My mother learned this song from her father. He was born in the 1890s. She taught it to us...

My mamie told me
if I was goody
that she would buy me
a rubber dolly

My auntie told her
I kissed a soldier
now she won't buy me
a rubber dolly

Three, six, nine
the goose drank wine
the monkey chewed tobacco
on the streetcar line

Line broke
monkey got choked
and they all went to heaven
in a little rowboat

Chop chop.

What impresses me about this song is the girl child on the verge of adulthood in the first half. She wants the rubber dolly but then is kissing a soldier. We don't like to admit sensual urges or interest on the part of teen girls. And then it goes off into monkeys and geese and streetcars. Most of these songs I was learning and memorizing before I had any idea what a streetcar was. The mystery of words in songs fascinated me.

My grandfather was born in Iowa, a Congregationalist Minister's child. My Uncle has done the family tree and claims we are related to John Standish, though I think that is my maternal grandmother's line...

And here is a version on the internet: So... is there an older version? Where did he learn it? And it is the same tune I learned... Families are mysterious and I can't ask the dead....

Ah! Shirley Ellis: My parents may have had the album and we may have learned it off that... who knows?

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