The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #81350   Message #1489167
Posted By: Abby Sale
20-May-05 - 10:52 AM
Thread Name: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
I remember "I'm rubber. You're glue." from grade school in the late 40's. This was among white (mixed ethnic) boys on Long Island. It was a response to some slight, of course. Same as "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me." I recall we always had the feeling, having said the latter (much more defiantly) that retreat was indicated. There was the (mandatory) expectation that the other would then look around for some sticks and stones. Seemed only natural. "I'm rubber," on the other hand, was not seen as defiant and was more of a "sour grapes," surrender response.

Now that I think of this, I've seen a number of write-ups of this stuff (the Opies and Lib of Congress "Afro-American Blues & Game songs" and English Folk-Rhymes_, GF Northall come to mind) but I don't recall much of any discussion of the emotional content & force of the stuff. When is it serious and when is it clearly formulaic or just kidding?

You might make something of that. Maybe.

If you come across it, I'd be very, very interested to learn the game song (and how it was played) that Len Chandler & Bob Kaufman collected in Alabama (or New Orleans) that became "Green Rocky Road."