Rings on her fingers, bells on her toes

Stephanie Hysmith sh120888 at OHIO.EDU
Mon Feb 21 02:14:52 UTC 2000

Don't forget "I've got rings on my fingers," a 1909 song by Maurice Scott,
words by Weston and Barnes. The chorus, sung by Irishman Jim O'Shea, goes:

"Sure, I've got rings on my fingers,
Bells on my toes.
Elephants to ride upon,
My little Irish Rose.
Come to your nabob
and on next Patrick's Day,
Be Mistress Mumbo Jumbo
Jittibob J. O'Shea!"

Someone must have remembered the nursery rhyme and made it a catch phrase
of the Gay Nineties.

At 01:32 PM 02/20/2000 EST, you wrote:
>    Someone asked me about this.  Here goes.
>    The RHHDAS has "with bells on" from 1899.  The phrase is placed in no
>context whatsoever.  I first heard the full phrase in a Tony Orlando song,
>"Sweet Gypsy Rose."
>    Christine Ammer's AMDOAQ relates "with bells on" to the well known
>nursery rhyme, found in GAMMER GURSON'S GARLAND (1784):
>Ride a cocked horse to Bambury cross
>To see a fine lady upon a white horse
>With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes
>She shall have music wherever she goes.
>     The Making of America database has CATHOLIC WORLD, August 1873, pg. 663:
> "...she had curls and crimps, she had flounces and frills, she had chains
>and trinkets, she had rings on her fingers, and we should not be surprised if
>she had bells on her toes."
>     The American Memory database has the 19th century song, "The Fisherman's
>daughter that lives o'er the water," which has:
>I'll plant in her bosom a blooming moss rose.
>She shall go like a fairy with sweet tinkling music,
>With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes.
>     Personally, I find that the rings get in the way of typing these ADS-L

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