Wednesday, July 17, 2013

British Vs. American Nursery Rhymes: Pop Goes The Weasel

British Version
   Half a pound of tuppenny rice,
    Half a pound of treacle.
    That’s the way the money goes,
    Pop! goes the weasel.
   Every night when I get home
    The monkey's on the table,
    Take a stick and knock it off,
    Pop! goes the weasel.
American Version
All around the Mulberry Bush,
    The monkey chased the weasel.
    The monkey stopped to pull up his sock, (or The monkey stopped to scratch his nose)
    Pop! goes the weasel.

    Half a pound of tuppenny rice,
    Half a pound of treacle.
    Mix it up and make it nice,
    Pop! goes the weasel.

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4 comments:

Gloria said...

For the third line I've always said,

"The monkey thought 'twas all in fun"
Pop! Goes the weasel.

Perhaps this is one of those things that varies in different regions of the U.S.

Laurence Brown said...

Indeed, Gloria, you are correct. There are actually an untold amount of American variants of this nursery rhyme. The one in this post is considered to be the most widely used.

Joe Berns said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I learned it as:

All around the cobbler's bench
The monkey chased the weasel
The monkey thought 'twas all in fun,
Pop! goes the weasel.

A penny for a spool of thread,
A penny for a needle,
That's the way the money goes,
Pop! goes the weasel.

I first heard the line about the monkey pulling up his socks from a friend when I was in my 20s. I also suspect that the mulberry bush may have come from "Here we go 'round the mulberry bush". The way I learned it, it seems to almost be a commentary on chasing the illusion of wealth; or at least the separate parts seem to fit together into something approximating a narrative.

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