Playground songs

This morning I was cracking myself up by singing the Billboard Song that I learned as a kid--jumping rope may have been involved. (I confess I cheated a little by looking up the lyrics online recently, though every version seems slightly different.) Here's the version I remember:

As I was walking down the street one dark and rainy day
I came upon a billboard, and much to my dismay
The sign was torn and tattered from the storm the night before.
The wind and rain had done its job and this is what I saw:

"Smoke Coca Cola cigarettes, drink Wrigley's spearmint beer,
Kennel Ration dogfood makes your wife's complexion clear.
Simonize your baby with a Hershey candy bar
and Texaco's the beauty cream that's used by all the stars.

"Take your next vacation in a brand new frigidaire,
Learn to play piano in your grandma's underwear.
Doctors say that babies should smoke until they're three,
and people over 65 should bathe in Lipton tea."

This put me in mind of a song my mother sang, "Sweet Violets." The first verse goes like this:

Sweet Violets
Sweeter than the roses
Covered all over from head to toe
Covered all over with sweet violets

There once was a farmer who took a young miss
In back of the barn where he gave her a
Lecture on horses and chickens and eggs
And told her that she had such beautiful
Manners that suited a girl of her charms
A girl that he wanted to take in his
Washing and ironing and then if she did
They could get married and raise lots of
Sweet violets
Sweeter than the roses
Covered all over from head to toe
Covered all over with sweet violets.

I love this technique of the trick rhyme, or not rhyming the way you think it will. Which reminds me of the immortal "Miss Susie" clapping rhymes. There are some versions of my favorite, "Miss Susie had a Steamboat," at this link:

I like pretending I'm 8 sometimes... pretty often actually.

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