In the olden days

In first grade, Rose has been learning to sing “Hey-ho, I like the ocean/Hey-ho I like the ocean/Hey-ho, I like the ocean/Earlye in the morning.” So I sang her a version I’d learned as a kid (but not at school): “What do you do with a drunken sailor?/What do you do with a drunken sailor?/What do you do with a drunken sailor?/Earlye in the morning?”

This version confused Rose, so I did my best to explain it to her.  Just now, she sang it for a first-grade friend, and explained, “Because in the olden days they had problems with drunk people.  On ships.”

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8 Responses to In the olden days

  1. Kayli says:

    That reminds me of a song that my brothers and sisters and I used to sing. It’s the kind that never ends…
    Around the corner and under a tree,
    the sergeant major said to me,
    Who would marry you- I’d really like to know
    Cause every time I look at your face
    It makes me want to go
    Around the corner and under a tree…

    And one time we were singing it around my Grandpa and he started singing,
    Around the corner and under a tree,
    A drunken sailor made love to me

    I was shocked–who knew my Grandpa would sing such things in front of children?! 🙂

  2. the MomB says:

    I don’t know whether to deplore euphemising this song, or just to be glad that at least the melody & the sea connection are being preserved. I s’pose I can (and do) feel both ways. And I can (and do) revel in Rose.

    • zstitches says:

      Well, they also let the kids make up verses, which is pretty fun. Rose’s class made up these verses:

      I see sharks in the ocean
      I see sharks in the ocean
      I see sharks in the ocean
      Earlye in the morning

      I won’t swim in the water
      I won’t swim in the water
      I won’t swim in the water
      Earlye in the morning.

  3. Jenny says:

    That’s the best explanation ever. Except I’m pretty sure they still have problems with drunk people on ships, but I’ll let that pass since she’s young.

  4. Rachel Sue says:

    I love it. They had problems with drunk people. Ha.

  5. Holly says:

    Druken Sailor is the song most likely to get stuck in my head. What does that mean? (I’m guessing there’s a neural glitch somewhere in my brain’s filing cabinet, but I’m no expert.) I have never been drunk, nor have I even met any sailors, let alone been one. It’s all very confusing.

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