Skipping, hop-scotch and juggling up to three balls against a wall were the exclusive pursuits of young girls in my day. All were accompanied by rhymes either short or long. I was envious that this ‘poetry’ was not for us boys, and gob-smacked that every girl knew them all by heart. I would be delighted if any older ‘girl’ who remembers those I do not, would contact the Journal with their words! Below are just a few that I do recall.
When I was young I had no sense
I bought a fiddle for eighteen pence
But the only tune that I could play
Was ‘Over the hills and far away’.
Holy Moses, King of the Jews
Bought his wife a pair of shoes
When the shoes began to wear
Holy Moses began to swear
When the swear began to stop
Holy Moses bought a shop
When the shop began to sell
Holy Moses went to hell.
Out of hell there’s no redemption
When you go in you get your pension
Tuppence a day working hard
Kicking the devil round the yard.
Rain, rain go to Spain
Never show your face again.
Vote, vote, vote for Annie Dowdall
Who’s that knocking on the door I, oo
If it’s Bernie let her in and we’ll take a little spin
And we’ll never, ever vote for silly Pete I oo.
My Aunt Jane, she brought me in
She gave me tea out o’ her wee tin
Half a bap, with sugar on the top
And three black balls out o’ her wee shop.
One, two, three O’Leary
Four, five, six O’Leary
Seven, eight, nine, O’Leary
Catch the ball!
..chop the last man’s head off!
Catch us if you can,
‘Diddle de, diddle, diddle, dee’
Breakfast, dinner, tea, supper!’