Peppermint Patty (child’s song)

TK: What are you singing?

JK: A song from when I was in 4th grade.

TK: And?

JK: It goes:

My name is Peppermint Patty
I come from Cincinnati
I have 24 toes and a finger up my nose
And this is how my story goes:

I was walking to my boyfriend’s house
He was talking to another girl
He said I L-O-V-E love you
I’d K-I-S-S kiss you
I’d D-A-T-E date you at 11 o’clock tonight.

I kicked him into Paris,
I kicked him into France,
I kicked him into Disneyland and saw his underpants

TK: What did people say this for?

JK: It was like a hand game (starts motioning)

TK: Did you used to play this?

JK: Mmm… (shaking his head no). Well I played it sometimes, but it was a thing everyone in the grade knew how to do.

TK: Did you play it with your friends?

JK: Ya a couple times (laughing/shameful).


THE INFORMANT: Julian is 14 and was enthusiastic to remember this information, he was laughing at the recollection of it.

ANALYSIS: This chant and accompanying hand gesture game spread throughout the class when Julian learned it in 4th grade from a friend, Sophia. He was always more into sports, kind of a boys’ boy, so it’s funny that he can remember this chant (with a hand game that was more of a girl’s thing) from years ago. Although for Julian it originated with a girl who told him the chant, it quickly became something that, as he says, “everyone in the grade knew how to do,” bringing to mind the pervasiveness of elementary school culture, in which trends like this appear and are spread rapidly. Both I and those I have talked to who are older than Julian don’t know this particular chant, and neither does my little sister, indicating that it might have been an anomaly for his year. However, we do remember the classic chant “I see London, I see France, I see _____’s underpants,” which seems to be referenced in the last part of this song.