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'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...

DigiTrad:
A DANDY FOR NINETEEN YEARS OLD
AFTER THE BALL (Dismantled Bride)
AMONG MY SOUVENIRS
BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL BROWN EYES
OLD MAID AND THE BURGLAR
SIDE BY SIDE
VERY UNFORTUNATE MAN


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: (Never Said a) Solitary Word???? (7)
Lyr Req: Old Maid and the Burglar (from Wizz Jones (4)
Lyr Req: Billy Connolly parody: Help me make it... (5)
Lyr Req: Shilling, wooden leg, cant change it (12)
Lyr Req: She took out her bum glass eye (4)


marg_meikle@mindlink.bc.ca 01 Jun 97 - 09:08 PM
GUEST,richard 21 Nov 06 - 08:10 AM
Snuffy 21 Nov 06 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,JTT 21 Nov 06 - 09:36 AM
Deckman 21 Nov 06 - 09:37 AM
Charmion 21 Nov 06 - 09:38 AM
Snuffy 21 Nov 06 - 09:43 AM
EBarnacle 21 Nov 06 - 10:04 AM
Anne Lister 21 Nov 06 - 12:17 PM
John MacKenzie 21 Nov 06 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,Skelf 21 Nov 06 - 12:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Nov 06 - 12:56 PM
Snuffy 21 Nov 06 - 01:04 PM
Little Robyn 21 Nov 06 - 01:38 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Nov 06 - 03:31 PM
Rowan 21 Nov 06 - 04:39 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Nov 06 - 09:29 PM
Long Firm Freddie 22 Nov 06 - 12:36 AM
GUEST,Charmion's brother Andrew 22 Nov 06 - 11:25 AM
Naemanson 22 Nov 06 - 03:28 PM
Bernard 22 Nov 06 - 07:53 PM
Fidjit 23 Nov 06 - 12:14 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Nov 06 - 12:50 PM
Anne Lister 23 Nov 06 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,Sheridan 24 Nov 06 - 02:18 AM
GUEST 01 Dec 06 - 03:07 PM
GUEST,Guest in Wyoming 09 Mar 07 - 08:23 PM
Declan 09 Mar 07 - 08:41 PM
Charley Noble 09 Mar 07 - 08:52 PM
Bob Bolton 09 Mar 07 - 09:28 PM
Dave Hunt 09 Mar 07 - 10:06 PM
GUEST,Virginia Hiett 10 Mar 07 - 09:00 PM
Dave'sWife 10 Mar 07 - 09:26 PM
Big Al Whittle 11 Mar 07 - 11:13 AM
GUEST,Anne 12 Mar 07 - 03:50 AM
Dave'sWife 14 Mar 07 - 06:49 PM
GUEST,Dr. Bob 01 May 07 - 06:16 PM
Dave'sWife 01 May 07 - 06:18 PM
Celtaddict 01 May 07 - 11:48 PM
Dick The Box 02 May 07 - 05:46 AM
GUEST,BobL 02 May 07 - 07:58 AM
GUEST,Bob 5000 08 May 07 - 10:25 AM
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The Fooles Troupe 08 Jun 07 - 03:33 AM
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GUEST,Rex 29 Jan 08 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,Greetings from Ralph's Planet 12 Feb 08 - 10:55 PM
GUEST,HB in the UK 24 Mar 08 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,just wondering too 13 Apr 08 - 11:42 PM
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Subject: Origins? - waved her wooden leg
From: marg_meikle@mindlink.bc.ca
Date: 01 Jun 97 - 09:08 PM

"Aha" she cried, and waved her wooden leg aloft!

... For eight years, I had a spot on a national radio show in Canada (CBC) where I answer questions posed by listeners. I was known as The Answer Lady. I've been off this year because of budget cuts, but The host of the show, Vicki Gabereau, is moving on, so I was asked back to the final wrap up show live in a theatre next weekend.

