to go behind a fence. Quite graphic, that song.

  7. Dawn

    We did the Cinderella one, too – at the time I never even questioned the snake.

    I don’t remember the teddy bear rhyme, but we had one called Mexico Texico that was similar.

    My fudge one was:
    Fudge, Fudge
    Tell the judge.
    (girl’s name)’s got a brand new baby,
    wrap it up in tissue paper,
    send it down the elevator.
    boy, girl, twins, or triplets…

  8. Heather

    You know, I really never thought of kissing the snake as, well…now that I type it out. Mir, you have sullied my innocence. Hm…that doesn’t sound so great either. I think I’ll just stop talking now.

  9. Kendra

    “chinese, japanese, dirty knees, look at these!” I had forgotten about that one–thanks Jenn!

    I have 2 comments: 1)for the meantime, or at least until they hit puberty and have a perma-boner, I’m glad I have boys. 2) home schooling–I have heard very disturbing stories from parents of elementary school-aged children knowing about oral sex!!! WTF! I’m no prude, but I’m fairly certain I was dressing up my Barbie at 11 years old, having no idea whatsoever that a “BJ” had more to do with sucking than actually blowing…

  10. Brigitte

    When I was a kid there was also a sing-song chant “Chinese people never swear, ah so, ah so”, I guess it was supposed to sound like “asshole” but I didn’t get it for years.

    Oh, and the dirty jokes! I remember one about a girl named Gladys but calling herself “Happy Heinie” (“Glad Ass”); and a really bad one (and I swear I was only in Kindergarten or first grade) about a kid named “Johnny Fukkerfaster”.

  11. BethR

    Um… I would write this in little tiny words if I could to show how sheepish I am at being the kind of pedant who says stuff like this… but the best evidence is that ‘Ring Around The Rosy’ isn’t really about anything sinister, it’s just a rhyme.

  12. Barb

    I can remember all three of those rhymes from my own jump-rope childhood and didn’t realize there was any sub-context until just now! We also used to do one we called “down in the meadow”

    Down in the meadow
    where the green grass grows,
    there sat (girl’s name)
    pretty as a rose.
    Along came (boy’s name)
    and kissed her on the cheek,
    how many kisses did she get that week?

    Of course we always used the grossest boys we could think of so that the girl would WANT to stop jumping and someone else would get a turn!

  13. Bob

    We used to make fun of the girls on the monkey bars, ’cause when they hung upside down: “I see London, I see France, I see so-and-so’s underpants”. And much mirth was had betwixt the boys much to the chagrine of the girls.

  14. susie

    Cinderella was all the rage in the 1970s at my elementary school. Kids these days!

  15. tori

    Yikes! I did all those jump rope things when I was little (except I never heard of the fudge one) and never EVER gave a thought to what it meant. I mean not until you pointed it out to me. I guess I never really thought about them. My daughter does more innocent ones at her school when they are allowed to use the jump ropes (which is an whole different rant of mine!)

  16. chris

    I don’t remember the fudge rhyme at all. I did just teach my kids the Cinderella one though. I remember a whole slew of politically incorrect one now that make me cringe though.

    What about Miss Lucy had a baby? I remember singing that one about the nurse with the alligator purse.

  17. Em

    My eyes! My virgin eyes! Until this very moment, at the age of 31, I never thought of the snake as anything but a snake. Poor cinderella with her yella dress and probably hepatitic liver to match.

    I wouldn’t worry about it. I suspect it goes right over her head and will continue to until she is the mother of 3 innocently reading a blog sometime in 2029 when some harlot with king sized bed aspirations points out to her the obvious yet still surprising subtext.

