"Negro Folk Rhymes, Wise and Otherwise" had the following note along with this rhyme: "A superstition that it is good luck to catch a bat in one's hat if he doesn't get bedbugs by so doing."

Bat! Bat! Come Un'er My Hat - African American Children's Songs - Historical African American - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image



There's an English nursery rhyme called Bat, Bat, Come Under My Hat that this is most likely based on. The traditional English version of this rhyme is:

Bat, bat,
Come under my hat,
And I'll give you a slice of bacon;
And when I bake
I'll give you a cake,
If I am not mistaken.


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.