1960s jump rope rhymes

One of my favorite things to do as a little girl was jump rope.  I could go and go and go, jumping on my own, but the most fun was jumping with other little girls.  Two girls would turn the rope and one or more girls would jump, until they missed and has to take turns turning the rope so the other girls could jump.  We never did anything fancy like Double-Dutch, but I remember some of the rhymes we jumped to……

I’m a little Dutch girl dressed in blue

These are the duties that I must do

Salute to the captain, curtsey to the queen

Turn my back on the dirty submarine

I can do the hootchie-kootchie, I can do the twist

I can do the turn-around and I can do the split


I’m a little Dutch girl dressed in green

My mother didn’t want me so she sent me to the queen

The queen didn’t want me so she sent me to the king

The king said he’d take me if I’d count to 15

(then you had to jump 15 times without missing)


Mable Mable set the table

Don’t forget the red hot pepper

(you had to jump really fast after you said “pepper” until you missed


Cinderella dressed in yella

Went downstairs to meet her fella

On the way her girdle busted

How many years was she disgusted?

(then jump as many times as you can without missing)


Lincoln, Lincoln, I’ve been thinkin’

What the heck have you been drinkin’

Tastes like vinegar, smells like wine

Oh my gosh, it’s turpentine


George Washington never told a lie

So he went around the corner (jump out, run around one of the turners and jump back in)

To buy a cherry pie

How many cherries were in that pie?

(then jump as many times as you can without missing)


Operator, operator give me number nine

Sorry, sorry, you have to be on time

(one girl has to jump out and the next girl jump in so that the turners are never turning the rope for nobody; if you don’t jump in on time you have to be a turner and one of the turners gets to be a jumper.  This was most fun played at a school recess with a lot of other girls)


Not last night but the night before

24 robbers came knocking at my door

As I ran out, they ran in

I asked them what they wanted and this is what they said

Spanish dancer, do the twist

Spanish dancer, do the kick

Spanish dancer, turn around

Spanish dancer, touch the ground

Spanish dancer, show your shoe

Spanish dancer, 24-skidoo


I remember, too, the little rhymes we used to determine who would be “It” in hide-and-seek or various forms of tag.  We all put out Keds-clad feet in a circles and someone counted off pointing to a foot for each word.  The last foot left belonged to the person who would be “It”….


Bubble gum, bubble gum in a dish.

How many pieces do you wish?

(Whoever’s foot the word “wish” landed on picked a number and the counter spelled it, still counting off, for example…)

T-W-O spells two and that means you will not be it


Ocka bocka, soda crocka

Ocka bocka boo

In comes Uncle Sam

And out goes Y-O-U


Eeny meeny miney moe

Catch a tiger* by the toe

If he hollers let him go

Eeny meen miney moe

(Sometimes followed by: My mother told me to pick this very best one)

*Some children used the N-word in place of tiger, but the mothers in our neighborhood would angrily correct any child who did that.  The parents in my 1960s neighborhood had the typical prejudices of northern white people of that era, but they did consider the N-word to be vulgar and inappropriate.  The correct terms for the people who picked up our trash and Sammy Davis Jr (pretty much the only African-Americans we ever saw or heard of) were “Negro” or “colored”.

Do you remember jump rope and other rhymes from your childhood?  Help me collect them by posting on my site

8 thoughts on “1960s jump rope rhymes

  1. Annette

    Blondie and Dagwood went to town. Blondie bought an evening gown. Dagwood bought a pair if shoes. What did baby Dumpling choise. Clive your eyes and count to ten. If you misd, take an end.

  2. Julian

    Miss Susie had a tugboat
    Her tugboat had a bell
    Miss Susie went to heaven
    Her tugboat went to…
    Hello Operator
    Give me #9
    And if you disconnect me
    I’ll kick you from…
    Behind the frigerator [sic]
    There laid a piece of glass
    Miss Susie sat upon it
    And cut her little…
    Ask me no more questions
    And I’ll tell you no more lies
    The boys are in the bathroom
    Zipping up their…
    Flies are in the meadow
    Bees are in the park
    Miss Susie and her boyfriend
    Are kissing in the…
    D A R K (spelled out fast)
    D A R K (spelled out fast)
    (Mid 90’s West Coast-time and place I remember it)

    This one was earlier in my childhood
    Early 90’s East Coast, NJ

    My name is Ching Chong Charlie
    I know Karate
    Punch you in the body (punches body)
    Oops, I’m sorry
    No I’m not!
    Chinese (slant up)
    Japanese (slant down)
    Dirty knees (rub knees with opposite hands back and forth)
    Look at these (risqué reveal-I remember shoeing my stomach, lol)

  3. Brenda

    My mother and your mother were washing clothes,my mother punched your mother right in the nose, what color was the blood? Does anyone remember the game of ‘witch’?

  4. Terri Wilson

    I saw the ocean I saw the sea, Johnny broke a bottle and blamed it on me. I told Ma, Ma told Pa and Johnny got a lickin’ so ha ha ha! How many lickin’s did Johnny get? One, two three… etc

    Beginner jump rope rhyme –
    Bluebells cockle shells, easy Ivy overs.

  5. Julie O’Connell

    I am a pretty little Dutch girl,
    as pretty as pretty can be,
    and all the boys around my block
    are crazy over me.
    My boyfriend’s name is Tony,
    he comes from the land of Bologna,
    with a pickle on his nose and three
    black toes, and this is the way my
    story goes.
    One day when I was walking,
    I heard my boyfriend talking,
    to a little girl with strawberry curls,
    and this is what he said to her:
    I L-O-V-E love you, I K-I-S-S kiss you,
    I K-I-S-S kiss you on your F-A-C-E face face face ( we always leaned in and patted our cheeks).

  6. Felicity

    We did
    Cinderella, dressed in yella
    Went upstairs to kiss her fella..
    Made a mistake and kissed a snake.
    How many doctors did it take?

  7. Cindy Rose

    What about:
    Policeman, policeman due your duty
    Here comes (fill in name) the American beauty

    She can wiggle, she can wobble, she can do a split
    But she can’t wear dresses above her knees
    Not because she’s pretty
    Not because she’s (?)
    Just because she kissed a (??)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *