Translate

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"Miss Lucy Had A Baby" (text examples & videos)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part III of a three part series on the playground rhyme which is called "Miss Lucy Had A Baby" and other similar titles. This post showcases various text examples of "Miss Lucy Had A Baby". This post also showcases two videos of this rhyme. Comments about the early source of these rhymes and the possible dates for the origin of these rhymes are also included in this post.

In addition, this post presents three additional playground rhymes or songs that include a reference to a doctor treating a sick person.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/10/wikepedias-article-about-miss-lucy-had.htmlfor Part I of this series. In that post I critique the Wikipedia article about "Miss Lucy Had A Baby".

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/10/who-was-lady-in-alligator-purse.html for Part II of this series. In Part II I present five theories about the role played by the lady with the alligator purse in "Miss Lucy Had A Baby" rhymes. Comments from two Mudcat Cafe discussion threads about this rhyme are reposted to present these theories.

The content of this post is presented for folkloric and sociological purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

WARNING: Some comments and examples that are found on websites whose links are provided may not be suitable for children because of profanity and other content.

PART III [Revised July 22, 2014]

VIDEOS EXAMPLE OF "MIS LUCY HAD A BABY"

Gullah Gullah Island - Miss Lucy Had A Baby 1994 Version

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg2Td0LA6-k

jamie earls, Published on Jun 30, 2014 [embedding disabled by request]

Song Taken From Baby Animals {1994 Version}

****
Kindergarten song, Miss Lucy had a baby



Joey Dalti Published on Nov 22, 2013

4 year old Alba sings Miss Lucy had a baby

****
WHEN WAS "MISS LUCY HAD A BABY" COMPOSED?
Although I haven't yet found an exact date for the "Miss Lucy Had A Baby rhyme -or for its sister rhyme "Miss Lucy Had A Steamboat", its likely that both of those rhymes were first ccmposed in the 1880s, after the compositions of many of the "Lulu"/"Lula" songs.

The "bubbles in the throat" line that is found in some clearly early versions of "Miss Lucy Had A Baby" suggests this rhyme's link to Diptheria epidemics in the United States. That would put that rhyme's composition between the late 1880s and the early 1900s.
http://library.thinkquest.org/11170/epidemics/diphtheria.htmlprovides the information that "In the late 1800's, diphtheria epidemics spread throughout the United States and Europe until 1920, when a vaccine was developed.

As time passed, references to the baby eating soap and trying to swallow the bathtub but it wouldn't go down his throat" replaced "bubbles in the throat" since thankfully children didn't know what that "bubbles in the throat" phrase meant.

And the line in "Miss Lucy Had A Steamboat" that goes "Hello Operator, give me #9" probably was composed between 1878 and the 1920s date was composed between 1878 and the 1920s as the 1920s was when direct dial telephones began in the United States. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switchboard_operator
"In January 1878 George Willard Croy became the world's first telephone operator when he started working for the Boston Telephone Despatch company....
[And] Emma Nutt became the world's first female telephone operator on 1 September 1878 when she started working for the Boston Telephone Dispatch company".

Also, the fact that the steamboat era was in the later half of the 19th century also pinpoints the earliest "Miss Lucy Had A Steamboat" rhyme to around that time.

Furthermore, 1902 is firmly established as the date of the earliest documented example of "Bang Bang Lulu" [which is the source song of "Miss Lucy Had A Baby" and "Miss Lucy Had A Steamboat"]. That date is firm because one "Bang Bang Lulu" verse was included in the Western novel The Virginians which was published in 1902:
"The first printed reference of this licentious ditty comes from the novel "The Virginian", by Owen Wister, where the main character sings one verse (the other 78 verses, said Wister, were "unprintable").
http://www.secondhandsongs.com/work/59534

Given the above information, my conclusion is that "Miss Lucy Had A Baby", "Miss Lucy Had A Steamboat" and "Bang Bang Lulu" were first composed in the late 19th century.
-snip-
Click http://www.playgroundjungle.com/2009/12/how-miss-susie-and-tiny-tim-got-cleaner.html for more information about these rhymes & song.

****
FEATURED EXAMPLES OF "MISS LUCY HAD A BABY"
These examples are presented in no particular order.

Example #1:
Miss Suzie had a baby, The baby's name was Tim,
She put him in the bathtub, to see if he could swim,
He drank up all the water, He ate up all the soap,
He tried to eat the bathtub, but it wouldn't go down his throat
Miss Suzie called the doctor, Miss Suzie tried the nurse,
Miss Suzie called the lady with the alligator purse,
Mumps said the doctor, Measles said the nurse,
Nothing said the lady with the alligator purse,
Miss Suzie kicked the doctor, Miss suzie hit the nurse,
And then she paid the lady with the alligator purse
- http://funclapping.com/MissSuzie.php
-snip-
Notice the line "Miss Suzie tried the nurse". This word highlights the fact that the lady with the alligator purse was called because the doctor and the nurse weren't successful in their treatments - or "Miss Suzie" didn't like the diagnosis they gave and/or the treatment that they recommended. That explains why she paid the lady with the alligator purse but acted violently toward the doctor & nurse. [Not that people should act violently when things don't go as you want them to.]

****
Example #2:
Miss Lucy had a baby,
she named him Tiny Tim.
She put him in the bathtub,
to see if he could swim.

He drank up all the water,
He ate a bar of soap.
He tried to eat the bathtub
but it wouldn't fit down his throat.

Miss Lucy called the doctor.
Miss Lucy called the nurse.
Miss Lucy called the lady
with the alligator purse.

Mumps said the doctor
Mumps said the nurse
Mumps said the lady
with the alligator purse

Penicillin said the doctor
Penicillin said the nurse
Penicillin said the lady
with the alligator purse.

Out came the water
Out came the soap
Out came the bathtub
which didn't fit down his throat!

Source(s):
I'm old enough to forget yesterday, but remember 35 years ago with great clarity!
-huh?, ="http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070609154824AACXRMU "Childhood Song: "Ms. Suzy had a baby, she named it Tiny Tim"?", 2007

****
Example #3:
I had a little brother.
His name was Tiny Tim.
I put him in the bathtub
To teach him how to swim.

He drank up all the water.
He ate up all the soap.
He tried to eat the bathtub,
But it wouldn’t go down his throat.

My mother called the doctor.
The doctor called his nurse.
The nurse called the lady
With the alligator purse.

“Mumps,” said the doctor.
“Mumps,” said the nurse.
“Mumps,” said the lady
With the alligator purse.

Out went the doctor.
Out went the nurse.
Out went the lady
With the alligator purse.
- http://playgroundsongs.com/2008/08/06/tiny-tim/
-snip-
That page also includes a version of this rhyme that begins with the line "I had a little monkeY" and a version of this rhyme that begins with the line "Mary had a monkey".

****
Example #4:
Miss Lucy had a baby,
she called him (or: his name was) Tiny Tim!
She put him in the bathtub to see if he could (or: to teach him how to) swim.
He drank up all the water,
he ate up all the soap.
He tried to eat the bathtub but (or: and then when he was finished)
but it wouldn't go down his throat (or: he had bubbles in his throat).
Miss Lucy called the doctor,
Miss Lucy (or: the doctor) called the nurse.
Miss Lucy (or: The nurse) called the lady with the alligator purse.
In came the doctor,
in came the nurse.
In came the lady with the alligator purse.
'Measles' - said the doctor.
'Mumps' - said the nurse.
'Nothing' - said the lady with the alligator purse.
Miss Lucy hit the doctor
Miss Lucy slapped the nurse
Miss Lucy paid the lady with the alligator purse
Out went the water.
Out went the soap,
Out went the bathtub (or: bubbles),
that wouldn't go down his throat.
Out went the doctor,
Out went the nurse.
Out went the lady with the alligator purse.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miss_Lucy_had_a_baby
-snip-
I stronly disagree with all the conclusions presented by the author of that Wikipedia page, except for the opinion that the "Miss Lucy Had A Baby" rhyme was originally about a person suffering from Diptheria. Having "bubbles in the throat" is a vernacular referent to Diptheria.

****
Example #5:
I had a little turtle
His name was Tiny Tim
I put him in the bathtub
To see if he could swim.
He drank up all the water
He ate up all the soap
Now he's stuck in bed
with a bubble in his throat.
Bubble, bubble, bubble,
Bubble, bubble, bubble,
Bubble, bubble, bubble,
Bubble, bubble, POP!!
-Bug's Fiance, http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070601071237AA7VxD5 "Does anyone know all the words to 'i had a little turtle, his name was tiny tim'?", 2006
-snip-
In a different example on that page the word "stuck" is given as "sick". I think "sick" was the earliest word for this rhyme. Of course, the word "baby" being changed to "turtle" and all those "bubble words" and the rhyme ending in the word "Pop! [meaning the bubbles bursted] are probably a way of making a rather serious rhyme much less serious.

****
Example #6:
Miss Lucy had a baby
She named him Tiny Tim
She put him in the bathtub
To see if he could swim

He drank up all the water
He ate up all the soap
He tried to eat the bathtub
But it wouldn't go down his throat

Miss Lucy called the doctor
Miss Lucy called the nurse
Miss Lucy called the lady
with the alligator purse

"Measles" said the doctor
"Tonsils" said the nurse
"Hungry" said the lady
with the alligator purse
- http://www.boyscouttrail.com/content/song/song-1150.asp
-snip-
This version continues with an example of "Miss Lucy Had A Steamboat".

****
Example #7: MISS POLLY HAD A DOLLY
Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick, sick, sick.
So she called for the doctor to come quick, quick, quick.
The doctor took a look at her and said,
"Well Miss Polly, put her straight to bed!"
He wrote out a prescription for a pill, pill, pill.
"I'll be back tomorrow with my bill, bill, bill."
- http://www.inthe80s.com/rhymes.shtml

****
RELATED RHYMES
Editor: Here are three other rhymes or songs about a doctor coming to visit a sick person:

Example #1: MAMA'S LITTLE BABY LOVES SHORTNIN BREAD
Mama's little baby loves shortnin', shortnin',
Mama's little baby loves shortnin' bread,
Mama's little baby loves shortnin', shortnin',
Mama's little baby loves shortnin' bread.

Put on the skillet, slip on the lid,
Mama's gonna make a little shortnin' bread.
That ain't all she's gonna do,
Mama's gonna make a little coffee, too.

Chorus

Three little children, lyin' in bed
Two was sick and the other 'most dead
Sent for the doctor and the doctor said,
"Feed those children on shortnin' bread."
- http://www.songsforteaching.com/folk/shortninbread.php
-snip-
Click that link for more verses of that song.
This is a contemporary version of that 19th century song. The earlier versions refer to Black boys, but used what is now a pejorative racial term. I believe that "Shortnin Bread" alludes to the near starvation diet that most enslaved Black Americans had.
Like versions of "Miss Lucy Had A Baby" what the children needed was food, and not medicine.

****
Example #2: GRANDMA GRANDMA SICK IN BED
grandma grandma sick in bed
Called the doctor n the dr. Said
Get up old lady! U aint sick
All you need is a pepperint stick
Hands up! Shake shake
Shake shake
Hands down. Shake shake
Shake shake
all around.Shake shake
Shake shake
-Guest, ty; http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=4300&messages=171 Children's Street Songs; January 6, 2011
=snip=
Editor: This is a contemporary version of a rhyme that may date from the 19th century. In the earliest examples it may have been "Aunt Dinah"* who was sick.

In early to mid 20th century versions of this rhyme, the verse is " Get up grandma/you ain't sick/ all you need is a hickory stick". A hickory stick is a particular type of hard stick that was used to give beatings. In the context of that rhyme, "all you need is a hickory stick" means "a beating with a hard stick".

This rhyme harks back to times of African American enslavement when the enslaved person had to work no matter how sick she or he was.

This verse is often included in contemporary "Down Down Baby" rhymes before the "lets get the rhythm" lines. Click http://cocojams.com/content/handclap-jump-rope-and-elastics-rhymes this page of my cocojams website for examples of "Down Down Baby" rhymes.

*"Aunt" is probably a title of respect given to an Prior to the end of slavery in the United States, Black people in the South couldn't be called "Mrs", "Miss" or "Mr". Intead "Aunt" and "Uncle" were used as titles of respect, particularly for older Black people.

It's my position that the title "Miss" in the rhymes "Miss Lucy Had A Baby", "Miss Susie Had A Steamboat", and "Miss Mary Mack" all refer to a young female, whether that person is Black or non-Black.

****
Additional examples of "Miss Lucy Had A Baby" are found in Part I and Part II of this series.

****
ADDENDUM
Unlike other examples of "Miss Lucy Had A Baby", this version doesn't include "the lady with the alligator purse" line.

I've included it in the hopes that some readeer might share more words for this example.:

"Mine are all from Louisiana during the mid-to-late 80s. As I type these I start to notice that there’s several versions that get mashed together.
We had two Miss Lucy’s that had babies, the one stated above, and the other one I vaguely remember…
Miss Lucy had a baby, a baby, a baby.
Miss Lucy had a baby and this is what she did.
She went “Rock, rock,
rock, rock,
rock, rock, rock, rock, rock, rock.”

There was a lot more to it, but I don’t remember it at all. Basically, replace “baby” and “rock” with other things.
-ChloeMireille, http://kateharding.net/2009/10/02/miss-lucy-had-friday-fluff/, October 2, 2009

****
My thanks to all those whose text examples & videos are featured in this post.

Thank you for visiting pancocojams.

No comments:

Post a Comment