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Lyr Req: One Two Three O'Lairy (Count Basie, 1940)

Snuffy 25 Jun 09 - 08:20 PM
GUEST,Ann J Scotland 25 Jun 09 - 02:32 PM
bassen 26 May 99 - 08:12 AM
The Fat Boy (inactive) 26 May 99 - 07:28 AM
Ewan McVicar 23 May 99 - 07:52 AM
Sandy Paton 23 May 99 - 01:17 AM
alison 23 May 99 - 12:25 AM
Ewan McVicar 22 May 99 - 12:00 PM
Philippa 22 May 99 - 04:02 AM
Sandy Paton 22 May 99 - 02:29 AM
Susan of DT 21 May 99 - 07:54 PM
Jo Taylor 21 May 99 - 05:49 PM
Roger the zimmer 21 May 99 - 10:20 AM
Ferrara 21 May 99 - 07:43 AM
Penny S. 20 May 99 - 05:34 PM
Ewan McVicar 20 May 99 - 05:11 PM
alison 20 May 99 - 10:35 AM
Sandy Paton 19 May 99 - 11:48 PM
alison 19 May 99 - 10:34 PM
Sandy Paton 19 May 99 - 10:12 PM
Sandy Paton 19 May 99 - 10:08 PM
alison 19 May 99 - 09:28 PM
alison 19 May 99 - 09:23 PM
Barry Finn 19 May 99 - 08:31 PM
Barry Finn 19 May 99 - 08:30 PM
Ewan McVicar 19 May 99 - 12:32 PM
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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One-Two-Three-O'Lairy (Count Basie 1940)
From: Snuffy
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 08:20 PM

One two three a-lairy
I saw Aunty Mary
Sitting on the lavatairy
[last line forgotten]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One-Two-Three-O'Lairy (Count Basie 1940)
From: GUEST,Ann J Scotland
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 02:32 PM

round about 1966, i would play ball games againt a wall using 2 balls and sometimes only one hand!! (impressive!!)

i remember:-

one two three o'leery
four five six o'leery
seven eight nine o'leery
ten o'leery
out of it.


also;-

sonia heeney skates like this(spin round and catch the ball after spin)
skates like this
skates like this
sonia heeney skates like this
skates(spin) like(spin) this (spin)   !!!!!


braw fun!!!!!!
skates like


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Subject: RE: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: bassen
Date: 26 May 99 - 08:12 AM

In the interests of completing the charting of cultural diffusion: in suburban LA in the early 50's we sang much the same as Sandy's Midwest 1940's version except we sang "o'leary" and we finished with the rhythmically succinct "10 o'leary MEN". I seem to recall that we sang up to 10 and then back down to 1: 10, 9, 8 o'leary, etc. finishing with "1 o'leary MAN"

bassen


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Subject: RE: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: The Fat Boy (inactive)
Date: 26 May 99 - 07:28 AM

Des O'Connor had a hit with 'one, two, three O'Leary ,games I played with Mary'.....yuhcck !!


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Subject: RE: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: Ewan McVicar
Date: 23 May 99 - 07:52 AM

Sandy, My information comes from Sail Away, put together by Eleanor Locke, Boosey & Hawkes, 1981/1988.

She gives 5 verses, collected in Calif in 1978, then quotes from Mary & Herbert Knapp, One Potato Two Potato, 1976. They in turn quote from "a 1370 ms of Piers Plowman. When Piers goesd to check on those who are helping him plow his half acre, he finds them loafing about, pretending to be crippled : Somme liede here leggie a-lery, as such losellis cunne. (Some made their legs crooked as such losers will.)" So no reference to beggars _ I invented that! Startling to find such a modern use of losers here too! Don't have OED to hand!

Ewan


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Subject: RE: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 23 May 99 - 01:17 AM

Thanks for the corrected dope on those clever beggars with their "legs alerie." Now I'll have to go and actually look up the reference! Have you found the word used in any other context? Time for the OED and Chambers, if not my trusty old Century.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: alison
Date: 23 May 99 - 12:25 AM

I think it's still in fashion..... Teletubbies still do it.... occasionally the program features a jazz group doing very snazzy renditions of Humpty Dumpty and Jack and Jill.

My kids love it.....

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: Ewan McVicar
Date: 22 May 99 - 12:00 PM

As always, child lore proves startling and confounding of expectations. Up till I started this thread I was so so confident about this song being almost exclusively Scots. Thanks to all who proved me wrong, and gave me a new interesting puzzle - if it was so widespread in the US of A, why does it turn up so rarely in print? (Or am I missing things here too?)
Re Jimmy Rushing - at that time there was a fashion for jazzers to 'jazz' up kids songs. Roy Eldridge did a medley called Schooldays. The best known was Mairsy Doats and Dozy Doats, by I do believe Nat King Cole. This is very old, as 'Mares eat oats and does eat oats'.


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Subject: RE: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: Philippa
Date: 22 May 99 - 04:02 AM

Jo, your story of the faux pas belongs on Art Thieme's infamous thread


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Subject: RE: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 22 May 99 - 02:29 AM

Perhaps I should confess that I recorded Jeannie Robertson's version in a cluster of kids' songs on my Elektra record of 1959. Fortunately, that record has long been out of print.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: Susan of DT
Date: 21 May 99 - 07:54 PM

Brooklyn in the 50s ball bouncing rhyme:
1, 2, 3 o'leary
4, 5, 6, o'leary
7, 8, 9, o'leary
10 o'leary, I made it

not very thrilling. I think we bounced the ball on the numbers and turned it under a leg on o'leary.


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Subject: RE: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: Jo Taylor
Date: 21 May 99 - 05:49 PM

One, two, three a'lairy
I saw sister Mary
Sitting in a basket chair-y
Eating jelly babies

That's just popped into my head from childhood (Devon, England). I think we skipped to it. Probably a polite version of Alison's!

Do you have jelly babies in the US? I s'pose they'd be bit squidgy seeing as your 'jelly' is our jam. Talking of jam, a friend of mine, visiting here in France went into a cafe last Friday and ordered himself 'un croissant avec preservatif' and got a very strange look from mademoiselle...
Jo, suffering from ill computer.


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Subject: RE: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: Roger the zimmer
Date: 21 May 99 - 10:20 AM

I've followed this thread with interest. I remember this song from youthful playgrounds late'40s/early'50s, but Jimmy Rushing?? I can't hear it in his marvellous voice in my mind's ear, somehow! I've checked my Basie and Rushing recordings and haven't come across it. I'd be fascinated by the eventual answer!


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Subject: RE: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: Ferrara
Date: 21 May 99 - 07:43 AM

We (Washington DC, early 40's) sang more or less this version given by Sandy: U.S. Midwest, 1940s:
One, two, three a'leary,
Four, five, six a'leary,
Seven, eight, nine a'leary,
Ten a'leary, POSTMAN!

But I think we sang o'lairy, not a'leary, hard to tell now because I've heard it several ways. My memory may be playing tricks, but we may have bounced the ball hard on the ground twice on POSTMAN.


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Subject: RE: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: Penny S.
Date: 20 May 99 - 05:34 PM

I heard, as a child, in the South East, "One two three a-lairy, my ball's in the airy". So it went with ball games. But as I was hopelessly clumsy with those games, and no-one would teach me them, that's all I know.


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Subject: RE: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: Ewan McVicar
Date: 20 May 99 - 05:11 PM

Many thanks. Fascinating stuff all. The union / bathing suit verse is the only on new to me, and is I think American. There is also in a US version I saw Miss McClearie, sitting on a dromedary, eating chocolate babies, and a couple of other verses of the like. Jeannie Robertson's verse turns up a lot in Scotland, as do the 'Dublin' ones. There is also 1 2 3 Gibraltar, my boyfriend's name is Walter - dictionary and 1 2 3, aleerie, hold my top till I spin my peerie Oh, I canny spin my peerie, wish I was a lauddie And various verses for specific ball-bouncing actions. What tune/s was/were used in the US? In Scotland it is a Scots port a bheil Say o alo alachian (phonetic spelling) A tune also used for Hirum ho for Donald Don With all his tanterwallops on. The Piers Plowright reference is to 'sturdy beggers holding their legs alerie', ie ablebodied men pretending their legs are bent - as one bends one leg while lifting it to bounce the ball beneath. There was even a 1960s UK pop hit version sung by either Val Donnican or Matt Munro (I have a copy of the sheet music), but I'm still keen to find what Jimmy Rushing sung.


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Subject: RE: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: alison
Date: 20 May 99 - 10:35 AM

Hi Sandy,

You have to remember I was very young in the 70's **grin** and it's slowly coming back to me I think she was "eating sugar / (or possibly chocolate) candy.")

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 19 May 99 - 11:48 PM

Wow, if that's rude, I'm never going to post some of the other songs I know! (Just kidding, Alison.)

Thanks, Joe. You're a blinkin' marvel!

