Tuesday, 23 February 2021


 I had a dream about my grandmother last night.
She was reciting a rhyme, one that she taught me as a child.
When I woke I remembered it, in its entirety 
Has anyone heard this before? 

I went to my grandmother's garden
I went to my grandmother's garden,
and I found an Irish Farthing,
I gave it to my mother,
who bought a little brother,
The brother was so cross,
We put him on a hoss,
the horse was such a dandy,
we gave him a glass of brandy,
the brandy was too strong,
we put it in a pond,
the pond was too deep,
we put it on a heap,
the heap was too high,
we put it in a pie,
the pie was too little ,
we put it in a kettle,
the kettle had a spout ,
and they all jumped out! 

What rhyme do you remember?

While I remember my fraternal grandmother used to sing this 


  1. Anonymous11:57 am

    My grandmother said this to me whenever I spent the night with her, and I said it to my grandchildren (now almost grown): Good night. Sleep tight. Wake up bright in the morning light to do what's right with all your might. Good night! (Sweet memories to start the day. Thanks, John.) Texas Dee

  2. Don’t let the bed bugs bite

  3. A relative from Scotland used to spend Summers with us and when my son was very little she recited a rhyme called "Ride a Cock Horse to Mulberry Court..." Sadly I do not remember the rest but that was the first rhyme my son recited at a very young age.

    1. What was a cock horse?

    2. Originally it meant a feisty horse, but is now an alternative name for a child's hobby-horse. There is a statue of said lady on the site of the original Banbury Cross in Banbury, Oxfordshire. Apparently...

    3. Barbara Anne3:18 pm

      Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross
      To see a fine lady upon a white horse.
      With bells on her fingers and bells on her toes,
      She will make music wherever she goes.

      Or so I learned it when the world was young and so was I!


    4. Many thanks to everyone for providing the full text of the poem as well as identifying the statue of the lady and horse in Oxfordshire. I've copied the poem to keep forever. I've also found the Fine Lady statue online and it is beautiful.

  4. Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
    To see a fine lady upon a white horse;
    Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
    And she shall have music wherever she goes.

    I have recited it to my small grandchildren over the years. They sit on my knee facing me and holding my hands while I bounce them up and down until I say the last line when I slide them down my leg to the floor. Laughter ensues and many a repeat ride is required--until my leg gives out. :)

  5. Banbury Cross
    See af fine lady on a white horse
    Rings on her fingers
    Bells on her toes
    She shall have music whereever shegoes

    My dad gave my mum a book of nursery rhymes when she was pregnant with me -76 years later I still have the book.

  6. Never heard that rhyme before, something similar is better known if only I could remember it!

  7. One night in the middle of the night when I was wide awake in my sleep I heard a noise that came from the barn out. I got the bed up, ran the stairs down and when I got there what do you think? It was the old grey mare, he was tied loose.

    1. My grandfather was working on the railroad in the late 1920’s near Cleveland Ohio and a Pennsylvania Dutch man taught this to him.

  8. I'm of an age of Ladybird books. My most favourite was the three billygoats. I remember the terror of the troll under the bridge quite vividly. I've had a love of horror stories ever since.

    1. That is my grand daughters favourite at the moment Mavis! I read it regularly to her....she now insists that the troll is just lonely and looking for friends though.....

    2. Libby, she'll grow up to be a compassionate human. The world needs her x

    3. Yes...I loved the three billygoats gruff
      Have you heard the song?
      The pictures are lovely...Made me wonder...do you think there are trolls in Lllandudno?!

  9. I've never heard this one before! I just remember all the standard "nursery rhymes."

  10. I suspect this is considered un-PC nowadays but this is what my grandmother would say to me:

    'Austria was Hungary
    Took a piece of Turkey
    Dipped it in Greece
    Greece was very slippery
    Slipped into Italy
    Long-legged Italy
    Kicked little Sicily
    Into the Mediterranean Sea.'

    1. I’m liking the different ones

    2. The version my mother's father used to recite was:
      Germany was Hungary,
      Stole a bit of Turkey,
      Slipped on Greece,
      Broke a bit of China
      and had to pay a New Guinea

  11. I remember many but here you go....

    one, two buckly my shoe
    three, four shut the door
    five, six pick up sticks
    seven, eight lay them straight
    nine, ten a big fat hen..........

  12. I had a little pony
    His coat was dappled grey.
    I loaned him to a lady
    To ride a mile away.
    She whipped him, she spurred him
    She rode him through the mire.
    I would not lend my pony now
    For all a lady's hire.

