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Lyr Req: Roaches and Bedbugs?

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Jeff Reynolds 14 Dec 96 - 02:38 AM
dick greenhaus 16 Dec 96 - 09:43 PM
Cathy (burnsedc@freenet.tlh.fl.us) 16 Dec 96 - 10:55 PM
GUEST,melvinbell 31 May 00 - 09:28 PM
Chocolate Pi 31 May 00 - 11:35 PM
catspaw49 31 May 00 - 11:38 PM
Chocolate Pi 01 Jun 00 - 12:06 AM
Chocolate Pi 01 Jun 00 - 12:35 AM
GUEST,Allan S. 01 Jun 00 - 12:41 PM
Sandy Paton 01 Jun 00 - 12:54 PM
SINSULL 01 Jun 00 - 01:49 PM
Uncle_DaveO 01 Jun 00 - 01:54 PM
Uncle_DaveO 01 Jun 00 - 02:27 PM
kendall 01 Jun 00 - 02:44 PM
Jon Freeman 01 Jun 00 - 03:08 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 09 Sep 01 - 11:40 AM
GUEST 10 Sep 01 - 03:48 AM
GUEST,Honeydipperiss 17 Nov 05 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Honeydipperiss 17 Nov 05 - 03:56 PM
Azizi 17 Nov 05 - 06:54 PM
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GUEST,rodeo 05 Mar 11 - 10:54 PM
GUEST,999 05 Mar 11 - 11:11 PM
GUEST,Tom 14 Mar 11 - 06:11 PM
GUEST,guest, Maeve 31 May 11 - 05:26 PM
Stewie 31 May 11 - 08:31 PM
dick greenhaus 31 May 11 - 09:29 PM
GUEST 22 Oct 11 - 12:08 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Oct 11 - 03:18 AM
GUEST,Travis D 30 Oct 11 - 09:01 PM
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Subject: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: Jeff Reynolds
Date: 14 Dec 96 - 02:38 AM

Anyone have any more of this one? My great uncle used to sing this one verse, and I recently found out there's more to it:
    When I woke up this morning and looked up on the wall,
    The roaches & the bedbugs were having a game of ball.
    The score was six to nothing, the bedbugs were ahead,
    The roaches made a homerun, and knocked me out of bed!

Thanks mucho!

Jeff Reynolds jreynlds@wic.net


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 16 Dec 96 - 09:43 PM

Hi- I've heard this as part of Ain't Gonna Rain No More; Lulu Had A Baby and Drop a Nickel On the Drum. I really have never encountered additional words that might make a coherent song; has anybody els?


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: Cathy (burnsedc@freenet.tlh.fl.us)
Date: 16 Dec 96 - 10:55 PM

If this is the same one I'm thinking of, I believe it was called "Roaches," a novelty song that was a play on "Rumours," a song from the mid-1980s. It got heavy airplay in Orlando at the time. I don't know who sung (rapped) it.

One of the verses went something like,

"I get up at night, turn on the light, and see the floor show."

Another part went,

"I bet there'll be roaches running around on Judgment Day."

Do you think this might be it? -- Cathy


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST,melvinbell
Date: 31 May 00 - 09:28 PM

I heard it as:

OH I woke up this morning and looked up on the wall,
The roaches & the bedbugs were having a game of ball.
The score was six to nothing; the bedbugs were ahead,
I got so excited I fell right out of bed.

I went down to breakfast; the coffee it was stale.
It tasted like tobacco juice right out of the county jail.
The ??? and the ???, the isolated cheese,
The weenies turned a flip flop and landed in the peas.


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: Chocolate Pi
Date: 31 May 00 - 11:35 PM

I've never been to Harvard
I've never been to Yale
The only place I've ever been
Is the good old county jail.

I woke up there one morning
And looked up on the wall
The cooties and the bedbugs
Were playing a game of ball.