For about 7 years I have been plagued by the question, where did "Aha" she cried, and waved her wooden leg aloft! come from? It seems that a lot of women in Canada in their seventies or eighties now use that as in exclamation, like Eureka! Likely these are women whose families originated in England. Over the years I have collected a number of variations from radio listeners and when I do public talks. I am dying to solve this mystery as my swan song. Here are some of the variations:
    Aha she cried as she shook her wooden leg...
    but the villain he still pursued her

    Aha she said in childless glee as she shook her wooden leg aloft
    and her glass eye rolled noiselessly down her dress front into the sink.

    Manitoba 1930:
    Aha, she cried as aloft she waved her wooden leg
    and the price of timber went up.

    "Aha, aha," the maiden cried
    As she waved her wooden led and died,
    "at last I have been satisfied."

    It was on the bridge at midnight
    'er lips were all a 'quiver
    she coughed -- 'er wooden leg fell orf
    an 'floated down the river.

    Aha she cried in accents wild
    and waved her wooden leg aloft
    Tis false tis false
    and with her evil eye
    she swept the garden path.

Personally, I think it is from some sort of British Parlour Poetry or from a song. Does anyone know anything more? Thanks so much. And the Canadian radio listening public thanks you too... if I can pull this together this week I'll do in the show on Friday.

Marg Meikle
marg_meikle@mindlink.bc.ca


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Subject: RE: "Aha" She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: GUEST,richard
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 08:10 AM

I remember reading a response to this on the Poetry Society noticeboard in London in the early eighties.
Searching for more information on its origins someone had written up 'No answer came the bold reply' which was an idiom or quote used by people when, (obviously), someone didn't answer a question, the kind of line a teacher might use in class...and this had been extended with the following line ' as she waved aloft her wooden leg',I think, saying this was a line used in Music Hall.

I came across your thread while searching for it's origins :)

Richard


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Subject: RE: "Aha" She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Snuffy
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 09:32 AM

A little bit of info here back in July 2005

Google gives a tantalising snippet And finally, our Wellerism probably shows contamination with another and quite unrelated Wellerism, "'Aha,' she cried and waved her wooden leg. ... at
JSTOR, but the site tells me I am not authorised to enter. Perhaps you can find someone who is.

More frustratingly Google lists this site which will not open at all for me. It appears you've been looking longer than you thought, Marg: Bak in 1994 Marg Meikle asked about a bit of doggerel/nonsense recitation beginning "Aha, she cried, and waved her wooden leg," and in March of 1996 ...

The various quotes you give seem to have inserted the phrase into a variety of sources:

  • "but the villian he still pursued her" sounds like a typical Victorian melodramatic monologue with Sir Jasper or Ruthless Roderick or their ilk
  • "and the price of timber went up" feels more like one of Billy Bennett's comic monologues of the inter-war years.
  • "at last I have been satisfied." brings to mind the bawdy student/rugby Engineers Song (a version in DT as THE GREAT WHEEL)
  • "It was on the bridge at midnight" is a fusion of the well-known parody of Casabianca "The boy stood on the burning deck, his heart was all a-quiver. He gave a cough, his leg dropped off, and floated down the river"
  • "Aha she cried in accents wild and waved her wooden leg aloft Tis false tis false and with her evil eye she swept the garden path" is in the style of Thomas Hood's Faithless Nelly Gray - "Ben Battle was a soldier bold, And used to war's alarms: But a cannon-ball took off his legs, So he laid down his arms!" Or possibly "Miss Kilmansegg and Her Precious Leg".
  • And Charles Dickens seemed to be obsessed with wooden legs. Perhaps it's from one of his works
Best of luck with your search


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Subject: RE: "Aha" She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 09:36 AM

This was a catchphrase in our family, but it was "Goot heffinks, she cried, as she waved her vooden leg".


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Subject: RE: "Aha" She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Deckman
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 09:37 AM

I heard it as: "AHA, she cried, as she lifted her wooden leg. Lumber's going up!"


