Aches and Pains
Mick Brady of the Blog Brothers

Childhood Songs - A Request for Help

About a month ago, I published a story, Songs of a Long-Ago Childhood, about rhymes and songs and riddles and word games and such that we enjoyed as children. You responded with an astonishing collection.

Then a few days ago, this note was left by Kim Jones:

"I'm so glad you're discussing this. I'm looking for a children's song from sometime in the early 1900's and am hoping you will be able to help. Some of the phrases went like:

  • What kind of vegetable is a policeman's beet?
  • Does a ship have eyes if it goes to sea?
  • Are there springs on the ocean bed?”

A further exchange of email brought this additional information from Kim:

“The woman asking about it learned it when she was a young girl. She's in her 80s now. I'll be honest here, it's a reference question we're researching at our library and we're coming up empty handed. Any help at all would be great!”

So, in the vast store of knowledge contained among the readership of TGB, can anyone help out Kim with her research? Leave any thoughts or clues or answers in the comments below. And thank you for any ideas you have.


I wonder if it also has the line, "Can you sit under the shade of the palm of your hand?" from a poem I remember my mother telling me. I searched for it for years and found a similar one taped to a computer at a doctor's office. This is the one I found but it lacks some of the lines I remember and the lines you're looking for. I hope someone finds it. These kinds of questions delighted me as a child and still tickle my funny bone.

Unsolved Mysteries of Anatomy
Where can a man buy a cap for his knee
or the key to a lock of his hair?
Can his eyes be called an academy
because there are pupils there?

Is the crown of your head where jewels are found?
Who travels the bridge of your nose?
If you want to shingle the roof of your mouth,
would you use the nails on your toes?

Can you beat on the drum of your ear?
Can the calf in your leg eat the corn off your toe?
Then why not grow corn on the ear?

Can the crook in your elbow be sent to jail?
If so, just what did he do?
How can you sharpen your shoulder blades?
I'll be darned if I know, do you?

I am not familiar with this song, but I wish I was. It sounds cute.

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