Thursday, April 14, 2011

Skipping to rhyming and repetitive songs

Rhyming is of course a very common feature of skipping songs. Songs that rhyme are easy to remember. These lyrics seemed governed more by rhyme than logic or imagery:

I went downtown to meet Miss Brown
She gave me a nickel, I bought a pickle
The pickle was sour, I bought a flower
The flower was dead, I bought some thread
The thread was thin, I bought a pin
The pin was sharp, I bought a harp
The harp sang (now we're speeding up to skip pepper)
Johnny over the ocean, Johnny over the sea
Johnny broke a milk bottle and blamed it onto me
I told Ma, Ma told Pa and Johnny got a lickin' so ha-ha-ha!
(those were the old days of glass milk bottles and spankings)

Repetition is much favoured when complex actions are involved. In these songs the repeated phrase is followed by the instructions:

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn around
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, touch the ground

Spanish Dancer, do the splits
Spanish Dancer, give a high kick
Spanish Dancer, turn around
Spanish Dancer, touch the ground.

Spelling can be involved too, as in this contribution recalled by Marianna:

(Name) and (Name) sitting in a tree

Tomorrow I move to a new topic. Still, I'd love to hear some of the songs you skipped to -- from anywhere in the world.

1 comment:

  1. I just remembered (a very small part of) another spelling one!


    Here's a link to some more

    I forgot about "Bluebells, cockleshells..."