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Subject: RE: "Aha" She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Charmion
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 09:38 AM

Indeed, "'Aha!'" she cried etc." sounds like a music hall comedian's catch-phrase -- "If my aunt had wheels she'd be a bicycle" -- or a line from a popular recitation -- "per tuppence per person per trip!" My Dad used to drive small kids nuts with the rhetorical question, "Why is an orange?" to which the correct response was, "Because a duck has no armpits."

It's a British thing, and part of the culture that gave rise to the Goons and Monty Python.


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Subject: RE: "Aha" She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Snuffy
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 09:43 AM

Charmion, when I were a lad it was always:
Q. "What is the difference between a duck?"
A. "One of its legs are both the same"


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Subject: RE: "Aha" She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: EBarnacle
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 10:04 AM

Viaduck? See the MArx Brothers.


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Subject: RE: "Aha" She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Anne Lister
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 12:17 PM

My husband uses the "Aha," she/he cried and waved his/her wooden leg aloft" and says his mum used to use it. No clues as to where it came from, though, and I'd never come across it before meeting his family.

Anne


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Subject: RE: "Aha" She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 12:21 PM

And for my next trick, I will now put the bed back in the cupboard!
G.


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Subject: RE: "Aha" She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: GUEST,Skelf
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 12:42 PM

Is this another, "get Heather (Mills) McCartney ", thread ?


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Subject: RE: "Aha" She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 12:56 PM

Google on this and you don'tbet an answer, but get to see a good few interesting quirky conversations.

Seems to date back to the earlier part of last century. I'd guess it probably comes from a music hall comic - possibly via early radio. I'd say not a song as such, but from the introductory patter.


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Subject: RE: "Aha" She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Snuffy
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 01:04 PM

Heather Mills McCartney? Judge for yourself.

Early in the era. in 1840, Thomas Hood described a more decadent family in a trenchant spoof called "Miss Kilmansegg and Her Precious Leg: A Golden Legend." Miss Kilmansegg's name alone would give away Hood's purpose: children of a gold-happy father, her family are capable of destroying the eggs of others in pursuit of their own nest egg. In fact, the whole family are goldbugs and Miss Kilmansegg, educated to be like the rest, develops an insufferable hauteur and prizes gold above all else. One day when this haughty young woman is our riding, her "very rich bay called Banker" (Hood, 212) shies at the sight of a beggar and runs away with her. Miss Kilmansegg heads for a fall, this time only a literal one. Her leg is destroyed in the accident, yet she triumphs over adversity by acquiring her precious golden leg:

So a Leg was made in a comely mould,
Of Gold, fine virgin glittering gold,
   As solid as man could make it--
Solid in foot, and calf, and shank,
A prodigious sum of money it sank;
In fact 'twas a Branch of the family Bank,
   And no easy matter to break it. (SP 803-09)

Pride, vanity, ostentation, insensibility--these are Miss Kiimansegg's sins; but if punishment for them is due, it is slow in coming Miss Kilmansegg dreams on, especially of the god-like veneration she feels she deserves for her goldenness. And her sins compound:

Gold, still gold-and true to the mould!
In the very scheme of her dream it told;
   For, by magical transmutation,
From her Leg through her body it seem'd to go, [62/63]
Till, gold above, and gold below,
She was gold, all gold, from her little gold toe
To her organ of Veneration! (SP, 1378-84)

But Miss Kilmansegg rides for a second and fatal fall when she foolishly marries a money-seeking count who depletes her fortune and then asks to raise more money on the golden leg. Miserable in marriage, Miss Kilmansegg now spends her nights dreaming of her past with its "golden treasures and golden toys" (SP, 2319). One night as she sleeps, her leg laid to one side, the count seizes the leg, beats his wife to death, and makes off with the precious limb. The ensuing inquest over her body yields a surprising verdict:

Gold--still gold! it haunted her yet--
At the Golden Lion the Inquest met--
   Its foreman, a carver and gilder--
And the Jury debated from twelve till three
What the Verdict ought to be,
And they brought it in as Felo de Se,
   "Because her own Leg had killed her!" (SP, 2367-73)

Hood bathetically depicts Miss Kilmansegg's death as a suicide because her own vanity and tenacity are really what have dispatched her. She has chosen to become gold--in thought, in dream, and even in body, and when her gold goes, so does she.


