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Children's Songs

Just one of those weird "need-to-know-now-for-no-real-reason" things that popped into my head this morning.

1. "Little Bunny Foo Foo"

Was this song part of your childhood? If so, what was the punishment that the Funky Fairy threatened Little Bunny Foo Foo with if he didn't stop scooping up the field mice and bopping them on the head? And what kind of a fairy was she, anyway? Was she Funky, or was she Blue, or was she something else entirely?

2. Did any of you ever play a game with a baby, or have played with you as a baby, that involved the grownup bouncing the baby on closed knees while chanting a rhyme, and then, at the end of the rhyme, opening the knees and swooping the baby down between them? Kind of curious, because when I was a baby, Mom Pony and my grandmother played this game for me using a German rhyme:

Hoppa, hoppa, Reiter!
Reiter fällt und schreite.
Fällt er in den Graben,
Da fressen ihn die Raben.
Fällt er in den Sumpf,
Da macht der Reiter plumps! *knees open, baby is swooped, baby cackles with laughter*

(Hoppa, hoppa, rider,
The rider falls down and screams.
If he falls into the ditch,
The ravens will eat him.
If he falls into the swamp,
The rider will go plumps!)

It wasn't till I was in high school that I learned that there is an English-language version of the same game:

Ride a horse to Boston,
Ride a horse to Lynn.
Ride a horse across the bridge,
But don't fall in! *knees open, baby is swooped, baby cackles with laughter*

I wonder how many other places have similar games? Does yours? Do you know another rhyme for this game? Did you play the game with either the German or the Boston rhyme?


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 30th, 2013 02:06 pm (UTC)
I learned Bunny Foo Foo as a teen. I think it was the "Good Fairy", but can't remember exactly. Definitely not funky. LOL.

The bouncing knee game with a baby is something my in-laws did which came from my MIL's family (I believe).

This is the way the lady rides:
trit trot trit trot trit trot

This is the way the gentleman rides:
A gallop a trot, a gallop a trot, a gallop a gallop a gallop a trot

This is the way the rowdy rides:
Hobble-de hoy, hobble-de hoy, hobble-de hobble de hobble de hoy

And this is the way the hunter rides:
A gallop a gallop a gallop a gallop a gallop (however many times you want, really:))

I am pretty sure I have a video of this if you want to see it.

My guess is that the origin is British, but I really have no clue. Could be American (West).
Jul. 30th, 2013 04:09 pm (UTC)
I guess "Funky Fairy" came later on. I remember that one coming from camp counselors when I was a kid.

Does your "this is the way the X rides" rhyme involve swooping the baby, too? It's a fun little chant, and I think I may have seen it in a children's poetry book at some point.
Jul. 30th, 2013 05:52 pm (UTC)
1. No. Er, thankfully.

2. We knew the German rhyme because my aunt lived in Germany for a few years. But it was always known as "Horsey, horsey" in this part of the world.

Horsey horsey, don't you stop
Just let your feet go clippetty clop
The tail goes swish and the wheels go round
Giddy up, we're homeward bound.

At the end you drop the child between your knees.

I never heard the Boston one.

Jul. 30th, 2013 07:44 pm (UTC)
Ooo, I like the "Horsey, horsey" rhyme. I've never heard that one before.

I've heard some versions of "Little Bunny Foo Foo" that involve the Good/Blue/Funky Fairy threatening him with being turned into a goon. When she does, the moral of the story becomes "Hare today, goon tomorrow."
Jul. 30th, 2013 11:17 pm (UTC)
I know a Horsey Horsey song that is a round.

Horsey horsey on your way
We've been together for many a day
So let your tail go swish as the wheels go 'round
Giddy up, we're homeward bound

I'd like to take a horse and buggy
and as we travel through the town
I like hear old dobbins clip clop
I like feel the wheels go 'round.
Jul. 31st, 2013 06:53 pm (UTC)
Oh! That's the bit my mum can never think of! She knew there was more and had the gist of it but pretty much just makes it up when she's playing with my nephew. I must tell her :-)
Jul. 31st, 2013 06:55 pm (UTC)
Yay! Glad I could help:D
Jul. 30th, 2013 08:14 pm (UTC)
I'm a lurker from Pod-Together members list, hope this isn't too out of place! I definitely remember, for #1, the "Good Fairy" who'd "turn [Little Bunny] into a goon."

I know something similar to jelazakazone's rhyme: This is the way the pony rides (trit, trot, trit, trot), the horsey (trittrot, trittrot, trittrot, trittrot, double time), stallion (gallop gallop gallop gallop), and finally donkey (hobbledy hobbledy hobbledy hobbledy--and down into the ditch!)
Jul. 30th, 2013 11:18 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes, it was the good fairy for me too!

LOL! We just bounce the kid like crazy for the last one (stallion). The donkey (rowdy) for us has us moving the kid from side to side:D
Jul. 31st, 2013 12:22 am (UTC)
I think when Mom Pony taught Little Bunny Foo Foo to me, it might have been the Blue Fairy, but I think that the punishment was being turned into a goon as well. Did you ever get the "moral" as "Hare today, goon tomorrow?"
Jul. 31st, 2013 12:26 am (UTC)
Yes I did! :D
Jul. 30th, 2013 08:19 pm (UTC)
You're making that up just so we can all make fools of ourselves. I've never heard those.
Jul. 31st, 2013 12:23 am (UTC)
I am totally not making these up. You never heard "Little Bunny Foo Foo?"

I thought the rider game was only a German thing, and I was really surprised when my crew coach in high school told me about the Boston version.
Jul. 30th, 2013 08:45 pm (UTC)
Here via Jela's point in this direction :D

1) Little Bunny Foo Foo was up against the Good Fairy who turned him into a Goon (Hare today, Goon tomorrow) in my Girl Scout Council's version.

2) We didn't have a swooping baby knee bouncer so much, but I met up with The Grand Old Duke of York in our Little Gym class for the kids:

(you on the floor, baby on your knees facing you, you holding their hands)
The grand old Duke of York, (bob your knees up and down gently to the beat)
He had ten thousand men, (keep going)
He marched them up to the top of the hill (bend your knees sharply up)
and he marched them down again. (lower them quickly)
And when they were up they were up, (knees up!)
and when they were down they were down. (knees down)
And when they were only half way up, (knees halfway up)
they were neither up nor down. (lift your knees all the way up for "up" and drop them suddenly for "down")
He marched them to the left, (lean your knees to the left while slightly bent,
he marched them to the right, (and now to the right)
and when he marched them upside down, (hold on tight, and gently roll baby back over the hill of your knees, then bring baby back up)
oh wasn't that a sight? (gentle bobs with the knee to the beat)

And, of course, the one Jela pointed out, about the Ladies, the Gentleman, and the Cavalry. :D
Jul. 30th, 2013 11:19 pm (UTC)
I think we did the Duke of York in some gym class when I was in school. Maybe it was music class? I can remember running around like crazy and being very out of breath for it. Lots of fun!
Jul. 31st, 2013 12:23 am (UTC)
Neat! I'd heard the song about the grand old Duke of York, but I never knew there was a game to go with it.
Jul. 31st, 2013 10:25 pm (UTC)
"Trot trot to Boston
Trot trot to Lynn
Watch out baby
That you don't fall in"

Boston MA, early 1980s
Jul. 31st, 2013 11:42 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's a variation of the Connecticut version that I heard in the early 1990s (in high school). The meter is a little shorter. I wonder if it might have a bit of "This is the way the lady rides" somewhere in its ancestry. Although the meter does feel more like trotting than "Ride a horse to Boston" does. That one's more a canter.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )