The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #90418   Message #3322328
Posted By: Azizi
13-Mar-12 - 01:21 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: Lady's alligator purse? Her own thread
Subject: RE: Folklore: Lady's alligator purse? Her own thread
Jon Corelis, your post motivated me to search online again for any theories about the meaning of the line "the lady with the alligator purse".

I found the following post that confirms (or at least strongly supports) what Guest Nancy Silverrod wrote on Oct 31, 2011 about that line's connection to Susan B. Anthony.

I'm reposting this comment from for the folkloric record.

Alligator Purse Rhyme

Posted on February 22, 2011 by DHughes

"The traveling champion of the women's rights movement, Susan B. Anthony, was recognized by two trademarks: her red shawl and her alligator "purse." You can see the famous alligator bag she carried across the United States and to Europe when you visit the Susan B. Anthony House at 17 Madison Street in Rochester, NY. You may recognize this children's jump-rope rhyme that was recorded by the press when Anthony was campaigning for suffrage in California:

Miss Lulu had a baby, she called him tiny Tim.
She put him in the bathtub, so see if he could swim.
He drank up all the water! He ate up all the soap!
He tried to swallow the bathtub, but it wouldn't go down his throat!!
Call for the doctor!
Call for the nurse!
Call for the lady with the alligator purse!
"Mumps!" said the doctor. "Measles!" said the nurse.
"Vote!!" said the lady with the alligator purse!!

Anthony used her alligator bag more like a briefcase or backpack than like a purse. In it, she carried her speeches and pamphlets, a copy of the transcript from her 1873 trial in which she was found guilty for having voted "illegally" in the 1872 federal election. What would be the most important item for you to carry in your alligator bag?"


There are no comments on that thread except the one I just wrote.

There's an ad on the Susan B. Anthony House website selling the "Ms Anthony" alligator bag (purse).

That link also leads to this video about Susan B Anthony & her alligator purse: Ms Anthony, a Purse with a Purpose

There are no comments on that YouTube video viewer comment thread except for the one I just wrote referring people to additional examples & comments about that rhyme on a page on my Cocojams website Cocojams Handclap, Jump Rope, And Elastic Rhymes 2, as well as to this thread.

Best wishes,

Azizi Powell