Tag Archives: jump rope

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