Regional Variations

I’m writing this here because I cannot find this particular version of it anywhere else on the web. I’ve found many, many variations on the theme, but this is the one I grew up with:

Suzy had a sailboat.
The sailboat had a bell.
Suzy went to heaven, the sailboat went to
hello operator, give me number 9.
If you disconnect me, I’ll kick you in the
Behind the ‘frigerator, there lay a piece of glass.
Suzy sat on top of it, and cut her little
Ask me no more questions, I’ll tell you no more lies.
The boys are in the girls room, playing with their
Flies are in the city, the bees are in the park.
Suzy is with her boyfriend, kissing in the dark.

I’m continually fascinated by playground rhymes and urban legends and how they change slightly from person to person, region to region. Today I was reminded of a rhyme that never made it to my school, but of which Nelly wrote his own version in “Country Grammar.” I remember hearing it in the movie Big, and was glad to find it transcribed at

The space goes down, down baby, down, down the roller coaster. Sweet, sweet baby, sweet, sweet, don’t let me go. Shimmy, shimmy, cocoa pop. Shimmy, shimmy, rock. Shimmy, shimmy, cocoa pop. Shimmy, shimmy, rock. I met a girlfriend – a triscuit. She said, a triscuit – a biscuit. Ice cream, soda pop, vanilla on the top. Ooh, Shelly’s out, walking down the street, ten times a week. I read it. I said it. I stole my momma’s credit. I’m cool. I’m hot. Sock me in the stomach three more times.

3 thoughts on “Regional Variations”

  1. Miss Mary Mack Mack Mack
    All dressed in black, black, black
    With silver buttons, buttons, buttons
    All down her back, back, back.

    She asked her mother, mother, mother
    For 50 cents, cents, cents
    To see the elephants, elephants, elephants
    Jump over the fence, fence, fence.

    They jumped so high, high, high
    They reached the sky, sky, sky
    And they didn’t come back, back, back
    ‘Til the 4th of July, ly, ly!

  2. miss mary had a baby
    she named him tiny tim
    she put him in the bathtub
    to see if he could swim

    he ate up all the water
    he drank up all the soap
    he tried to eat the bathtub
    but it wouldnt fit down his throat

    miss mary called the doctor
    the doctor called the nurse
    the nurse called the lady with the alligator purse

    measles! said the doctor
    mumps! said the nurse
    nonsense! said the lady with the alligator purse

  3. I was just going to say that I’ve only ever heard the same version of the Suzy rhyme that you have here–now I have to seek out the other variations you mention.

    Also, pressure to give up a childhood rhyme! I’ll try to think of one.


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