The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #4128   Message #2695486
Posted By: Jim Dixon
07-Aug-09 - 11:15 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Beans in my Ears (Len Chandler)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Beans in my Ears (Len Chandler)
From A Polyglot of Foreign Proverbs by Henry George Bohn (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1857), page 145:

Er hat Bohnen in den Ohren. He has beans in his ears. (Who so deaf as he that will not hear.)


From Puck [an American humor magazine apparently patterned on the British "Punch"] (New York: Keppler & Schwarzmann, Vol. X, No. 247, November 30, 1881), page 196:


The other day a small boy, who is noted for a love of experimenting, poured a lot of molasses on the cat, who immediately went in the house and jumped into the lap of the boy's mother, who had just donned a silk dress to go out calling. We don't want to go into unpleasant details, but the natural impression on seeing her go for that boy with the first thing she laid her hands on, is that that boy will try a different scheme the next time he is suffering for scientific diversion.


From The Making of a Teacher by Martin G. Brumbaugh (Philadelphia: The Sunday School Times Company, 1905), page 295:

One teacher who thought he would avoid any possible wrong-doing on the part of his pupils noticed in a school-yard a wood-shed. Thereupon he announced to the children that they must not play on the roof of that wood-shed. It hadn't entered the minds of the children that that was a good place to play, but at the suggestion of the teacher they soon found out that the roof was the only spot on earth that would afford adequate pleasure. Sometimes as many as seventeen were found upon it! A very well-disposed mother, but not wise, on leaving her home one day, said to the older children, "Now be sure to put no beans in the baby's ears." The children had never thought of such a thing, but when she returned the baby's ears were well filled with beans!

[Note: I found several other examples of the same or similar anecdotes.--JD]


From The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg by Carl Sandburg (New York: Harcourt, 1991), page 487f:

[from "The People, Yes", originally published 1936]


"Why did the children
put beans in their ears
when the one thing we told the children
they must not do
was put beans in their ears?"

"Why did the children
pour molasses on the cat
when the one thing we told the children
they must not do
was pour molasses on the cat?"