    There's a heavy lesson in this one that has taken me some decades to decipher.

  13. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
    Humpty Dumpty had a great fall...

  14. A lot of these rhymes are very regional John. I have never heard the one you tell before. Can't say I remember any from my own childhood - plenty from my sons.

  15. Although I grew up knowing most of the nursery rhymes,my old granny told me this one and it still sticks in my mind...There was an old lady of 92,who let out a fart and away it blew,up the valley and down the lane,then through the butchers window pane.The butcher came out with a rusty gun and Yes,you young bugger,Ill make you run....My Mam says I used to like that one the best when I was about 4 years old and always asked my granny to say it,lol.xx

  16. So sweet!
    I don't remember any nursery rhymes. I do remember many of the fairy tales my mom used to read to me, though..


  17. Ten green bottles standing on the wall-Ten green bottles standing on the wall-but if One green bottle should accidentally fall-there'd be 9 green bottles standing on the wall-9 green bottles standing on the wall and if one green bottle should accidentally fall-there'd be 8 green bottles standing on the wall-8 green bottles standing on the wall-and if one green bottles-(oh dear I'm exhausted) x

  18. I don't know the one you recited - I think it is one to learn. I am reading at the moment 'Dancing by the light of the moon' by Giles Brandreth, and he is expounding the delights and importance of learning poetry at what ever age. So, for fun, I have been quietly learning some to help keep the old grey matter ticking over.
    I was learning the Eugene Field 'Wynken, Blynken and Nod' and decided to look him up - he is reputed to have written and published anonymously 'Only a boy' in the 1920s.

    1. SpikesBestMate8:19 pm

      Brilliant book! On the strength of reading it over Christmas I decided my New Year's Resolution would be to learn some of the poems. I'm currently working through 'Casabianca' (The boy stood on the burning deck ...).

  19. Piggly Plays Truant. A Ladybird book. 'Old Salt Pork upon his lighthouse/Took his telescope to see/Saw the oar and spotted hanky/'That must be a wreck!' said he.' And, of course, Rupert. ''I do declare,' said Mrs Bear,/'If that's not Rupert flying up there!'

  20. there was an old man from nantucket.....

  21. This is the way the Gentlemen ride, gallop, gallop, gallop, gallop,
    This is the way the Lady rides, trit trot, trit trot, trit trot, trit trot.
    This is the way the Farmer rides, hobble di, hobble di, hobble di and down in the ditch.
    All of the above whilst bouncing baby/ small child on knee, with appropriate vigour.

    1. Never heard of this one either

    2. Anonymous5:37 pm

      Oh, this brings back fond memories! This is the version I used with my children -- I found it in a Mother Goose book of nursery rhymes:

      This is the way the lady rides: trit trot trit trot. (gentle bouncing)
      This is the way the gentleman rides: canter canter canter canter. (livelier bouncing)
      This is the way the farmer rides: clip clop clip clop (exaggerated swaying from left to right)
      This is the way the jockey rides: gallopy gallopy gallopy and FALL OFF! (vigorous bouncing with a "fall" at the end)


    3. The version I know is: The ladies go apace,apace, apace, The gentlemen go trip trot, trip trot, trip trot, And the old farmer comes along with a gallopy, gallopy, gallopy....down into the ditch... and up again! It was my childrens favourite rhyme and now my granddaughters

    4. And another version:
      This is the way the ladies ride: trit, trot, trit, trot (gentle bouncing)
      This is the way the gentlemen ride: jiggity-jog, jiggity-jog (slightly more bounce)
      This is the way the farmers ride: hobble-dee-hoy, hobble-dee-hoy (sway from side to side)
      This is the way the hunters ride: gallopy gallopy gallopy ... OVER THE FENCE! (faster and faster bouncing with a big bounce at the end)

      This is not one I grew up with but used it with my own kiddos.

  22. Ally bally, ally bally bee
    Sittin' on his mammy's knee
    Greetin' for a wee bawbee
    Tae buy some Coutar's candy

    Was also a song :)

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nEv103H-5M

  23. My oldest son is named John and when he was little we would say this rhyme:
    Deedle, deedle, dumpling, my son John,
    Went to bed with his stockings on;
    One shoe off, and one shoe on,
    Deedle, deedle, dumpling, my son John"

  24. Never anything from my grandmother, but here are two from my mother you've likely never heard. There's yiddish involved.

    Potchy potchy kichelach.
    Mami unteen sheechalach
    Strimpalach tati koifen
    In Mitchala vet in cheder aran loifen.


