The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #81350   Message #1493586
Posted By: Azizi
26-May-05 - 10:12 AM
Thread Name: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes

I'm very interested in knowing when and where you heard or performed the rhyme that you posted and who [what children] performed it.

Few children's rhymes that have collected mention race or ethnicity. However, for some reason, the "I Like {Love} Coffee; I Like {Love} Tea" rhymes that I've collected [performed post 1970s; in various cities] consistantly mention race.

The words are usually "I like a black boy {or colored boy and he likes me}. The rhymes also consistently include the words "Step back, white boy you don't shine, I'll get a black [or colored boy]
to kick your behind".

Of course, the 'standard' words to this rhyme have nothing to do with race or fighting, but are usually given as
I like a boy [I like the boys]
and he likes me [and they like me]

Why the change in wording? Could this change be an unintended result of increased integration in schools and neighborhoods?

In the last 30 years there has been an increase in interracial dating & marriage. Could these rhymes be children's social commentary on tense interracial interactions and not just interracial romantic attractions????