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Origins: Five Little Monkeys

GUEST 10 May 17 - 08:19 PM
Joe Offer 10 May 17 - 10:05 PM
Joe Offer 10 May 17 - 10:20 PM
Ernest 11 May 17 - 04:04 AM
Senoufou 11 May 17 - 04:34 AM
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Subject: Origins: Five Little Monkeys
From: GUEST
Date: 10 May 17 - 08:19 PM

Does anyone know the origin of this nursery rhyme? Don't say it comes from Short'nin bread. I Need the real origin! please tell me!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Five Little Monkeys
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 May 17 - 10:05 PM

Can you give us any more of the rhyme as you know it? Katlaughing posted a song with that title several years ago:
    Thread #107491   Message #2229004
    Posted By: katlaughing
    05-Jan-08 - 10:41 AM
    Thread Name: Pre Schoolers' music
    Subject: RE: Pre Schoolers' music

    There's also a good counting down song:

    Five little monkeys jumping on the bed
    One fell off and broke his head
    Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
    "No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"

    Four little monkeys, etc.

    There is a video of kids doing it on the righthand side of Simple Songs

    I found that link from The Top Fifty Kids Songs blog.




    And another:
    Thread #11190   Message #82513
    Posted By: Cap't Bob
    28-May-99 - 08:18 PM
    Thread Name: Counting Songs
    Subject: RE: Counting Songs

    then ther is:

    Five little monkeys jumping on the bed, one fell off and broke his little head. Momma kall the doctor and the doctor said: "no more monkey business jumping on the bed"

    Good for children and some adults!

    Cap't Bob

Is that the song you're talking about? You won't like my answer, but it does seem like a modernization of "Short'nin' Bread."

There's a Wikipedia page on the song that you might enjoy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Little_Monkeys.
Also a Wikipedia page on "Ten Little Indians": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Little_Indians

There's a book called The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Edited by Iona and Peter Opie, 1997). On pp. 386-388, it has reverse-counting songs like "Ten Little Nigger Boys went out to dine" and "Ten Little Injuns standing in a line" that follow this same pattern, with one fewer each verse. So, it's an age-old pattern with many variations. Yours is a modern one, no doubt.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: ADD: Five Little Monkeys
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 May 17 - 10:20 PM

From Wikipedia:

FIVE LITTLE MONKEYS

Words

Five little monkeys jumping on the bed,
One fell down and bumped his head,
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
"No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"

Four little monkeys jumping on the bed,
One fell down and bumped his head,
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
"No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"

Three little monkeys jumping on the bed,
One fell down and bumped her head,
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
"No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"

Two little monkeys jumping on the bed,
One fell down and bumped his head,
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
"No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"

One little monkey jumping on the bed,
She fell down and bumped her head,
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
"Put those monkeys right to bed!"
Fingerplay

Hold up five fingers; Rest elbow on other hand, bounce arm up and down
Hold up one finger and roll your hand down towards the floor and tap your fist to your head
Put your pinky finger to your cheek and thumb to your ear (like a telephone)
Wag your index finger nine times

Hold up four fingers; Rest elbow on other hand, bounce arm up and down
Hold up one finger and roll your hand down towards the floor and tap your fist to your head
Put your pinky finger to your cheek and thumb to your ear (like a telephone)
Wag your index finger nine times

Hold up three fingers; Rest elbow on other hand, bounce arm up and down
Hold up one finger and roll your hand down towards the floor and tap your fist to your head
Put your pinky finger to your cheek and thumb to your ear (like a telephone)
Wag your index finger nine times

Hold up two fingers; Rest elbow on other hand, bounce arm up and down
Hold up one finger and roll your hand down towards the floor and tap your fist to your head
Put your pinky finger to your cheek and thumb to your ear (like a telephone)
Wag your index finger nine times

Hold up one finger; Rest elbow on other hand, bounce arm up and down
Hold up one finger and roll your hand down towards the floor and tap your fist to your head
Put your pinky finger to your cheek and thumb to your ear (like a telephone)
Wag your index finger seven times


An additional part is:

No little monkeys jumping on the bed,
None fell down and bumped their heads.
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said:
Put those monkeys straight back to the bed!

An alternate version sometimes seen is:

Five little monkeys swinging in a tree,
Teasing Mr. Alligator "Can't catch me!"
Along came Mr. Alligator quiet as can be,
And snatched that monkey out of that tree!

Four little monkeys swinging in a tree,
Teasing Mr. Alligator "Can't catch me!"
Along came Mr. Alligator quiet as can be,
And snatched that monkey out of that tree!

Three little monkeys swinging in a tree,
Teasing Mr. Alligator "Can't catch me!"
Along came Mr. Alligator quiet as can be,
And snatched that monkey out of that tree!

Two little monkeys swinging in a tree,
Teasing Mr. Alligator "Can't catch me!"
Along came Mr. Alligator quiet as can be,
And snatched that monkey out of that tree!

One little monkeys swinging in a tree,
Teasing Mr. Alligator "Can't catch me!"
Along came Mr. Alligator quiet as can be,
And snatched that monkey out of that tree!

No more monkeys swinging in a tree!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Five Little Monkeys
From: Ernest
Date: 11 May 17 - 04:04 AM

From "The early works of Chongo Chimp, Vol. I" Little Hawk Publishing House, Orilla, Canada 1916


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Subject: RE: Origins: Five Little Monkeys
From: Senoufou
Date: 11 May 17 - 04:34 AM

There's apparently a German version of this song with the words, "Zehn kleine Negerlein"., which most unfortunately points to a racist origin.

From the late forties onward, I had never heard this 'Five Little Monkeys' song in UK, so I imagine it's of USA origin.
However, Agatha Christie wrote the murder novel (1939) which has been hurriedly changed to 'And Then There Were None'.
And we did chant 'Eenie Meenie Minie Mo", which has the 'N' word in the next line. So we weren't saints.


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