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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"It's Not Because You're Dirty" Line In Apple On A Stick Rhymes

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post is Part II of a two part series that documents the use of the lines "It's Not Because You're Dirty, It's Not Because You're Clean" lines in examples of children's rhymes.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2014/03/its-not-because-youre-dirty-line-in.html for Part I of this series.

Part I provides examples of the Irish children's rhyme/song "Me Mother Has Gone To Church" which predate the "Apple on A Stick" rhymes. I believe the "not because you're dirty..." lines and their subsequent line "it's just because you have whooping cough and eat margarine" line served as a prototype for Apple On A Stick's "not because you're dirty/not because you're clean" line and its usually subsequent line "it's not because you kissed a boy behind a magazine".

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are featured in these videos and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post, including the contributors of these rhyme examples. Thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

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BACKGROUND:
The old Irish song "Me Mother Has Gone To Church" reflects the negative attitudes that are now largely retired that margarine was inferior product to butter and that anyone used margarine was poor. That song also reflects the also retired belief that only poor people got whooping cough. In the United States negative attitudes about margarine have shifted to at least neutral attitudes about that product. And as a result of immunizations, most people in the United States rightly wrongly are no longer concerned with the possibility of a whooping cough epidemic. Because of these developments, the "It's because you've got the whooping cough and eat margarine" line in children's songs is no longer understandable. Consequently, that line has been retired, and is scarcely remembered nowadays. However, the "It's not because you're dirty", not because you're clean" line that preceded it live on in "Apple On A Stick" rhymes.

I'm not sure when the "Apple On A Stick" rhymes were first chanted, but I believe that these rhymes were probably first chanted in the United States as a counting out rhyme (choosing it rhyme) or as a jumping rope rhyme. It's likely that wither boys or girls chanted the counting out rhyme, and mostly girls chanted the jump rope rhyme. As is the case with most jump rope rhymes, by at least the early 1980s, Apple On A Stick rhymes converted to hand clap rhymes (hand games). And, judging from the considerably large number of examples of "Apple On A Stick" rhymes that are found online, that rhyme appears to be mostly used as a hand game in the United States and in the United Kingdom.

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THREE OLD EXAMPLES: Pre- 1990
These examples are given in no particular order:

Example #1:
Green apples make me sick
not because they're dirty
not because they're clean
not because the girls kiss like this (kiss noise)
my mom told me to pick the very best one
and you are not it today
- http://www.playgroundjungle.com/2009/12/counting-out-rhymes.html
-snip-
The editor of that website indicated that this was a counting out rhyme that he remembered from his kindergarten days. No decade or geographical location was given.

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Example #2:
Apple on a stick
Makes me sick
Makes my tummy go
Two forty six
Not because it’s dirty
Not because it’s clean
Not because I kissed my momma
Behind the magazines
Girls, girls
Do you wanna fight?
Here come Dickey
With her pants on tight.
She can wiggle
She can woggle
She can do all that
I bet you ten dollars
You can’t do this
Count to ten with your eyes closed
A-baby one
A-baby two
A-baby three, four, five
Baby, I don’t take no little jive
A-baby six
A-baby seven
A-baby eight, nine, ten
You better back it up and do it again
Source: Apples On A Stick Barbara Michels and Bettye White (New York: Coward / McCann, Inc)
collection of playground rhymes from Black children in Houston Texas, 1983, page 11
-snip-
No category of children's rhyme was given
“jive” here means something like nonsense, fakeness
“back it up" usually means dancing or moving backwards while facing forward

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Example #3:
"I used to spend recesses against the wall for jumping out of the swings in mid-air, and playing tag on the tornado slide, and the girls jumped the rope on the wide walkway there. Here [is one rhymes} that I recall hearing, but the words may be out of order, as this was a while ago.

Apples on a stick, make me sick (slick?).
make my arms (heart?) go two-four-six!
It's not because i'm dirty
It's not because i'm clean
It's not because I kiss the boys
behind a magazine (behind a _____ machine?)
Hey girls, let's have fun!
Here comes a cop with his (vest?) undone!
He can shammey he can shake
He can do the hoochie-koo
But I bet a dollar he can't catch you!
One, two, three, etc.....

Chanted to a double jumprope, I heard this on the schoolyard in Spirit Lake, Iowa around 1982-5. The count continued untill the jumproper missed a lick."
-Neighmond (Chaz J), http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=56361 "Folklore: Skipping Rhymes & Playground Games"

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FEATURED VIDEOS
These YouTube videos provide a very small sample of the wide range of contemporary examples of "Apple On A Stick" rhymes. These videos are given with very little editorial comment. Some of the comment threads for these videos contain additional examples of these rhymes.