    Oh I wont' go to Macy's anymore more more
    There's a big fat policeman at the door door door
    He will squash you like a lemon
    Uchalatchka zolamemen [or something that sounded like that]
    Oh I won't go to Macy's anymore more more.

    1. Now I loved these,
      Can you translate ?

    2. As to Mitchell's last rhyme, the version I heard as a child was sung while doing hand clapping with another kid (do kids still do these hand clapping rhymes?)

      I don't wanna go to Mexico no
      more more more.
      There's a big fat lady at the
      door door door.
      She'll grab you by the collar
      Girl, you better holler!
      I don't wanna go to Mexico
      no more, more, more.

  25. Barbara Anne3:24 pm

    Mary had a little lamb
    Whose fleece was white as snow
    And everywhere that Mary went
    The lamb was sure to go.

    It followed her to school one day
    Which was against the rules.
    It made the children laugh and play
    To see a lamb at school.

    I've never heard the rhyme your grandmother taught to you, John. It's delightful!


  26. Not heard that one before. Was your grandmother Irish?

    I know lots of nursery rhymes having sung them to children and grandchildren.

    My Mum taught me,

    She sells sea shells on the sea shore,
    the shells she sells are sea shells I'm sure.
    If she sells sea shells on the sea shore.
    I'm sure they are sea shore shells.

    My lads used to prefer, shut the shutters and sit in the shop. Said very quickly course, with a snigger afterwards.

    1. Last line even

      I'm sure she sells sea shore shells.

    2. My grandmother was Liverpudlian but she had an Irish mother

  27. As I was going up the stairs,
    I met a man who wasn't there.
    He wasn't there again today.
    Oh, how I wish he'd go away!

  28. Hmmm...I don't know that one at all! I honestly can't think of a rhyme we used to say. I've blocked them out!

  29. Rings on her fingers
    Bells on her toes
    She shall be loved wherever she goes


    Eeney meeney miney mo
    Catch a tiger by the toe
    If he hollers
    Let him go
    My mother told me to pick the
    Very best one
    and it is YOU!

    1. There is a no no version of that my mother used to say

    2. Yes, I know that no no version too. Also a lullaby that mentions pickaninnies. Not PC at all! How times change.

    3. Just remembered another nonsense rhyme.
      One fine day, in the middle of the night,
      Two dead men got up to fight.
      Back to back they faced each other,
      Drew their swords and shot each other.

    4. I remember....One dark night in the middle of the day,
      Two dead boys came out to play,
      Back to back they faced each other,
      Drew their swords and shot each other.

      Yours makes more sense­čśŐ

  30. I had a little nut tree
    Nothing it would bear
    But a silver nutmeg
    And a golden pear.
    The King of Spain's daughter
    Came to visit me
    And all for the sake
    Of my little nut tree.

    Maybe I remember it so well because I was so puzzled by the thing as a kid because I knew darn well that pear trees didn't bear nuts!

    1. Funny how we accepted the rhymes as children but didn’t always understand them

  31. Daffy-down-dilly has come up to town, dressed in yellow petticoats and a pretty green gown.

    Daffodils. Spring. Aaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!!

  32. I'm familiar with most of these rhymes, and as a Nana I'm remembering them as I mind my grand daughter. I remember two poems or songs though that my Pa used to tell....I didn't like this one....

    There was a little man and he had a little gun
    and down the road he used to run
    with a big black hat and a belly full of fat
    and a pancake tied to his bum bum bum

    My grandmother used to recite Abu Ben Adahm..and I loved that one.

  33. Northriding5:36 pm

    Inky pinky ponky, Daddy bought a donkey, donkey died, Daddy cried, inky pinky ponky

    1. Barbara Anne6:43 pm

      I learned that as

      1 2 3, dog had a flea, flea died, no one cried, 1 2 3!


  34. I'm a little teapot short and stout,here's my handle,here's my spout-la la la la la la la?,tip me up and pour me out x

    1. Barbara Anne6:51 pm

      This was a song with gestures (one hand on hip, other arm posed as a spout) that I learned as a 2 year old in Sunday School (Memphis, TN).
      The la-la line I learned was "I can change my handle or my spout just tip over and pour me out." As this line was sung, the arms swapped handle for spout and you leaned sideways as if you were the teapot pouring tea into a cup.


