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Charlotte Bleh’s Collection of Favourite  Nursery  Rhymes, Poems and Prose Book
Parties and Favours


My Parties and Favours

Memory  Pages

Times and Rhymes for Tea


The Queen of Hearts
She made some tarts,
All on a Summer’s day;
The Knave of Hearts
He stole the tarts,
And took them all away. 

The King of Hearts
Called for his tarts,
And beat the Knave full sore;
The Knave of Hearts
Brought back the tarts,
And swore he’ll steal no more.
(This is for Alys.) 


Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake,
Baker’s man,
Bake me a cake as fast as you can!
Roll it, and roll it,
And mark it with a “B”,
And put it in the oven
For Baby and me.

(I used to play this with Johnny in Germany,
saying “Bakke, bakke, kuchen, Der baker hat gerufen”
in the way my friend, Ingrid Evers, taught me.  It wasn’t
until I was putting together this anthology in November of 2003,
listening to KBAQ radio that I learned the tune of Bakke, Bakke, Kuchen
is from Englebert Humperdink’s opera, Hansel and Gretel.)


Jack Sprat could eat no fat,
His wife could eat no lean;
And so betwixt the pair of them
They kept their platters clean.


To market, To market,
To buy a plum bun!
Home again, Home again,
Market is done. 


Cross Patch, Draw the latch,
Sit by the fire and spin;
Take a cup, And drink it up,
And call the neighbours in! 


Hot Cross Buns!  Hot Cross Buns!
One a penny!  Two a penny!
Hot Cross Buns!
If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons!
One a penny!  Two a penny!
Hot Cross Buns!

(I always think of this rhyme at Easter.)


Little Miss Muffet
Sat on her tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey.
Along came a great spider
That sat down beside her,
And frightened Miss Muffet away.


Old King Cole was a merry old soul,
A merry old soul was he.
He called for his pipe,
And he called for his bowl,
And he called for his fiddlers three.

And every fiddler had a fine fiddle,
A very fine fiddle had he.
Twee, teedledee, went his fiddlers three –
Oh, there’s none so fair as can compare
With King Cole and his fiddlers three.


There was an old woman, and what do you think?
She lived upon nothing but victuals and drink;
Victuals and drink were the chief of her diet,
And yet this old woman could never keep quiet. 


Pease porridge hot,
Pease porridge cold,
Pease porridge in the pot,
Nine days old.

Some like it hot,
Some like it cold,
Some like it in the pot,
Nine days old.


Oh, the Grand Old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men;
He marched them up to the top of the hill,
And he marched them down again.

And when they were up,
They were up.
And when they were down,
They were down,
And when they were only half way up,
They were neither up nor down.

(This was a little dancing game we always played at parties, including birthdays, shool parties, Sunday School Christmas Parties, etc., with or without music, singing the words as we lined up with partners and danced under arches made by the leaders’ arms – the dance went on until every couple had a chance to be the leader: some naughty children, whose name is protected in this book, would thump the backs of the children she didn’t like as they went under her arch!).


My tea is nearly ready and the sun has left the sky;
It’s time to take the window to see Leerie going by;
For every night at teatime and before you take your seat,
With lantern and with ladder he comes posting up the street.

Now Tom would be a driver and Maria go to sea.
And my papa’s a banker and as rich as he can be;
But I when I am stronger and can chose what I’m to do,
O, Leerie, I’ll go round at night and light the lamps with you! 

For we are very lucky with a lamp before the door,
And Leerie stops to light it as he lights so many more;
And, O! before you hurry by with ladder and with light,
O, Leerie, see a little child and nod to him tonight.

Robert Louis Stevenson

A Child’s Garden of Verse

(We had a leerie that came to the gas lamp under my bedroom window
in Dundee every night, and Old Granny from Scotland taught me this
favourite poem of hers from her childhood.)


Jelly on the plate!
Jelly on the plate!
Goes wiggle, woggle, wiggle, woggle,
Jelly on the plate!

(Because we did not have refrigerators,
ice cream and jelly was a rare treat at parties in Scotland.
Ask me about the time I pitched a major fit because the doctor
decided not to take my tonsils out!)

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