Can Anyone Help with Tickling Rhymes?

Vere wrote looking for information about 2 tickling rhymes…

My grandfather (1882-1976)’s tickling rhyme:

Set the sun
Til daylight’s sprung
When in came Dad
With his long rod
And lashed us all from ear to ear
Allison dear!
Stick a needle in your ear!

I have never heard anyone but my late grandfather use the rhyme. He used it to amuse his children and grandchildren before bed. He would begin the rhyme at the child’s toes and walk the fingers of one hand slowly up the child’s foot, leg, torso, neck, head meanwhile reciting this tickling rhyme. It would end with a surprise as he suddenly stuck his finger in your ear “Stick a needle in your ear!” (Although it could have been “Stick a beetle in your ear”.)

My grandmother had a similar rhyme, not so drawn out or as violent:

“Creep mouse, creep mouse
Up to the knee
Creep a little further
Tick, tick, tee!”

At which point she’d tickle the child’s ear or under its chin.

My maternal grandfather, William Harold Hunt (born Lennoxville, Quebec) and my maternal grandmother Minnie Pearl Taylor (born Richmond, Quebec) were born in the eastern townships of Quebec. My grandfather Hunt’s ancestry is United Empire Loyalist and back further to Mohill, County Leitrim, Ireland.

Unsuccessfully, I have tried for years to find these rhyme’s origins.
I’ve written to Michelle Landsburg, children’s author. She referred me to the children’s librarian at the City of Toronto library. No one had hear of them.

I would be pleased to hear from anyone who can shed some light on the rhymes’ origins.

Thank you,

Vere Scott

If anyone has heard this rhyme, or if you know anything about the origins of it, please let us know in the comments below. Also, feel free to share any tickling rhymes you heard growing up.

Thanks!

Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Thursday, June 10th, 2010 at 8:34 pm and is filed under Canada, Countries & Cultures, English, Ireland, Languages, Mama Lisa, Questions, Readers Questions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

7 Responses to “Can Anyone Help with Tickling Rhymes?”

  1. Franc Bell Says:

    Round and round the garden like a teddy bear,
    One step,
    Two step(s)
    Tickle you under there!
    (other versions have – tickly under there!)
    You draw circles on the child’s upturned palm and then ‘walk’ your fingers up the child’s forearm and tickle them (gently) in the armpit.

  2. Franc Bell Says:

    Have a look at this:
    http://www.piercecountylibrary.org/files/library/wigglesticklesall.pdf

  3. NORMAN Says:

    I WENT TO THE RIVER AND COULD’NT GET ACROSS
    SO I PAID TEN POUNDS FOR AN OLD BLACK HOSS (HORSE)
    I JUMPED ON HIS BACK AND HIS BONES GAVE A CRACK
    SO I HAD TO PLAY THE FIDDLE TILL THE BOAT CAME BACK.

  4. Lynne Bailey Says:

    There was a little mousie, couldn’t find a housie,
    And he looked and he looked and he looked and
    He FOUND on right there!!!

    This little rhyme has been part of our family and now our grandkids are quoting it on their little cousins etc. It is a great tickling rhyme, usually start at the knees and work up to behind the ears.

  5. Meg Says:

    Here comes the Mousie (start a finger walking up the leg from the foot)
    Creepin’ up the housie (walk finger up the leg to the body)
    Gonna build a nestie (continue up to the neck)
    in your little neckie! (tickle!!!)

  6. Meg Says:

    Bumblebee bumblebee under the barn (twirl finger around like a flying bee in a circle)
    I’m gonna get (inset name) right under his/her arm!
    BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ!

  7. Betty Clarke Says:

    My mother in law from Lincolnshire England used to do creep mouse creep mouse into my den
    Sometimes 3 x creep mouse and this started at belly button and ended under the arms or chin

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