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Subject: RE: "Aha" She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Little Robyn
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 01:38 PM

'Too late she cried, as she waved her wooden leg!'
That's the way my Mum used to say it.
And 'No answer was the stern reply!'
Poor Marg wanted the answer in June 1997!
It was probably on the radio, in a pre-goon type recording. There were others....'You can't eat onions in an office! Up the river onions!' My late uncle (born 1925) had lots of little quotes like that and he'd pop them into the conversation at any opportunity.
Robyn


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Subject: Lyr Add: BLACKE-EYED SUSAN (John Gay)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 03:31 PM

Here is one possible source for it, or rather a source from which a parody might have sprung - see the last line in the last verse of Black-Eyed Susan, by John Gay (1685-1732), who wrote the Beggars' Opera:

ALL in the Downs the fleet was moor'd,
  The streamers waving in the wind,
When black-eyed Susan came aboard;
  'O! where shall I my true-love find?
Tell me, ye jovial sailors, tell me true
If my sweet William sails among the crew.'

William, who high upon the yard
  Rock'd with the billow to and fro,
Soon as her well-known voice he heard
  He sigh'd, and cast his eyes below:
The cord slides swiftly through his glowing hands,
And quick as lightning on the deck he stands.

So the sweet lark, high poised in air,
  Shuts close his pinions to his breast
If chance his mate's shrill call he hear,
  And drops at once into her nest:—
The noblest captain in the British fleet
Might envy William's lip those kisses sweet.

'O Susan, Susan, lovely dear,
  My vows shall ever true remain;
Let me kiss off that falling tear;
  We only part to meet again.
Change as ye list, ye winds; my heart shall be
The faithful compass that still points to thee.

'Believe not what the landmen say
  Who tempt with doubts thy constant mind:
They'll tell thee, sailors, when away,
  In every port a mistress find:
Yes, yes, believe them when they tell thee so,
For Thou art present wheresoe'er I go.

'If to fair India's coast we sail,
  Thy eyes are seen in diamonds bright,
Thy breath is Afric's spicy gale,
  Thy skin is ivory so white.
Thus every beauteous object that I view
Wakes in my soul some charm of lovely Sue.

'Though battle call me from thy arms
  Let not my pretty Susan mourn;
Though cannons roar, yet safe from harms
  William shall to his Dear return.
Love turns aside the balls that round me fly,
Lest precious tears should drop from Susan's eye:

The boatswain gave the dreadful word,
  The sails their swelling bosom spread,
No longer must she stay aboard;
  They kiss'd, she sigh'd, he hung his head.
Her lessening boat unwilling rows to land;
  'Adieu!' she cries; and waved her lily hand.


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Rowan
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 04:39 PM

I'm with Little Robyn, in general terms although I've always known it as

"'Too late!' she cried, as she waved her wooden leg over the Town Hall clock!"

I probably first heard it, from "Source Unknown" in the late 50s or early 60s.

And "No answer was the stern reply!" is another I knew even earlier from the same place.

"Poor Marg wanted the answer in June 1997!" Here's hoping she still visits.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 09:29 PM

I was wondering if it started with "Too late, she cries,... but the earliest I found on Google was from Wonderwoman, 1983. Should be much earlier ones out there.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE VILLAIN STILL PURSUED HER (A Askey)
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 22 Nov 06 - 12:36 AM

The "villain still pursued her", (ref Marg's original post and Snuffy's of 21/11/06) comes from (or at least is referenced by) a song performed by Arthur Askey:

THE VILLAIN STILL PURSUED HER
performed by
Arthur Askey

The theatre was crowded from the ceiling to the floor
The orchestra had played the overture
At last the curtain rises on the scene - a lonely moor
The heroine so innocent and pure
She thinks that she's alone but soon amid a storm of boos
There emerges from behind a blasted tree
The form of Filthy Ferdinand who tells her she must choose
Between his foul caress and povertee.

