Rise, Sally, Rise (1883); Old Mother Hawkins (1960)

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Thu Feb 10 05:54:32 UTC 2005


GAMES OF AMERICAN CHILDREN.; Some Curiosities of the Nursery and the Playground.
The Atlanta Constitution (1881-2001). Atlanta, Ga.: May 20, 1883. p. 6 (1 page):
Onery, twoery, hickory Ann,
Fillison,follason, Nicholas John,
Queevy, quavy, Virgin Mary,
Singalum, sangalum, buck.
Eny, meny, mony, my,
Tusca, leina, bona, stry,
Kay bell, broken wed,
We, wo, weck.
Mr. William Wells Newell has done a good service to the cause of juvenile literature by writing a handsome book of nearly 250 pages about the "Games and Songs of American Children," which has just been published in New York. Underthe head of "Love Games" he gives ten specimens. Among the nine which he classifies as "Histories" is one called "Little Sallie Waters," in whose honor a dance has been named, which is now in vogue. The rhyme runs thus:

Little Sallie Waters,
Sitting in the sun.
Crying and weeping
For a young man.
Rise, Sally rise,
Dry your weeping eyes,
Fly to the east,
Fly to the west,
Fly to the one you love best.

W H Babcock. Lippincott's Monthly Magazine (1886-1915). Philadelphia: Sep 1886. Vol. 38; p. 320 (23 pages)
(Page numbers difficult--ed.)
It is in use in Scotland for determining the positions to be occupied by boys playing games:

One to the east, one to the west,
One goes to the cuckoo's nest.
(...) (Same page--ed.)

Here is another ring-game which tallies so well with what we hear of the behavior of mermaidens that I am half inclined to believe it is not for nothing that the heroine is persistently named "Waters" and "sits in the sand." On the other hand, it must be admitted that the name is by no means new to ballad-literature dealing with dry-land topics,--witness "Childe Waters."

A girl is seated in the middle of the ring, pretending to weep. All the others sing,--

Little Sally waters sitting in the sand,
Weeping, crying, for a young man.
Rise, Sally, rise, wipe your eyes,
Point to the east, point to the west,
Point to the one that you love best.

Here we have the elfin-knight formula again. North and south are always omitted from the preliminary invocation, possibly because the former was once the road to Hel, or for some other reason connected with the old mythology.

Sally does as directed, timing each act to the appropriate word. The chosen one enters the magic circle, and kisses her, then becomes Sally Waters in her stead. These transformations are the less difficult since the masculine characters are generally girls in their own proper apparel.
Hot bread nad butter,
Please come to supper,
Mommy Daddy jumped the gutter,
Loaf of bread and pound of butter.
Star, star that shines so bright,
The first star I've seen to-night.
I hope I wish, I hope I may,
I hope my wish may come true
To-morrow night.
I climbed up the apple-tree,
And all the apples fell on me.
Make a pudding, bake a pie;
Did you ever tell a lie?
Yes, you did; you know you did,--
You stole your mother's teapot-lid.
Red-headed sinner,
Come down to your dinner.

Red-headed fox
Stole my mother's pigeon-box.

Reddy in the woods
Can't catch a butterfly.

April's gone, summer's come,
You're a fool and I'm none.

"Twenty-nine and one?"
"Your face is dirty."

The Living age ... / Volume 182, Issue 2353: pp. 257-320
p. 287 1 match of 'rise, sally, rise'
  in: Title: The Living age ... / Volume 182, Issue 2353
Publisher: The Living age co. inc. etc. Publication Date: August 3, 1889

Ruth, who had before been staying with the Alwynns at the time of their schoolfeast, hardened her heart and began that immoral but popular game of "Sally Water."

Sally, Sally Water, come sprinle your pan;
Rise up a husband, a handsome youg man.
Rise, Sally, rise, and don't look sad,
You shall have a husband, good or bad.

Penhallow, by Edith Robinson: pp. 739-759
p. 758 1 match of 'rise, sally, rise'
  in: Title: The Century; a popular quarterly. / Volume 41, Issue 5
Publisher: The Century Company Publication Date: Mar 1891

"Rise, Sally, rise,
Wipe off your eyes!"


I couldn't find "the hawk" (the wind) in DOWN BEAT. Oh sure, plenty of stuff about Coleman Hawkins and Erskine Hawkins. But where is it?

One would be tempted to say it's in a Zora Neale Hurston story (see the Black Drama database for "hawk"), but her stories have been well examined by scholars.

The following (Old Mother Hawkins=snowing) was interesting, but I can't find much about it.

by Bartlett Jere Whiting
Harvard Univeristy Press
Cambridge, Mass.

Pg. 427:
Old Mother Hawkins is plucking geese

1960 ILee _Edge_ (NY) 235: It's old Mother Hawkins a-plucking geese (_snowing_). Cf. _Oxford_ 887: Widecombe folks.

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