  18. Amy

    I think “Ring around the Rosey” is about the plague. It refers to the spots that showed up when people became ill. The poseys were used to counteract the smell of the dead and dying. Ashes were for the people who were cremated and every fell down and died. Isn’t that a lovely children’s rhyme?? Gee, I am sorry I started this! Off for more coffee. Sorry if I ruined anyone’s breakfast…

  19. MMM

    Oh my gosh–that had me laughing–but in a horrified sort of way. One of my girls will be 10 next week. The talk around here is about puberty. She keeps asking all sorts of questions, and this all happens so suddenly. Shaving, make-up, bras…..AAACCCKKK! It just gets more and more “fun” Mir. :)

  20. Sheila

    It’s very hard to type this, because I read the last half of your post with my hands covering my ears and chanting “La, la, I can’t heeeeaaar you!” –and still am, thanks to many of the comments, (really!), but I’ll give it a shot. I, too, have never once thought through the subtext of these jump-rope rhymes in such, uh… vivid detail. But my eight year old daughter has not come home with the babydaddy one. Yet. I prefer now to stick my head in the sand as she makes her way through the third grade playground gauntlet. She’s my oldest child, you see, pretty much unwise in the way of the world. It’s her three year old sister that I worry about. She’s the one who runs around the house, chanting “I see London and France and your UNDERWEARS!” It’s only a matter or time until her older sisters corrupt her with more inappropriate songs and phrases, which she will then pass along to all the other kids at preschool. All the other parents are going to LOVE her at kindergarten, obviously.

  21. Ben

    1) Somebody else remembers Johnny Fuckerfaster. So it wasn’t just my drugs, then.

    2) We didn’t jump rope as kids. I lived in a backward-ass suburb that thought we should play football and ride bikes.

    3) my kids don’t jump rope, but I bet they’d be good at it. I think the school is afraid somebody will learn a dirty rhyme and sue them. At home they’re too busy watching Richard Pryor concert videos to have time to jump rope.

    4) Cinderella HAD to go upstairs, she liked to hang out in the basement, that’s where the X-Box was.

  22. B

    From my jump-roping days in the mid-1960’s…

    Fudge fudge call the judge
    Mama’s got a newborn baby
    Wrap it up in toilet paper
    Send it down the elevator
    First floor stop
    Second floor go…

    What the heck was THAT about?! I’m pretty sure my older sister taught me this. Maybe I should ask her.

  23. BethR

    Amy, I know that’s the general theory, but people have looked into it and there’s both no evidence that that rhyme has been around since plague times and also a reasonable alternative explanation of where it came from. Let me see if I can find a link…


    Which doesn’t mean it’s less grim and sinister *now* because we all think of the Plague when we hear it, just that that’s a meaning that was added to it later, not what it was originally supposed to be about.

  24. Lilymane

    I’m with the majority: I never heard the fudge, judge rhyme; I cringe to be reminded that we chanted the chinese, dirty knees one; and I NEVER thought the Cinderella rhyme was remotely sexual. (Of course I think one of the older girls once told me the ‘snake’ was Satan and you had to be on guard against the devil at all times. Ahhh, the South.) Way back before political correctness was a concept (apparently) our neighborhood was all about Cowboys & Indians and WORSE – our very favorite neighborhood game was German spotlight. Egad! One lone ‘German’ would stand in the dark with a flashlight and try to ‘catch’ all the others (presumably Jews escaping to safety from the concentration camp). What were our parents thinking??? Thankfully that game has been reincarnated for my children as ‘flashlight tag’!

  25. Kestralyn

    Different regions, different versions of the chants. My Cinderella was:

    Cinderella, dressed in yella
    Went upstairs to kiss a fella
    Made a mistake, stepped on a rake
    How many doctors did it take?

    But I grew up in a farming area. Makes a difference, maybe? ;-)

  26. Kestralyn

    Oh! I meant to ask: does anyone remember the clapping rhyme “Eenie meenie pasadeeni”? Talk about double-entendres! You cleverly slide the bad word into the start of the next line throughout the entire rhyme.

  27. Aimee

    Good lord! I remember something like the Cinderella one, although I don’t remember the snake part… not sure what that says about me! I also CRINGED when I read the comment above about the “Chinese, Japanese” one, because I remember that, too. Gawd. How horrifying is that?

  28. Jenn2

    WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT????? I laughed at your disection of Cinderella, but the fudge rhyme is over the line. Of course, now that Chickie sees it got a reaction, you’ll probably be hearing snatches of it for a while. Or is DQ the only one who does stuff like that. I swear, after I banned Britney, I heard her singing “Hit me baby, one more time,” until I started taking it literally and giving her a little smack on the head (lightly…hang up with CPS) every time I heard it. Ah, good times.

  29. Jennifer

    I couldn’t even read this post. The title made my head explode in snorting fits.

  30. foodmomiac

    Mir, Mir, Mir.
    This has officially made my day:
    “And I think Cinderella needs to stop dressing in yellow and offering head to the local boys.”

  31. laura

    Any jump-rope memory I had flew out the window when Kendra mentioned boys in puberty having “perma-boners”. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to make eye contact with my kid ever again.

  32. Charlotte

    Along with so many others, I remember the Cinderella rhyme and the double meaning never occurred to me until now.

    Does anyone remember one about naked ladies in France? I can’t seem to recall the whole thing and Google turned up nothing.

    Thanks to the commenter who posted the snopes piece about Ring Around the Rosie. I always thought it was referring to the plague as well.

  33. Nancy

    You know, I remember jumping rope to that Cinderella tune and thinking it was a little strange she kissed a snake instead of a fella… you have opened my eyes. My horrified eyes.

    Of course, the scandalous rhyme circa 1983 in Kansas City elementary school playgrounds was the hand-clapping game: “Miss Susy had a steamboat, the steamboat had a bell, Miss Susy went to heaven, the steamboat went to…HELLO operator, give me number nine, and if you disconnect me, I’ll smack off your….BEHIND the elevator, there was a piece of glass, Miss Susy sat upon it and cut her little…ASK me no more questions..” Oh the wide-eyed giggling that went on when we would come to those incredibly foul not-actually-curse words.

  34. Velma

    I was just about to bring up the “Miss Susie had a steamboat” one! More swearing bang for your buck – many different swears in one song!

  35. Casey

    Um – I don’t think it was a jump rope rhyme, but:
    There’s a place in France
    Where the people do a dance
    and the dance they do
    costs a dollar ninety-two!

    Also, the people in France didn’t wear underpants, but I can’t remember the rhyme or WHY they the entire country went commando all the time…

  36. Carolie

    I’m 40 (ohmygod) and I remember jumping and singing to:

    Fudge, fudge,
    Call the judge!
    (name) is having a baby!
    Wrap it up in toilet paper,
    Send it down the escalator…
    Boy, girl, twins, triplets, boy, girl…etc.

    Wherever you messed up, that’s what your first baby would be! Of course, we would stretch out trih-puh-lets into three syllables, because nobody wanted triplets and nobody wanted a boy! For some reason, we all wanted twin girls. We were eight.

    We did the Cinderella rhyme, too, but never thought of any dirty connotation. Shoot, saying “toilet paper” made the judge rhyme a little dirty to us!

    Hmmm…methinks maybe Mir has a dirty mind? Ha ha ha! Sometimes a snake is just a snake, and a cigar is just a cigar.

  37. Lauren

    Charlotte, I remember that one! We sang:

    There’s a place in France
    where the naked ladies dance
    and the men don’t care
    ’cause they wear no underwear

  38. Jennifer

    I remember some sort of jump rope rhyme about “Blondie and Dagwood” getting robbed and the counting portion of the rhyme was counting up the number of robbers.

    I also remember some sort of hand slapping/clapping rhyme that talked about going to a Chinese restaurant.

    It is all in my brain, vaguely floating around…can’t remember… gahhh

  39. bec 36

    The buried memories that have now been yanked involuntarily from the deep recesses of my brain, included this:

    Tra-la-la boom de ay
    I met a boy today
    He gave me 50 cents
    To go and climb the fence
    I climbed so very high
    It made my belly rise
    My father jumped for joy
    It was a baby boy!

    Okay, so now I’ve had 2 baby boys. And it SO didn’t happen like in the song. I mean, my father was disabled and couldn’t jump at all.

    bec :D

  40. Heather

    I think you might be taking the whole thing a little far. My friends and I used to sing all those songs and more. There is nothing wrong with us. We are all happily married, some of us have childern (NONE of us had kids BEFORE marriage), we have jobs and great lives. Don’t freak out over fun little childhood songs.