The score was six to nothing
The bedbugs were ahead
The cooties hit a home run
And knocked me out of bed.

learned from my mom - no idea on the attribution.

Chocolate Pi


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: catspaw49
Date: 31 May 00 - 11:38 PM

I've heard a lot of these verses and a few others broken up and sung by my Dad to the old Army thing, "Gee How I Want To Go Home."......I like Pi's song...any idea of a tune?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: Chocolate Pi
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 12:06 AM

same tune as:
"Miss Lucy had a steamboat" and the fragment that goes
    ..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.
which, as my roommate pointed out as I was singing at the computer, is similar to but not the same as a verse of "The Lady with the Alligator Purse."


Chocolate Pi


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: Chocolate Pi
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 12:35 AM

hm. just asked a bunch of random people in the hallway what they knew to that tune, and it evolved into a good half-hour of clapping games because everyone knew Miss Mary and her steamboat.
obviously reading period before finals week.


Chocolate Pi


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST,Allan S.
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 12:41 PM

There was a thread on this last year I learned it as follows about 1936 in grade school

I was standing on the corner not doing any harm
When along came a copper and he took me by the arm.
He took me round the corner and rang a little bell.
Along came the ding-dong a-driving like hell.

Seven o'clock in the morning, I looked upon the wall.
The roaches and the bedbugs were having a game of ball.
The score was seven to nothing and the roaches were ahead,
When the bedbugs hit a hone run that knocked me out of bed.

Eight o'clock in the morning, the jailer comes around
And brings you bread and butter that weighs half a pound.
The coffee's like tobacco juice. The bread is hard and stale;
And that's the way they treat the bums at the Whaley Avenue jail.

I learned this about 1936 in New Haven, CT which accounts for the line Whaley Avenue jail. This is where the town jail still is. There appeared to be several variations of this song all over the country. Where did your Dad learn it?


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 12:54 PM

Bedbugs and cooties verse was sung as part of "Portland County Jail" by the fellow I learned it from in the Kansas wheat fields, about 1945. He sang it thusly:

I woke up the other night
And there upon the wall,
The bedbugs and the cooties
Were having a game of ball.
The score was one to nothing,
The cooties were ahead,
When a bedbug hit a homerun
And knocked me out of bed.

I recall seeing a very similar verse in Gardner & Chickering's Ballads and Songs of Southern Michigan, collected from a young lad in a youth detention facility. Great place to swap songs!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: SINSULL
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 01:49 PM

Another verse:

Seven o'clock in the morning
Breakfast came around
They gave me a rotten potato
That weighed about a pound
The core was full of weevils
The skin was black and green
But that's the way they treat you
In the penitentiary.


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 01:54 PM

Twas midnight on the ocean, the moon was shining bright
I went into a drugstore to get myself a light.
The man behind the counter was a woman young and gray
Who'd been a-peddling onions on the Road to Mandalay.

There was more, but it's not coming into my bone head just now.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 02:27 PM

I goofed on that contribution. The first line was wrong, and I remember a LITTLE more.

It should go:

Twas midnight on the ocean, not a streetcar was in sight.
I went into a drugstore to get myself a light.
The man behind the counter was a woman young and gray
Who'd been a-peddling onions on the Road to Mandalay.

She had six little orphans, except one little tot.....

And I disremember the rest.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: kendall
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 02:44 PM

The horse and a flea were shaking dice
Over in the corner were the three blind mice
The horse got up and sat on the flea
And the flea says "Boys, there's a horse on me."


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 03:08 PM

Thinking of bedbugs got me thinking of a song which to my surprise I can not find in the DT. Here is a version I found on the internet:

One New Years eve in Glasgow Town, when all we had was half a crown
A bunch of us thought we'd prowl around and find some fun in Rothsea-O
We wandered out Victoria Street, we didn't care much for snow or sleet
And at half past two, with achin' feet, we found ourselves in Rothsea-O

A dalama doo a dama dae, A dalama doo a dad n oh
Dalama doo a dama dae, the night we went to Rothsea-O

[Pick a name] who's a bit of a lout, said he'd treat us all to a pint of stout
So as quick as we could we all set out for a public house in Rothsea-O
Says I: "My lads, I'd like to sing!", says I: "You'll no do such a thing!"
I said: "Clear the room and we'll make a ring and I fight ye all in Rothsea-O"

A dalama doo a dama dae, A dalama doo a dad n oh
Dalama doo a dama dae, the night we went to Rothsea-O

We had to find a place to sleep, we were all too drunk to even creep
We found a place that was really cheap in a boarding house in Rothsea-O
We all layed down to take our ease, when somebody happened for to sneeze
And wakened half a million fleas in a single room in Rothsea-O

A dalama doo a dama dae, A dalama doo a dad n oh
Dalama doo a dama dae, the night we went to Rothsea-O

There were several different kinds of pests, they ran and they jumped inside our vests
They got in our hair and they built their nests, And they cried: "Hurrah for Rothsea-O!"
Says I: "I'll think we'll head for home", and we swore we never more would roam
And we're scratching still as we sing this poem of the night we spent in Rothsea-O

A dalama doo a dama dae, A dalama doo a dad n oh
Dalama doo a dama dae, the night we went to Rothsea-O

Jon


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 11:40 AM

Here's a little more on the song with a few variants


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Sep 01 - 03:48 AM

CATCH A WIFFER WOFFER
Author or authors unknown

Oh, I'm walkin' round the corner
Doing little harm
Along comes a policeman
And grabs me by the arm

Oh, he walks me round the corner
Rings a little bell
Along comes a wagon
And knocks me in a cell

I'm singin' eenie meenie and a miney moh
Catch a wiffer woffer by the toe
And if it hollers, hollers, hollers,
Let it go, I'm singin' eenie meenie and a miney moh

Oh, five o'clock in the morning
I looked up on the wall --
The roaches and the bedbugs
Were having a game of ball

Oh, the score was six to nothing
The roaches were ahead --
The bedbugs hit a home run
And knocked me out of bed

I'm singin' eenie meenie and a miney moh,
Catch a wiffer woffer by the toe
And if it hollers, hollers, hollers,
Let it go, I'm singin' eenie meenie and a miney moh

Oh, six o'clock in the morning
The jailer comes around
A piece of bread and coffee
That weighs a half a pound

Oh, the coffee tastes like tobacco juice
The bread is hard and stale
But that's the way they treat the bums
In New York County Jail

I'm singin' eenie meenie and a miney moh,
Catch a wiffer woffer by the toe
And if it hollers, hollers, hollers,
Let it go, I'm singin' eenie meenie and a miney moh

I went downtown for breakfast
I ordered ham and eggs
I ate so many pickles
The juice ran down my legs

I fell into a sewer
And that is where I died
They did not call it murder --
They called it sewer-cide

I'm singin' eenie meenie and a miney moh,
Catch a wiffer woffer by the toe
And if it hollers, hollers, hollers,
Let it go, I'm singin' eenie meenie and a miney moh


LUZERNE COUNTY JAIL

I was standing on a corner
Not doing any harm
Along comes a policeman
Grabs me by the arm

Takes me around the corner
Rings a little bell
Next thing I know
I'm sitting in a cell

I woke up in the morning
Looked up at the wall
The bed bugs and roaches
They had a game of ball

The score was 19 to 20
The roaches were ahead
The bedbugs hit a home run
And knocked me out of bed

I went downstairs for breakfast
The toast was hard and stale
Coffee like tobacco juice
That's the Luzerne County Jail


NAMELESS SONG

This mornin' when I woke up
I looked up on the wall
The roaches and the bedbugs
Were having a game of ball

The score was six to nothing,
The roaches were ahead.
A bedbug hit a home run
And knocked me outta bed!

OOOOOOhhhh...
Hambones, hambones, hambones...

