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Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...

Matthew Edwards 04 Jun 01 - 03:02 PM
Frogmore 04 Jun 01 - 03:16 PM
Bob Bolton 05 Jun 01 - 09:39 AM
Sooz 05 Jun 01 - 01:52 PM
GUEST 05 Jun 01 - 03:12 PM
Matthew Edwards 05 Jun 01 - 07:31 PM
Jim Dixon 11 Mar 09 - 10:27 AM
goatfell 11 Mar 09 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,Georgina Boyes 11 Mar 09 - 01:42 PM
Little Robyn 11 Mar 09 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,Austin P 11 Mar 09 - 06:09 PM
GUEST,William Skinner 01 Apr 09 - 10:38 AM
GUEST,agrowe1 02 Jul 09 - 01:03 PM
GUEST 13 Jul 09 - 04:40 PM
GUEST,Pete 14 Jul 09 - 01:53 PM
Silas 14 Jul 09 - 02:02 PM
GUEST,Pete 14 Jul 09 - 02:05 PM
GUEST,Ley 02 Mar 10 - 02:10 AM
GUEST 13 Mar 10 - 05:28 AM
GUEST 13 Mar 10 - 05:35 AM
GUEST,Berenice Still 03 Jun 10 - 03:14 AM
GUEST,emma 17 Jul 10 - 05:06 PM
GUEST,Louise 24 Aug 10 - 07:33 AM
GUEST,Jemima 21 Oct 10 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,Chris Murray 22 Oct 10 - 12:04 PM
Northerner 22 Oct 10 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,Alison davis 22 Nov 10 - 06:27 AM
GUEST,Jean 22 Nov 10 - 05:22 PM
GUEST,Martin 26 Jan 11 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,Ken Aitken 20 Feb 11 - 10:08 AM
Ged Fox 23 Mar 11 - 08:37 PM
HWinWindies 23 Mar 11 - 09:04 PM
GUEST,Simply Fred 27 Mar 11 - 05:50 PM
GUEST,gbontheweb 22 Aug 11 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,katy g 08 Sep 11 - 12:44 PM
GUEST,katy g 08 Sep 11 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,Jemima 24 Oct 11 - 03:48 AM
Willa 24 Oct 11 - 08:22 AM
GUEST 19 Nov 11 - 08:04 PM
Tattie Bogle 19 Nov 11 - 08:12 PM
GUEST,Shaun Chadwick 26 Nov 11 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,TPK 08 Dec 11 - 04:38 AM
Billy Weeks 08 Dec 11 - 03:14 PM
GUEST,Ken JF 22 Dec 11 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,brian p 06 Feb 12 - 06:28 AM
wysiwyg 06 Feb 12 - 07:20 AM
GUEST,actif1 08 Feb 12 - 10:01 PM
GUEST,actif1 08 Feb 12 - 10:08 PM
Snuffy 09 Feb 12 - 09:47 AM
GUEST,Graham Cooper 06 Jun 12 - 11:00 AM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Jun 12 - 08:37 AM
GUEST,John Stargoose 10 Sep 12 - 07:36 AM
GUEST,R. Wise 20 Apr 13 - 10:11 PM
GUEST,Geoff Ross 24 Apr 13 - 06:20 AM
Ged Fox 24 Apr 13 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,Renae 19 Jun 13 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,Pierre. in France. 1948 souvenirs 24 Dec 13 - 06:02 AM
GUEST,sheryl 06 Oct 14 - 08:10 AM
GUEST,Susan Mawbey 13 Oct 14 - 08:29 PM
GUEST 02 Nov 14 - 08:06 PM
Tattie Bogle 04 Nov 14 - 08:20 PM
GUEST,Edwin Duthie 11 Nov 14 - 09:58 PM
GUEST 07 Dec 14 - 03:47 PM
GUEST 22 Feb 15 - 01:38 AM
GUEST,dayvaitch 08 Mar 15 - 08:23 AM
FreddyHeadey 21 Mar 15 - 05:18 AM
GUEST 09 Oct 15 - 06:10 PM
GUEST 09 Oct 15 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,Helen M. 21 Apr 17 - 10:01 AM
Long Firm Freddie 22 Apr 17 - 03:19 AM
GUEST,Colvin Ford 01 May 17 - 07:58 AM
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Subject: Oh Jemima
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 04 Jun 01 - 03:02 PM

A recent thread on "Horsey, Keep Your Tail Up" Here, which was a song my dad used to sing to us years ago, reminded me of another song which he told us his father used to sing; it sounds like an old music-hall song.


Oh Jemima, look at your Uncle Jim,
He's in the duck pond, learning how to swim.
First he does the sidestroke, then he does the crawl.
Now he's under the water, doing no stroke at all!


Does anyone else know the song? And is there any more to it? I couldn't find any help in the DT.

Thanks for any helpful suggestions,

Matthew.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: Frogmore
Date: 04 Jun 01 - 03:16 PM

My mom, who is from Lancashire, sang us this song while she was trying to hold us still in order to scrub us in the bathtub. This was is S.C. The only verse she sung was,

"Oh Jemima, look at your Uncle Jim -
He's in the bathtub learning how to swim -
First he does the backstroke, them he does the side -
now he's under the water swimming against the tide."

It's a hit. I don't know anything about it, and it may be a few years too late to get any sensible info out of her but I'll ask. Actually her early memory is stronger than the recent stuff.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 05 Jun 01 - 09:39 AM

G'day Matthew and Frogmore,

I read Matthew's version, and was going to post my dad's version ... but Frogmore's Mum's version is the same as my Dad's.

Since a Bolton probably comes from round Lancashire (Grandad was born in Haslingden, between Manchester and Bolton - but Dad was born out here in Australia), it seems pretty likely the song comes straight out of the same tradition.

regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: Sooz
Date: 05 Jun 01 - 01:52 PM

We used to sing it at primary school - only our version ended "now he's under water paddling against the tide" Fond memories!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jun 01 - 03:12 PM

My mum's version was the same as frogmore's; think this was on another thread a while ago.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 05 Jun 01 - 07:31 PM

Thanks for your efforts Frogmore,Bob,Sooz, and GUEST (whoever you are).Frogmore's mum's version sounds familiar, but not the words that I remember.The Lancastrian connection sounds interesting as Dad was born in Barrow-in-Furness which used to be in Lancashire. Following GUEST's hint I've tried a SuperSearch for words and title but the only promising bit of info I came across was that Cosmotheka used to sing a song called "Jemima",which (if it is the same song) would confirm the music-hall origin.
Now does anybody remember the words for "Oh,Mr Porter" - another of my dad's songs which I can't find on the DT?
Sorry,should that be a new thread?
Best wishes,Matthew.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 10:27 AM

Some online sources say this is sung to the tune of the SOLDIERS' CHORUS from Gounod's "Faust."

Allmusic.com tells me this is also known as 'Act IV, No. 18a, "Deposons les armes" (Soldiers' Chorus)'

One place to hear the tune is here; find Disk 2 Track 9 and click the little speaker symbol.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: goatfell
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 12:45 PM

Tommy Scott does this song on a cd


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: GUEST,Georgina Boyes
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 01:42 PM

My grandfather, John Robert Page (1898-1961) a Sheffielder born and bred, used to sing us Frogmore's "Lancashire" version to the tune of "The Soldiers' Chorus" in the 1950's. I don't know what he'd have thought to being told it came from "the wrong side of the Pennines".

Georgina


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: Little Robyn
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 02:31 PM

Oh Jemima look at your Uncle Jim
Down in the duckpond teaching the ducks to swim
First he does the .... then he does the ....
Nows he's under the water teaching the ducks to dive.

There were lots of verses and I'm sure it used to be on the radio in the 50s.
But I can only remember bits of it.

Oh Jemima look at your Uncle Jim
Scrubbing the floor with .... soap and vim,
First he kneels on his left leg then he kneels on his right
Now he kneels on a bar of soap and goes skidding out of sight

Robyn


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: GUEST,Austin P
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 06:09 PM

The Cosmotheka song is 'Don't do it again Jemimah' I think. Different song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: GUEST,William Skinner
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 10:38 AM

My mother taught me Frogmore's version of the words and she sang them to the Gounod tune mentioned above. She learned them from her father   born in the 1870s and hailing from Sheffield, although he spent much of his early life in the Workington/Maryport area.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: GUEST,agrowe1
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 01:03 PM

The version a work mate sings to his niece goes

Oh Jemima, look at your uncle jim
He's in the duck pond learning how to swim,
first he does the back stroke, then he does the side
now he's in the river swimming against the tide


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 04:40 PM

It's water soap and vim


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: GUEST,Pete
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 01:53 PM

I learnt it round the campfire in the Scouts. (Real oral tradition, no song books!)I have another verse possibly created for Scouts.