  41. Susan

    I was a kid in the mid-70’s, and our Fudge rhyme went like a few of the other ladies’ here:

    Fudge fudge call the judge
    Mama’s got a newborn baby
    Wrap it up in toilet paper
    Send it down the elevator
    First floor stop
    Second floor go…

    My daughter has done some of those hand-clapping games with her little friends and the chants for those are even more horrifying! I forbade her from saying a few of them, they were so racist and rude.

  42. lizneust

    There actually has been a fair amount of academic research on the topic of traditional children’s skipping and clapping rhymes serving as early morality lessons. Most of the orginal (not Disneyfied) fairytales collected by the Brothers Grimm are the same. “Ring around the Rosie” is one of the more famous, but they exist on all sorts of topics:

    I had a little bird and named it Enza,
    Opened up the window and In Flew Enza.


    Miss Lucy 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 Lucy called the doctor, Miss Lucy called the nurse.
    Miss Lucy called the Lady with the alligator purse.

    Out came the water, out came the soap,
    Out came the bathtub that wouldn’t go down his throat.

    Out walked the doctor, Out walked the nurse,
    Out walked the Lady, with Timmy in her purse.

    I was a senior in college before someone explained to me that the last one is about getting rid of an illegitimate baby. Likewise, the original Little Red Riding Hood is all about not talking to strangers. The fascinating thing is that children really DO NOT get it. Rock-a-Bye Baby is horrifying when you really think about the lyrics, yet so soothing to a young child. Children don’t see the world through our filters – they aren’t thinking about sex or illness. And even once they are at an age when they are thinking about that stuff, these rhymes remain filed under childhood. Until, of course, someone talks about the subtext or (as in your case) you hear them again as a parent/adult.

    I’m not saying don’t worry about it, but you probably sang/chanted a bunch of these as a child too.

    Mir and Otto, sitting in a tree,
    K-I-S-S-I-N-G…. ;)

  43. Barb

    Had to chime back with with the one my FIL taught my older son…

    There’s a place in France
    where the naked ladies dance.
    There’s a hole in the wall,
    so the men can see it all.
    But the men don’t care,
    so they chew their underwear.

    Isn’t that a great one to send your 4yr old son into preschool singing?!? FIL also taught him “pull my finger” which has gotten him a time out or two!

  44. Emily

    Fudge, fudge,
    Call the judge,
    Mama’s got a brand-new baby,
    It’s a girl with strawberry curls,
    Daddy’s going crazy,
    Wrap it up in toilet paper,
    Send it down the elevator,
    Sent it to the navy…

    I don’t remember the end, but I always thought of it as being about a child being jealous of the new baby and wanting to be rid of it. Though that sounds terrible too! Not sure what I thought the judge had to do with the situation…I’m going to have to call my mom as she taught me all the jump-roping rhymes that I know (including Cindella, which I had never, ever thought of that way). It’s definately been around a while, though, because all the songs she taught me were songs she sang when she was young, in the 50’s-60’s!

  45. Aubri

    Just like everyone else, I’ve sung these too… though not the fudge one. But I’m pretty sure we had eight zillion different versions of Slutty Cinderella. In fact, I was the nerdy bookworm, and used my allowance to buy a jump rope rhyme book at the book fair (I was the Cool Kid for like… a day) and that one had an entire chapter about Cinderella… with pictures, and if the book is to be trusted, the fella she was going to kiss was indeed a snake in prince’s clothing. A warning to women everywhere!

  46. Kim

    Ah yes, playground rhymes….

    I sang the Cinderella rhyme, and Susie (that floozie!), and a bunch of others that I no longer remember now. ;) Teddybear was one of my personal favorites, but I don’t remember Fudge.

    I grew up in the ’70’s. When my little sister (6 years younger) started with the rhymes, I made some sinister connections. But I never told her, or my mother! lol It just would NOT have been a good thing.

