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Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum

Azizi 18 Jun 07 - 11:46 AM
Azizi 18 Jun 07 - 12:10 PM
Azizi 18 Jun 07 - 05:11 PM
GUEST,meself 18 Jun 07 - 05:12 PM
Azizi 18 Jun 07 - 05:56 PM
Azizi 18 Jun 07 - 05:59 PM
Azizi 18 Jun 07 - 06:07 PM
Azizi 18 Jun 07 - 06:23 PM
Azizi 18 Jun 07 - 06:30 PM
Azizi 18 Jun 07 - 07:12 PM
Azizi 18 Jun 07 - 07:26 PM
Azizi 18 Jun 07 - 07:34 PM
GUEST,jojo 11 Mar 08 - 05:51 PM
Melissa 11 Mar 08 - 06:01 PM
GUEST,Tamara 13 Mar 08 - 11:29 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 13 Mar 08 - 05:18 PM
Azizi 03 Apr 08 - 10:30 PM
GUEST,Blahhh 10 Jul 08 - 09:00 AM
Azizi 10 Jul 08 - 09:52 AM
Roger in Baltimore 10 Jul 08 - 02:50 PM
GUEST,Mary 17 Sep 08 - 08:58 PM
Azizi 18 Sep 08 - 09:58 AM
Azizi 18 Sep 08 - 09:59 AM
Piers Plowman 18 Sep 08 - 10:35 AM
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Subject: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 11:46 AM

The children's rhyme "Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum" serves as an interesting case study of a children's camp song or rhyme that has its source in a pop song that may or may come from an earlier folk song.

What makes this rhyme so interesting to me is that it appears that an earlier kid's version of this song was appropriated by a corporate entity {Bazooka Bubble Gum} and used as a marketing tool for its brand name bubble gum. However, the kids' version {learned at summer camps, school yards, and elsewhere} appears to have prevailed or at least be fondly rememmbered by adults of certain ages.

Enter the same corporate entity in 2006 with a new marketing campaign to revive the brand name "Bazooka Bubble Gum". Will kids use the official version of this rhyme with its sappy, bland ending?
Or will they choose to sing the song their own way with its quirky somewhat counter-culture ending of choking on Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum? Inquiring minds want to know.

Inquiring minds {or my mind anyway} would also love to know who remembers this rhyme and when they remember it. I'd also like to know when [what year or decade] the rhyme changed from "I'm crazy about chewing gum" {or "bubble gum" or "choo'n gum"} to focus on the brand name "Bazooka Bubble Gum". Furthermore, I'm wondering why the corporate powers that be lashed on to a children's rhyme that uses AAVE {African American Vernacular English, otherwise known as "Black English" and "Ebonics" to market their product. I'm specifically referring to the line "I don't want no ____. I want Bazooka Zooka Bubblegum". For instance, one of the company's tv commercials had these lines "We don't want no Kumbaya. We want Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum".

And finally {yeah, right} I'm interested in identifying other children's songs or children's rhymes {or adult songs?} in addition to "Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum" that include the line "my mother gave me a nickel/to buy a pickle".

Why? Well, why not? Being song & rhyme detectives can be an enjoyable pastime. And information gleaned from this type of research can shed light on the lifestyles, values, hopes, and concerns of populations of children, youth, and adults.

BIG hat tip to thread.cfm?threadid=71236#1219046
"RE: Penny to buy chewing gum/Gershwin?"

I started this thread instead of adding to that one because I felt that persons looking for this rhyme would find it easier under this thread name. Besides, the posts on that thread were mostly about the tune used for the "Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum" song rather than the highways & byways I'm interested in exploring in this thread.

Hopefully, those posting to this thread will click on the "Penny to buy chewing gum/Gershwin?" thread. I found it to be a great read. It certainly is one of the types of Mudcat threads that I like best.

**
Off Topic:
Thank you Mudcat members & guests. I very much appreciated and still appreciate your support and kind words. While I didn't ask for words of encouragement, they really meant and still mean a lot to me.

But now that I'm back, you can stop being so nice. Just kidding :0}}

**

Okay, folks! Please share your memories of Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum and other possibly related songs and rhymes {remember-nickle to buy a pickle}. Also, in the interest of folkloric research and documentation, it would be great if you would remember to include in your post such demographical information as where and when you learned or heard this rhyme {for instance, is this rhyme known outside the USA?}

Inquiring minds want to-oh- I said that two times already.

Okay. Umm..well, then, how about "On with the show"!


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 12:10 PM

Here are the two versions of Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum that I referred to in my initial post:

The Official Version:

My mom
She gave me a dollar
She told me to buy a collar
Nut I didn't buy no collar
Instead I bought some bubblegum
Bazooka, Zooka Bubble Gum {2x}

My Mom
She gave me a quarter
She told me to tip the porter
But I didn't tip no porter
Instead I bought some bubblegum
Bazooka, Zooka Bubble Gum {2x}

My mom
She gave me a dime
She told me to buy a lime
But I didn't buy no lime
Instead I bought some bubblegum
Bazooka, Zooka Bubble Gum {2x}

My Mom
She gave me a nickel
She told me to buy a pickle
But I didn't buy a pickle
Instead I bought some bubblegum
Bazooka, Zooka Bubble Gum {2x}

My Mom
She gave me a penny
She told me to buy some bubblegum
So I bought myself some gum!

[various sites including http://www.insomnie.darkfaerytale.com/archives/2006/08/35/ which also includes a children's street version and some comments from other posters]

A Children's Version:

RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: GUEST,BBG - PM
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 03:51 AM

I was reading and i was amazed to not see a ceartain ryme...

My mom gave me a nickle she said to buy a pickle I did not buy a pickle instead i bought some bubblegum BAZOOKA ZOOKA bubble gum!

MY mom gave me a dime she said to buy a lime I did not buy a lime instead I bought some bubblegum BAZOOKA ZOOKA bubblegum.

MY mom gave me a quarter she said to buy some water I did not buy some water instead I bought some bubblegum BAZOOKA ZOOKA bubblegum.

MY mom gave me a five she said to stay alive I did not stay alive instead I choked on bubblegum! BAZOOKA ZOOKA bubblegum.


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 05:11 PM

Here's another kids' version of the Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum song:

My mom gave me a penny
She said to buy a henny
But I didn't buy no henny
Instead, I bought BUBBLE GUM
BAZOOKA, ZOOKA BUBBLE GUM

My mom gave me a nickel
She said to buy a pickle
But I didn't buy no pickle
Instead, I bought BUBBLE GUM
BAZOOKA, ZOOKA BUBBLE GUM

My mom gave me a dime
She said to buy a lime
But I didn't buy no lime
Instead , I bought BUBBLE GUM
BAZOOKA, ZOOKA BUBBLE GUM

My mom gave me a quarter
She said to buy some water
But I didn't buy no water
Instead, I bought BUBBLE GUM
BAZOOKA, ZOOKA BUBBLE GUM

My mom gave me a dollar
She said to buy a collar
But I didn't buy no collar
Instead, I bought BUBBLE GUM
BAZOOKA, ZOOKA BUBBLE GUM

My mom gave me a five
She said to stay alive
But I didn't stay alive
Instead, I choked on BUBBLE GUM
BAZOOKA, ZOOKA BUBBLE GUM

i learned that one in elementary school... not sure how i remembered it! have fun... whoever needs this
-i know hand games! ; December 22, 2005
http://blog.oftheoctopuses.com/000518.php


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 05:12 PM

Hey - look who's back!


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 05:56 PM

Unfortunately, general statements such as "i learned that one in elementary school" are of no use to people attempting to research the year or even the decade certain populations knew a particular song.

A number of websites I've visited have undocumentable statements such as this pertaining to the Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum song. Most of these websites note that this song has been known to campers for years and years. Well, what years? And which campers?

I never attended camp. Maybe if I did I would have learned this song. But maybe it wouldn't have been sung in the camps I would have attended. In any event, I wish that more people in the general public understood the importance of sharing demographical information when writing about songs, and rhymes, and games that they remember way back when or that they knew just the other day.

Here's an excerpt of an article about the Bazooka Bubblegum Company's ad campaign:

"Bazooka Relaunches With Bubblegum Song
August 15, 2006

By Sandra O'Loughlin

NEW YORK -- Topps' Bazooka Bubble Gum this week launched a global ad campaign that it hopes will stick in everyone's head. The campaign, via Duval Guillaume, New York, includes TV, online and a viral marketing effort that plays up a song and music video by Brooklyn-based music group Tha Heights.

The Bazooka Bubblegum Song and Dance is the center of five 15-second commercials in which people indicate their strong desire for the gum. One spot takes place on a baseball diamond where an umpire calls out, "Strike three!" After the batter argues with the call, the ump begins the rhyme, "Listen Kid, I said it was a strike, why don't you take a hike!" The batter responds with, "But I don't want no strike. All I want is bubblegum. Bazooka-Zooka Bubblegum."

"We want kids to make their own rhymes," said Helen Jackers, account director, which they can do by visiting www.bazookajoe.com to download the ads, play the music video, learn the dance and send in their own versions of the song. A viral marketing effort includes e-mail pushes as well as ads on youtube.com and myspace.com.

"The Bazooka Bubblegum song has been sung at summer camps for years and years and was never really picked up by a big audience," said Tom Van Daele, creative director, in a statement. "Ever since we started to work on this catchy tune, it's been stuck in our heads."

The ads are set to run on Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Nick at Nite and ABC Family for the next six weeks".

http://www.brandweek.com/bw/news/foodbev/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002986848

**

Besides the cutsey comment that they want the song about Bubblegum "to stick in everyone's head" and besides the comment that this song has been sung by campers for "years and years" with no actual dates given, check out the fact that the account directors wants kids to "make their own rhymes". Hmm.

Something tells me that Bazooka Bubblegum Company executives aren't thrilled about the version of the song that kids actually sing-you know the one where kids choke on bubble gum... It seems that that version is rather familiar to a quite a few kids, judging by the number of places it is posted throughout the Internet.

And, is it just me, or doesn't the end of that official version of that song seem flat? It doesn't seem to fit.

Maybe that's because it was put there to push a brand name and to sell gum and not to do whatever it is kids were doing with that song besides having fun with rhymes. Maybe part of Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum song is about kids not listening to authority figures. And maybe part of it is about kids tip toeing toward recognition of the concept of death-their own and others.

But rather than get caught up in that heavy duty speculation, I'd like to pose the theory that "Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum" is a subset of a form of children's rhyme that I call a trading rhyme {for want of a better term}. In these rhymes, one object after another proves undesirable or faulty, and is traded for another object which for some reason is also found to be undesirable or faulty.

I'll post a couple of examples of children's trading rhymes in the next post or two.


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 05:59 PM

meself, my mother always used to tell me that "Hey is for horses", but you might mistake my intent if I said that and so I won't :o)


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 06:07 PM

Here's a couple of children's trading rhymes:

Subject: RE: Children's Street Songs
From: ReeBop - PM
Date: 12 Feb 04 - 12:08 PM

A B C
it's easy as 1 2 3
yer mama's got funky feet
oosh ahsh I want a piece of squash
sqhash too sweet I want a piece of meat
meat too tough I wanna ride a bus
Buss too full I wana buy a bull
bull too black I want my money back
money too green I want a limosine
Limosine too long
I wanna write a song
song too old I want a pot of gold
gold to yella' I wanna kiss a fella
fella too fat
and that's the end of that

or
gold too yellow I'll Tickle you with a feather (and you reach out and try to tickle the person who you're playing with)

that's all I can remember right now...

thread.cfm?threadid=4300


**

I went downtown to see James Brown
I gave him a nickel to buy me a pickle
The pickle was sour, so he gave me a shower
The shower was cold, so he gave me a bowl
The bowl was cracked, so he gave me a snack
Now I want my money back, Jack

-bettingonalice at January 1, 2007; http://blog.oftheoctopuses.com/000518.php


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 06:23 PM

Compare the "song too old/I want a pot of gold" line in the Mudcat Children's Street Songs example with this remembrance of the Bazooka Zooka Bubblegum song:

"Time: 07:56 PM Date: May 18, 2007
Emily said:
my mom gave me some gold, she said im pretty old but i didnt want no gold instead i exchanged it for bubblegum buzzuca zuca bubblegum. My mom gave me a 5 she told me 2 stay alive but i didnt stay alive instead i chocked on bubblegum buzzuca zuca bubblegum.my mom gave me a 7 she told me to go to heaven but i didnt go to heaven instead i went to go buy some bubblegum buzzuca zucz bubblegum."

http://www.insomnie.darkfaerytale.com/archives/2006/08/35/

[link given above]
**

In my initial post I mentioned that there were a number of examples of Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum {or source songs for this song} in Mudcat's "Penny to buy chewing gum/Gershwin?" thread.

I want to also note that there's an example of this song in the classic Mudcat thread thread.cfm?threadid=2794 "RE: Naughty kids'greatest hits".

For the benefit of those persons who have dial up Internet access and because I think it's an interesting variant of the Bazooka family of song/rhymes, I'm going to add that example to this thread.


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 06:30 PM

Subject: RE: Naughty kids'greatest hits
From: Jack (who is called Jack) - PM
Date: 03 Oct 97 - 04:52 PM

Here's one that I didn't know that my 5 year old just taught me.
There are two incompleat lines in the "quarter" stanza.
Anyone know them?


