Rhyme and Hand Game
Miss Suzy had a steamboat, the steamboat has a bell TOOT TOOT. Miss Suzy went to heaven and the steamboat went to HELL-O operator, please give me number nine, and if you disconnect me I will chop off your BEHIND the refrigerator there was a piece of glass. Miss Suzy sat upon it and it broke her little ASK me no more questions, tell me no more lies. The boys are in the bathroom zipping up their FLIES are in the meadow, the bees are in their park. Miss Suzy and her boyfriend are kissing in the D-A-R-K D-A-R-K D-A-R-K DARK is like a movie, a movies like a show, a show is like a television, this is all I know I know my ma, I know i know my pa, I know I know my sister with the 80 meter BRA!!!
Vienna first played this game in the 2nd grade. I thought it was so awesome because it was like saying bad words but not really. I liked that you could sing it in front of the teachers and even though it was sort of “bad,” it really wasn’t. Once you got to the bad part, of course we would scream it. She also really liked the hand motions that accompanied it, although she could not remember enough of them to document. Vienna recollects that one would pair up with a friend and sing the song with the hand motions. She remembered breaking off from large groups and having all the pairs participate.
This is one of my personal favorites in terms of childhood games. I distinctly remember playing it in Hong Kong. I know it is found all across the world, but since I attended an international school, I think one of the kids brought it over from the States when they moved. The version I know is basically the exact samethe variations I came across always happened in the last verse, more specifically the last line. I used to sing it I know I know my ma, I know I know my pa, I know I know my sister with a sixty acre bra! Most of the time ones sister was described as having large breasts. Differing versions include, I know I know my sister with the 49’rs bra. The bra is for the boobies, the boobies for the milk, the milk is for the babies with diapers made of silk or Ask me no more questions, tell me no more lies. The cows are in the pasture baking apple pies. It was extremely common for children to add verses onto the song. The context added varied with geographic location as well as time period. This rhyme was not one of just the ninetiesit dates back a few decades before. Instead of Miss Suzy, I also came across Miss Lucy and Miss Mary.
I think this game was popular because it made children feel rebellious. Little kids usually want to go against authority and this was a way to do that, for girls at least, without getting in trouble. Technically, no one is saying any curse words instead continuing the song. Since girls were supposed to be lady-like and play with dolls, I definitely think it was an avenue for them to feel defiant.
Abernethy, Francis Edward. Texas Toys and Games. 1st ed. Dallas, Texas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1989. Pg 177