    Did anyone else do “Tweedle-ee-ee” (Rockin’ Robin’)? I was SO proud when I finally made it all the way through that one. We played with at least 4 girls, and it was very complicated hand-slapping. So much fun.

  47. carrien

    I did all of those rhymes too, except the fudge one, and never once thought they were dirty. Except for miss Lucy of course. But the one I remember the most i learned from my best friend, sung to the tune of that whistle march song, I don’t know if it comes from baseball or miltary, but the words go,

    you know that guy next door
    he laid me on the floor
    look at my tummy
    its getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger each day.

    Look what you’ve done to me
    you’ll have to marry me
    you’re such a pervert
    herbert the pervert and me.

    Did anyone else know that, or were my childhood friends just very messed up?

  48. Heather

    I sang the CInderalla one – and Miss SUZY!! Ya missed the end of it —

    ASK me no more Questions
    Tell me no more lies
    The girls are in the boy’s room
    Pullin down thier
    FLIES are in the city – the bees are everywhere
    Miss Suzy and her boyfreind are kissing in the
    D.A.R.K.D.A.R.K.D.A.R.K. DARK!

    And YES I knew what it meant!

    And there was a CHeer —
    Peel Banana Peel peel Banana
    Peel Banana Peel Peel Banana
    Peel to the left
    peel to the right
    peel down the middle and
    Uh (hip action!) take a bite!

    Yeah – and I learned THAT one at CHRISTIAN CAMP!!

  49. Lena

    Wow. This is reminding me of my young Christian days. ;)

  50. Jenn2

    Heather and Carrien…where the hello did y’all grow up?!?!

  51. audrey

    I remember the Cinderella rhyme (though I don’t remember it have anything to do with a snake) and the Fudge Fudge one, although it went like this:

    Fudge fudge, call the judge
    (name) is having a baby
    Wrap it up in tissue paper
    Send it down the elevator
    Boy, girl, twins, triplets, boy, girl… (although we said triplets like ‘trip-uh-lets’)

    I also remember the Miss Lucy one that lizneust posted, although the one I remember went like this:

    Miss Lucy 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 fit
    Down his throat.
    Miss Lucy called the doctor
    The Doctor call the nurse
    The Nurse called the lady
    With the alligator purse.
    In walked the doctor.
    In walked the nurse
    In walked the lady
    With the alligator purse.
    “Measles,” said the doctor.
    “Mumps,” said the nurse.
    “Nothing,” said the lady
    With the alligator purse.
    Miss Lucy kicked the doctor.
    Miss Lucy kicked the nurse.
    Miss Lucy paid the lady
    With the alligator purse.

  52. TrudyJ

    So, obviously everybody here could actually SKIP rope, and doesn’t have their entire store of childhood memories occupied by traumatic playground scenes of getting “out” on the very first turn of the rope and having to sit on the sidelines for what seemed like hours watching the cool girls skip. I have no idea what the rhymes were since to me they all sounded like endless variations on “Trudy’s a complete idiot, she can’t skip, she can’t hit a ball, tra-la-la.”

    It was SOO much better when we started playing softball and I could relax in that special position they invented for me: the way-way-outfield.

  53. julie

    I was in elementary school in the sixties and I remember a version of most of these ditties. We didn’t even know they were racy and, believe me, we didn’t have a clue as to the associations some of your readers are making. In fact this is the first time I have heard some of this (*blushing face*).
    I remember feeling quite worldly while singing, “Chuck, Chuck, Bo-Buck, Banana-Fanna Fo-F***”.
    And I NEVER sang the last word, because I knew the sky would fall on my head. And I didn’t even know what it meant! But it sure was funny.
    I wouldn’t worry about permanent damage to Chickadee. She has a really good (and pretty) Momma to guide her along the way. Good Mommas generally raise good kids. It just doesn’t always feel like it when you’re up to your eyeballs in the everyday stuff. >:)

  54. Alison

    I don’t remember those jumping rope (jump roping?) rhymes, but I’ll never forget hearing my then-7-year-old son sing Abba one morning as we left for school.

