Mar. 15, 2001

Children's "counting out" rhymes

by Anonymous

THURSDAY, 15 March 2001
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Poems: Children's "Counting Out" rhymes.

Inter mitzy titzy tool
ira dira dominu
oker poker dominoker
out goes you

Intery mintery cutery corn
apple seed and briar thorn
wire briar limber lock
five geese in a flock
sit and sing by a spring
O U T and in again

When I went up the apple tree,
All the apples fell on me,
Bake a pudding, bake a pie,
Did you ever tell a lie?
Yes, you did,
You know you did,
You broke your mother's teapot lid,
L-I-D spells "lid"
And out goes you!

Monkey, Monkey, bottle of beer,
How many monkeys are there here?
One is far, one is near,
And you are the one
Who is out, my dear.

Wire, briar, limberlock,
Three geese in a flock,
One flew east, one flew west,
One flew over the cuckoo's nest.
The clock fell down,
The mouse ran around,
Scared all the people in the town—
And out goes she
With a dirty dishrag
On her knee!

Today, March 15, is called The Ides of March—the day in 44 B.C. that Emperor Julius Caesar was assassinated in Rome by a group of aristocrats led by Cassius and Brutus. They believed they were striking a blow to restore a free republic; little could they know that killing Caesar would serve only to incite a fresh round of civil wars in which the Republic would be entirely destroyed.

It's the birthday of biographer and scholar Richard Ellmann, born in Highland Park, Michigan (1918). The Identity of Yeats (1954) remains the standard study of the poet, while his James Joyce (1959—National Book Award), is thought by many to be the finest biography ever written. After teaching at Northwestern University (1951-68) and Yale (1968-70), Ellmann rounded off his academic career at Oxford, where he taught until his death in 1987. The next year his huge biography Oscar Wilde came out, presenting the turn-of-the-century genius as a quintessentially modern spirit.

On this day in 1917, Czar Nicholas the Second abdicated, bringing an end to the Romanov Dynasty, which had ruled Russia since 1613. Strikes and riots had broken out during the previous week in reaction to bread shortages and to Russia's continued participation in World War One. When troops were summoned to put down the strikes, many of the soldiers joined the strikers. With the fall of the Romanovs, a provisional government was formed by some members of the Duma, the Russian legislature. This provisional government lasted just 7 months: in October its leader, Alexander Kerensky, was deposed by Lenin and fled to France.

It's the birthday of bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins, born in Centerville, Texas (1912). He built his first guitar from a cigar box, a plank, and chicken wire, and learned to play from Blind Lemon Jefferson. One of his hits, for Houston's Gold Star label, was "Baby Please Don't Go."

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