My mother gave me a penny
So I could pay back Jenny
But I didn't pay back Jenny
Instead I bought bubble gum
Ba-room Ba-room Ba-bubble gum
Ba-room Ba-room Ba-bubble gum


My mother gave me a nickel
So I could buy a pickle
But I didn't buy a pickle
Instead I bought bubble gum
Ba-room Ba-room Ba-bubble gum
Ba-room Ba-room Ba-bubble gum


My mother gave me a dime
So I could buy a lime
But I didn't buy a lime
Instead I bought bubble gum
Ba-room Ba-room Ba-bubble gum
Ba-room Ba-room Ba-bubble gum


My mother gave me a quarter
So I could ---
But I didn't ---
Instead I bought bubble gum
Ba-room Ba-room Ba-bubble gum
Ba-room Ba-room Ba-bubble gum


My mother gave me a dollar
So I could become a scholar
I didn't become a scholar
Instead I bought bubble gum
Ba-room Ba-room Ba-bubble gum
Ba-room Ba-room Ba-bubble gum


-snip-

It's probably that Jack {who is called Jack}'s daughter might have mistaken the word "Bazooka" for "Ba-room". And some of the examples cited above answer Jack's questions about the words he couldn't remember.


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 07:12 PM

And about that "nickel to buy a pickle" line, see this rhyme from
http://blog.oftheoctopuses.com/000518.php

"heres one that me and my friends do:
i Went down town to meet charlie brown
he gave me a nickle that bought me a pickle
the pickle was sour so he bought me a flower
the flower was dead so this is what he said:
down dow baby down by the rollercoaster
sweet sweet baby never wana let you go
just because i kissed you doesnt mean i love you
shimmy shimmy coco puffs
shimmy shimmy pow
shimmy shimmy coco puffs
shimmy shimmy pow
My momy your momy live across the street
18,19 Alligator street
Boom Bang Choo Choo Train
wind me up i do my thang
( hit the person beside you)
Oops i'm Sorry!"
posted by Sarah at July 17, 2005

**

Sinsull also posted an children's rhyme with the line "nickel to buy a pickle" in the I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes thread:

Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: SINSULL - PM
Date: 20 May 05 - 12:01 PM

...One that went on forever and I forget the beginning:

I went to Japan
To see a man
He gave me a nickle to buy a pickle
The pickle was sour
So I bought a flower
The flower was dead so I bought a bed
The bed was broke so I bought a rope
The rope was

It went on until "out goes Y-O-U.

-snip-

I would consider each of these to be children's trading rhymes. Although, strictly speaking, the first example is made up of four different independant rhymes or fragments of rhymes and only the first rhyme is what I call a "children's trading rhyme".

In my opinion, that first rhyme ends with the line "the flower was dead" or that entire line though the "so this is what he said" part serves as a segue to the second verse. The second rhyme ends in shimmy shimmy pow". The third rhyme fragment ends in "18,19 Alligator street", and the last rhyme ends in Oops i'm Sorry!"


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 07:26 PM

The "nickel to buy a pickle" line most often appears to be found nowadays in the "Miss Suzie {Miss Lucy, Mary, Molly et al} Had A Steamboat" {Tugboat, Sailboat} handclap rhymes.

Here's ano example of that rhyme from the Octoblog website:

"Miss Suzie had a steamboat the streamboat had a bell. Miss Suzie went to heaven.The steamboat went to----Hello operater give me number nine,And if you disconnect me Ill cut off your behind the fridgerater there was a peice of glass. Miss Suzie sat upon it and broke her little--Ask me no more questions. Tell me no more lies. The boys are in the bathroom. Zipping up their flies Are in the meadow the bees are in the park. Miss Suzie and her boyfriend are kissing in the d-a-r-k d-a-r-k d-a-r-k DARK DARK DARK. I know i know my ma. i know i know my pa. I know i know my sister with a 40 acre bra. My mom gave me a nickle.My dad gave me a dime. My sister gave me her boyfriend. He kissed me all the time. My mom took back her nickle. My dad took back his dime. My sister took back her boyfriend and gave me Frankenstien. I kicked him over China, I kicked over France.I kicked to Hawaii where he learn the hula dance OI!

-posted by XxBloodyRosexX at February 11, 2005 01:20 PM
http://blog.oftheoctopuses.com/000518.php [link provided above]

-snip-

Here's a version that has mother giving the girl a penny and not a nickel:

"hey i remember this version of ms suzy:

Ms. Suzy had a steamboat, the steamboat had a bell toot toot, the steamboat went to heaven ms. suzy went to hello operator, plase give me number nine, and if you disconnect me, ill chop of your behind the 'fridgarator, their lay a piece of glass, ms. suzy sat apon it and broke her little ask me no more questions, tell me no more lies the boys are in the bathroom zipping up their flys are in the meadows the bees are in their hives, ms suzy and her boyfriend are kissing in the D-A-R-K D-A-R-K dark dark dark as in the movies the movies like a show, the show is like a tv screen and that is all i know i know my ma, i know i know my pa, i know i know my sister with the 40 acre bra. My mom gave me a penny, my dad gave me a dime, my sister gave me a boyfriend, who kissed me all the time. He made me wash the dishes, he made me scrub the floor, he made me clean his underwear so i kicked him out the door. I kicked him over london i kicked him over france, i kicked him over china, and stole his underpants. Brocolli makes you smell good, carrots help you say, bananas make you constipate and water makes you pee. My mother is a burglar, my father is a spy, and im the little bugger, that told the F.B.I.
Hello operator please give me number 10, and if you disconnect me, ill sing this song again!!"

posted by megan at March 28, 2006 06:50 PM
http://blog.oftheoctopuses.com/000518.php [link provided above]


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 07:34 PM

Well..um..yeah those Ms Suzy rhymes don't have no pickles. They don't have no Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum neither.

But those rhymes do have a line about a mom giving her kid some money so I wasn't totally spacing.

And, oh yeah, whatsup with that "I don't want no Bubble gum" bit? Even if that was the way children had been saying this rhyme in camps whenever that was, why didn't the ad agency change the grammar to mainstream English?

Hmmm.


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: GUEST,jojo
Date: 11 Mar 08 - 05:51 PM

Here's another kids' version of the Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum song:

My mom gave me a penny
She said to buy a henny
But I didn't buy no henny
Instead, I bought BUBBLE GUM
BAZOOKA, ZOOKA BUBBLE GUM

My mom gave me a nickel
She said to buy a pickle
But I didn't buy no pickle
Instead, I bought BUBBLE GUM
BAZOOKA, ZOOKA BUBBLE GUM

My mom gave me a dime
She said to buy a lime
But I didn't buy no lime
Instead , I bought BUBBLE GUM
BAZOOKA, ZOOKA BUBBLE GUM

My mom gave me a quarter
She said to buy some water
But I didn't buy no water
Instead, I bought BUBBLE GUM
BAZOOKA, ZOOKA BUBBLE GUM

My mom gave me a dollar
She said to buy a collar
But I didn't buy no collar
Instead, I bought BUBBLE GUM
BAZOOKA, ZOOKA BUBBLE GUM

My mom gave me a five
She said to stay alive
But I didn't stay alive
Instead, I choked on BUBBLE GUM
BAZOOKA, ZOOKA BUBBLE GUM                                                                                                                                        My mom gave me a ten                                                                   She said please come back again i did                                                                   then   I bought BUBBLE GUM
BAZOOKA, ZOOKA BUBBLE GUM


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Melissa
Date: 11 Mar 08 - 06:01 PM

The first Bazooka song I heard/learned was:
(80s, NW Missouri)

Bazooka ooka bubble gum
Bazooka ooka bubble gum
Bazooka ooka bubble gum
I love bubble gum

As far as I know, that's the entire song. I didn't hear the 'mom gave me money' one until within the past few years.
A friend of mine learned the same one I did--but instead of Bazooka, her version was "ah oompa, oompa bubble gum"

Carter Family sang a song that I think was called "Chawin' Chewin' Gum" (it might be 'chewin/chawin'..I could easily have it backward in my mind)


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: GUEST,Tamara
Date: 13 Mar 08 - 11:29 AM

I learned "Aruba Aruba Bubble gum" at girl scout camp in NM in the late 80's.

Aruba Aruba bubblegum, I love bubble gum.
My momma gave me a penny to buy some tennies.
I DID NOT BUY those tennies. I bought some BUBBLEGUM!
Aruba, aruba bubble gum. Aruba aruba bubblegum. I Love Bubble Gum.

My momma gave me a knickel to buy a pickle.
I DID NOT BUY that pickle I bought some BUBLEGUM!
Aruba, Aruba Bubble gum. Aruba, Aruba bubblegum. I Love Gum!

And so on...
quarter...water
dollar...collar


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 13 Mar 08 - 05:18 PM

In the 1940's and '50's, one of the bubble gum makers had a cartoon wrapped around the gum, inside the actual wrapper. The "hero" of this series, a rather pudgy young chap, was named "Pud." I would be very much surprised, in light of PC and all, to see him reappear. Rats! It was Fleers, not Bazooka. Oh, well; that's my story and, like well-chewed gum, I'm stickin' to it.