    “Gimme gimme gimme a man after midnight…”

  55. Em

    I had to post again because they’re ALLLL coming back to me now!

    This was before Columbine (obviously) and would probably be very offensive now:

    Glory, glory Halleluiah
    Teacher hit me with a ruler
    Hid behind the door with a loaded .44
    And she don’t teach no more

    The English teacher probably would have dropped dead before the bullet hit her after hearing the last line of that ryhme.

    Somewhat unrelated because it wasn’t for any game or reason, we just sang it – if you remember the commerical from the first line (all the rest are changed, obviously), you’ll know the tune:

    Come back to Jamaica
    We’ll hijack your plane
    We’ll steal all your luggage
    And sell you cocaine.

    Charming. I seem to have forgotten all of the sweet rhymes about sugar and flowers and playing nicely with puppies. Only the grotesque and depraved stick with me.

  56. Elizabeth

    We did the Miss Lucy one, and also “A my name is Alice and my husband’s name is Adam. We live in Alaska, and we sell apples” and so on for each letter of the alphabet.

  57. Suzanne

    I’m still laughing at the title of your post! *snort*

  58. k

    Ok I am now 44 years old. I am in spin class and a good old favorite song starts to play……I’m workin’ up a sweat and then, WHAT?, OMG, I can’t believe what they just said! Remember: the human brain is not fully developed until sometime after the age of 25. If they are under the age of 10, surely THE DAMN RHYMES DO NOT REGISTER.

    thank god!

  59. Zee

    Wow, I must still be fairly naive because I had to read through your post TWICE to figure out why the Cinderella rhyme was offensive. (I’m a little embarrassed to admit that, actually.)

    We had the Cinderella rhyme when I was a kid too, but I’ve never heard the Fudge Fudge one… Ahhh kids these days. Next thing we know they’ll be running the country! :-P

  60. starrynite

    There were a few rhymes that we used to sing as kids – mostly clapping ones rather than skipping ones, but they were pretty bad!

    We are the teenage girls
    We wear our hair in curls
    We wear our dungarees
    Down to our sexy knees
    I met this boy one day
    Who gave me 50p
    To go behind a bush
    And have it off with me
    He pushed me to the ground
    And pulled my knickers down
    He shouted 1 2 3
    And stuck it into me
    My mummy was surprised
    To see my belly rise
    My father jumped for joy
    It was a baby boy.

    We were maybe 9 or 10 when we used to sing that. See, British kids are worse than American kids! I’ve just appalled myself actually. I can’t believe we sang that!

  61. Meg

    we used to sing this as a jumprope rhyme when I was little:

    Hello operator,
    please give number 9
    and if you disconnect me,
    I will come kick your…

    Behind the ‘frigorator
    there was a piece of glass
    miss lucy slipped on it
    and she landed on her…

    Ask me no more questions,
    Tell me no more lies,
    the boys are in the bathroom
    and they’re pulling down their…

    Flies live in the meadow,

    etc. etc. until someone’s mother says “What are you girls singing?!?!?”

  62. bec 36

    Wow! On the way to work today I remembered another Cinderella counting rhyme. You’ll love it.

    Cinderella, dressed in yella
    Went downtown to buy some mustard
    On the way her girdle busted
    How many people were disgusted?

    bec :D

  63. jody2ms

    Well, I LOL when I read your snake theory.

    Then…I read on…about the plague and such.

    After reading the comments and the rhyme about little, Tiny Timmy’s abortion………sweet, precious Tiny Timmy.

    I was SURE that I at least had until my daughter was, say, growing boobies, before I had much to worry about. LOL!

  64. elswhere

    Well, I always thought Cinderella was going DOWNSTAIRS to kiss a fella, which casts the whole thing in a more innocent light, don’t you think?

    Unless she was giving head in the basement. By the glowing light of the x-box.

  65. lightspring

    What? And does no one here remember the obviously life-scarring ditty from my 4th grade:

    Milk, milk, lemonade,
    Round the corner fudge is made!

    It served as the basis of all my biological knowledge for many years.