Cyber-klutz


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Subject: RE: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: alison
Date: 19 May 99 - 10:34 PM

Hi,

That was the "rude" bit, I had forgotten....

Sittin' on her bumble-eery,
Eating..........???????????

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 19 May 99 - 10:12 PM

Darn! I need Joe's magic cookie again. One line break omitted in the Dominic Behan rhyme. Can you fix it for me, lad? I'm trying to be better!
Sandy


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Subject: RE: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 19 May 99 - 10:08 PM

Chicago, early 1940s:

One, two, three a'leary,
Four, five, six a'leary,
Seven, eight, nine a'leary,
Ten a'leary, USA! (Patriotic WWII times, those)

U.S. Midwest, 1940s:

One, two, three a'leary,
Four, five, six a'leary,
Seven, eight, nine a'leary,
Ten a'leary, POSTMAN! (unexplained, until we heard Dominic Behan sing, in London, 1958:

Open the door and let me in sir,
I am wet unto the skin, sir.
Open the door and let me in, sir,
All to post me letter.
One, two three a'lairy,
Four, five, six a'lairy,
Seven, eight, nine a'lairy,
Ten a'lairy, POSTMAN! (Dublin, ca. 1930s)


Vermont, early 1960s:

One, two, three o'leary,
My first name is Mary.
If you think it necessary,
Look it up in the dictionary.

Boston, early 1960s:

One, two, three o'lairy,
My first name is Mary.
Don't you think that I'd look cute
In my father's union suit? (That's how we heard it, Barry, from a woman who would be a bit older than your sisters could have been.)

And, finally, Jeannie Robertson, in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1958, sang for us:

One, two, three a'leery,
I saw Wallace Beery,
Sittin' on his bumble-eery,
Kissin' Shirley Temple.

Actually, we have found one more, but I can't think of it right now. Something about "Mistress Mary looking like a chocolate fairy..." Perhaps on her bumble-eery, too. I dunno. Maybe another Mudcatter can help.

By the way, Jean Redpath pointed out, as she was doing one of these ball-bouncing/leg-cross-over games, that there is a line in Piers Plowman about beggars sitting at the city gate, "Legs aleery." I'm not sure of the spelling, but the meaning was clear: they had their legs crossed, i.e.: sitting in what we call "Indian fashion." In the game, of course, the player crosses her leg (this is usually considered a girl's game) over the bouncing ball.

Hope this helps.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: alison
Date: 19 May 99 - 09:28 PM

Ewan,

There is a great book of Belfast childrens songs, (quite a few of the street games variety), I'm sure many of them would have been in Scotland too. I remember being sung to sleep with Coulter's candy,..... definately Scottish.

The book is "Keep the Kettle Boiling, Rhymes from a Belfast childhood." by Maggi Kerr Peirce, published by Appletree Press 1983, (ISBN 0-86281-116-3).

Slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: alison
Date: 19 May 99 - 09:23 PM

Hi,

We used to play it as a ball game in Belfast in the 70's, so it made it across from Scotland.

1,2,3 O'Leary
4,5,6,O'Leary
7,8,9,O'Leary
10 O'Leary, oh.

There was another version too.....

1,2,3 O'Leary
I saw Mrs Cleary........
it got rude after this (well we thought it was rude at the time....), unfortunately I can't remember what happened next.

Slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: Barry Finn
Date: 19 May 99 - 08:31 PM

Sorry, should've said that would've been mid 1950's. Barry


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Subject: RE: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: Barry Finn
Date: 19 May 99 - 08:30 PM

I remember my sister & all the other girls in the hood singing this as they bounced a ball & threw a leg over the ball as it bounced, singing:
"One, two, three, O'Leary, my first name is Mary Don't you think that I look cute, in my mother's bathing suit".
Barry


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Subject: Jazz Lyric '1 2 3 O'Lairy' - Count Basie 1940
From: Ewan McVicar
Date: 19 May 99 - 12:32 PM

I'm researching Scottish children's songs. One which only occurs very rarely outside Scotland is One two three aleary (many possible continuations to this recurring first line.)

I have one 1978 printed account of the song being collected from kids in the USA. But just now while reading Count Basie's autobiography, GOOD MORNING BLUES, I was dumbstruck to read p248"One [1940 recording] was a little novelty for Jimmy [Rushing] called One-Two-Three O'Lairy". An Internet Search for Count Basie sites did not produce a lyrics site. Can anyone help with lyrics, or a site for obscure jazz lyrics? It occurs to me I should also try a search for Jimmy Rushing.


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