    2. Thankyou Barbara Anne-Wasn't it fun x

    3. I love the tv scene ( I forget the series) that parodied the teapot song
      I’m a little teapot short and stout
      Heres my handle ( actor makes a handle from his arm)
      And here’s my handle ( he makes another handle shape)
      He looks down and says
      “ shit I’m a sugar bowl “

    4. I remember.. I'm a little teapot short and stout, here is my handle here is my spout,
      When I get all steamed up then I shout ..tip me over pour me out.

  35. My first name is William, my father's name was William, his parent's called him Billy, and my grandfather's name was William and they called him Bill. So my mother made sure I had a middle name and everyone called me Graham instead of "little Billy". When I was little grandad used to say:

    Now there's owd Bill,
    And there's young Bill,
    Owd Bill's son,
    But young Bill will be owd Bill,
    When owd Bill's done.

  36. At bedtime:
    Sleep tight and don't let the bedbugs bite!
    Also: See you in the funny papers! (the morning funnies in the newspaper)
    And: See you later alligator, in a while crocodile!

    I know there's lot more but my memory is not too good!

  37. I have always loved nursery rhymes. Here are some favorites.

    Tom, Tom, the piper's son,
    Stole a pig and away did run,
    The pig got eat
    And Tom got beat
    And he went running down the street.

    There was an old woman who lived in a shoe
    She had so many children, she didn't know what to do.
    She gave them some broth, without any bread,
    And spanked them all soundly, and sent them to bed.

    Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater
    Had a wife and couldn't keep her.
    He put her in a pumpkin shell,
    And there he kept her very well.

  38. My Hubby's favourite:

    Gingernut fell
    In a butt
    A fish came up
    And swallowed her up
    And that was the end
    Of Gingernut!

    1. I like it
      I also like

  39. Anonymous6:47 pm

    This one made me mad from the first time I heard it:

    As I was going to St. Ives, I met a man with seven wives.
    Each wife had seven sacks. Each sack had seven cats.
    Each cat had seven kits. Kits, cats, sacks, and wives.
    How many were going to St Ives?

    After chugging through all the math, I was told the answer was "One", the narrator. "He caught up with them" was not an acceptable answer (not that I'm bitter). ; )

  40. I didn't get to meet my Grandmother until I was 10, so I was too old for nursery rhymes. Still, she always loved to sing funny songs with me like "Mary Ellen at the Church" "I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts" and "Roll out the Barrel". There was also some "recitation" that went "I stand before you to stand behind you, to say a few words before I speak. (can't remember the rest!)
    It's always fun to have a dream with a dear departed visit.

    1. I think I was more meaning funny songs as the two I cited are more regional songs rather than nursery fodder

  41. Just found out its Ladles and Jellyspoons. I love Google search!

  42. 'Twas on the good ship Venus...

  43. SpikesBestMate8:09 pm

    My father used to sing this to me:

    Maisydotes an Dozydotes
    An Liddlelamsy Divy
    Iwoody Divy Doo

    Translated into this:

    Mares eat oats and does eat oats
    And little lambs eat ivy
    I would eat ivy too
    Wouldn’t you?

    1. My Mother used to sing that to me as a child. It was a nursery rhyme and in the 1940's it was recorded as a song: “Mairzy Doats”. You are the first person I've even seen that's heard of it!

    2. See

  44. “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 and ate up all the 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 “

    It goes on for a while. Fun!

  45. My grandad used to tell me funny rhymes but a lot were so nonsense that they would be impossible to spell so this is the most simple:
    Wind up the clock Freddie, wind up the clock
    Bolt the front door love and see to the lock
    Knock out your pipe dear and tie up your head
    For the hour is late and it's time for bed

  46. My grandmother used to sing:
    Playmate, come out and play with me.
    Bring out your dollies three, and we will have a tea.
    Climb on my Rain barrel, slide on my cellar door,
    And we'll be jolly friends, forever more.
    Playmate, I can't come play with you.
    My dollies have the flu, boo hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo.
    Can't climb on rain barrels, or slide on cellar doors.
    But we'll be jolly friends, forever more.

    I shiver to think that she was teaching me about the pandemic that she had lived through. I wonder what my grandson will tell his grandchildren about this pandemic.

  47. Played on toes.
    This little piggy went to market. This little Piggy stayed at home. This little piggy had roast beef. This little piggy had none. And this little piggy went wee wee wee on his way home.
    This then involves much tickling.

  48. Sleep sleep my baby,
    Sleep just like a lady,
    You shall have some milk when the cow comes home.
    Ha ha ha , he he he, pussy's in the pantry drinking tea.
    Ha ha ha, he he he, pussy's in the pantry , cant you see?

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