It ain't gonna rain no more...
Soooo.. How in the heck
Can I wash my neck
If it ain't gonna rain no mo!


OKLAHOMA DEPRESSION SONG (recorded by Elmer Jennings)

I woke up one morning and looked upon the wall
The cooties and the bed bugs were having a game of ball

The score was nine to nothing and the cooties were ahead
A bed bug knocked a home run and knocked me out of bead

OOOhh... ham bone, ham bone, disconnected cheese
A weenie turned a flip flop and lit right on his knees

I went down stairs to breakfast, the toast was hard and stale
The coffee tasted like tobacco juice fresh from the county jail

OOOhh... Ella had a baby; She named it Sammy Jim
She took it to the bathroom to learn it how to swim

It drank two tubs of water and it ate two bars of soap
And now poor Ella's baby is learning how to float

It floated up the river and it floated down the lane
And now poor Ella's baby is never home again


AIN'T GONNA RAIN NO MORE

Chorus: Oh, it ain't gonna rain no more, no more, it ain't gonna rain no more
It rained last week and the week before, it ain't gonna rain no more

Mary had a little lamb, so goes the tale of yore
She loved that little lamb so much, she passed the plate for more

A bullfrog sat on a lily pad, looking up in the sky
He fell right off that lily pad, and got water in his eye

Oh, a peanut sat on a railroad track; its heart was all a-flutter
Along came the 5:05 - Oops! Peanut butter

A cow walked on the railroad track; the train was coming fast
The train got off the railroad track to let the cow go past!

I woke up in the morning; I glanced upon the wall
The roaches and the bedbugs were having a game of ball
The score was six to nothing, the roaches were ahead
A bedbug hit a home run and knocked me out of bed!

A doctor fell into a well and broke his collarbone
We think that he should tend the sick and leave the well alone

A farmer slipped on the old barn roof when rotten boards gave way
And as he fell, he shrugged and said, "It's time to hit the hay"

Humpty Dumpty fell right down and landed on his head
So, all the horses and the men had scrambled eggs and bread


I DON'T WANT NO MORE OF THIS ARMY LIFE

Five o'clock in the morning
And I gazed up on the wall
Bedbugs and the roaches
Were having a game of ball

Score was six to nothing
And the bedbugs were ahead
The roaches hit a homer
And knocked me outta bed

I don't want no more of this army life
Gee, Mom, I wanna go home
No, I don't want to more of this army life
Gee, Mom, I wanna go...
Oh boy, do I wanna go...
Gee, Mom, I wanna go home


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST,Honeydipperiss
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 03:46 PM

This is how my grandmother sang it to me:

One day I was hungry
I didn't want to steal
I went to Lady Muffin's house
And asked her for a meal
She gave me bread and coffee
The bread was hard and stale
The coffee tasted like tobacco juice
Straight from the county jail
She took me to her bedroom
I looked upon the wall
The roaches and the bedbugs
Were having a game of ball
The score was six to nothing
The roaches were ahead
The bedbugs hit a homerun
And knocked me out of bed


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST,Honeydipperiss
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 03:56 PM

In Response to the message posted by Chocolate Pi:

My Grandmother sang me this song as well:

Miss Lucy had a baby
His name was Tiny Tim
She put him in the bathtub
To teach him how to 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
The Doctor called the Nurse
The Nurse called the Lady with the Alligator Purse
"Mumps!", said the Doctor
"Measles!", said the Nurse
But nothing said the Lady with the Alligator Purse


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: Azizi
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 06:54 PM

Here is a version of "Woke Up Sunday Morning" that I collected in 2002 from Miss Crystal, an African American woman in her thirties who was a Director of a Summer camp in Duquesne, PA {not far from Pittsburgh}. I had gone to the camp to gather rhymes from the children. After the children had shared several rhymes, Miss Crystal suddenly said "I remember singing this when I was little." She then immediately began to recite this rhyme in a sing song voice:

Oh I work up Sunday morning
I looked up on the wall.
I saw a gang of roaches
playin a game of basketball.

The score was nine to nothing.
The roaches had the lead.
I went and got my roach spray
and sprayed them 1, 2, 3.

You better stop them roaches
crawlin up my wall.
Feed them chicken & rice
and some day they'll be
shootin dice.

-snip-

BTW, although the age 5-12 year old children had enthusiastically joined in when one of their classmates began a 'song', they were completely silent when Miss Cystal recited this rhyme. They later joined in with another song that Miss Crystal led [Miss Mary Mack], so it wasn't that they were put off by her authority. It seemed to me that they just were not at all familiar with "I Woke Up Sunday Morning".

BTW2-In answer to my question,Miss Crystal said "I Woke Up Sunday Morning" wasn't a handclap rhyme and it wasn't a jump rope rhyme. She said that "People just sung it".


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 12:51 PM

Here's a version from Chicago daycamps c. 1955. We called it "Standin' On the Corner".

Standing on the corner
Smoking my cigar
Along comes a copper
Grabs me by the arm.
Swung me 'round the corner
Rangs a little bell
Along comes a squad car
To take me to my cell.

Six o'clock in the mornin'
I look up on the wall
The bedbugs & the cooties
Are havin' a game of ball.
The score was eight to nothin
The cooties were ahead.
The bedbugs hit a homer
That knocked me out of bed.

Seven o'clock in the mornin'
The mammy came around
She served me hot potatoes
That weighed a hundred pounds.
The coffee tastes like turpentine
The bread is hard & stale.
And that's how they treat you
At the Cook County jail.

There's bars on the windows,
Bars on the doors
I wouldn't be surprised if
There's bars on the floors.


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 06:21 AM

From My Childhood:

Six o'clock in the morning I was standing on the corner not doing any harm
When along came a policeman and grabbed me by the arm.
He took me round the corner and he rang a little bell.
The next thing I knew, I was in the county jail.

Six o'clock in the morning, I looked upon the wall.
The roaches and the bedbugs were having a game of ball.
The score was six to zero and the roaches were ahead,
A bedbug hit a homer and knocked me out of bed.

Six o'clock in the morning, a keeper came around
And served you mashed potatoes that almost knocked you down
The coffee tastes like tobacco juice and the bread is always stale
And that's the way they treat you in the county jail.


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 04:34 PM

The one I remember is from way back in grade school, and it went like this.

When I woke up this mornin,
I looked up on the wall.
The cooties and the bedbugs
were playin a game of ball.
The score was 19 to 20
the cooties were ahead.
The bedbugs hit a homerun
and it knocked me outta bed.

Singin, eenie meenie
Miney mo.
Catch a rebel,,rebel
by his toe.
If he hollar,,hollars
let him go.
Hey boy roll them,
hey boy roll them bones.


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST,rodeo
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 10:54 PM

Last night when I was sleeping I looked upon the wall bedbugs and cockroaches were having a game of ball. The score was three to nothing, the bedbugs were ahead...I wish this game was over so I can go to bed.....


Now what is the rest of the song?


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 11:11 PM

rolandanderson.se/bedbugs.php

Google the above.


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Subject: RE: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST,Tom
Date: 14 Mar 11 - 06:11 PM

Here's the way we used to sing it when we wuz kids. We got it from my Dad:

Walkin' along the RR Track a' doin' any harm
Along came a cop and grabbed me by the arm
He took me to a little house and there he rang a bell
The next thing I knew I was sittin' in a cell.

Woke up in the morning
Looked up on the wall
The cooties and the bed bugs
were having a game of ball

The score was 6 to nothing
the Cooties were ahead
A Cootie hit a homer
and knocked me out of bed.