The villain still pursued her - yes with ruin she was faced
Through twenty scenes he followed her, but still the maid was chaste
In Scene the First he lured her to a lonely house he knew
He muttered "None can save you now" as the candle out he blew
But the hero struck a match and shouted, "What's the matter wid chew?"
And Filthy Ferdinand was foiled again!

And the villain still pursued her, yes, he chased her high and low
I don't know what he asked her, but she always answered , "No."
In the Second Scene he caught her and prepared for the attack
He got her on the table - things were looking very black
But the furniture men turned up just then and took the table backl
And Filthy Ferdinand was foiled again!

And the villain still pursued her, up and down the stage he glared
And half-way through the show he sent his boots to be repaired
In Scene the Third he caught her all alone in her boudoir
He said, "I've chased you long enough, now you'll be chaste no more."
But she concealed a mousetrap in her flannelette pegnoir
And Filthy Ferdinand was foiled again!

And the villain still pursued her - to hope she faintly clings
When she hears a bottle of Guinness being opened in the wings
Scene Four's inside the Barracks and the girl is blue with fright
A great big Sergeant major with a fist the size of two
He turns upon the villain and he says, "Get in the queue."
And Filthy Ferdinand is foiled again!.

And the villain still pursued her, but her virtue could not shake
Till the gallery got impatient - shouted "Give the lad a break."
Scene Five - he wooed her in a wood, the maiden gave a scream
The hero on his bicycle appeared upon the scene
He tore the villain's trousers off and exposed his wicked scheme
And Filthy Ferdinand was foiled again!

And the villain still pursued her, and there's one more scene to go
And virtue is triumphant - she's as pure as trodden snow
For in the end he chased her to a sugar factoree
And she pushed him in a big machine to end his villain-ee
So any of you people might have had him in your tea
And Filthy Ferdinand was foiled again!.
Then they play 'The Queen' and shout, "Pass along there - this way out"
And Filthy Ferdinand is foiled again!

And the villain still pursued her - the maiden's in despair
She cried "I am undone" and some rude person shouted, "Where?"
He chased her to a cemetry - the place was dark and drear
"At larst I've got you in my power," he said with fiendish leer
But a voice behind a tombstone yelled, "You can't do that there 'ere."
And Filthy Ferdinand was foiled again!

And the villain still pursued her - there was no one to console her
His eyes were flashing fire and he was breathing gorgonzola
He tied her to the railway track and gave a cruel shout
"The ten-fifteen express is due, there's nobody about."
But the station-master came and cried - "That ruddy train's scrubbed out."
And Filthy Ferdinand was foiled again!

And this song references another, performed by Jack Payne and his Orchestra, "You can't do that there 'ere". And that song is referenced in a George Formby song, A Lad from Lancashire:

"I went with Jane down Lover's Lane, and whispered in her ear,
"Now do your best for a Lad from Lancashire."
She said to me when on my knee, "You can't do that there 'ere."
I said, "Hey Hey! I can, I'm the Lad from Lancashire."

All good fun, but not much nearer answering Marg's original question, I fear.

LFF


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: GUEST,Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 22 Nov 06 - 11:25 AM

Charmion, as I remember it, it was "Why is an orange?" "Because a snake has no armpits."

Then there was his interminable, "It was a dark and stormy night in the wilds of Patagonia, and we were all sat about the camp fire. One of us who was braver than the rest turned to Antonio and said, "Antonio, tell us a story."

So Antonio began: 'It was a dark and stormy night in the wilds of Patagonia....'"

Andrew


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Naemanson
Date: 22 Nov 06 - 03:28 PM

Thread drift:

I remember things like "Why is an orange?" "Because a snake has no armpits." But I was in college and we were experimenting with certain illegal substances.... In that state the questions and answers seemed to make sense.


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Bernard
Date: 22 Nov 06 - 07:53 PM

She stood on the bridge at midnight
Her lips were all a-quiver.
She gave a cough, her leg fell off
And floated down the river...


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Fidjit
Date: 23 Nov 06 - 12:14 PM

Further useless information.

Sarah Bernheart had a wooden leg.

Chas


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Nov 06 - 12:50 PM

Sarah Bernhardt also had a wooden leg.


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Anne Lister
Date: 23 Nov 06 - 05:24 PM

My husband insists his mum only ever referred to a male protagonist with a wooden prosthetic ....probably not Sarah Bernhardt, in that instance ...

Anne


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: GUEST,Sheridan
Date: 24 Nov 06 - 02:18 AM

I heard it as "'Thank you, Kind Sir,' she cried as she waved her wooden leg aloft." Around 20 years ago I was working in the geriatric ward of a state mental hospital in New England and one of the patients there was a very polite elderly lady who thanked us for everything imaginable. Only she never said a simple "thank you"; it was always "'Thank you, Kind Sir etc.'" I must have heard it twenty times a day for years. But I never heard it anywhere else until now.


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Dec 06 - 03:07 PM

This reminds me of a nonsense verse on one of the New Christy Minstrel Albums (part of a medley with a high-falutin name):

"While looking through the knothole in grandma's wooden leg...
Why do they build the shore so near the ocean?
Oh, a snake's belt slips because he has no hips,
And a boy's best friend is his mother."


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: GUEST,Guest in Wyoming
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 08:23 PM

My dad, born 1901, always said, "Aha, she cried as she waved her wooden leg at me!" I heard it from the time I was young. He was famous for having a quote for any occasion. I have no idea where he got it, and that is why I am looking at this forum now.


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Declan
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 08:41 PM

I learned a song many years ago from, among others, a man named Jem Kelly from Dún Laoghaire. The song was called "High upon the Mountiain" and it featured the verse -

"My Aunt Ellen got as drunk as an egg,
She fell down in the corner and she broke her wooden leg,
She called for a physician, "hold your whisht" said Charlie Grant,
Don't be calling for a doctor, Its a carpenter you want"


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 08:52 PM

I fear that Marg Meikle was pulling our leg when she started such a thread ten years ago. What could she have been thinking of? And she never checked back to acknowledge the harvest. Rude!

Now Dr. Dogbody might have something to say about this, although he was never involved to my knowledge with any female who had a wooden leg.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 09:28 PM

G'day Charles,

Well, she might have checked back for the next 8 years and 4 months ... and foolishly despaired before GUEST Richard's (fruitless) reply. (I can't imagine why - even if she did need the answer by next Friday!)

Regard(les)s,

Bob


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Dave Hunt
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 10:06 PM

Guest above quotes;

"While looking through the knothole in grandma's wooden leg...
Why do they build the shore so near the ocean?
Oh, a snake's belt slips because he has no hips,
And a boy's best friend is his mother."

I got my version from Steve Benbow a VERY long time ago
Tune a bit like the second half of the chorus to Tavern in the Town -ish!

' Boys' Best Friend is His Mother'

Peepingthrough the knothole of grandpa's wooden leg
Who'll wind the cat up when I'm gone
Who cut the sleeves out of grandpa's woollen pants
And a boys best friend is his mother

Peeping through the knothole of grandpa's wooden leg
Who'll put the clock out when I'm gone
who cut the legs out of gran'ma's leather hat
And a boys best friend is his mother


A horse stood around with his feet all on the ground
Why'd they build the shore so near the ocean
Go'n fetch the axe there's flea on Lizzies' ear
And a boys best friend is his mother

I fell from a window just forty storey's high
Caught my eybrows on the windowsill
The cellar's behind the door, Mary's room's behind the axe
And a boys best friend is his mother

Dave


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: GUEST,Virginia Hiett
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 09:00 PM

My Grandmother used to quote 'Aha, she cried in fiendish glee and shook her wooden leg at me. And stuck her head in the gravy.' I have never been able to find where she learned that. She was born before the turn of the 20th century. I thought it might be a vaudeville act.


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 09:26 PM

Another board references a poem called "the Wayward Boy:
Full discussion here

Here is the excerpt that refers to it:

.........."Aha!" she cried and waved her wooden leg,
And jumped in bed,
And covered up her head,
And swore that I could not find her.
But I knew damn well
That she lied like hell,
So I jumped in right behind her.

This is a fragment of a widely known folk song called "The Wayward Boy" and sung to the familiar tune of "The Girl I Left Behind Me." It can be found in my book *The
Erotic Muse* (2nd ed. 1991) pp. 86-87.................


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Mar 07 - 11:13 AM

no its not the wayward boy - at least no in the version I know.


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: GUEST,Anne
Date: 12 Mar 07 - 03:50 AM

Wll that was interesting. Funny thing is my Dad used to say it and he was raised here in New Zealand so it must have been in early 1920's.... interesting. His Mother was German/Swiss and Dad Scottish/English. He also used to add when we chatted alot as chidlins "... oh yes. My Granny had one of those but it had a wooden leg!


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 06:49 PM

weelittledrummer, my guess is that the lyric I quoted from that other forum was ADDED to Wayward Boy much later after the phrase became so common. I don't think it's the original source. i was just quoting another discussion


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: GUEST,Dr. Bob
Date: 01 May 07 - 06:16 PM

Found this thread looking for something my mom used to say:

"Aha!, she cried, throwing her wooden leg into the air. Fourteen years I have pursued you! Three times you changed your socks and I lost the trail! But now I have found you! Give me back my sister's chewing gum!


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 01 May 07 - 06:18 PM

well now, that's horse of a different color. usually she waves the wooden leg!


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Celtaddict
Date: 01 May 07 - 11:48 PM

My Dad grew up in Kansas City in the 20s, and for many decades said, "'What ho,' she cried, and waved aloft her wooden leg in fiendish glee."
Doesn't mean much more but I like the sound of it. It has style.
His favorite riddle, also, was "What's the different between a duck?"
("One of its feet is alike.") I had never run across it elsewhere before Snuffy, above.


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: Dick The Box
Date: 02 May 07 - 05:46 AM

My grandfather used to come out with all that kind of nonsense...

"Aha he cried laughingly waving his wooden leg over the dustbin"

"Up again, off again, off like a deer. He fell down a coalmine and trod on his ear"

"Iv'e never seen anything like it since the monkey fought the cat in the dustbin and came out without a scratch"

I can't get access to any appropriate websites because I am at work but Billy Bennett seems to ring a bell as a source of this kind of stuff......


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: GUEST,BobL
Date: 02 May 07 - 07:58 AM

My dad's variant, FWIW:

'"Triumph!" she cried, "The babe's boss-eyed",
She waved her wooden leg and died.'


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: GUEST,Bob 5000
Date: 08 May 07 - 10:25 AM

Can anyone help me find a book. About 20 years ago I read a book, set in south USA. It was about a boy who was about 15, if memory serves me correct his name is Cussy Mock?? I think a phrase he used to say was 'aha, she cried as she cracked her wooden leg' but my memory could be slightly hazy. It was trying to find out about this book that I happened across this forum.
Thanks All


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: GUEST,Greg
Date: 25 May 07 - 11:50 PM

From other sources

http://www.poetrylibrary.org.uk/queries/lostquotes/?id=56#comments

Nigel Rees - A Word in your Shell-like - traces it back to the final couplet of a hymn by Miss Etta Campbell and TE Perkins;
"Too late! Too late!" will be the cry -
Jesus of Nazareth has passed by.
It has passed through a number of parodies such as;
"Too late! Too late!" the maiden cried,
Lifted her wooden leg and died.

http://www.abc.net.au/newsradio/txt/s1627980.htm

Jack emails to say: My mother, born around 1900, often used the phrase "Too late she cried and waved her wooden leg." Do you have any idea where this came from? Its significance defies my imagination.

