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Charlotte Bleh’s Collection of Favourite  Nursery  Rhymes, Poems and Prose Book
School Days


 

Times and Rhymes for School Days Learning

Multiplication is vexation,
Division is just as bad:
The Rule of Three perplexes me,
And practice drives me mad!
Multiplication is mie vexation
And Division quite as bad,
The Golden rule is mie stumbling stule,
And Practice makes me mad.
(16th Century Olde English version)

***

One, two
Buckle my shoe.
Three, four,
Knock at the door!
Five six,
Pick up sticks.
Seven, eight,
Lay them straight!
Nine, ten,
A big, fat hen.
Eleven, twelve,
Dig and delve!
Thirteen, fourteen,
Maids a-courting:
Fifteen, sixteen,
Maids in the kitchen.
Seventeen, eighteen,
Maids in waiting:
Nineteen, twenty,
My plate’s empty!

***

If you sneeze on Monday, you sneeze for danger;
Sneeze on a Tuesday, kiss a stranger;
Sneeze on a Wednesday, sneeze for a letter;
Sneeze on a Thursday, something better;
Sneeze on a Friday, sneeze for sorrow,
Sneeze on a Saturday, see your sweetheart tomorrow.
(In our primary school days, when we sneezed in succession, we’d say,
“One’s a wish, two’s a kiss, three’s a letter, four’s something better,
five for sorrow, six see your sweetheart tomorrow.)

***

A was an apple pie –
B bit it,
C cut it,
D dealt it,
E ate it,
F fought for it,
G got it,
H had it,
I inspected it,
J jumped for it,
K kept it,
L longed for it,
M mourned for it,
N nodded at it,
O opened it,
P peeped in it,
Q quartered it,
R ran for it,
S stole it,
T took it,
U upset it,
V viewed it,
W wanted it,

X, Y, Z and Ampersand (&)

All wished for a piece in hand.

***

Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November;
All the rest have thirty-one,
Excepting February alone,
And that has twenty-eight days clear
And twenty-nine in each leap year.

***

Here we go round the mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush, the mulberry bush.
Here we go round the mulberry bush
On a cold and frosty morning.

This is the way we wash our hands, wash our hands,
Wash our hands.
This is the way we wash our hands
On a cold and frosty morning.

This is the way we wash our clothes, wash our clothes,
Wash our clothes.
This is the way we wash our clothes
On a cold and frosty morning.

This is the way we go to school, go to school,
Go to school.
This is the way we go to school
On a cold and frosty morning.

The is the may we run out of school, run out of school,
Run out of school.
This is the way we run out of school,
On a cold and frosty morning.

***

Mary had a little lamb,
Its 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 rule;
It made the children laugh and play
To see a lamb at school.

And so the teacher put it out,
But still it waited near;
And waited patiently about
Til Mary did appear.

“Why does the lamb love Mary so?”
The happy children cry:
“Why Mary loves thelamb you know,”
Was the teacher’s glad reply.

***

A dillar, a dollar,
A ten o’clock scholar,
What makes you come so soon?
You used to come at ten o’clock,
But now you come at noon.

(I remember running down the street from my high school
bus stop every day at noon, and my Granny leaning out the window, looking
out for me so she could sent my “dinner” - lunch to Americans – out on the table
for me.  She used to scold me for running, saying “Ye’ll burst yersel’.”)

***

Knick, knack, paddy wack, Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played one,
He played knick knack on my drum -- With a knick, knack, paddy wack,
Give the dog a bone, This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played two,
He played knick knack on my shoe -- With a knick, knack, paddy wack,
Give the dog a bone, This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played three,
He played knick knack on my tree -- With a knick, knack, paddy wack,
Give the dog a bone, This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played four,
He played knick knack on my door -- With a knick, knack, paddy wack,
Give the dog a bone, This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played five,
He played knick knack on my hive -- With a knick, knack, paddy wack,
Give the dog a bone, This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played six,
He played knick knack on some sticks -- With a knick, knack, paddy wack,
Give the dog a bone, This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played seven,
He played knick knack up in heaven --  With a knick, knack, paddy wack,
Give the dog a bone,  This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played eight,
He played knick knack on my gate -- With a knick, knack, paddy wack,
Give the dog a bone, This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played nine,
He played knick knack all the time -- With a knick, knack, paddy wack,
Give the dog a bone, This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played ten,
He played knick knack all over again -- With a knick, knack, paddy wack,
Give the dog a bone, This old man came rolling home.

(Rent the move, “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness,” the true story of Gladys Aylward – one of my childhood heroes,  I was introduced to her at Harris Academy in Dundee by my science teacher, we called him “Holy Joe” because he was a missionary in China – he would tell stories that swould begin “When I was in China.”.  I was maybe 15 or so, and gave her some gifts for the Chinese orphans she cared for.  Ingrid Bergman stars in this movie about how Miss Aylward led her orphan children to safety during the Chinese/Japanese War in the late 1930’s.  They sang this song as they walked across the mountains to keep their spirits high.)

***

There’s no’ a clood in the sky,
The hill’s clear as can be,
An’ the broon road’s windin’ ower it,
But no’ for me. 

It’s June, wi’ a splurge o’ colour
In glen an’ on hill,
An’ it’s me wad by lyin’ up yonner,
But then – there’s the schule.

There’s a wude wi’ a burn rinnin’ through it,
Caller an’ cool,
Whaur the sun splashes licht on the bracken
An’ dapples the pool. 

There’s a sang in the soon’ o’ the watter,
Sang sighs in the air,
An’ the worl’ disnae maitter a docken
To yin that’s up there.

A hop an’ a step frae the windie,
Just fower mile awa’,
An’ I could be lyin’ there thinkin’
O’ naething ava’. 

Aye! – the schule is a winnerfu’ place,
Gin ye tak it a’roon,
An’ I’ve nae objection to lessons,
Whiles – but in June?

Robert Bain

(Another competition piece my mother enjoyed hearing me recite)

***

A Gordon for me,
A Gordon for me,
If you’re no’ a Gordon,
You’re nae aise to me:
The Black Watch is braw,
The Seaforths an’ a’,
But the bonnie wee Gordon’s
The Pride o’ them A’!

(This favourite song of mine is for Gordon Davidson,
my very first love from Primary 1 at Hill Street School through
Primary 12 at Butterburn School.  Gordon would come
to my house – seemed always on rainy days – to walk
me to our school just next door and carry my books.}


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