Bubble Gum In a Dish


This piece was collected in a casual interview setting on the informant’s living room couch . My informant (CH) was born in Pasadena, CA, but grew up in a very French household, learning English as her second language. All of her education has been in American schools, but she learned how to read and write French thanks to after school lessons her mom gave her and her older sister. She is currently a Sophomore in high school and enjoys horseback riding.

Main Piece:

The following is transcribed from a conversation between the informant (CH) and interviewer.

Interviewer: Other than the classic “eeny, meeny, miny, moe” what’s another way you know of picking something based on a song?

CA: We had the bubble gum song! The girls started to use it in like, I don’t know, 3rd grade. We would sing it while going around pointing at someone in the circle. It went like this

Bubble gum, bubble gum, in a dish,

How many pieces do you wish?

*the girl who’s designated chooses a number, then they start counting to that number and who ever the last number falls on is it*


At school, the girls would use this song in order to pick out a girl when nobody volunteered to do something. For example, it was to see who would be the first person to chase others in Tag. This was a very fair and effective way to choose who would be “it” when we were young (around 6-8 years old) but once people started to figure out you can count who it would fall on so the person who chooses the “random” number can cheat, it started creating problems. For some reason, only the girls would use this song.


For different variations of the Bubble Gum Song, please follow this link: https://kcls.org/content/bubble-gum-bubble-gum-in-a-dish/