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 10:30 PM

Here's a repost of a children's rhyme that isn't part of the Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum family but does contain that "nickle to buy a pickle" line:


Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: GUEST,Baby*Shake - PM
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 11:31 PM

i went down town to see Charlie Brown
he gave me a nickle so i bough a pickle
the pickle was sour so he gave me a flower
the flower was dead and this is what he said
"down down baby down by the ocean,
sweet sweet baby never should i let you go,
chity chity bang bang i know kar-out-tay,
chity chity bang bang show off your body,
chity chity bang bang freeze.
and never ever let your mama say tell you to say please

thread.cfm?threadid=81350

**

Note that it appears that in earlier years the line used in some of these rhymes was "I went downtown/to see Charlie Brown. {"Charlie Brown" here probably is the comic strip character}. However, in later years, the line was changed to "I went downtown to see James Brown {"James Brown" refers to the R&B singer}. See a 2005 example that I quoted in my 18 Jun 07 - 07:12 PM post to this thread that mentions Charlie Brown". And see an example from 2007 that I quoted in my 18 Jun 07 - 06:07 PM post in this thread that mentions "James Brown".

If this rhyme survives in the future, and if there is a current celebrity or comic/cartoon character whose last name is "Brown", I predict that children will use that name in that "I went downtown" line. But if this rhyme survives and the children use either the "Charlie Brown" or "James Brown" name, I can imagine some folks in the future wondering who the heck the kids are referring to.

That's why it's important not only to perserve the rhymes, but also to document the probably source material for the rhymes, and the meaning of references within these rhymes.


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Subject: MS Mary Mack
From: GUEST,Blahhh
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 09:00 AM

Ms. Mary Mack Mack Mack
All Dressed in black black black
with silver buttons buttons all down her back back back
she asked her mother mother mother for 15 cents cents cents
to see the elephenets elephants jump over the fence fence fence
they jumped so high high high they reached the sky
they went so far they didnt come back till the 4th of july ly ly

I went to the chinese resturrant to buy a loaf of bread bread bread
The waitor asked me whats my name and this is what i said said said
My name is
L I L i
Chickelfly Chickelfly
Pom Pom Puty Such a cuty
I know karate
punch him in the body
oops i m sorry please dont tell my mommy!
Chinese Japenese Indian CHIEF!!!! HO!


Heres on of my favs-

Down Down Daia
Down Down A lai lai
See See Saia
See See a lay lay mini mini ocka
mini mini shea shea
rock shea BOOM!


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Azizi
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 09:52 AM

Thanks, GUEST,Blahhh for sharing those examples.

I've not seen the versions of "Chinese Restaurant" or "Down Down Baby" that you shared.   

Mudcat has lots of pages {called "threads"} for children's handclap games and other rhymes. Here's a link to one of those threads, in case you'd like to share other examples that you know.

thread.cfm?threadid=102055
Folklore: Play Ground Hand Jives

Best wishes,

Ms. Azizi


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 02:50 PM

Azizi,

I'm not sure the "double negative" "I didn't buy no ____" is only part of AAVE. I was raised in a predominantly white area (less than 4% African-Americans) and educated in segregated schools (I was born in 1946) until the ninth grade of high school. Yet, I remember being drilled in avoiding double negatives. I believe I and my classmates were quite apt to use double negatives like "I didn't buy no...".

I remember Bazooka Bubble Gum, but I do not remember the song or the manufacturer's advertising.

Roger in Baltimore (which is not where I grew up).


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: GUEST,Mary
Date: 17 Sep 08 - 08:58 PM

My mother sang this song all the time when I was a little girl (I am now 36 ... and she passed almost 9 years ago.) I still catch myself singing part of it, and never knew where she got it from ... now I know! Thanks ... it went like this

My mother gave me a penny
to go see jenny
instead I bought some chewing gum
chew chew chew chew chewing gum


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Sep 08 - 09:58 AM

Guest Mary:

Thanks for sharing your memory of that song. It's interesting how we remember snatches of songs from our childhood, isn't it?

I'm glad this discussion helped you identify the song that your mother taught you.

Best wishes,

Azizi


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Sep 08 - 09:59 AM

Roger in Baltimore,

I've just read your post from July 2008 about double negatives {as in this example posted above "my mom gave me some gold, she said im pretty old but i didnt want no gold"...

I agree with you that this grammatical construct is not just used by African Americans. While "negative concords" {more commonly known as "double negation" are often cited as a characteristic of African American Vernacular English {AAVE}, it is also a feature of nonstandard [non-African] American English.

However, I want to point out the possiblility that at least one source for using double negatives could come from African languages where that usage isn't grammatically incorrect. To quote one sentence of this article on African American Vernacular English:

"It has been suggested that AAVE has grammatical structures in common with West African languages or even that AAVE is best described as an African based language with English words".

While, I don't know enough about the subject of African American vernacular English, it is interesting to read about the possibility of West African sources for not just various words that have entered the English language, but also for various grammatical features.


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 18 Sep 08 - 10:35 AM

I am fairly certain, though I'm not sure that this can be proved, that the interpretation of a double negative as the negation of the negative is a feature of standardized languages and "educated" speech and is not part of colloquial speech in most if not all languages. I must admit that I don't know much about non-Indo-European languages.

Whereas conventional wisdom has it that standardized language is "real" language and colloquial speech and dialects are somehow suspect, it is very nearly the other way around: "real" language is what people actually speak, which is not to say that standardized language isn't useful.

Wherever I have run across it, it is always meant as intensifying the negation rather than negating it. In some languages it is even the standard form of negation. For example, "nit keyn" ("not no") is a normal kind of negation in Yiddish. This may be from the influence of Slavic languages, where, I believe, the double negative is also used for negation. However, it was a long time ago when I took a class in Russian, so I might be wrong about this.


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 18 Sep 08 - 10:53 AM

Both Chaucer and Shakespeare used the double negative as an intensifier so while grammarians and educators may discourage such usage we can contend that it's long been a part of colloqial English. The construction didn't have to be brought in from other languages as it was already there from the start.


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Sep 08 - 01:24 PM

Thanks!

I appreciate the information about double negatives.

It's interesting to learn that double negatives were an accepted grammatically feature and may still be a grammatically, correct feature of Indo-European languages and other languages, including some African languages.

Still, I think that most people would agree that it's best not to use double negatives in academic and other formal English communication.

In the same token, it shouldn't be acceptable to chew Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum during formal occassions, such as weddings. But that doesn't stop some people from doing it.


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 19 Sep 08 - 03:15 AM

Azizi wrote:
"It's interesting to learn that double negatives were an accepted grammatically feature and may still be a grammatically, correct feature of Indo-European languages and other languages, including some African languages."

"Correct" is a problem when talking about language. Who gets to decide?   The main object of the study of language is language as its really spoken, not standardized language, though there are people who study other aspects of language, including the latter. For medieval languages, which is what I specialized lo these many years ago, there was no spoken language to study, of course.

One distinguishes between "descriptive" and "prescriptive" grammar. It's relatively easy to make prescriptive rules for a standard version of a language, but it is impossible to make up a set of rules that completely describes a real spoken language. For one thing, one would have to account for regional dialects and even idiolects, i.e., the versions of a language spoken by individual people.

I could go on about this (and on and on), but I need to start work.

I remember Bazooka bubble gum, which I mostly bought for the sake of the little Bazooka Joe comics. I grew up in a northern suburb of Chicago and was born in 1963. I never heard of the song before and don't remember ever seeing or hearing and radio or TV advertising for Bazooka bubble gum. I don't remember if there were billboards, newspaper ads, or anything like that.


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 19 Sep 08 - 05:49 AM

I think Azizi is right to decry the use in formal language. It can be ambiguous and the idea of formal language is clarity.


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 19 Sep 08 - 06:46 AM

I'm not by any means suggesting that schoolteachers start accepting "not no", "ain't no", etc., in pupils' homework or denying that standardized language has its rightful place in the scheme of things. In fact, I think the standardizers have become a little too lax and also trendy in recent years, viz. the debacle of the so-called "orthographical reform" in Germany, where I live (don't get me started).

However (and this is a big however), language as it's really spoken by real people is the real thing and standardized language is an artificial construct. There is the additional problem of people speaking in an "unnatural" way for reasons of fashion, but that's another kettle of fish. Dialect speakers are still looked down upon and standard language is still generally considered to be "superior" in some way. From the point of linguistics, it is not.


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Sep 08 - 09:28 AM

Who would have thought that a thread about bubblegum would spark such interesting comments about linguistics. This goes to show that just about anything is possible on Mudcat threads.

I'm just sayin...
[Which is a colloquial expression which means I'm implying more than I'm saying-or writing].

But-to use a hip-hop saying-it's all good.

In reference to my first sentence in this post, the hip hop saying "It's all good" means that I'm not going to "get on a set" {get annoyed or get angry} because folks have gone on off on a tangent and aren't providing examples from this family of children's rhymes or from related families of children's rhymes.

Not that it matters a hill of beans {or a pack of Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum} what I think about what comments other people post on this Mudcat thread or any other Mudcat thread...

;o)


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Sep 08 - 09:53 AM

I just read this entire thread again and realized that I had mentioned African American Vernacular English and double negatives and mainstream English in my first post. So I guess posts about linguistics really aren't that tangental or aren't tangental at all.

I now formally apologize to Piers Plowman [I love your name btw] and others for implying that your interesting comments about linguistics were off topic.

The sad thing is that because these comments are posted to [in?] a children's rhyme thread, folks who might want to read about and/or discuss these linguistic features won't be able to find them.

