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Nonsense rhymes and sayings from your childhood

Kat Marketplace Partner Oct 02, 2019

Share some nonsense rhymes and sayings from your childhood. It is interesting how these often transcend cultures and languages.


I'll post a few in the discussion but lets get started with something that works best said out loud:

1 1 was a racehorse (Wan-wan was a racehorse)

2 2 was 1 2 (Tutu was one too)

1 1 1 1 race (Wan-wan won one race)

2 2 1 1 2 (Tutu won one too.)


Many of mine have quite a strong English base, as you might expect. 

I am very fond of Jabberwocky (for the nonsense that has permeated through so much culture), The Walrus and the Carpenter (for its clever cruelty), and, who can forget

Twinkle, Twinkle, little bat,

How I wonder what you're at?

Up above the world so high,

Like a tea-tray in the sky.

From Charles Dodgson/Lewis Carrol's "Mad Hatter".  A phrase that comes from a town called Luton which, at the time of writing, made a lot of hats.  The Hatters had a tendency to go insane, which we now know was mostly down to inhaling and licking the mercury they used to treat the cloth that went into the hats.  (I go through this town on the train to get to and from London, and still hold my breath just in case.  But I'm still not sure it wasn't just having to live in Luton that drove them mad!)

For a more US flavour, I will call upon my favourite US artist, Tom Lehrer:

Eating an orange

While making love

Makes for bizarre enj-

Oyment thereof.

I grew up with parents who happily fed me a lot of Lear such as The Jumblies and Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo, but added a smattering of Dr Seuss.

One of my favourites when I was little was

Hickory Dickory Dock,

The mouse ran up the clock,

The clock struck one,

The mouse ran down,

Hickory Dickory Dock.

Which I quite liked doing in the style of BBC news:

Hickory Dickory Dock,

Three mice ran up the clock,

The clock struck one...

And the other two got away with minor injuries and are now considering a private prosecution against the clock-winder.

But, as I got a bit older, I found Spike Milligan, who had so much to give (heck, his gravestone reads "I told you I was ill") and everything he did or even just influenced.  But to pick a favourite:

A Thousand hairy savages

Sitting down to lunch

Gobble gobble glup glup

Munch munch munch.

Like Kat likes this
Kat Marketplace Partner Oct 02, 2019

Another one frm my childhood is "Antigonish", an 1899 poem by American educator and  William Hughes Mearns. It is also known as "The Little Man Who Wasn't There"

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn't there!
He wasn't there again today,
Oh how I wish he'd go away!

When I came home last night at three,
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall,
I couldn't see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don't you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don't slam the door...

Last night I saw upon the stair,
A little man who wasn't there,
He wasn't there again today
Oh, how I wish he'd go away...

Kat Marketplace Partner Oct 02, 2019

And I'll never forget "One Bright Morning In The Middle Of The Night"

One bright morning in the middle of the night
two dead boys got up to fight
Back to back they faced each other
Drew their swords and shot each other
A deaf policeman heard the noise
and ran to save the two dead boys
If you don't believe this lie is true
ask the blind man, he saw it, too.

Author: Palmer Proffitt, Preston Proffitt, dec., Junior Norris, dec.

The Incorrect version is- (day and ran to save the two dead boys)

The correct version is- (and came and killed those two dead boys)


Palmer Proffitt

Like Payne likes this
Payne Rising Star Oct 24, 2019

I've had a lot of fun sharing your Wan-wan story. :-) 

Like # people like this
Kat Marketplace Partner Oct 24, 2019

With children or adults?

Payne Rising Star Oct 24, 2019

With adults! :-) 

Like Fernando Bordallo likes this


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