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Origin: ha-ha-ha can't catch me

mayomick 11 Feb 10 - 12:07 PM
MGM·Lion 11 Feb 10 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,mayomick 11 Feb 10 - 07:22 PM
Joe Offer 11 Feb 10 - 07:34 PM
GUEST,mick 11 Feb 10 - 08:31 PM
GUEST,Frank 27 Mar 11 - 03:09 PM
GUEST,Eliza 27 Mar 11 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,Simone 26 Sep 11 - 08:03 AM
MGM·Lion 26 Sep 11 - 08:16 AM
Snuffy 26 Sep 11 - 10:08 AM
GUEST 17 Jul 12 - 03:42 PM
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Subject: ha-ha-ha cant't catch me :origin
From: mayomick
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 12:07 PM

Doe anyone recall playing the game where you sang. "Ha ha ha you can't catch me catch that little boy/girl under the tree"? I can remember singing it in England as a kid .
I was reading the note to the tune Harvey Duff in Zinnermann's book of Irish rebel broadside songs a couple of days ago . It sounded like the same tune - if I read the music correctly . According to Zinnermann ,Brendan Behan remembered when he was a kid singing the words "Harvey Duff you can't catch me , catch that little boy under the tree" to the tune whwenever there was a policeman around . Apparantly the song ,or the tune whistled ,used to drive the police to the point of fury in the nineteenth century .
Harvey Duff was the name of the police informer who came to an untimely end in Dion Bioucalt's comedy , The Shaughrin .Zinnermann speculated that the tune may have come from the play and that it was perhaps used whenever the Harvey Duff character appeared or was about to appear on stage.

Does anyone have any information or thoughts about this. I had always thought that the kid's tune was some sort of primal chant that came naturally to children ,but perhaps it was composed. If so ,by who?


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Subject: RE: ha-ha-ha cant't catch me :origin
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 01:31 PM

My recollection from childhood is that the tune much resembled that of 'This old man he played one', aka 'Nicknack paddywack give a dog a bone' ~ is that the tune you have in mind or another one?


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Subject: RE: ha-ha-ha cant't catch me :origin
From: GUEST,mayomick
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 07:22 PM

No,it sounds much simpler .It was sung like a chant to taunt the person trying to catch you when you were playing the game catch. In the key of G it's :
g b g g b g/b b c b a / fsharp fsharp g .


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Subject: RE: ha-ha-ha cant't catch me :origin
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 07:34 PM

Like this, Mick?

Click to play



If you can send me a better MIDI, please do.

-Joe-
joe@mudcat.org


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Subject: RE: ha-ha-ha cant't catch me :origin
From: GUEST,mick
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 08:31 PM

How infuriating .The sound is off on my pc at the moment for some reason Joe . Will listen tomorrow amd will whistle it for you somehow when I get the sound back on. (I just bought a new second -hand computer).mick


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Subject: RE: Origin: ha-ha-ha can't catch me / Harvey Duff
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 03:09 PM

I read (can't find the book) a Dublin newspaper in the 1800s was bold enough to sponsor a contest for the best lyrics for the tune or a similar one. The winning entry, with musical notation, began: "Harvey Duff, watch your stuff. Who's [something] now?..."


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Subject: RE: Origin: ha-ha-ha can't catch me
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 03:12 PM

I seem to remember the words "Ha ha ha, hee hee hee, you can't catch me for a toffee flea." (Whatever THAT is!)


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Subject: RE: Origin: ha-ha-ha can't catch me
From: GUEST,Simone
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 08:03 AM

I remember chanting 'you can't catch me for a toffee flea in the playground.
What is a toffee flea, maybe some ancient snack of toffee coated flea.
Anyone know?


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Subject: RE: Origin: ha-ha-ha can't catch me
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 08:16 AM

Seem to be two phrases confused or conflated here ~~ 'Can't do [something] for toffee' = a child-phrase for completely incapable of doing whatever is the task or action in question("Don't pick him, he can't play football for toffee"); with 'can't catch a flea' = unable to perform the simplest task or action.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Origin: ha-ha-ha can't catch me
From: Snuffy
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 10:08 AM

"Ha ha ha, hee hee hee, you can't catch me for a penny cup of tea."

Stockport, early 1950s


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Subject: RE: Origin: ha-ha-ha can't catch me
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 03:42 PM


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