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Lyr Req: What are (little boys/etc) made of?

Mrrzy 30 May 01 - 11:17 AM
alison 30 May 01 - 11:26 AM
IanC 30 May 01 - 11:26 AM
Sorcha 30 May 01 - 11:53 AM
mousethief 30 May 01 - 11:56 AM
IanC 30 May 01 - 12:06 PM
Hollowfox 30 May 01 - 01:02 PM
mousethief 30 May 01 - 03:59 PM
Malcolm Douglas 31 May 01 - 09:04 AM
Walking Eagle 31 May 01 - 03:07 PM
Terry K 01 Jun 01 - 02:38 AM
Uncle_DaveO 01 Jun 01 - 10:08 AM
Mrrzy 01 Jun 01 - 06:41 PM
Jim Dixon 25 Mar 10 - 07:29 PM
GUEST,Jerry Friedman 26 Mar 10 - 11:14 PM
GUEST,Jerry Friedman 26 Mar 10 - 11:16 PM
Jim Dixon 28 Mar 10 - 09:42 PM
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Subject: What are (little boys/etc) made of?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 30 May 01 - 11:17 AM

I was shocked, shocked not to find this in the DT. I have verses for little boys, little girls, young men, young women, old men, old women, and little babies. Are there any other verses out there? This is for my Psych Songs quest, if anyone wants to do a blicky to that thread, but this is important enough to warrant its own thread. D'aprè moi, at any rate. We're gonna talk gender issues, so I thought I'd sing this one.

Here is what I have so far, by Pete Seeger:

What are little girls made of? (bis)
They're made of sugar and spice and everything nice, that's what little girls are made of.
...Little boys... piggins and pails and puppy dog tails...
...Young women... powder and paint till they look like they ain't
...Young men... thorns and briars and they're all bad liars...
Old women... moans and groans and old bags of bones...
Old men... whisky and brandy and anything that's handy...
...Little babies... milk and honey and a little soft bunny...

note that Pete Seeger sang "a little white bunny" but I've Bowdlerized it into any bunny.

Thank you all!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What are (little boys/etc) made of?
From: alison
Date: 30 May 01 - 11:26 AM

I always knew "little boys" as "slugs and snails, and puppy dog tails".

and of course if you add "chemical X" to the "little girls" recipe you get "the Powerpuff Girls"..... which unfortunately is taking over from "Pokemon" over here.....

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What are (little boys/etc) made of?
From: IanC
Date: 30 May 01 - 11:26 AM

Not much to it. Here it is from a familiar site!

Little Boys!

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What are (little boys/etc) made of?
From: Sorcha
Date: 30 May 01 - 11:53 AM

For little boys, I learned "snips and snails". Lots of interesting variants, here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What are (little boys/etc) made of?
From: mousethief
Date: 30 May 01 - 11:56 AM

What's a piggin?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What are (little boys/etc) made of?
From: IanC
Date: 30 May 01 - 12:06 PM

pig·gin Pronunciation: 'pi-g&n
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English pygyn
Date: 15th century
: a small wooden pail with one stave extended upward as a handle

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What are (little boys/etc) made of?
From: Hollowfox
Date: 30 May 01 - 01:02 PM

Sesame Street (TV program) did a song using this rhyme as a jumping-off point some few years ago (10-15). As I recall, the song was used to get past gender stereotypes. I haven't been watching lately, so I don't know if they still use it, but you might want to write them one way or another and see if they'll send you the lyrics. Considering your project, they just might. The worst that could happen is that they'd refuse the request, after all.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What are (little boys/etc) made of?
From: mousethief
Date: 30 May 01 - 03:59 PM

There is an ancient PEANUTS cartoon (circa 1952) which shows one of the early girls (Violet, Patty, maybe Lucy) saying, "Sugar and spice and everything nice..." Then she socks Charlie Brown and gives him a black eye, and in the final frame continues saying, "...That's what little girls are made of."

Alex


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What are (little boys/etc) made of?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 31 May 01 - 09:04 AM

Here is the full entry from The Oxford Book of Nursery Rhymes (Iona and Peter Opie, 1951):

"What are little boys made of?
What are little boys made of?
Frogs and snails
And puppy-dogs' tails
That's what little boys are made of.

What are little girls made of?
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice and all things nice
That's what little girls are made of.

In Burton Stevenson's Dictionary of Proverbs these verses, under the title What all the world is made of are attributed to Robert Southey, c. 1820, the words being:

What are little boys made of, made of?
What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails and puppy-dog tails,
And such are little boys made of.

What are young women made of, made of?
What are young women made of?
Sugar and spice and all things nice,
And such are young women made of.

These lines are not found in his poetical works (1829), nor in the ten-volume collected edition of his poems (1838-40); they do not figure in his Commonplace Book, nor in his miscellany The Doctor, in which he mentions other nursery rhymes; and they are not associated with him by his biographer, Professor Simmons.

James Orchard Halliwell, The Nursery Rhymes of England, 1844 and E.F. Rimbault, Nursery Rhymes with the tunes to which they are still sung, 1846; two additional verses:

What are young men made of?
Sighs and leers and crocodile tears.

What are young women made of?
Ribbons and laces and sweet pretty faces.

G.F. Northall, English Folk-Rhymes, 1892:

What are old women made of?
Bushes and thorns and old cows' horns.

Children's Tales of Long Ago, c. 1905:

What are our sailors made of, made of?
Pitch and tar, pig-tail and scar.

What are our soldiers made of, made of?
Pipeclay and drill, the foeman to kill.

What are little boys made of is said (in W.S. Kennedy's biography) to be one of the poems which Longfellow used to recite."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What are (little boys/etc) made of?
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 31 May 01 - 03:07 PM

My fiddle playin' granpaw always sung it as - - snakes and snails and puppy dog tails.

(@:>)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What are (little boys/etc) made of?
From: Terry K
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 02:38 AM

I'm just repeating this as I once heard one of the big boys say it

"if little girls are made of sugar and spice and all things nice, how come they taste like tuna fish?"

Cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What are (little boys/etc) made of?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 10:08 AM

Mike Seeger, on his CD, Southern Banjo Sounds, has a variant version. In the course of the song he tells us the constituent elements of old bachelors, old maids, little boys ("little dudes"), and little girls, ending:

That's what them young doctors made out of.
That's what them young doctors made out of.
Powders and pills, and big doctors' bills,
That's what them young doctors made out of!

As to little boys:

That's what them little dudes is made out of.
That's what them little dudes is made out of.
Doodads and chains, and mighty little brains,
That's what them little dudes is made out of!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What are (little boys/etc) made of?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 06:41 PM

I like the extra verses so far, although I can't add them to the song for pedagogical reasons (they don't address the development of gender differences). Nice to know I have more verses than anyone so far, although I also like these alternate young wo/men ones. And I never knew what a piggin was before, thanks, Mudcat!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What are (little boys/etc) made of?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 07:29 PM

Here's the oldest version I can find:

From Suil Dhuv, The Coiner in The Works of Gerald Griffin, Esq., Vol. 3 (London: Maxwell and Co., 1842), page 449:

What are little boys made of—made of?
What are little boys made of?
Of snips and snails
And puppy dog's tails—
That's what little boys are made of.

What are little girls made of—made of?
What are little girls made of?
Of sugar and spice,
And all that's nice—
That's what little girls are made of.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What are (little boys/etc) made of?
From: GUEST,Jerry Friedman
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 11:14 PM

Did you just see this at Language Log?

The edition of Griffin's work that I linked to there is indeed from 1842, but you can easily check that Suil Duv, The Coiner is from 1827.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What are (little boys/etc) made of?
From: GUEST,Jerry Friedman
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 11:16 PM

Strange coincidence that we should both find the same book, a day apart.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What are (little boys/etc) made of?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 28 Mar 10 - 09:42 PM

Yes, it's just a coincidence. Of course, the real coincidence it that we both happened to be looking for the source of "What are little boys [or girls] made of?" at about the same time. It's no coincidence that Google led us both to the same book—although the obscurity of the book makes it seem weirder.

Thanks for pointing out that Suil Dhuv, The Coiner is from 1827. I never bothered to look beyond the volume I saw.


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