The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #81350   Message #1493609
Posted By: Azizi
26-May-05 - 10:41 AM
Thread Name: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
To Pazzion: when I wrote that I was interested in knowing "who [what children] performed' that rhyme you posted, I was seeking information on the race/ethnicity of the children.


From my research it appears that there are some rhymes that are performed by children in the USA regardless of race. However, there are other rhymes and types of rhymes that seem to be more common among children of one race or another.

For instance, in my admittedly limited research, I have not yet had any African American child, youth, or adult recite any gross out rhymes like:

"Great big gobs of
Greasy grimy gopher guts
Jubilated monkey's feet
Concentrated birdies' feet
A great big jar of
All-purpose porpoise pus
And me without a spoon!
(I love it so)"


I don't remember these types of rhymes from my childhood/youth. I don't see examples of these types of rhymes in books of African Ameircan children's rhymes. I've never observed any African American children reciting these types of rhymes. And when I ask African Americans if they know 'Great big globs or Greasy grimy gopher guts' they invariably say 'no' and 'ugh!'

I also haven't found excessively violent rhymes among African American children like these ones:

"Lizzy Borden took an axe
She gave her father forty whacks
When the job was halfway through
She gave her mother forty-two.



"On top of old smoky, all covered with sand,
I shot my poor teacher, with a big rubber band!
I shot her with pleasure, I shot her with pride!
I couldnt've missed her...she's eighty feet wide!"

And, I should mention, that the 'shooting the teacher' example is quite mild compared with other rhymes that I have seen in print-here on other Mudcat threads on children's rhymes and elsewhere.

If it is true that these types of rhymes are recited wth different frequency by children of different races, what if anything, does it mean??

I'm interested in others' input regarding this. Has anyone else noticed this? Or am I completely out to lunch [about this I mean]