Transcriptions by Azizi Powell unless given as a summary statement to the video. Additions and corrections are welcome.

WARNING: The comment sections for these YouTube videos may include profanity and other content that is inappropriate for children.

These videos are posted in chronological order with the oldest dated videos presented first.

Example #1: Apple on a Stick

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nattamon khrongsiriwat, Uploaded on Dec 8, 2010
Apple on a Stick:
Apple on a stick
Makes me sick
Makes my heart beat 2-4-6

Not because your dirty
Not because your clean
Not because you kissed a boy behind a magazine

Babies, babies having fun
Along comes a baby with a big fat bum

He can do the Wibble Wobble he can do the Splits
But I betcha, I betcha he can't do this

Close your eyes and count to 10
If you muck it up your not my friend

(close eyes)1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10
(open eyes) You didn't muck it up so your still my friend...

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Example #2: " Apple on a Stick " Hand clapping game

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LivingHealthyAus, Published on Nov 2, 2012

Louise and Reese playing " Apple on a Stick " Hand clapping game. [Australia]
-snip-
Here are the words to this example:

Apple on a stick
Make me sick
Makes my heart beat 246
Not because you’re dirty
Not because you’re clean
Not because you kissed a boy behind a magazine
Girls, boys having fun
Here comes a girl with the blueberry bum
She can wiggle she can wobble she can do the twist
But I betcha I betcha she cant do this
Count to ten with your eyyyes* shut
If you mess up, start again.
1,2, 4, 5, 6,7, 8, 9, 10
You didn’t mess up, now she’s your girlfriend
That’s the end of chapter 10
Bam!

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Example #3: Apple on a stick hand clapping rhyme

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Bernardfam2006, Published on Jun 19, 2013
-snip-
Here are the words to this example:

Apple on a stick, it makes me sick.
It makes my heart beat 2 46.
Not because you’re dirty, not because you’re clean
Not because you kissed a boy behind a magazine
Girls, boys have a lot of fun
Here comes a lady with a pickle up her butt
Close your eyes and count to ten
If you can’t, you start again
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
You didn’t muck it up so you’re my friend
But it’s not the end of the chapter 10
AMEN!

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Example #4: Apple on the stick hand clapping game

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Spaceman, Published on Jan 3, 2014

Playing apple on the stick with my younger brother
-snip-
Here's the words to this rhyme (This is a sub-category of "Apple On A Stick" in which the players are challenged not to say a particular number)

Apple on a stick, it makes me sick.
It makes my heart beat 246.
Not because I’m dirty, not because I’m clean
Not because I lay my hand behind a magazine
Girls, boys having fun
Here comes a lady with a big fat bum
She can rock it, she can roll it she can do the splits
I betcha I betcha she can’t do this
Close your eyes and count to ten
if you say number 9 you’re not my friend
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10
You didn’t say nine so I’m you’re friend
And this is the end of chap ter TEN

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ADDENDUM
Reinforcing the change from the earlier use of the "not because you're dirty/clean line", a number of examples that I found on YouTube comment threads of "Apple On A Stick" videos) have changed the line to "it's not because I'm dirty/clean". Example #4 contains that "I'm dirty/clean" line. Here's another example that has been reformatted for this page:

"Apple on a stick you make me sick
you make my heart go 2/46
its because im dirty its not because im clean
its not because I kissed a boy behind a magizeen.
Heyy boy! You wanna have a fight?
meet me at the club on a saturday night.
If you say 0 your otta the game
so lets get ready for the chu chu train."

And you keep counting intill someone says 0.
- Caitlin Callahan,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sygUDQzShdM , "Apple On A Stick", 2013
-snip-
That example is also a part of the sub-category of "Apple On A Stick" in which the players are challenged not to say a particular number.

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RELATED LINK
Visit this page of my Cocojams website for a small number of additional "Apple On A Stick" rhymes:
http://www.cocojams.com/content/handclap-jump-rope-and-elastics-rhymes.

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Visitor comments are welcome.



1 comment:

  1. my mother and your mother were hanging out clothes;
    my mother punched your mother right in the nose;
    What color blood came out?
    Red!... R.E.D. spells red and out- you -do -go!

    ReplyDelete