Oh Jemima, look at your uncle Jim,
Out for a hike oh don't you envy him
First day he does ten miles, second day barely four,
The third he meets a furniture van so we won't say any more.

I'll come back if I remember any more.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: Silas
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 02:02 PM

The cosmotheka song is "Don't do it again MATILDA".


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Subject: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: GUEST,Pete
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 02:05 PM

Found it written down after all. (So much for oral tradition)

OH JEMIMA

Oh Jemima look at your uncle Jim.
Someone called him fat so he's trying to get quite thin.
First he feeds on dry toast, then on bread and ale,
Now he's living on monkey nuts and growing a curly tail.

Oh Jemima look at your uncle Jim.
Playing a game of rugby, risking life and limb.
First he tackles the referee, then he joins the scrum.
Now their picking the pieces up, oh there's poor uncles thumb

Oh Jemima look at your uncle Jim.
Learning to drive a motor, looking very grim.
First he jams the brakes on, then he tries reverse.
Now he's driving along in peace in a nice, quiet, safe, slow hearse

Hope this is what you wanted.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: GUEST,Ley
Date: 02 Mar 10 - 02:10 AM

I have one from my mum, who got it from her grandfather who was born in England.

I remember the duckpond verse. @ Robyn, the verse you're trying to remember goes like this:

Oh Jemima, look at your uncle Jim
Washing out the passage, water, soap and Vim.
First he kneels on the left leg, then he kneels on the right.
And now he's knelt on the bar of soap and slid right out of sight.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 05:28 AM

My Dad, born in London in 1925 used to sing this, but only the Frogmore verse. He did not seem to have any more. Always amused me as a child. so very pleased to have more info. I thought the tune was the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 05:35 AM

Correction. I have just listened to the clip posted by Jim Dixon. Definately Soldiers Chorus not Hebrew Slaves


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: GUEST,Berenice Still
Date: 03 Jun 10 - 03:14 AM

Hi, 2 years ago I went on a trip to a place in Dorchester for a week with friends, and they taught us a song there that none of us could ever forget. So when I was bored just then, I typed in random stuff in google and I saw oh jemima come up, and it reminded me of the song I knew straight away, so I just searched it, and saw what all of you had written, but here's the version that I've always known and so many other people.

OH JEMIMA

Oh jemima, look at your uncle jim
he's in the duckpond learning how to swim
first he does the breaststroke then he does the side
now he's at the bottom swimming against the tide, tide, tide, tide, tide tide, tide tide.

(the word 'tide' can go on for ever!)

I HOPE THIS HELPS?!
PLEASE GET BACK TO ME!

P.S I REALLY ENJOYED THE VERSION WITH THOSE 3 VERSES ( WHERE IT ENDED WITH A HEARSE!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: GUEST,emma
Date: 17 Jul 10 - 05:06 PM

Oh Jemima, look at your Uncle Clive,
He's in the motorcar learning how to drive.
First he puts the brakes on, then he does a skid.
Now he's in his coffin waiting for a lid.

I remember these from school.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: GUEST,Louise
Date: 24 Aug 10 - 07:33 AM

The lyrics I know are:

Oh Jemima look at me Uncle Jim
He's in the duck pond learning how to swim
First he does the breast stroke, then he does the side
Now he's under the water, swimmin' against the tide.

Wish I knew more lyrics too!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: GUEST,Jemima
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 05:24 PM

These crack me up!

My uncle, from Birmingham, used to sing:

Oh Jemima, look at your Uncle Jim
He's in the duck pond learning how to swim
First he does the over, then he does the crawl
Now he's under water swimming against the wall


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: GUEST,Chris Murray
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 12:04 PM

My dad was in the RAF and I learnt RAF songs alongside nursery rhymes. His version was:

Oh Jemima, look at your Uncle Jim
Diving in the duck pond, learning how to swim,
First he did the left stroke, then he did the right,
Then he did the belly flop and vanished right out of sight.

I like his version best.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: Northerner
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 12:21 PM

Good to see this up here! My version is very close to Louise's:

Oh Jemima look at your Uncle Jim!
He's in the duck pond learning how to swim.
First he does the breast stroke, then he does the side,
Now he's under water, swimming against the tide!

My Dad used to sing this. My parents were Scottish, but we lived in Lancashire for a few years (guessing that's where he picked it up) before moving over the Pennines to Yorkshire. I had an uncle called Uncle Jim - maybe that's why this little ditty stuck in my head. I sang this little song to my old friend Stanley Robertson a few years ago at Whitby Folk Week.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: GUEST,Alison davis
Date: 22 Nov 10 - 06:27 AM

Oh, Jemima, look at your Uncle Sam.
He is the pantry eating all the jam.
First he tries the blackberry, then he tries the plum.
In comes his grandma and hits him on the—
Don't be mistaken. Don't be misled,
In comes his grandma and hits him on the head!

Oh, Jemima, look at your Uncle Clive.
He is in the motor car learning how to drive.
First he tries the first gear, then he tried the top.
Now he's on the highway learning how to stop.

Oh, Jemima, look at your Uncle Jim.
He is in the bathtub learning how to swim.
First he tried the backstroke, then he tried the crawl.
Over goes the bathtub, Uncle Jim and all!


Came Googling here to find some more verses but thought I could add these to help you all.

Cheers Alison


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: GUEST,Jean
Date: 22 Nov 10 - 05:22 PM

Here's the version I learnt from my gran & I'm 69 so its quite old. Soldiers Chorus

Oh Jemima look at your Uncle Jim
He's in the duck pond learning how to swim
First he does the breast stroke, then he does the crawl
Then he does the duck-dive off the garden wall


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh Jemima
From: GUEST,Martin
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 02:59 PM

Here's the version we got from our Nan:

Oh Jemima look at your Uncle Jim
He's in the bathtub learning how to swim
First he does the breast stroke, then he does the crawl
Now he's under the water lying on the floor.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,Ken Aitken
Date: 20 Feb 11 - 10:08 AM

When I was in primary school, my teacher taught me this version which has stuck with me for 50 years:

Oh, Jemima look at your uncle Jim,
He's in the corridor scrubbing the floor with Vim.
First he scrubs the left side, then he scrubs the right,
Then he treads on a bar of soap and skids right out of sight.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: Ged Fox
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 08:37 PM

[Uncle Jim is] doing his physical jerks,
This way and that way to see how it works,
... ... reaches [?]
Over he goes, touches his toes, zzzip go his breeches!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: HWinWindies
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 09:04 PM

Bathtub version for me, taught by my Gran, from Hull, born 1900, 50 years ago.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,Simply Fred
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 05:50 PM

Variations on a theme...as I remember them

Oh Jemima look at your Uncle Jim
He's in the duck pond learning how to swim
irst he tries the breast stroke, then he tries the crawl
Now he's disappeared from sight and may never come back at all

LA la la

Oh Jemima look at your Uncle Jim
He's scrubbing the larder out with water, soap and vim
First he kneels on his left knee, then he kneels on his right,
Now he's knelt on a bar of soap, and has skidded right out of sight.

La la la

Oh Jemima look at your Uncle Jim
Someone told him he was fat, so now he's trying to slim
First he feeds on dry bread, then on bread and ale
Now he's eating monkey nuts, and is growing a curly tail


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,gbontheweb
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 07:08 AM

The version we used to sing in Leeds was almost the same as the one Matthew Edwards posted in 2001:

Oh Jemima, look at your Uncle Jim,
He's in the duck pond, learning how to swim.
First he does the breast stroke, then he does the crawl.
Now he's at the bottom doing no stroke at all!

My grandparents (who hailed from Birmingham but lived in Leeds after about 1936 and loved classical music and operettas), used to let us sit on their knees whilst they sang it and then at the point where they sing "no stroke at all", the knees would move apart and we'd slip to the floor! We loved it...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,katy g
Date: 08 Sep 11 - 12:44 PM

Well im not sure if it is a variation but my nan used to sing this...

Oh Jemima look at your uncle Jim,
he's in the bathtub learning how to swim
first he does the breast stroke then he does the stride
now hes at the seaside swimming against the tide.

