Gloria wrote to me:
Hi, my grandma (born in Eisleben in 1875, emigrating to the Midwest in 1902, married her second husband (my grandfather) in St. Paul, lived most of her life in Wisconsin with her third husband), recited a rhyme when dandling a baby on her extended foot, either with legs crossed at the hips (or just straight out, but the dad’s were best at that). The rest of the family did it for every baby/little child, including myself. We never saw it in print, and we only have the phonetic sound from listening to it. Phonetically, it went something like what follows. I would dearly love to know exactly what it meant, although it is obvious based on what happened to the child:
Grandma (and all the rest of us who had children) would cross her legs at her hips, sit the baby on her upper ankle, hold the baby’s two hands in hers, and bounce the baby lightly up and down, until the end of the rhyme, when she would let the child fall back, laughing, and then lift the child back up, and begin again!
Scheckle, scheckle, reiderlein,
Ven die kinder kleinerschein
Reiden zie auf steckerlein,
Ven zie greis auf verten
Reiden zie auferten
Zen zie verten,
Klip, Klop, Klip Klop
Reiden zi (then something like a scary word or sounds)
“Boom stehl leckta!” really loud!
The adult lets the child fall back, usually grinning happily. (Sometimes a baby didn’t like it but others wanted you to pull them up onto your ankle and do it again! Some kids got a little dizzy if you did this action too fast! But mostly they loved it. I don’t remember their doing it with me, but I am certain they did, that’s where the phonetic sound and rhythm of the lines as I remember them come in, as well as my mother’s saying it to me when I was older and wanted her to tell me what it was, but it would always have been a phonetic memory, since she never really learned much German except what was common… the words you aren’t supposed to say!) This was done several times, until either one’s leg was tired, or the child needed a rest. I just used the phonetic version when I treated my kids as babies to the fun game, but for some reason I never asked my grandma. I was told that it meant something like, “When a child is little it rides on a stick horse, but when it tries to ride a real horse, he will go faster and fall off.” Have you ever heard this? I possibly have some of the phonetics wrongly remembered, but the rhythm and sounds and actions are still in my brain.
Thanks for any help you can give. I do like your website, I found it by way of BING. I think it is very interesting as to the German, lots of Germans settled in America. My father’s ancestors may have come from Austria, as well as Germany, but came to Wisconsin in the 1840’s, met and married, learned English, so they never spoke German at all when we knew them. A grandson, age 12, who has been learning German, took to it immediately, and loves it, as well as Norwegian, so there must be an inherited acclimation to the sound of a language.
Gloria Koeser Laundrie
Thanks for sharing your song with us Gloria! If anyone can help with the German version and/or an English translation, please let us know in the comments below.
This article was posted on Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 at 9:32 am and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, German, German Children's Songs, German Nursery Rhymes, Germany, Horse Trotting Rhymes, Languages, Lap Rhymes, Lap Rhymes, Mama Lisa, Nursery Rhymes, Questions, Readers Questions, Rhymes by Theme. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
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