The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #90418   Message #3103766
Posted By: MGM·Lion
27-Feb-11 - 03:18 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: Lady's alligator purse? Her own thread
Subject: RE: Folklore: Lady's alligator purse? Her own thread
Ewan MacColl used to report having heard Glasgow children sing a more up-to-date version in the 1940s-50s which ended "Penicillin said the doctor, Penicillin said the nurse, Penicillin said the lady with the alligator purse."

So it had spread, but is clearly an American children's song, as the UK equivalent of 'alligator purse' would be 'crocodile handbag' ~~ a purse means something else here, a small receptacle for coins which a woman would carry within her handbag [which, I repeat = US 'Purse'].

This I understood from my Chicago-based nephew & niece when their mother, my wife's sister who had settled in Chicago & married, first brought them over here in the early 1970s when they were both under 10, is a widespread children's song over there which 'everybody knows'. But their version IIRC had the 3rd & 4th line, after Tiny·Tim had been put into the bathtub to see if he could swim, "He sank down to the bottom, he came up to the top"; but I regret that I can't recall the rhyme to 'top' or what followed. Anyone know that variant?