Hope it helps :)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,katy g
Date: 08 Sep 11 - 12:54 PM

just remembered another oldsong :)

I had a sausage, a lovely little sausage
and i put it in the oven for my tea,
i went to the cellar,
to get my umbrella
and the sausage came after me


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,Jemima
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 03:48 AM

Hi I'm called Jemima so Ive heard it a ot the one i know is

Oh Jemima look at your uncle Jim,
he's in the bathtub learning how to swim
First he does the backstroke then he does the side
Now he's in the sea swimming against the tide!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: Willa
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 08:22 AM

Hi Jemima

The version I know is the same as yours, except that it ends
'Now he's in the water swimming against the tide.'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 08:04 PM

...and there I was thinking my mother was the only person who sang that song! She grew up in South Africa (as did I) although her mother (who died when my mom was 9 years old) hails from Cornwall.

My brothers and I grew up with only one verse (which is in a few places above). Funny how the version we hear as children seems to be the "right" version.

Oh Jemima, look at your uncle Jim.
He's in the duck pond, learning how to swim.
First he does the breast stroke, then he does the side.
Now he's under the water, swimming against the tide.

About 2 years ago, at an extended family reunion, I heard my mom's half brother's father-in-law (did I say extended family gathering?) sing another verse. My cousins, brothers and I al cracked up laughing. We had all thought our mother/father was the only person to ever sing such a funny song.

Fantastic to see so many others have also grown up with one of the most "sticky" songs I know. Never ever have trouble remembering the lyrics!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 08:12 PM

We did as a Girl Guide campfire song, just the one verse, the swimming one, and definitely The Soldier's Chorus tune.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,Shaun Chadwick
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 05:44 PM

Hello All,
We originate from MOW COP on the Staffordshire and Cheshire border
My grandfather and Father both sang this version to us kids in the early 1970,s and I am now singing it to my kids and looking for more found you folks. our version has a little bit added, maybe it was a family addition, let me know please

Oh Jemima Look at your Uncle Jim,
He's in the duck pond learning how to swim,
First he does the breaststroke, then he does the side,
Now he's under the water, swimming against the tide.

Then Dad bounced us up and down to a quick beat on his knee singing
Rum tee tum tee tum, Rum tee tum tee tee, Rum Tum, Rum Tum, Rum tee tum tee tee.

And now I do it to my son, God bless Jemima and her uNCLE jIM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,TPK
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 04:38 AM

Oh, Jemima look at your Uncle Jim
Diving in the duckpond, learning how to swim
First he does the breast stroke and then he does the crawl
Now he's under the water, doing nothing at all.

Oh Jemima look at your Uncle Jim
Scrubbing down the deck with water, soap and vim
First kneels on his left knee, then he kneels on his right
Then he kneels on the bar of soap, and skids right out of sight.


Happy childhood days! And now recently remembered after hearing the Welsh choir singing at the Millenium on Saturday before the Wales -v- Australia game. (I of course gave my own rendition with the above!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 03:14 PM

Same Soldiers'Chorus tune, different words:

Drunk last night, drunk the night before
I swear I'll never get drunk no more;
Found him in the bathroom,leaning against the door
Gave him a kick, then he was sick
All on the floor.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,Ken JF
Date: 22 Dec 11 - 06:39 PM

My mother now in her late eighties recited this to me over 20 years ago and it stuck in my mind - but with a different last line to most of the other offerings:

Oh Jemima, look at uncle Jim!
He's in the duck pond, going for a swim.
First he's doing backstroke, now he's doing side,
Now he's out and running about, to get his trousers dried.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,brian p
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 06:28 AM

My uncle sings the duckpond version, ending with "swimming against the tide". And duckponds have no tide, so this adds to the humour!
It's a shame that most of the entries on this are not provenanced with dates. Uncle Dave was born in 1926 and raised in Hull. He served in the tank regiment right at the end of WW2, and then as a military policeman in Germany until 1947. He recalls this being a song he learnt during that period, but how much further back it goes I don't know.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: wysiwyg
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 07:20 AM

Is anyone aware of a history for the name "Jemima" apart from its use in the US Old South as a generic name for a type of a female slave? ("Uncle [name]" is also a common US slavery-era referent for a a type of a male slave.

Just wondering it this song originated in US minstrelsy. The verses laughing at drowning Uncle Jim certainly evoke that time, and painfully.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,actif1
Date: 08 Feb 12 - 10:01 PM

I was at a friend's tonight who has a cat called Jemima, and called to mind this ditty but couldn't remember all of it...

My grandfather sang it to me over 40 years ago - he was from Hampshire, so it had either made it's way south, or he'd picked it up in the Navy.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,actif1
Date: 08 Feb 12 - 10:08 PM

Thinking of Jemima, my grandfather also sang to me (to the tune 'Men of Harlech'):

Dad, get up and light the fire.
Turn the gas a little bit higher.
Go and tell your aunt Jemima
Pussy's laid an egg!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: Snuffy
Date: 09 Feb 12 - 09:47 AM

Hi actif1

My mother used to sing that but her last two lines went:

Go and tell your aunt Maria
Baby's got a cold

We also sang Oh Jemima, look at your uncle Jim


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,Graham Cooper
Date: 06 Jun 12 - 11:00 AM

The version I was taught in the late 40's/early 50's in Brighton was

Oh Jemima Look at your Uncle Jim,
He's in the duck pond learning how to swim,
First he does the breaststroke, then he does the side,
Now he's under the water, swimming against the tide

but because I was young, I didn't hear Jemima correctly, and thought it was "Jim Ido". Besides a Jemima was a guzunda (goes-under, a po.

Grandfather was an engine driver and Dad was an engineer and in the RNVR so either might have picked it up away from the South Coast


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Jun 12 - 08:37 AM

Jemima was a common enough name at one time, and it still occurs from time to time. Jemima Puddleduck is perhaps the most famous example of a Jemima.

Having three equally stressed syllables makes it a rhythmically interesting name to use in a song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,John Stargoose
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 07:36 AM

My Mum used to sing the following:

Oh, Jemima, look at your Uncle Tup,
He's in the kitchen trying to wash up,
First he drops a saucer, then he drops a cup,
And now he's under the table picking all the pieces up.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,R. Wise
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 10:11 PM

I came on this thread looking for more words to a couplet I remember from us living with my GrandAunt and GrandUncle when I was very young. This was late-1940's/early 1950's near Southampton. Both Aunt and Uncle had travelled a good bit in their youths, my Aunt in service and my Uncle in the service. So none of this necessarily came from Hampshire.

The couplet was:
Oh Lordy, look at your Uncle Jim,
Down in the duck pond teaching the ducks to swim.

I did not really think about more at the time since I heard this in with a couple of other music hall snatches that were intended to be interrupted. Such as:

[wife to frien] "It's so annoying. Herbert does like to sing his own words to songs"
[Herbert {off}] "Susie sat on a rusty nail
                Susie got [wife {interrupting}] HERBERT!
[sung to tune of Colonel Bogey]

For some reason, I started to think about the 'Oh Lordy' couplet again lately and decided to see if I could turn anything up. Never expected to find all this.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,Geoff Ross
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 06:20 AM

I heard my father sing

Oh! Jemimah look at your uncle Jim
is in the bathtub learning how to swim
first he does the back stroke, then he does the crawl,
now he is down the plug hole learning how to sing,
"Aghhhhhhhhhhh!!!!"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: Ged Fox
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 02:24 PM

From Australian Boy Scouts Song Book, circa 1950?

Oh, Aunt Jemima, look at your Uncle Jim.
He's in the duckpond learning how to swim.
First he does the breast stroke, then he does the side.
And now he's under water swimming against the tide.

Oh, Aunt Jemima, look at your Uncle Clive.
He's in the garage learning how to drive.
First he gets in low gear, and then he gets in top.
And now he's on the railway wondering how to stop.

Oh, Aunt Jemima, look at your Uncle Nish.
He's in the bathroom learning how to fish.
First he hooks the face cloth, then the shaving mug,
And now he's under water vanishing down the plug.

Oh Aunt Jemima, look at your Uncle Pete,
He's in the bathroom, washing both his feet,
First he does the left one, then he does the right,
Now he's under the water, vanishing out of site.

And the verse we sang (as well as the duckpond one) when I was in the Cubs in the late 1950s, in Portsmouth, Hampshire:

Oh Jemima, look at your Uncle Bert.
He's in the garden doing his physical jerks.
This way and that way to see how far it stretches.
Over he goes - Touches his toes - Zzzzip go his breeches!

(Shocking, and Akela was the Vicar's wife, too!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,Renae
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 10:50 AM

The version I learned went :

Oh Aunt Jemima look at your Uncle Jim,
down in the frog pond learning how to swim.
First he does the sidestroke, then he does the crawl.
Oops, he's gone under and Doing nothing at all.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,Pierre. in France. 1948 souvenirs
Date: 24 Dec 13 - 06:02 AM

When I came in England for the holidays, to see my cousins

Oh,Jemima,Look at your Aunty Kate
She is on the duck pond Learning at to skate
First she does the left leg Then she does the right
Now she is under the water .........................?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,sheryl
Date: 06 Oct 14 - 08:10 AM

My Dad taught it to me this way when I was a child:

Oh, Aunt Jemima, look at your Uncle Jim.
He's down at the frog pond learning how to swim.
First he does the back stroke, then he does the side,
Oh, Aunt Jemima, he's going out with the tide.

I always loved this song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,Susan Mawbey
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 08:29 PM

Oh, Jemima, look at your Uncle Jim,
wondering around the piss pot trying to learn to swim,
First he does the over arm then he does the breast,
He falls into the piss pot and swallows up the rest.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Nov 14 - 08:06 PM

Hi

Isn't it wonderful how a song like this has spread all over the world?

I am from Sri Lanka and my father used to sing it - to me and my brothers and later to my sons. I guess he was fortunate enough to do that. As far as I can remember it was only the basic "duckpond" "under water hardly moving at all" verse - to the Gounod tune.

However he also used to sing "Oh no, we'll never get drunk no more" to the same tune - anyone remember that?

My father grew up in colonial Ceylon - in the 20's and 30's - and probably picked up the song at school or university in Ceylon - though he spent several years in Scotland and England later.

Nalin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 04 Nov 14 - 08:20 PM

Just listened to the link posted by Jim Dixon on 11th March 2009: seriously late cymbalist!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,Edwin Duthie
Date: 11 Nov 14 - 09:58 PM

The version I learned from my Gran as a child went:

Hey Aunt Jemima, look at your Uncle Jim.
He's in the duckpond learning how to swim.
First he does the breast stroke, then he does the crawl.
Hey Aunt Jemima he's down the waterfall.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Dec 14 - 03:47 PM

That's so hilarious that there are so many variations. I haven't read all through but my Dad's second verse was

Oh Jemima look at you're Uncle Jim
Cleaning out the parlour with water soap and vim
First he kneels on his left knee, then he kneels on his right
Now he's knelt on the bar of soap and slithered right out of sight.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Feb 15 - 01:38 AM

As well as the verse about Jim, My mother, of Surrey, Sutton, sang:

Oh Jemimah, look at your Aunty Kate,
She's on the duck pond learning how to skate,
First she does the aurora, then she does the glide!
Now she's underwater, swimming against the tide.


The tune was so very like a march in Gounod's opera Faust.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,dayvaitch
Date: 08 Mar 15 - 08:23 AM

We had a scout songbook in the 1950s, there were about 5 verses as I remember, starting with the Mow Cop version of the "duckpond" one. None of the others posted here ring any bells, but that doesn't signify much. I hadn't noticed the Gounod resemblance until now but I think you're right.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 21 Mar 15 - 05:18 AM

btw
re: goatfell - 11 Mar 09 - 12:45 PM

Here is Tommy Scott singing the two verses in a
medley -at ~ 1:15 


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Oct 15 - 06:10 PM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Oct 15 - 06:18 PM

Oh aunt Jemima look at your uncle Clive,
he's in the garage learning how to drive,
first he is in low gear then he is in top,
and now he's on the roadway wondering how to stop...

Oh aunt Jemima look at your uncle Peter,
he's in the bathtub washing both his feet,
first he does the left one then he does the right
and now he's under the water vanishing down the plug.

Some verses are vague re uncle Jim and others...I am 70 now and learned many scout songs as a brownie...they were more fun than ours......like..

one elephant began to play
out on a spiders web one day..etc.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,Helen M.
Date: 21 Apr 17 - 10:01 AM

I remember something like..............
Oh Jemima Look at your Aunty Kate
She's on the duck pond learning how to skate
First she's going forward then shes going back
Now shes under water 'cos the ice did crack


Is that correct?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 22 Apr 17 - 03:19 AM

My Mum had a slightly bawdier version:

Oh Mother, look at Uncle Jim
Lying in the piddle pot learning how to swim
First he did the side stroke then he did the splash
And then he did a mighty fart and out went the gas!

LFF


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Oh, Jemima, Look at Your Uncle Jim...
From: GUEST,Colvin Ford
Date: 01 May 17 - 07:58 AM

Daisy, Daisy, look at your Uncle Jim
He's down in the bathtub learning how to swim,
first he does the backstroke, then he does the dive,
and now he's down the plughole swimming against the tide


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