Oh Don't You Remember...

I have two songs stuck in my head today. From the lyrics, you might think that I was feeling blue, but for me these songs remind me of walks with my grandma, talent shows with my cousins, car rides with my parents and childhood in general.

The words are downright depressing, almost laughable even. In fact, my dad always teases my grandma about making them up. Then one year she found an entire book of these sad children's songs. I'll have to ask her what the book is called, or at least what time period these songs originated from.

I fully intend to pass them along to my someday children. Let them enjoy being the quirky kid on the playground singing lilting tunes with morbid poetry.

First...a little ditty about friendship...

Once there lived side by side
Two little girls
Used to dress just alike
Hair done in curls
Blue gingham pinafores
Stockings of red
And a sweet bonnet tied
On each pretty head

School days are over
Secrets they tell
As they go hand in hand
Down by the dell

One day a quarrel rose!
Hot tears were shed
"I don't wanna play in YOUR yard!"
And the other said

"I don't wanna play in YOUR yard
I don't like you anymore
You'll be sorry when you see me
Sliding down my cellar door

You can't holler down my rain barrel
You can't climb my apple tree!
I don't wanna play in YOUR yard
If you can't be good to me!"

(we always added a VERY whiney "WAH" at the end.)

And now....a nice song about summer time and babies!

Oh don't you remember a long time ago
Two babes in the woods
Their names I don't know
Were stolen away
On a bright summer's day
And lost in the woods
I've heard people say

And when it was night
So sad was their plight
The stars did not shine
The moon gave no light
They sobbed and they sighed
And they pitifully cried
Poor babes in the woods
They laid down and died

And when they were dead
The robins so red
Took strawberry leaves
And over them spread
And sang them a song
The whole night long
Poor babes in the woods
Poor babes in the woods

Nice! I really do love both of these little songs, but like I said...I associate them with feeling connected to my family rather then the crankiness and death that they seem to actually be about. Hmmm....


MonFrer said...

I still need to teach you "Can I sleep in your barn tonight mister".

D said...

Thanks so much for these lyrics. I knew most of them and the tune because my grandmother used to sing the song (she was born in 1890 and died at age 92. For some reason I thought of the song tonight and Googled the first line and "Bob's your uncle, Fanny's your aunt" I found your Glitter Paint Pony site.
Donna C.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the words of the two lost children. Mom used to sing it to me.

Emmers said...

I had wondered if my family made these up and were truly disturbed LOL. Thanks for posting it. Our version of "Oh Don't You Remember" is a touch different but close enough!! Definitely the same song!

dogsinspire said...

My grandpa sang this to me and I've never forgotten it. I thought maybe it was written in the 40's about two real children that were lost, but it said somewhere it was written in the 1700's? I'm so glad to see others have enjoyed it as much as I did. I know the subject is depressing, but when you're a child, it's a story. And I always knew if I got lost in the woods, the birds would help me.

Judy said...

Is there any way you could tell me the name of that book with the sad songs in it? I would love to find a copy of that book! My husband is 73, and he remembers his grandmother singing the song to him about the babes in the woods. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Judy O.

TEST said...

My Grandfather used to sing me the second song but he finished it with, "Two babes in the woods are dead and gone."

Anonymous said...

thank you so much..i associate these songs as well with my grandma. when it was time to take a nap, we would go outside on the swing and she would sing the "oh don't you remember" those warm days with this song will always have a big place in my heart. do you happen to know what the book is called?