Notes

*According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "deedle" is an alteration of "devil".
**One definition of a switch is a flexible branch that's sometimes used as a whip.

There's an English nursery rhyme called Diddle, Diddle Dumpling, My Son John that this is most likely based on. The traditional rhyme goes back to at least 1850. Here is one version of the rhyme:

Diddle, diddle, dumpling, my son John,
Went to bed with his trousers on,
One shoe off, and one shoe on,
Diddle, diddle, dumpling, my son John.


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Thanks and Acknowledgements

This rhyme can be found in Negro Folk Rhymes, Wise and Otherwise, with a Study by Thomas W. Talley of Fisk University (1922).

Standard English version by Lisa Yannucci.

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