The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #34525   Message #1904414
Posted By: Azizi
09-Dec-06 - 08:35 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Pretty Little Pink
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pretty Little Pink
Btw2, Tally also includes a separate song that contains a variant of the "Charley is a dandy" line.

Here's the first two verses of that 4 verse song:

Mistah Buster, he loves sugar an' tea.
Mistah Buster, he loves candy
Mistah Buster, he's a Jim DandyA
He can swing dem gals so handy.

Charlie's up an' Charlie's down
Charlie's fine and dandt.
Ev'ry time he goes to town,
He gits dem gals stick candy.


Fwiw, the "He loves sugar and tea" phrase lives on in an [African American] children's handclap rhymes though I usually found it given as "I love coffee/I love tea".

Also fwiw, the only references to skin color or race that I've found in contemporary African American children's rhymes are from the the "I Love Coffee/I Love Tea" rhymes. Here's a common version of that rhyme:

I Love Coffee. I Love Tea {Example #3} Handclap rhyme
I love coffee
I love tea
I love a Black boy and he loves me
so step back White boy
you don't shine
I'mma get a Black boy to beat your behind

I met my boyfriend at the candy store.
He bought me ice-cream, he bought me cake,
he brought me home with a belly-ache.
Mamma, Mamma, I feel sick.
Call the doctor - quick, quick, quick.
Doctor, Doctor, will I die?
Count to five and you'll be alive.
1-2-3-4-5. I'm alive.
-African American girls, Pittsburgh, PA, collected late 1980s to date

Note: I received a version of "I love coffee" from a Latina girl who remembered reciting it in New York City, late 1980s. Her version said "I like a colored boy". I also have found several versions of "I love coffee" online from early 2000s which contain this
"I like a colored boy" line. Given the fact that African Americans haven't used the referent "Colored" for ourselves since the 1970s or so, I am presuming that at least some of those persons who posted this version of the "I love coffee" rhyme online are White.

Incidentally, I've never found a version with the line "I love a white boy and he loves me/so step back Black boy". My position is that these versions originated with Black children. My sense is that they reflect the racial tensions that may have occurred [or may still occur] in {newly?} integrated schools or other social settings frequented by Black children and non-Black children.


Also, the "Mama Mama I feel sick" line, probably comes from the [at least 19th century] slavery rhyme: "Grandma Grandma sick in bed/sent for the doctor and the doctor said/get up Grandma/You ain't sick/all you need is a hickory stick.

The "Doctor Doctor will I die?" line is probably also from the old "Waterflower" {"Water fall"?} rhyme.

One version of this children's ring game [with one person in the center] is included in Altona Trent John's 1944 book "Playsongs of the Deep South."

Water-flower, water-flower,
Growing up so tall,
All the young ladies must surely, surely die;
All except Miss 'Lindy Watkins,
She is everywhere,-
The white folks say, the white folks say,
Turn your back and tell your beau's name.

Doctor, Doctor can you tell
What will make poor 'Lindy well?
She is sick and 'bout to die,
That will make poor Johnnie cry!

Marry, marry, marry, quick!
'Lindy, you are just love sick!

Johnnie is a ver' nice man,
Comes to the door with hat in hand,
Pulls off his gloves and show his rings,
'Morrow is the wedding-day.