[And then we'd add - with a different tune]:
"Oh ain't we crazy, oh ain't we crazy
this is the way we pass the time away
'Oh ain't we crazy, oh ain't we crazy
this is the way we pass the time away."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ;Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST,guest, Maeve
Date: 31 May 11 - 05:26 PM

My father taught us:
I was working my way through the country
My name was Whiskey Jim
I stole a horse and buggy
The coppers turned me in
The judge he find me guilty
Said ninety days in jail
The coffee tastes like turpentine
The bread it was but stale
At si o'clock in the morning
I looked upon the wall
The cooties and the bedbugs
Were having a game of ball.
The score was six to nothing
The cooties were ahead
The bedbugs knocked a home run
and knocked me out of bed.

are there any recorded versions of something like this?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: Stewie
Date: 31 May 11 - 08:31 PM

Byrd Moore recorded a song titled 'Bed bugs making their last go round' on 22 June 1928, issued as Gennett 6586 and Conqueror 7259. You can find it on the excellent 'Virginia Traditions: Southwest Virginia Blues' Global Village CD 1008. It is also available as a free download from HERE.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 31 May 11 - 09:29 PM

Difinitely in the urban folk tradition (Brooklyn, kids) in the middle 1930s. I wuz there


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Oct 11 - 12:08 AM

Funny, my great aunt used to sing the roaches and bedbugs as the first verse, followed by a chorus of "oh ain't we crazy" and then the following:

The rich girl uses cold cream, the poor girl uses lard,
But my girl uses axle grease and rubs it twice as hard!

The rich man takes a streetcar, the poor man rides the train,
The hobo walks the railroad tracks and gets there just the same!

(another chorus of oh ain't we crazy)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Oct 11 - 03:18 AM

One from wonderful Traveller singer Mary Delaney, along with the note to the CD of Travellers songs 'From Puck to Appleby
Jim Carroll

13 - The Kilkenny Louse House (Roud 12933) Mary Delaney

Oh the first of my downfall I closed out the door,
And I then made my way on to Carrick-on-Suir,
Then when I got there it was late in the night,
I went down the Gas Road for to view the gas light.

Chorus:
Raddly fol the diddle ar ol,
Ti arol ty ay.

I met this blooming old man and I call him a tramp.
"Could you direct me any place I'd get a stall? "
For he brought me along 'til we came to Coke Lane,
There's an old woman here keeps a slumbering kean.

For we knocks on the door, the old lady comes out.
"If you give me two shillings I'll show you the bed."
For she brought me upstairs and quenched out the light,
Oh then, less than ten minutes I had to show fight.

"If you give me the daylight I'll fight my own way."
For the bugs and the lice they were beat me each way.
There were lumps on my bones and my back and my legs.
"Lay me out", says the poor man, "I'm nearly dead."

Oh the lady came in and she put on the light.
Oh then, less than five minutes your man got outside.
"If you give me fair play I can fight my own way,
But if you give me sore sides I'll give ye broken bones."

As popular as this song was, it has seldom appeared in print; we could trace only one published version in a collection entitled Bal¬lads From the Jails and Streets of Ireland. A recording of it from two County Waterford singers in 1965 was included in the Voice of the People series, Vol 7, oddly entitled Burke's Engine due to a mis-hearing on the editors' part of the name Buck St John who, in that version, is given as proprietor of the lodging-house. We have been unable to establish whether he or the Louse House ever existed.
The term 'slumbering kean' at the end of the second verse comes from Travellers lan¬guage, Gammon or Cant, kean being a house or asylum.
We had great trouble recording this from Mary as, on most occasions she sang it for us she was unable to reach the end for laughter. An additional verse she sang in one of these part-renditions was:

If you give me fair play I will fight my own way,
Between the bugs and the lice they will eat me away,
For a box of TD (DDT) I will shake here today,
And if I get the daylight I'll run mad away.

Ref: Ballads from the Jails and Streets of Ireland, Martin Shannon, Red Hand Books, 1966.
Other CDs: Tommy McGrath - Topic TSCD557


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST,Travis D
Date: 30 Oct 11 - 09:01 PM

last night while I was sleeping, I gazed upon the wall.

