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Origins: I'm a Little Teapot

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I'M A LITTLE TEAPOT


Hammer 04 Jan 97 - 03:40 AM
Sue Wichers 04 Jan 97 - 09:55 AM
Joe Offer 09 Jan 17 - 02:15 AM
DaveRo 09 Jan 17 - 03:08 AM
Senoufou 09 Jan 17 - 04:17 AM
JennieG 09 Jan 17 - 05:42 AM
Steve Gardham 09 Jan 17 - 08:49 AM
Steve Gardham 09 Jan 17 - 09:51 AM
DaveRo 09 Jan 17 - 10:22 AM
Leadfingers 09 Jan 17 - 10:42 AM
meself 09 Jan 17 - 12:16 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 09 Jan 17 - 02:00 PM
FreddyHeadey 09 Jan 17 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,Senoufou 09 Jan 17 - 04:20 PM
FreddyHeadey 09 Jan 17 - 04:53 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Jan 17 - 08:04 PM
Joe Offer 09 Jan 17 - 08:43 PM
GUEST,Senoufou 10 Jan 17 - 03:55 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Jan 17 - 04:05 AM
DaveRo 10 Jan 17 - 05:53 AM
Senoufou 10 Jan 17 - 07:56 AM
Mo the caller 10 Jan 17 - 08:01 AM
mkebenn 10 Jan 17 - 08:49 AM
FreddyHeadey 10 Jan 17 - 10:29 AM
Steve Gardham 10 Jan 17 - 10:39 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 10 Jan 17 - 06:10 PM
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Subject: words for
From: Hammer
Date: 04 Jan 97 - 03:40 AM

Would someone out there be kind enough to provide me with the words to the children's song "I'm a little Teapot"

My two year old son is starting to sing it ...he has obviously got it from daycare ... and Mummy and I do not know the words :-(

Thank you all in anticipation

Hammer


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Subject: Lyr Add: I'M A LITTLE TEAPOT
From: Sue Wichers
Date: 04 Jan 97 - 09:55 AM

I'M A LITTLE TEAPOT
By Clarence Kelley & George Sanders, ©1939

I'm a little teapot, short and stout.
Here is my handle. Here is my spout.
When I get all steamed up, hear me shout.
Tip me over and pour me out.

I'm a very special pot, it's true,
Here, let me show you what I can do.
I can change my handle and my spout.
Tip me over and pour me out.

TO THE SAME TUNE
Found this in Rise Up Singing.
I'M A LITTLE BLACK SEED

I'm a little black seed, plant me in a row,
Water me and feed me, watch me up and grow.
From a little seed to seedling, flower to fruit,
I'm a happy little plant from tip to root.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I'm a Little Teapot
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 02:15 AM

OK, I'm ready to believe that there is a 1939 copyright song with this title, but I can't believe it's the original song. I've known the one-verse version with hand motions all my life - and I'm very, very old.

Please tell me that the original of this song is more than ten years older that I am.

Here are the lyrics I have known all my life:

    I'm a little teapot, short and stout.
    Here is my handle. Here is my spout.
    When I get all steamed up, I just shout (or hear me shout).
    Tip me over and pour me out.



Can anyone document this song as older than 1939?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: I'm a Little Teapot
From: DaveRo
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 03:08 AM

I've not heard the 'steamed up' version. I know:

I'm a little teapot, short and stout.
Here's my handle. Here's my spout.
When I hear the teacups hear me shout
Tip me up and pour me out.

England, b1950's


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Subject: RE: Origins: I'm a Little Teapot
From: Senoufou
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 04:17 AM

We used to sing "...When the tea is ready, hear me shout..."
(I sang it as a young child in the early fifties)


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Subject: RE: Origins: I'm a Little Teapot
From: JennieG
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 05:42 AM

I don't remember this song from my childhood at all, but I did sing it to my children in the early 1980s.....leaned it from a children's program on radio.

Sorry, Joe, I can't help!


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Subject: RE: Origins: I'm a Little Teapot
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 08:49 AM

Hi Joe,
It doesn't occur in any of the standard collections of children's songs so I'd say the '39 origin is highly likely. The tune of course is a variant of 'Twinkle Twinkle/Baa Baa Black Sheep'


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Subject: RE: Origins: I'm a Little Teapot
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 09:51 AM

Just to add to the variants.
Hull, Yorkshire 1950s, with actions.

I'm a little teapot short and stout,
Here's my handle, here's my spout,
When I get me steam up hear me shout,
Tip....me up...and pour me out.

I have a mental image of Arthur Askey performing it but I may be mixing it up with 'I'm a busy busy little bee.'


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Subject: RE: Origins: I'm a Little Teapot
From: DaveRo
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 10:22 AM

Steve Gardham wrote: Hull, Yorkshire 1950s...
I asked my wife (b1950s Lancashire) what she thought the third line was. She said she didn't remember it from childhood but remembered my mother (b1918 Yorkshire) singing it to our children.

This 'steam up' line doesn't ring true to me at all. Tea pots don't 'get steam up'. Kettles do: maybe there's an earlier kettle version.

In the 80's, when we were passing these rhymes on to our children, we had a cheap book of nursery rhymes, large format, with Disney-style cartoon illustrations. My wife remembered that we didn't agree with some of the verses, and changed them to what we ourselves learned as children.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I'm a Little Teapot
From: Leadfingers
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 10:42 AM

I stole a variant from Gave Hunt - Stand with BOTH hands on hips , knees akimbo :-

    I'm a little teapot , short and stout
   
    Here's my handle , here's my -----

    Oh Shit - I.m a Sugar Bowl


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Subject: RE: Origins: I'm a Little Teapot
From: meself
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 12:16 PM

I'm a little teapot, short and stout.
Here is my handle. Here is my spout.
When I get all steamed up, hear me shout.
Tip me over and pour me out.

I'm a very special pot, it's true,
Here, let me show you what I can do.
I can change my handle and my spout.
Tip me over and pour me out.


Are you sure this isn't political commentary? It kind of makes me think of someone ... not sure who ...!


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Subject: RE: Origins: I'm a Little Teapot
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 02:00 PM

These folks have added a background story to its history.


www.thecampingfamily.com/im-a-little-teapot.html

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

There is a bawdy ruger version using "sexpot"...but you can search that on your own.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I'm a Little Teapot
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 03:27 PM

Thanks Gargoyle
A further Google found this on YouTube

78
"I'm A Little Tea Pot"
-HORACE HEIDT & HIS MUSICAL KNIGHTS
Columbia no.DO-2432

https://youtu.be/YzElCSJycoE 


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Subject: RE: Origins: I'm a Little Teapot
From: GUEST,Senoufou
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 04:20 PM

If you look on Youtube for the Mr Tumble (clown) UK version of this song, he uses the words,"When the tea is ready, hear me shout..." which are the words I grew up with. No mention of steam!


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Subject: RE: Origins: I'm a Little Teapot
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 04:53 PM

I think the words are open to plenty of editing.
I'm not sure what sort of a reputation the Americans had for making a good pot of tea in the 1930s?


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Subject: RE: Origins: I'm a Little Teapot
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 08:04 PM

Off topic.
When I was a teenager I had a best mate who worked in St John's (Paddy's) Market, Scotland Road, in Liverpool, as a trainee fruit and vegetable salesman.
He was extremely laid back and nor over-fond of work
One day he was caught chatting up one of the women employees by the foreman who roarard "Come on lad, make a shape".
Denny placed one hand on his hip and raised the other at a curved angle at the other side of his body, slightly above his head and said, "How's that for a teapot?"
He was sacked on the spot.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: I'm a Little Teapot
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 08:43 PM

Good story, Jim.

But can it really be that this song goes back only to 1939, and no further? By the time I was a kid in Detroit in the 1950s, this was the sort of thing I was learning from my sainted grandmothers. And of course, I assumed it was a song that had always been. Could it be that my grandmothers were teaching me mere pop songs, and not the Wisdom of the Ages?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: I'm a Little Teapot
From: GUEST,Senoufou
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 03:55 AM

I learned it from my Irish auntie, Joe, and feel, as you do about your grannies, that she must have known it long before the War. The tune was very slightly different, and resembled 'Baa Baa Black Sheep'.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I'm a Little Teapot
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 04:05 AM

I'm sure people have checked, but this is the Wiki information:
The song was originally written by George Harold Sanders and Clarence Z. Kelley and published in 1939.
Clarence Kelley and his wife ran a dance school for children, which taught the "Waltz Clog", a popular and easy-to-learn tap dance routine. This routine, however, proved too difficult for the younger students to master. To solve this problem, George Sanders wrote The Teapot Song, which required minimal skill and encouraged natural pantomime. Both the song and its accompanying dance, the "Teapot Tip", became enormously popular in America and overseas
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: I'm a Little Teapot
From: DaveRo
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 05:53 AM

I find it hard to accept that my mother, a clergyman's daughter, who married my father during the war, first heard this from an American record first published in 1939, and then taught it me in the early '50s - with different words. Possible, but unlikely.

I suspect that the 'when I hear the tea cups' version is older here in the UK. I also suspect, with no evidence whatsoever, that the 'steam up' version is mainly US.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I'm a Little Teapot
From: Senoufou
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 07:56 AM

Like you DaveRO I can't imagine my rather elderly Irish auntie had picked this up from as late as 1939 on an American record. It always sounded rather Victorian to me. 'Short and stout' sounds like quite old-fashioned language. And teapots don't get 'steamed up', as a previous poster has pointed out. It's the kettle that steams. The teapot just sits there until the tea is brewed!
The trouble is that none of us can find any confirmation of earlier sources. Very fascinating, but frustrating!


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Subject: RE: Origins: I'm a Little Teapot
From: Mo the caller
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 08:01 AM

'when I see the tea cups', surely.
I know both that and 'when the tea is ready'.
Never heard the steamed up version in the UK.

Could it be that the US record was played 'on the wireless' here, and the words were changed in various ways because they didn't seem right.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I'm a Little Teapot
From: mkebenn
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 08:49 AM

Joe, you are forgeting that there were MANY more years between 1939 and 1949 than 2001 and 2011. Mike


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Subject: RE: Origins: I'm a Little Teapot
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 10:29 AM

Don't we have any 90 year olds who might remember if they heard it as a child, or as a teenager?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It is at Baylor University here,
http://contentdm.baylor.edu/cdm/ref/collection/fa-spnc/id/19476 but only fuzzy thumbnail views of the pages.

This blog took a couple of jpgs from an old ebay advert so you can see the start of the 1939 verses
"I am Napoleon" I've heard some people say...

http://www.theteahousetimes.com/members/theteahousetimes/blog/VIEW/00000045/00001523/Im-a-Little-Teapot-by-Linda-Villano.html

In 2009 Angela McRae said she had the sheet music but hadn't made a copy of it yet.
http://teawithfriends.blogspot.co.uk/2009/07/teapot-song_9481.html 

-for sale, sheet music @ $4.00
https://www.amazon.com/Im-Little-Tea-Pot-Teapot/dp/B000K5VMHA

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Subject: RE: Origins: I'm a Little Teapot
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 10:39 AM

Oral tradition works much faster than we often realise, especially since modern technology got involved, sound recordings TV etc. Even before that print technology was spreading folklore at a tremendous rate. The Preston printer Harkness in the second half of the 19th century used to send big batches of printed ballads all over the country by train. Look how fast the American pop song 'What did Della Wear?' spread in Britain. Just about every kid in the country could sing a version within weeks of it appearing. I don't have the slightest problem with 1939. Want some more examples? Hokey Cokey, Poor Little Angeline, My Brudda Sylvest.........


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Subject: RE: Origins: I'm a Little Teapot
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 06:10 PM

For time and place first heard:

1955 Manila Phillipines
Billy Teleston's family basement (his father was Brit ex-pat petroleum)
Yellow tinted record on a child's turn-table.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Ten families lived a gated, armed guard 24/7, community within concrete walls with broken bottles on top and barbed wire over that.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

font color=orange> You might be free and clear if a "copyright notice" was never printed.


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