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Q: school song ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   10 Comments )
Subject: school song
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: mickey_one-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 12 May 2002 04:34 PDT
Expires: 11 Jun 2002 04:34 PDT
Question ID: 15316
I used to have a school song, here in England about 40 years ago!!!

It began "Sambo had an uncle, an uncle very rich, one day he said to
sambo, I'll give you 2 and 6"

i would love to find a fuller version of this

Request for Question Clarification by nishka-ga on 12 May 2002 06:30 PDT
What was the name of your school?

Clarification of Question by mickey_one-ga on 12 May 2002 06:35 PDT
it was St Mary's Hendon Lonndon England.

why? do you think you recognise it?

I rather presumed that most answers would come from USA and I am
pessimistic about finding this answer.
Subject: Re: school song
Answered By: grimace-ga on 12 May 2002 07:29 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Playground rhymes are fascinating pieces of oral folklore. Some rhymes
may be passing fads; others will be transmitted down generations of
schoolchildren, and from school to school across the country. I'm a
teacher now, and still hear rhymes in the playground which I remember
from my own schooldays in a completely different part of England.

I'm afraid I've been completely unable to find a match for your song.
It's likely to be highly localised, either to your school in
particular or to your part of London. I was very surprised not to see
it listed in Iona & Peter Opie's 'The Singing Game' (Oxford, 1985), a
very thorough anthology of playground rhymes based on the Opies' forty
years of collecting. It seems unlikely that I'll be able to track it
down for you.

One obvious line of enquiry would be to contact some of your old
schoolfriends - perhaps they will remember. Try Friends Reunited,
where your school is listed.

St Mary's High School

St Mary's CofE Junior School

St Mary's RC Primary School

But to the rhyme itself. As far as its rhythm and content goes, it
reminded me of this very old rhyme:

Taffy was a Welshman,
Taffy was a thief;
Taffy came to my house
And stole a piece of beef.

I went to Taffy's house,
Taffy was not home;
Taffy came to my house
And stole a mutton bone.

I went to Taffy's house,
Taffy was not in;
Taffy came to my house
And stole a silver pin.

I went to Taffy's house,
Taffy was in bed;
I took up a poker
And threw it at his head.

It's interesting that both this rhyme and yours contain (possible)
racial slurs - Taffy, of course, is a derogatory term for a Welsh
person, while Sambo has gained racist connotations.

Another similar rhyme - in terms of its metre, perhaps, more than its
content - is the old classic:

Miss Lucy had a baby 
She named it Tiny Tim 
She put it in the bathtub 
To see if it could swim 
It drank up all the water 
It ate up all the soap 
It tried to eat the bathtub 
But it wouldn't go down its throat 
Miss Lucy called the doctor 
Miss Lucy called the nurse 
Miss Lucy called the lady 
With the allligator purse 
Measles said the doctor 
Mumps said the nurse 
Nothing said the lady 
With the alligator purse 
Miss Lucy kicked the doctor 
Miss Lucy punched the nurse 
Miss Lucy paid the lady 
With the alligator purse 

This one, also, may be from the same common ancestor (the words in
brackets are the actions performed by the singers):

When Susie was a baby, a baby Susie was she went a cry, cry, cry, cry
(rubs eyes)

When Susie was a toddler, a toddler Susie was she went a scribble,
scribble, scribble, scribble (scribbling action)

When Susie was a child, a child Susie was she went a 'whyyyyyy?
whyyyyyy? whyyyyy? whyyyy?' (pouting)

When Susie was a teenager, a teenager Susie was she went a 'ooh, ahh,
I lost my bra, I left my knickers in me boyfriend's car' (waving hands
in a camp manner)

When Susie was a married, a married Susie was she went a 'aahh,
unnnnggggghh, aaaahhhhh, unnnnnngggggh' (sex noises and actions)

When Susie was a mother, a mother Susie was she went a bake, bake,
bake, bake (rolling pin action)

When Susie was a grandma, a grandma Susie was she went a knit, knit,
knit, knit (knitting action)

When Susie was a skeleton a skeleton Susie was she went a (silence)

Anyway - I'm sorry I've not come up with anything more concrete for
you. I know how annoying it is to remember only a fragment of a song,
but I hope the above may jog a memory or two for you.

Here are a couple of pages of playground and skipping rhymes, if
you're still feeling nostalgic:

Hope this is of some use,

mickey_one-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
a very friendly answer and hardly his fault he didnt find it
completely, thank you for trying

Subject: Re: school song
From: scatmuncher-ga on 06 Nov 2002 06:49 PST
When i was in school (Ireland) we had a song we used to sing on the
school bus which went like this:

bang, bang rosie,
rosie bangs all day,
who will bang for rosie,
if rosie goes away

Rosie had a boyfriend,
his name was diamond dick,
he always showed his diamond,
but never showed his... 
(as we were all about 12 years of age the deleted word was left out on
purpose, and we went straight into "bang, bang, rosie...")


rosie had a pet dog,
he was full of fun and frolicks,
she threw him in the air,
and caught him by the...


rosie had a brother,
his name was tiny tim,
she threw him in the river,
to see if he could swim.
he swam down the river,
he swam down the falls,
rosie got excited,
and she grabbed him by the bang, bang rosie....
Subject: Re: school song
From: mickey_one-ga on 06 Nov 2002 11:25 PST
I think your song was even better than ours! I see a strong similarity
of course and thanks!


Subject: Re: school song
From: tim4444-ga on 06 Jun 2004 15:12 PDT
Hi Micky_One et al,

I know exactly the song you mean and know two complete verses and a
third verse, which I can't quite remember.  The text of the verses and
chorus are as below.  Hope it answers your question.  If you have any
extra inspiration for the third verse or any extra verses, then please
let me know. Enjoy:

Sambo had an uncle, an uncle very rich
One day he said to Sambo "I'll give you two and six"
Sambo feeling thirsty, went in to a shop
Ten lemonades and ten ginger beers, and then he went off pop 
More work for the undertaker
Another little job for the tombstone maker
In the local cemetery, on the tombstone you will see
"Sambo the brave and free pegs out"
Sambo had an auntie, an auntie very poor
One day she said to Sambo "Get down and scrub that floor"
Sambo feeling tired went upstairs to bed
He tried to climb the banisters, but fell down on his head
Sambo joined the railway, at this he had no hope
He tried to scrub the railway line with a bar of mouldy soap
Along came a runaway engine ......
He just rolled up his mouldy sleeves and tried to push it back


Subject: Re: school song
From: mickey_one-ga on 07 Jun 2004 00:17 PDT
to Tim4444- what a pleasant surprise to get such an answer 2 years
after I posted. and its particularly good as we have a first school
reunion next month!

I think we should fill in your 3rd verse gap with something like "and
pushed him on the track"

btw did you know this from a London school?


Subject: Re: school song
From: tim4444-ga on 07 Jun 2004 13:43 PDT

I am glad that my comment got to you in time for the reunion, I had
noticed that the request was really quite old.  I was singing the song
to my son at the weekend and couldn't think of the last verse - your
suggestion sounds about right.  I went to prep school in Sevenoaks,
but think that I learnt it from my parents whilst on long car
journeys.  I have now also asked them and my sister for the last
verse.  Good luck with your school reunion.  I recently met up with a
friend from my school who I had not seen for 27 years (care of Friends
Reunited), we had many beers and chatted for hours as if we had never
been apart.  Great fun.

Subject: Re: school song
From: luxton-ga on 04 Jul 2004 19:13 PDT
This is the the one verse I remember from Govt.-run school camps in
the late fifties in NSW Australia.

Sambo joined the railway
His heart was full of hope
He tried to scrub the railway line 
With a bar of Sunlight soap
Up came a big express train
Right in Sambo's face
And would you believe it 
He rolled up his sleeves
And he pushed that engine back.
Slap bang, more work for the undertaker
7/6 for the tombstone maker
Off to the local cemetary
On his tombstone you will see
Sambo that's me, I'm free.

Another song I enjoyed and am now singing to my grandson is:

A mother was bathing her baby one day
The poor little thing in a delicate way
The mother was poor
And the baby was thin
'Twas only a skeleton covered in skin
The mother turned round 
To put the soap on the rack - K
And while she was gone
And before she got back - K
The baby was gone
And in anguish she cried
"Oh, where is my baby?"
The angels replied
"Your baby has gone down the plughole
Your baby has gone down the plug -G
The poor little thing 
Was so skinny and thin
It should have been bathed in a jug -G
It's gone to be perfectly happy
It won't need a bath anymore
The angels have took it
Away up on blue
Not lost, but gone before
Subject: Re: school song
From: luxton-ga on 19 Jul 2004 17:14 PDT
I think I half remember another verse..........

Sambo joined the army
He marched among the ranks.....

He probably joined the navy as well.  I wish I'd kept my old
songbooks.  A lot of songs we sang at camps were from the scouting
movement.  I'd love to know how "Sambo" was introduced.
Subject: Re: school song
From: tim4444-ga on 07 Sep 2004 13:40 PDT
OK, so here is another request for school song details, and thanks to
those who have helped to build up the "Sambo has an uncle..." songs.

This one, has an Army theme and goes like this:

I left my wife and 48 children, alone in the kitchen in starving
condition with nothing but gingerbread left, left, left right left

I left my job for 40 bob......left, left, left right left

Can anyone build on that for a few more verses?

Michael - hope the school reunion went well.

Subject: Re: school song
From: bbakerman-ga on 25 Oct 2004 16:34 PDT
I learnt the song at an Autralia primary school in the 1970's.  I
loved it but didnt understand the racial slur overtones it contained.

I remember parts of another verse that went something like.

Sambo went for a swimg one day, in his overcoat
He climbed aboard the diving board, and kicked off his left boot.
Suddenly the board it broke and Sambo gave a yell,
In his overcoat, without let boot and into the water he fell.

Bang... more work for the under taker
7/6 for the tombstone maker
off the local cemetery, on a tombstone you'll see
Sambo thats me.
Subject: Re: school song
From: bbakerman-ga on 25 Oct 2004 16:38 PDT
.. continued rfom above...

Also my recollection of the railway verse is :.

Sambo joined the railway, his heart was full of hope,
He tried to scrub the railway line with a bar of mouldy soap
A train came around the bend, screaming down the track
Would you beleive, he rolled up his sleeves and push that engine back!


(I hope yo teach my little baby daughter this song but maybe I will
remove the racial name Sambo and replce it maybe with something like

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