The bedbugs and the cock roaches were having a game of ball.

The score was 8 to nothin, the bedbugs were ahead.

Til shorty hit a homerun and knocked me outta bed.

he knocked me outta bed, I gave an awful scream

I landed on a bed bug and squashed him all to cream


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Subject: ADD: Charles Street Jail
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Dec 11 - 11:36 AM

I enjoyed all the versions while looking for a song my father taught me. We are from South Boston and this is the Charles Street Jail song I know.
    I was standing on the cornor, doing nothing wrong
    Along came a policeman and took me by the arm
    He brang me to a little box and rang a little bell
    Along came the wagon and took me to my cell
    I woke up in the morning and looked upon the wall
    The bedbugs and the cockroaches were having a game of ball
    The score was six to nothing, the bedbugs were ahead
    A cockroach hit a home run and knocked me out of bed
    I went downstairs to breakfast, the bread was hard and stale
    The coffee tasted like tabacco juice
    Down in Charles Street Jail...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 26 Dec 11 - 11:40 AM

More on the song here--both stanzas and history.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Dec 11 - 08:27 AM

My Dad taught me this song in the 1950's
I was standing on a corner - not a doing any harm
Along can a policeman and took mr by thr arm
he lead me around the corner and rang a little bell
Along can a chug chug and toke me to my cell
When I awoke the next morning I looked upon the wall
The bedbugs and the roaches were having a game of ball
The score was nine to nothing
The roaches were ahead
The begbugs hit a home run and knocked me out of bed.

My Dad was born in PA but spent most of his growing years in the Aderondack Mountains. He did serve 4 years in the Navy during WWII...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST,mthrtckr57
Date: 01 May 12 - 02:15 PM

The version my Mother sang to me was:

One day when I got hungry
I would not beg or steal
I went to Mrs. K's house
and asked her for a meal.
I looked at her
She looked at me
She thought I was a Thief
She took me in
She set me down
She would not let me eat.

The dog was on the Table
The pig behind the door
the Baby's foot was in the soup
and I won't go there no more.

I woke up in the morning
and gazed upon the wall
the roaches, land the bedbugs
were having a game of ball.
The score was 19-20
the bedbugs were ahead
the roaches hit a home run,
and knocked me out of bed.

I went down stairs to breakfast
the toast was hard as nails
the coffee taste like tobacco juice
the kind they serve in jail
the pig was on the table
the dog behind the door
the baby's foot was in the soup
and I won't go there no more.

I just want to find out the name of this particular version. I'm also looking for a song about Mr Johnny Baker. (grinds cats & dogs into sausages), and the ballad of Barbara Allen, and Sweet William.
Last Lyric
"A rose grew on Sweet William's grave, a rose on Barbara Allen's.
They grew, and grew to steeple high, and they could grow no higher, and there they tied in a lovers knot. The rose around the bryer


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 02 May 12 - 12:05 PM

There was a fellow that went by the name of Lazy Jim Day that sung this song on the Grand Ol Opry in the late 1940-50s . He would make up other verses about topical news of the day. He called it "the Singing News. He used the chorus;
"I dont recon that'll happen again in months and months and months ."
"I dont recon that'll happen again in months and months and months. "


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 11:06 PM

....it knocked me out of bed!
i went down stairs for breakfast the toast was surely stale the coffee taste like tobacco juice right out of the county jail!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST,ebk
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 09:41 PM

my father's version - also from the army -went similar to many others ..

i woke up very early and looked upon the wall
the roaches and the bedbugs were having a game of ball
the score stood 19 20 the bedbugs were ahead
the roaches hit a high fly and knocked me out of bed

i went downstairs for breakfast the bread was hard and stale
The coffee was tobacco juice the kind u get in jail
automatic bread and butter and automatic cheese
indian rubber beefsteak and double- jointed peas


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Sep 14 - 01:00 AM

When I was in Chicago
When I was on the bum
They wouldn't sell me whisky and they wouldn't sell me rum
They put me in the county jail and there upon the wall
The cooties and the bedbugs were having a game of ball.

The score was nineteen twenty
The cooties were ahead
The bedbugs hit a home run
And knocked me out of bed

They took me down for breakfast
In that old county jail
The tea was made of tobacco juice
The toast was hard and stale

That's all I can remember... anyone know the rest?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Mar 15 - 07:39 PM

One night while I was walking
I did not want to steal
I went to old man rivers house
And asked him for a meal
He served me bread and coffee
The bread was hard as steal
The coffee taste like tobacco juice
They serve right back in jail


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Mar 15 - 07:43 PM

3-6-9- the goose drank wine
The monkey chewed tobacco
On the streetcar line
The line broke
The monkey got choked
And they all went to heaven in a little rowboat
Clap clap


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST,This is how my father sang it to me...
Date: 21 Aug 15 - 10:49 AM

I was standin' on the corner, not doin' a bit of harm
along came a flatfoot and took me by the arm,
he dragged me around the corner, rang a funny bell
along came a squad car and took me to my cell.

I woke up in the mornin and looked upon the wall
the cooties and the bedbugs were havin a game of ball
I went to eat my breakfast, everything was stale

the coffee tastes like tobacco juice
right in the county jail
bump bada bump bump bump bump!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Aug 15 - 10:50 AM

oops, I forgot the part about the bedbugs hitting a homer and knocked me out of bed! HAHA! Memories!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST,cosmos42
Date: 21 Aug 15 - 10:15 PM

May I repeat that you people are amazing?

I have a list of songs which I need to add to my songbook, some of which I don't have the words for. Guess what song I added to that list yesterday.

Catch A Wiffer Woffer!

It's now stuck in my head, but it's worth it.

Another verse which we used:


My mother is an Indian
My father is a spy
And if you don't believe me
I'll call the FBI


Also, our bedbugs played ball against skeeters, or occasionally beetles


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST,cosmos42
Date: 21 Aug 15 - 10:26 PM

And, skimming other internet songbooks, it seems like most peoples' mothers were something that made more sense than "an Indian" - a German, a Russian, or even a banker or martian.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jul 16 - 02:22 PM

While standin' on the corner,
Not doin'any harm
Along came a policeman,
And took me by the arm.

He dragged me round the corner,
And rang a little bell,
Along came a squadcar,
That took me to my cell.

I woke up in the morning,
And looked upon the wall,
The bedbugs and the cooties,
Were havin'a game of ball.

The score was 6 to nothin',
The cooties were ahead,
The bedbugs hit a homerun,
And knocked me outa bed.

I went down to my breakfast,
The toast was hard and stale,
The coffee tasted like tobacco juice
Right outa the County Jail.

Automatic butter,
Systematic cheeses,
Indian rubber corn flakes,
And double-jointed peas.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jul 16 - 05:49 PM

when i was in Chicago and i was on the run, they wouldn't sell me whiskey and they wouldn't sell me rum. They put me in the county jail to gaze against the wall. where the bed bugs and the cooties were having a game of ball. The score was ought to nothing, the bed bugs were ahead the cooties hit a home-run that knocked me out of bed.

Then something about going down to breakfast and having a cup of coffee or something. That is all I can remember. My father used to love these type poems and he would say it to me   its was like a story... well, it is a story. He also liked poems like the ones about the yukon, like the story of sam mc gee... about a guy who dies and they cremate him bc they promised they would and as old Sam is being cremated he shouts for them to shut the door for fear you ll let in the cold... first time i been warm since i left old Tennessee.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roaches and Bedbugs?
From: clueless don
Date: 15 Jul 16 - 09:00 AM

I learned it as cooties and bedbugs, not roaches. This was in the 1950s, so it definitely wasn't based on a song from the 1980s.

Don


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