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My mother said never to play with the gypsies
Posted by: janette (---.lab.cc.wmich.edu)
Date: November 04, 2004 12:36PM

ok heres a poem thats from turn of the centuary, i know the whole thing my heart but i can't find the name of ir or who wrote it:

"My mother said never to play
with the gypsies in the woods,
and if i did she would say
naughty girl to disobey
Your hair chant curl
your shoes chant shine
you naughty girl you chant be mine
my father said that if i did
he would bang my head
with a tea pot lid"

Theres more to it but thats the whole first part, i would really appreciate it if ne one could give me ideas, or where i could look to find information on it!


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Re: My mother said never to play with the gypsies
Posted by: ilza (---.162.243.237.user.ajato.com.br)
Date: November 04, 2004 12:55PM

My Mother Said Never Play With Gipsies

My Mother said, I never should
Play with the gipsies in the wood;
If I did, she would say,
You naughty girl to disobey.
Your hair shan’t curl and your shoes shan’t shine,
You gipsy girl, you shan’t be mine.
And my father said that if I did
He’d rap my head with the teapot-lid.
The wood was dark, the grass was green
Along came Sally with a tambourine.
I went to sea - no ship to get across,
I paid ten shillings for a blind white horse.
I up on his back
And was off on a crack,
Sally tell my mother that I shan't come back.

the only reference I could find so far was this one,
from December 12, 1976 Times Herald Record

there are several sites that mentioned it, but just the lines you quoted.


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Re: My mother said never to play with the gypsies
Posted by: marian2 (---.range81-152.btcentralplus.com)
Date: November 04, 2004 01:38PM

The lines Janette quoted were chanted in one of those schoolgirls games where you clap hands with another girl, crossing your wrists etc, which we played when I was at school in the late 1960s. I may have been taught it by my mother, can't remember for sure.


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Re: My mother said never to play with the gypsies
Posted by: Andy (---.belrs1.nsw.optusnet.com.au)
Date: November 30, 2004 10:52PM

All of the above, but I remember my mother teaching my sister an additional part:

"Disobey one,
Disobey two,
Disobey over Waterloo"


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Re: My mother said never to play with the gypsies
Posted by: Linda (---.cache.pol.co.uk)
Date: December 01, 2004 02:41PM

If someone has access to the books by Peter and Iona Opie, they may be able to find more there. Unfortunately I was parted from my copy years ago.


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Re: My mother said never to play with the gypsies
Posted by: Linda (---.cache.pol.co.uk)
Date: December 03, 2004 06:48PM

The Puffin Book of Verse, Eleanor Graham (ed), 1953, has the poem much as you give it and credit it to Anon.

The Puffin Book of Nursery Rhymes, Iona & Peter Opie, 1963 has a different version.

My Mother said that I never should
Play with the gipsies in the wood;
If I did, she would say,
Naughty girl to disobey,
Disobey, disobey.
Naughty girl to disobey.

I have a bonnet trimmed with blue.
Why don't you wear it? So I do.
When do you wear it? When I can,
Walking to chuech with my young man.

My young man has gone to France
To teach the ladies how to dance.
When he comes back he'll marry me,
Give me kisses, One, Two, Three.

Marry you! No such thing!
Yes, indeed, he bought me a ring;
Bought me a biscuit, bought me a tart.
What do you think of my sweetheart?


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Re: My mother said never to play with the gypsies
Posted by: Rosie-may (---.server.ntli.net)
Date: January 25, 2005 03:27PM

this song is also in a play called my mother said i never should


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