Making Old Rhymes New Again.......
For no apparent reason, an old childhood rhyme recently popped into my head. When I was young…..oh so many years ago….. kids chanted these sing-songy rhymes while playing clapping games, jumproping or playing hopscotch and jacks. We even used them to figure out playing order in a game. These humorous, and sometimes outrageously ridiculous , poems were extremely popular in the days before kids stuck their faces into I-pads, I-phones and other electronics, when kids actually amused themselves on their own.
The rhyme that came to mind was:
“My mother and your mother were washing dishes.
My mother punched your mother right in the nose.
What color blood came out?”
The child that the rhyme ended on had to pick a color which was then spelled out.
The first thought that came to mind was….who makes this stuff up? It couldn’t possibly have been a woman, let alone a mother. I would have to speculate that it had to be a man!
Then I imagined two 21st century suburban soccer moms sitting at a Starbucks, both excusing themselves to check the latest text message beeping on their phones. In the meanwhile, Katelyn and Brianne, their daughters, are playing clapping games and singing, “My mother and your mother were washing dishes.” Both moms look up from their texts and burst out laughing.
The girls are curious but continue with their rhyme, “My mother punched your mother right in the nose.” The moms again look up from their phones, this time shocked at what they hear.
“Girls this is not a nice thing to sing about! Mommies don’t hit! They ‘use their words’,” exclaims one mom.
“Yes we use our words. You know Mommy doesn’t believe in violence,” concurs the other.
The two ladies go back to texting. The little girls carry on, “ P-U-R-P-L-E,” they sing!!
It became obvious to me that these verses needed to be revised and updated to reflect the time and culture we lived in. Little-Bo Peep lost her sheep so long ago and is still looking for it. Humpty dumpty hasn’t been put together in centuries. I decided to bring this rhyme into the 21st century. I reworked it and here it is:
“My mother and your mother were out to lunch.
My mother told your mother to slim down.
Your mother went and lipo’d her abs.
How much fat came out?”
The kids can decide if it’s in pounds or ounces! Here is another one.
“My mother and your mother were at the gym.
My mother fell and broke her nose.
How much did the new nose cost?”
The kids can decide if it’s in increments of hundreds or thousands of dollars! I thought about making up others… but why? Maybe I’ll work on this one:
“(name) and (name)
Sitting in a tree.
First comes love,
Then comes marriage,
The comes a baby
In a baby carriage!”
Imagine all the possibilities and angles for the 21st century version of this!!!!