(Historical Black American English)
De June-bug's got de golden wing,
De Lightning-bug de flame;
De Bedbug's got no wing at all,
But he gits dar jes de same.
De Punkin-bug's got a punkin smell,
De Squash-bug smells de wust;
But de puffume of dat ole Bedbug,
It's enough to make you bust.
Wen dat Bedbug come down to my house,
I wants my walkin' cane.
Go git a pot an' scald 'im hot!
Good-by, Miss Lize Jane!
The June bug's got the golden wing,
The Lightning bug the flame;
The Bedbug's got no wing at all,
But he gets there just the same.
The Pumpkin bug's got a pumpkin smell,
The Squash bug smells the worst;
But the perfume of that ole Bedbug,
It's enough to make you burst.
When that Bedbug come down to my house,
I want my walking cane.
Go get a pot and scald him hot!
Good-bye, Miss Liza Jane!
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.
Many thanks to Gracie Gralike for the painting!