The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #34525   Message #1904377
Posted By: Azizi
09-Dec-06 - 07:25 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Pretty Little Pink
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pretty Little Pink
Michael Morris, my comment about Pretty little Pink games was in reference to your 08 Dec 06 - 03:26 post.

If there were examples of this singing game in which the "pretty little pink" was changed to "pretty little blue" or "pretty little green" etc, then maybe "pink" didn't refer to light skin color. Or maybe it had referred to light skin color at one time, but had changed to become a referent for the color of the featured participant's clothing.


I remember my mother reciting the first verse of "My Pretty Little Pink" to my sisters and me in the 1950s [or at least someone recited it to me as I remembered it from my childhood when I first read in in Thomas W Talley's 1922 collection "Negro Folk Rhymes".

I don't remember my mother doing any actions associated with that rhyme. It was recited as a poem.   


For what it's worth, I've collected no children's rhymes from the 1950s to date that contain the line "my pretty little pink" or any other parts of the rhyme that you included in your Dec 06 - 03:26 post.

However, some folks might think that the "Where the boys are like a lump of gold, And the girls as sweet as candy" lines live on in these lines:

"Boys are rotten Just like cotton/Girls are handy Just like candy."
It's possible that the "boys are like a lump of gold" line etc may be at least one of the sources for "boys are rotten...", but I'm not certain of that.

Here's a common given version of the contemporary handclap rhyme containing that "boys are rotten" line:

My mother. Your mother
live across the street
eighteen nineteen Blueberry Street
Every night they have a fight
And this is what they said tonight
Boys are rotten
made out of cotton.
Girls are dandy
made out of candy
Girls go to Mars
To be superstars
Boys go to Jupiter
to get more stupider
Boys drink beer
To be unfair
Girls drink Pepsi
To get more sexy.
-Yammieshya P. {age 13 years} & Sadiqia P. {age 11 years}; [Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2005


Also, Michael, it may be of interest to you and others that I've found that circle singing games- marching or otherwise- appear to have been relegated to a class room activity directed by pre-school teachers and other adults for pre-school age children. This appears to be the case among African American children in my area. And I dare say it's true elsewhere in the USA and maybe not just among African American children.

Stella Ola Ola/Slap Billy Ola is a big exception to my observation that elementary school age children {5-12 years old} don't play singing or chanting circle games.

Another big exception to this statement is "Going to Kentucky". That 'show me your motion' circle game is played in the traditional 'ring game with one person in the middle' mode. Another contemporary rhyme in that same traditional ring game mode is the contemporary version of 'Little Sally Walker {was walkin down the street}.

For more information on these examples and for additional examples, visit the hyperlink presented above. You might also want to visit my website