Daily Archives: December 4, 2009

Sing a Song of Sixpence….

Once more it is time for a round of communal singing from Conrad, Gaelikaa, Helen, Magpie 11, Maria, & Ramana and I.
Ashok, Judy, & Marianna will rejoin us in a few weeks time.

There is a touch of the child in all of us no matter how old we are. Did I have a childhood??? I am not so sure….  I have lost count, this might be my second or third childhood, but I am certainly enjoying it this time round and may it never end! Magpie 11 has challenged us to journey back to those far off days and recall

Rhymes and Songs from childhood.


I don’t have any recollection of Nursery Rhymes being read to us, but I do remember mammy singing them with us as she worked about the house.  Since I was third in line, she knew all the words and saw no need to sit with the book when she could be doing something else.  So what did she sing:

Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye;
Four and twenty blackbirds
Baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened,
They all began to sing.
Now, wasn’t that a dainty dish
to set before the King?

The King was in his counting house,
Counting out his money;
The Queen was in the parlour
Eating bread and honey.
The maid was in the garden,
Hanging out the clothes.
Along there came a big black bird
and pecked off her nose!

Now that one I dd NOT like; for two reasons.  1) I didn’t like the idea of eating black birds or 2) having my nose pecked off.  For years, if birds touched ground near me I immediately covered my nose!

Hey diddle diddle,
the cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon,
The little dog laughed to see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

How could a cow jump over the moon?   A cow was heavier than me…. and the moon was way up there in the sky…. I just didn’t get it. 🙁

One, two, three, four, five.
Once I caught a fish alive,
Six, seven, eight, nine ,ten,
Then I let it go again.
Why did you let it go?
Because it bit my finger so.
Which finger did it bite?
This little finger on the right.

I am glad the fish was let go ’cause I hated the smell of it cooking on the pan.  Back in my young days we had fish every Friday.  It was the only area of cooking where mammy was not adventurous.   I liked the dessert that day – Apple-cake served hot from the oven.  It was like a sweet scone mixture and if mammy was in a hurry the apple was spread between two layers of the dough before cooking.  With a little more time, she chopped the apple in chunks and added it to the dry ingredients before adding the liquid.

There was an old woman,
Who lived in a shoe;
She had so many children,
She didn’t know what to do.
She gave them some broth,
Without any bread;
She whipped them all soundly,
And sent them to bed.

Now this lady I had sympathy for.  It was bad enough in a house full of brothers with gangly legs, knees, elbows and arms.  They were everywhere!  In a tangle under the table, halfway across the floor as we sat around the open fire, or dangling over the banisters as they slid down.. instead of walking down the stairs.

There was a crooked man,
Who walked a crooked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence
Upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat
Who caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a
Crooked little house.

Ah yes!  I liked this one and could live with it since I once found a crooked sixpence, and there many crooked roads that twisted and turned every 50 yards, Ireland was full of them.  Around each corner was a new vista, sometimes only visible through gaps in the hedge.  They were like that since the days of the Ass and Car.  Well it was really an Ass & Cart and as we all know, an ass is a stubborn animal, and if it saw a long straight road, it would dig in its heels and go no further.  When the ass only saw the short road ahead it walked along happily.

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.
Just tip me over and pour me out.

I’m a clever teapot, yes it’s true
Here’s an example of what I can do
I can change my handle to my spout
Just tip me over and pour me out.

I’m a little teapot, short and stout,
Here is my handle, here is my spout,
When I hear the tea-cups, hear me shout,
th”Tip me up and pour me out”.

Just tip me over
And pour………me…………out.

Now that little ditty was my very first party piece.  Can you imagine me standing up there in my pretty dress with a great big Chocolate box bow on my hair, doing all the actions!

Frère Jacques.

Are you sleeping, are you sleeping?
Brother John, Brother John?
Morning bells are ringing,
Morning bells are ringing,
Ding Dang Dong, Ding Dang Dong.

Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques,
Dormez vous? Dormez vous?

Sonnez les matines!Sonnez les matines!
Ding Dang Dong! Ding Dang Dong!

Are you sleeping, are you sleeping?
Brother John, Brother John?
Morning bells are ringing,
Morning bells are ringing,
Ding Dang Dong, Ding Dang Dong.

Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques,
Dormez vous? Dormez vous?
Sonnez les matines! Sonnez les matines!
Ding Dang Dong! Ding Dang Dong!

Sonnez les matines, Sonnez les matines
Ding Dang Dong! Ding Dang Dong!

Just to add an international tone, my very first attempt at French!

And finally…

One potato, two potato, ten potatoes more

Another 57 before they let me out the door

I haven’t got a finger left

My nails are in the stew

If they didn’t have a sister

I’ve no idea what they’d do!

(I may have felt like that all those years ago, but I only penned these words now!)

Locked out

The gates are locked.

The old and rusting double gates remain locked.  On the right a single gate allows pedestrians and cyclists pass through to the grounds of Clotworthy House, Co Antrim.

I was very late last night playing with my friends, now I need to rest a little longer.

See you at 3pm.