It's a guess – but it's the best we have.
The world's leading expert on obscure quotations, Nigel Rees, has two columns on this expression (and its variations) in his book A Word in Your Shell Like. At end of those two columns he reaches no conclusion. However, there is a little more to be said. "Too late she cried and waved her wooden leg" seems to have been used as a comic exclamation – a humorous cry of despair when things go wrong. It quite possibly comes from a (now long forgotten) comic verse from the late 19th or early 20th century; which in turn may have (originally) been a parody of a 19th century Moody and Sankey hymn.

we were just having lunch and i used the quote and wondered its source. Had great fun reading everyones thoughts.


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: GUEST,Alexandra
Date: 08 Jun 07 - 02:17 AM

Whenever asked a question she did not want to answer - or had no answer to, my good friend used to say as a bit of nonsense:
"Not I" said the mouse, waving his wooden leg.
I thought it was some mixed allusion to a nursery rhyme like 'Who Killed Cock Robin?" plus Moby Dick. I found the discusion when I went to use it in an email - wondering if it was anymore widespread in usage.
We both went to a girls boarding school in Brisbane in the 1980s and used to get attention from others in the dorm by saying "Friends, Romans Countrymen - lend me your ears. What's in the bag? Ears!" (from the play "Wipe the Blood Off my Toga"). It was similarly said in jest and has resonance with the patter in vaudeville acts.


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 08 Jun 07 - 03:33 AM

"Wipe the Blood Off my Toga").

Actually "Rinse the Blood Off my Toga" - from a famous 1960s LP of 4 comic sequences from a Canadian TV Show by Johnny Wayne and Frank Schuster.


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 10:14 AM

I also have read the book to which Guest Bob 5000 refers. I borrowed the book from a library in about 1974. I recall the boy's name as Ussie Mock, that his annoying little brother often burst out with "aha she said as she cracked her wooden leg." Ussie referred to seemingly characterless tiresome people as "deadlies." That's all I recall. I too would love to find the book.


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: GUEST,Rex
Date: 29 Jan 08 - 01:41 PM

I was not aware of the "'Aha' she cried" beginning until reading
this discussion page ... for me it was always : Too late she cried
as she waved her wooden leg". This saying seems to have been here
in NZ since the 1920s I would think. I had a chat about it with
the late Harry Orsman, Editor of the Oxford Dictionary Of New Zealand
English, and he proffered the view that it was some kind of satirical
'take' on men asking ladies for dances and the planned assignations
being jotted down in notebooks. But ... who knows!


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: GUEST,Greetings from Ralph's Planet
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 10:55 PM

The book to which Guest Bob 5000 who posted on 08 May 07 refers is "The Mock Revolt" by Vera Cleaver. Published very late 1960s probably. I read in in a library near Tokyo in the early 1970s.


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: GUEST,HB in the UK
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 09:45 AM

I found this thread when looking for what could be another variation of this expression which my Mum (in her 70s and from the UK) uses when she has finished a task - "that's that she said as she waved her wooden leg".

She doesn't remember where she first heard it though, but thinks it must have been from an older relative when she was a child.

Has anyone else heard of this variation?


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Subject: RE: 'Aha' She Cried and Waved Her Wooden Leg...
From: GUEST,just wondering too
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 11:42 PM

My Dad used this expression (among others) many times. For him it was always "Oh-ho, she cried, and waved her wooden leg aloft." I would always ask him what that was supposed to mean, but he would just smile like everyone should know. It never changed over the years. He has Alzheimers now (born in 1930, Alberta, Canada), and as I probe what is left of his memory on this and other subjects, he seems to think it comes from the era of privateers in the Caribbean. In other words, who knows where it came from .... Fascinating thread, so glad others have wondered on the origins of this expression. Keep it going, I'd like to find out too.


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