    Seriously, though, I completely understand this desire to protect our children and surround them with Only Good, while at the same time dismissing our own subversive childhoods with a casual wave of the hand. But damn, I hate to see my little ones growing up. It all comes so fast anymore.

  66. martha

    What a funny stroll down memory lane!

    Fair warning, young moms…it really IS a different age, even though we all sang the same stupid rhymes…

    When I was in High School in Texas, we had an official student smoking lounge…how uncool is that?!
    On the other hand…I got to participate in a ‘top secret’ Gov’t class project to ‘kidnap’ two of our principals at ‘fake gun’ point…we even put potato sacks over their heads! (The object was to set up an interactive lesson about prosecution, defense, and court systems in our great American government…)

    These days, such a school assignment might get us all KILLED…

    (Looking back, I wonder if our TEACHER had something against those principals!? What a great revenge idea!)

    …may ALL your children stay sweet…it sounds like you managed to!

  67. taytay

    Oh the memories…
    i still remember the full version of miss lucy…

    Miss lucy had a steamboat
    the steamboat had a bell
    toot toot
    miss lucy went to heaven
    the steamboat went to
    Hell-o operator
    please give me #9
    and if you dissconnect me
    i will chop off your
    Behind the refridgerator
    there was a piece of glass
    miss lucy sat upon it
    and it flew right up her
    ask me no more questions
    tell me no more lies
    the boys are in the girls room
    pulling down their
    flys are in the meadow
    the bees are in the park
    miss lucy and her boyfriend are kissing
    in the d-a-r-k d-a-r-k d-a-r-k dark dark dark
    the dark is like a movie
    a movies like a show
    a show is like a tv show
    and that is all i know
    i know i know my mother
    i know i know my father
    i know i know my sister with the
    18-acre 18-acre 18-acre bra bra bra
    my mother is godzilla
    my father is king kong
    my brother is the stupid one
    who made me sing this song
    hello operator
    please give me #10
    and if you dissconnect me
    i will sing this song again

    and another one from my daughters favorite movie
    “the hot chick”

    boys are cheats and liars
    there such a big disgrace
    they will tell you anything
    to get to second base-
    ball baseball
    they think there gunna score
    if you let them go all the way
    then you just a hor-
    ticulturist studies plants
    geologists studies rocks
    all a boy wants from you
    is a place to put his cock-
    roaches beetles
    butterflies and bugs
    nothing makes him happier
    then a big pair of jug-
    glers acrobats, and
    a dancing bear called chuck
    all a guy wants to do is…
    forget it no such luck!

  68. Jen

    Someone above stated that they heard disturbing things about a homeschooler kid knowing about oral sex. Just wanted to state, as a homeschooler, my 8 year old does NOT know about such things! However, most of what she ‘heard’ she either found out through school friends or on t.v. (We were in the emergency room late one night and the Girls Gone Wild commercial came on, and wouldn’t you know it? We were given no remote control! Boy, did she get her eyes filled before I could scream “Nurse! Turn this t.v. OFF!”) In fact, we had this really cute game “Down by the banks of the hanky panky” and next thing we know, a public school kid her same age starts chiming in, “Michael Jackson is a fag…”
    Kids are going to be kids regardless, and are going to enjoy things they know their parents don’t want them to engage in, just for independence’s sake.
    I know homeschoolers have a bad rep, but the majority of us do it with the best of intentions, and for various reasons.
    With all that said, let me leave you with a fun jumprope one (Cinderella’s still my fave!):
    Bluebells, cockle shells,
    Eevie, ivy, over;
    Mother went to market
    To buy some meat;
    Baby’s in the cradle
    Fast asleep.
    The old clock on the mantel says
    One o’clock, two o’clock..
    (If they get to 12 o’clock, say NOON! then start again.)

  69. Tiana

    tra la la boom de ay,
    i met a boy today.
    who payed me 50 cents
    to go behind the fence
    he pushed me to the ground
    and pulled my panties down
    he counted 1, 2, 3
    and stuck it in to me
    i was so surprised
    to see my belly rise
    my daddy cried with joy
    it’s a baby boy!

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest