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Friday, November 15, 2013

"When Pebbles Was A Baby", Part II

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part II of a two part series about the children's playground rhyme "When Pebbles Was A Baby" [also known as "When "Susie" (or "Lucy" or "Sally" or some other female name) Was A Baby. This post provides four text examples & three video examples of that rhyme.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/11/when-pebbles-was-baby-hand-game-part-i.html for Part I of this series. That post provides one text example of that rhyme and one video example of that rhyme. This post also provides comments about that rhyme, including information about its probable connection to other "Lucy" or "Susie" rhymes, its textual pattern, and its performance activities.

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

All copyrights remain with their owner.

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FEATURED TEXT EXAMPLES
Editor's comment: These examples are not meant to be considered the "right words" for this rhyme. While there is a standard form for this rhyme [as discussed in Part I], I don't think that there are any "right version" or "wrong version" of this rhyme or of any other playground rhyme. There are however, earlier versions and later version, and there are "usually found versions" and "rarer versions" of playground rhymes. For example, in Part I of this series, I shared a version of this rhyme that begins with these two lines "Ms. Suzy was a baby all she did was cry cry cry/when Ms. Suzy was a kid all she did was lie lie lie".
-snip-
Because that version appears to be rare, I think it may be an older form of that rhyme. And the first example from that rhyme family which is given below, also appears to be rare. The contributor of that rhyme also gave its date as "the 1950s or early 1960s". Although I don't have any proof, my guess is that the "all she did was cry cry cry" version predates that 1950s/early 1960s version.

Example #1: WHEN I WAS A BABY
In Brooklyn, in the late 50s and very early 60s:

When I was a baby, a baby, a baby
When I was a baby boom boom boom
It was crying this-a-way
Crying that-a-way
Crying this-a-way
Boom boom boom

(This goes through "child," "teenager kissing," then I think "when I got married" and then "had a baby" then "when my husband died" ending with
When I died, dies, died,
When I dies boom boom boom
It was six feet under, six feet under, six feet under boom boom boom.
-Guest; http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=102055 "Folklore: Play Ground Hand Jives", 5/16/2007
-snip-
The word "dies" in this example is probably a typographical error, and "died" is the word that was meant to be typed.

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Example #2: WHEN PEBBLES WAS A BABY [Version "a"]
I am 25 now and was recently playing a hand game with my 6 year old cousin at a family gathering and was thinking about some of the games I used to play as a little girl. I am a Black female from Easter North Carolina. One I remember yet have no idea where it came from was called Pebbles and it basically followed the life of this girl. Each section of life had some type of hand gesture you had to do with it. and you had to remember the whole thing as it added on new lines. It basically went like this

When pebbles was a baby, a baby a baby When pebbles was a baby she went like this cry cry. (then the group would act like they were wiping their tears)

When pebbles was a toddler, a toddler a toddler when pebbles was a toddler she went like this cry cry, tie my shoe. (then we would wipe our tears, and reach down and touch our shoes)

When pebbles was a 5 year old, a 5 year old, a 5 year old when pebbles was a 5 year old she went like this cry cry, tie my shoe, i want this i want that (you would do the previous motions plus point at left then right)

When pebbles was a teenager, a teenager, a teenager when pebbles was a teenager she went like this cry cry, tie my shoe, i want this i want that, Ohh Ah I lost my bra I must have left it in my boyfriends car. ( on this part you would do the previous motions then also cross your hands over your chest and sort of shake your hips)

This is a long song there is way more too it but it takes her through motherhood and then being a grandma and finally the end of her life. I think its basically to see who can and can't remember all the things that happened before. Its been a really long time since I did this one.
-Erica, http://cocojams.com/content/handclap-jump-rope-and-elastics-rhymes-2, 1/3/2008
-snip-
That link to my cultural website contains other examples of "When [female name] Was A Baby". That page also contains an example of the cumulative hand clap rhyme "When Billy Boy Was One" as well as many other examples of playground rhymes.

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Example #3: WHEN PEBBLES WAS A BABY (Version "b")
a girl in the middle is pebbles

when pebbles was a baby a baby a baby when pebbles was a baby she used to go like this "wah wah"(rub eyes)

when pebbles was a kid a kid a kid when pebbles was a kid she used to go like this "tie my shoe"(lift shoe)

when pebbles was a teenager a teenager a teenager when pebbles was a teenager she used to go like this "ohhh ahh i left my bra in my boyfriends car he don't care i don't care at least i got his underwear"(cover chest with arms)

when pebbles was a mom a mom a mom she used to go like this"(smack hand)don't touch that"

when pebbles was a grandma a grandma a grandma she used to go like this "ooh my achin back"(hold back like old person)

when pebbles was an angel an angel an angel she used to go like this "o look at my pretty wings"(flap your hands like wings)

when pebbles was a devil a devil a devil she used to go like this(run around and chase group who ever is caught is pebbles next)
(instead of pebbles you could use the name of the girl in the middle)
-Guest?, http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=109480&messages=69 "Children's rhyme: When Susie Was A Baby", November 10, 2010
-snip-
Notice that this example isn't cumulative - i.e. It doesn't include any lines from previous life stages that were previously recited. For that reason, and because the play instruction differs from other activities that I've read for this rhyme, I believe this is a newer variant of "When Pebbles Was A Baby".

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Example #4: WHEN MISS SUZIE WAS A BABY
When miss suzie was a baby, a baby, a baby, when miss suzie was a baby she went like this waa waa give me a cookie

When miss suzie was a kid, a kid, a kid, when miss suzie was a kid she went like this waa waa give me a cookie, tie my shoe

When miss suzie was a teen, a teen, a teen, when miss suzie was a teen she went like this waa waa give me a cookie, tie my shoe, ooh ahh lost my bra must've left it in my boyfriend's car

When miss suzie was a mom, a mom, a mom, when miss suzie was a mom she went like this waa waa give me a cookie, tie my shoe ooh ahh lost my bra must've left it in my boyfriend's car, go upstairs and clean your room dont come down till the afternoon

When miss suzie was a grandma, a grandma, a grandma, when miss suzie was a grandma she went like this waa waa give me a cookie, tie my shoe ooh ahh lost my bra must've left it in my boyfriend's car, go upstairs and clean your room dont come down till the afternoon, hello sonny hello sonny hello sonny

When miss suzie was an angel, an angel, an angel, when miss suzie was an angel she went like this waa waa give me a cookie, tie my shoe ooh ahh lost my bra must've left it in my boyfriend's car, go upstairs and clean your room dont come down till the afternoon, hello sonny hello sonny hello sonny, HALLELUJAH HALLELUJAH HALLELUJAH!!
-Guest Person, http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=109480&messages=66, "Children's rhyme: When Susie Was A Baby", August 1, 2010
-snip-
Notice the rhyming end words in some of those lines. My sense is that the rhyming lines were characteristic of the early rversions of this rhyme.

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FEATURED VIDEOS
Example #1: Example #2: Sally was a baby hand clap



Mindy Gilster, Published on Jul 15, 2013

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Example #2: When Susie Was A Baby



Carson Kids Published on Apr 29, 2013

A hand-clapping game performed by Isabelle and Chloe.

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Thanks to all those who I quoted in this post. Thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube and those who are featured in that video.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

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