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Origins: Ask Me No Questions rhymes

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JUMP ROPE CHANTS
THREE SIX NINE


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Azizi 03 Apr 06 - 10:32 PM
Azizi 03 Apr 06 - 10:40 PM
Mo the caller 04 Apr 06 - 05:29 AM
Purple Foxx 04 Apr 06 - 05:47 AM
Snuffy 04 Apr 06 - 08:56 AM
Azizi 04 Apr 06 - 06:32 PM
Purple Foxx 05 Apr 06 - 03:46 AM
Azizi 05 Apr 06 - 10:44 AM
Little Robyn 05 Apr 06 - 03:56 PM
Azizi 10 Apr 06 - 07:44 AM
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Subject: Origins: Ask Me Know Questions rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Apr 06 - 10:32 PM

I'm curious if anyone knows of earlier sources for the floating lines:

Ask me know questions
and I'll tell you no lies.

then this poem [song?] found in Thomas W. Talley's Negro Folk Rhymes {Kennikat Press edition, 1968, pg. 63,64; originally published in 1922}

DON'T ASK ME QUESTIONS
Don't ax me no questions,
An' I won't tell you know lies;
But bring me dem apples,
An' I'll make you some pies.

An' if you ax questions,
'Bout my havin' de flour;
I fergits to use 'lasses
An' de pie'll be all sour.

Dem apples jes wa'k [walk] here;
An' dem 'lasses, dey run.
Hain't no place lak my house
Found un'er de sun.

-snip-

Btw, my interpretation of this poem is that the woman speaking was a house slave who "helped" herself to the Master's and Mistress' apples, flour, and molasses as a means of supplementing the meager foodstock that slaves were given and providing a treat for her family.

The "Ask me no questions/and I'll tell you know lie" lines are always included in the "Miss Susie Had A Steamboat" children's rhymes, as demonstrated by this excerpt:

Miss Susie had a steamboat,
the steamboat had a bell ding ding,
the steamboat went to heaven,
Miss susie went to
hello operator,
give me number nine,
and if you disconnect me,
I'll chop off your
behind the refrigerator
there lay a piece of glass
Miss susie sat upong it
and broke her little
ask me no more questions
tell me no more lies
the boys are in the bathroom
zipping up their
flies are in the city
bees are in the park
Miss susie and her boyfriend
are kissing in the
d-a-r-k..."
from: http://blog.oftheoctopuses.com/000518.php "Schoolyard games"posted by Erin at April 19, 2004

Those lines also show up in the "Bang Bang Lula" rhyme that probably was the source of the "Miss Suzy [or other female name] Had A Steamboat" [or tugboat]children's rhyme. See this example of the use of those lines in this 1997 Mudcat post:

Subject: RE: Naughty kids'greatest hits
From: Downeast Bob - PM
Date: 01 Oct 97 - 05:19 PM

The way I knew it in the 50s, was:
Lulu had a steamboat; steamboat had a bell; Lulu went to heaven; steamboat went to

Bang away on Lulu, bang away all day. Who you gonna bang on when Lulu's gone away?

Lulu had a chicken; she also had a duck; She put them on the table to see if they would

Bang away on Lulu, bang away all day. Who you gonna bang on when Lulu's gone away?

Lulu spilled her orange juice, Lulu broke her glass; Then she slipped upon it and broke her little

Bang away on Lulu, bang away all day. Who you gonna bang on when Lulu's gone away?

Ask me no more questions; I'll tell you no more lies; Lulu got hit with a bucket of shit, right between the eyes!

-snip-

Do you know of other examples of the use of these lines in any other rhymes or songs?

Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ask Me Know Questions rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Apr 06 - 10:40 PM

I just found another example from that same Mudcat thread:

Subject: RE: Naughty kids'greatest hits
From: Laoise - PM
Date: 15 Sep 97 - 10:24 AM

We had a different version to Miss Lucy...

Mary had a little lamb, she thought it rather silly,
She threw it up into the air and caught it by it's...
Willie was a sheep dog sitting on the ground
Along came a bee and stung him on his....
Ask no questions tell no lies,
Ever see a p'liceman doing up his....
Flies are a nuisance, bugs are worse
And this is the end of my silly little verse.

-snip-

[I'm re-posting these examples with all due respect to the original posters]


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ask Me Know Questions rhymes
From: Mo the caller
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 05:29 AM

There was a "proper" poem we learnt at school, wriitten by Kipling in 1906 if my googling is right

Them that asks no questions isn't told a lie—
Watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!


http://poetry.poetryx.com/poems/1225/


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ask Me Know Questions rhymes
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 05:47 AM

One from my Wife (prevalent in Tyneside in the Sixties)
"Rule Britannia ! 2 monkeys up a pole,one monkey stuck his finger up the other monkey's...
Holy Moses!I'm telling you no lies,I know a Policeman who fiddles with his ...
Flies are awful & wasps are even worse
And that is the end of my silly little Chines verse.
This was sung to the tune of "Rule Britannia"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ask Me Know Questions rhymes
From: Snuffy
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 08:56 AM

According to Famous-Proverbs.com, Ask no questions and hear no lies is late 18th century English


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ask Me Know Questions rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 06:32 PM

Oh, I'm soo embarrassed. I just noticed the spelling error in this thread's title.

Okay... Maybe the title is supposed to read:
"Ask me. [I]know questions".

Yeah. That sounds feasible.

;o)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ask Me Know Questions rhymes
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 05 Apr 06 - 03:46 AM

...and with one bound,she was free!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ask Me Know Questions rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 05 Apr 06 - 10:44 AM

Ask me no questions. And I'll tell no lies.

LOL!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ask Me Know Questions rhymes
From: Little Robyn
Date: 05 Apr 06 - 03:56 PM

We had a slightly different one when I was a kid but I can only remember a little bit. I'm not sure if there any more to it.

The higher up the mountain, the greener grows the grass
Down came a billy goat, sliding on his...
Ask me no questions I'll tell you no lies,
I saw a (politically incorrect word for an Asian gentleman) doing up his...
Flies are a nuisance, bugs are worse,
That is the end of my little verse.

My Mum used to know it too!
Azizi, I think Willie the sheepdog was sitting on the grass.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ask Me Know Questions rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 10 Apr 06 - 07:44 AM

Also see this version of "Miss Lucy Had A Steamboat" that was first posted by Neighmond in a 2003 Mudcat thread. I re-posted it and another rhyme from Neighmond in the Folklore: Lady's aligator purse? Her own thread Mudcat thread with this comment:

Also, Chaz,

in that same 2003 Mudcat thread, you posted a version of "Miss Lucy Had A Steamboat" that I've not seen anywhere else . Since you gave me permission to use your examples in the book I'm still working on*, I'm going to take the liberty to re-post that example on this thread and on the "Ask Me "Know" Questions" thread.

Thank you very much!

Subject: RE: Folklore: Skipping Rhymes & Playground Games
From: Neighmond - PM
Date: 03 Feb 03 - 01:57 AM

[excerpt of a post with multiple examples of rhymes]

...In this little chant, the girls sat facing each other and clapped hands on each others palms, and their shoulders and laps. They went on until someone goofed in the clapping order. I heard this one in an apartment complex, growing up in Spirit Lake, Iowa in the early '80's

Miss Lucy had a steam boat,
    The steam boat had a bell.
    Miss Lucy went to heaven,
    The steam boat went to
    Hell-o operator,
    Give me number nine,
    If I get disconnected,
    I'll kick you from-
    Behind the 'fridgerator
    There sat a piece of glass,
    Miss Lucy sat upon it
    And cut her big fat
    As-k me no more questions,
    Tell you me more lies,
    The boys are in the bathroom,
    Zipping up their flies-
    Are in the kitchen,
    The're buzzing everywhere
    I got a can of fly spray
    And sprayed it in the
    Airplane is in the air,
    The trucks are on the ground,
    And I get on the carosell
    Go 'round and round and
    'Round King Arthur's table
    There was a dozen knights.
    There was a lot of fighting
    At dinner every
    Night time in the city
    Night time in the park
    Miss Lucy's on the park bench
    Kissin' in the Dark!

-snip-

*I have revised the concept of the compilation that I am working on to examples of and commentary about English language children's playground rhymes that mention violence. I'm still open to and would greatly appreciate any examples and comments on this subject.

Thanks!


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