Does anyone want to start a thread on this subject?

I'd do it but I've little energy to post on threads nowadays let along start threads. But if someone did start a thread on the aspects of linguistics that have been discussed so far in this thread, I would participate in that discussion.


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 19 Sep 08 - 11:31 AM

Azizi wrote:

"I now formally apologize to Piers Plowman [I love your name btw] and others for implying that your interesting comments about linguistics were off topic."

Don't worry, I'm not that sensitive. I've never been that bothered about threads going off-topic, here or elsewhere.

I chose the name "Piers Plowman" over on a message board for the British radio soap opera "The Archers", where something vaguely agricultural would be suitable. Since I was shamelessly plugging some things I posted over there when I first came here (having found out about Mudcat from other posters over there when I asked something about the song "English Country Gardens"), I thought I might as well keep the name.

I've never actually read "Piers Plowman", although I discovered I have it paperback, when I was going through my cartons of books some months ago.

For what it's worth, I don't think folklore can be separated from language and perhaps it serves some useful purpose to clear up misconceptions about language, though what one considers a misconception depends on one's point of view, of course.

Children's rhymes are hardly my area of expertise and I'd never heard of this family of rhymes. I would have just assumed that the brand of bubble gum had been there first.


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 12:37 PM

Here's an example of a jump rope rhyme that includes the line "nickle to buy a pickle" but doesn't mention bubble gum or chewing gum:


I went down town, to see Miss Brown.

she gave me a nickel, to buy a pickle.

The pickel was sour so she gave me a flower

The flower was black so she gave me a smack

The smack was hard so she gave me a card.

And on the card it said:

Little spanish dancer turn around (turn while jumping)
Little spanish dancer, touch the ground (touch ground)

Little spanish dancer tie your shoe (jump on one leg, pretend to tie shoe)

Little spanish dancer, sixty four skidoo (jump/exit rope area)
-Contributed by Judy

http://www.gameskidsplay.net/jump_rope_ryhmes/jump_miss_brown.htm


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 10:36 PM

"I think Azizi is right to decry the use in formal language. It can be ambiguous and the idea of formal language is clarity. "

I disagree firmly. Very few people, when confronted with a statement like "I didn't buy no bubblegum", are honestly confused about what that statement means.

Furthermore, your premise is entirely flawed. Formal can be - and frequently *is* - used in a deliberate attempt to confuse others. Think of bureaucratic doubletalk! There is nothing inherent to standard English that makes it more or less confusing than other registers and dialects of the language. Some parts of AAVE are even clearer or simpler than their equivalents in Standard American English, in fact, such as the habitual use of the verb "be", much decried though it is among prescriptivists.

The only reason the standard is the standard is because it's spoken by the people who, well, make the standards - the people in power. Nothing more, nothing less. It's a good idea to know the standard so you can speak it when necessary, but there's no reason to call it more correct than other forms of English, any more than my version of Barbara Allen is "more correct" than your version. You use the right tool (or dialect, or song) for the right moment, and your life is richer for it in the end, of course.


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Azizi
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 11:14 PM

GUEST Date: 10 Mar 09 - 10:36 PM, first let me say that I hope that your post isn't deleted because Mudcat has a relatively new policy of deleting comments of Guest posters who don't add another name with that Guest title.

Guest, I appreciate your comments, but I still don't think this thread is the appropriate one for an indepth discussion about linguistics. That said, let me note for the record that I agree with these points that you made:

1. Some parts of AAVE [African American Vernacular English] are even clearer or simpler than their equivalents in Standard American English.

2. The only reason the standard is the standard is because it's spoken by the people who, well, make the standards - the people in power. Nothing more, nothing less.

3. It's a good idea to know the standard so you can speak it when necessary, but there's no reason to call it more correct than other forms of English...

4. You use the right tool (or dialect, or song) for the right moment, and your life is richer for it in the end, of course.

-snip-

With regard to point 4, I still believe that a double negative should not be used in formal conversations/writings.

**

Guest, I hope that you post to this forum again. Please consider joining. Membership is free and the process is easy.

It certainly would be interesting to "hear" more from you on this subject and others.

Best wishes,

Azizi


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Subject: i went downtown to see charlie brown
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 08:22 PM

i went down town to see charlie brown he gave me a nickle so i bought a pickle pickle was sour so i bought a flower flower was dead so this is what i said icky icky soda pop icky icky doo icky icky soda pop a boy loves you turn around turn around throw you the window thats how i figure i was ganna get you said


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Subject: RE: Bazooka Zooka Bubble Gum
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 08:44 PM

Thanks for sharing Guest 01 Oct 09 - 08:22 PM.


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