The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #94034   Message #2330139
Posted By: Azizi
30-Apr-08 - 05:34 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky
Subject: RE: Origins: Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky
GUEST, 30 Apr 08 - 04:29 PM, thanks for posting your example, and including demographical information {your geographical area}.

As to someone correcting you and telling you that his or her version of a children's rhyme is the right one, phooey! There's no such thing as the right version of a rhyme. We may try to find early versions of rhymes, or even the earliest version {but I'm not sure that we could ever be certain that there was no version earlier than another one that would possibly be found}.

And I think that it's good to talk about source songs for specific rhymes, like the May Irwin's Frog Song which is probably one of the main sources for the "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky" children's rhyme. However, that's different than talking about which version of the rhyme is the right one.

Children's rhymes are part of folk culture. And one of the things that's bound to happen with folk culture is that the words-much more than the tunes of rhymes & songs-are going to be changed a little, or a lot by accident, or on purpose.   

You can take that to the bank.