Monday, 22 July 2013

Puppy Dogs’ Tails or Sugar and Spice ... then Downland Beauties ...

Which will you, HRH, be?  This is a brief interim post before a slightly more interesting one, once the new baby has arrived later today or tomorrow ...  also it gives me a few extra hours or days to get my ducks in order!

Beachy Head, East Sussex
just west of Eastbourne

What Are Little Boys Made of?” is a popular nursery rhyme dating from the early 19th century, with a Roud Folk Song Index: number 821, and I’m sure most of you will have heard of it:

What are little boys made of?
What are little boys made of?
Slugs and Snails
And puppy-dogs’ tails

That’s what little boys are made of.

What are little girls made of?
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and Spice
And everything nice,

That’s what little girls are made of.

The Roud Folk Song Index is a database of nearly 200,000 references to nearly 25,000 songs that have been collected from oral tradition in the English language from all over the world.

It is compiled by Steve Roud, a former librarian in the London Borough of Croydon.  Roud’s Index is a combination of the Broadside Index (printed sources before 1900) and a “field-recording index” compiled by Roud.

Wild flowers at Beachy Head
taken by me last year

The primary function of the Roud Folk Song Index is to act as a research aid which correlates versions of traditional folk song lyrics that have been independently documented over past centuries by many different collectors across both the UK and North America.

Number 821 sometimes appears as part of a larger work called “What Folks Are Made of” (or "What All the World is Made of”); other stanzas describe what babies, young men, young women, sailors, soldiers, nurses, fathers, mothers, old men, old women and all folks are made of.

Bouquet type roses with
summer flowers - July 2012
According to Iona and Peter Opie, this first appears in a manuscript by the English poet Robert Southey, (1774 – 1843), who added the other stanzas.

The Opies were a husband and wife team of folklorists, who applied modern techniques to children’s literature, summarized in their studies, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1951) and the Lore and Language of Schoolchildren (1959).  They are also noted anthologists and assembled large collections of children’s literature, toys and games.

Rapunzel - illustration
by Johnny Gruelle
The Opies’ collection of children’s books and ephemera covers the 16th to 20th century and is the richest library of children’s literature.  It was begun in 1944, amounting in the end to 20,000 pieces.

Their large collection of historic toys and games is still owned by Iona Opie, but the books and other printed material were donated to the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

Now to the Downland beauties ... last week I met up with Patsy Collins and we graced Beachy Head with our presence – one of us presentable, one without her hat for her receding hairline .. not so!

Downland beauties - Patsy and I
Sad – I hope the new little one will not have the sort of hairline I have – Patsy’s auburn-red locks are much stronger and sturdier ... and could be used for being rescued from the tower ... similar to Rapunzel’s rescue.  On the other hand my thin fine hair with all the squash I played – it made life easier with a rinse or wash and go style ...

However we had a great time ... Patsy’s husband joined us ... and we agreed to meet again sometime when we can natter about the blog, internet and author life ... and not bore the pants off Gary! 

Patsy's Rapunzel
type hair - it's stunning
Gary is into ships and all things Maritime .. so when a ferry he needs to photograph returns from repair in Dieppe ... they’ll return to Newhaven and we can meet again.

So what will this little one be made of ... a puppy dog tail or of all things nice like sugar and spice?

The new image!
The press cannot be having a field day I’d guess .. it is incredibly hot! 


The announcement gets put out at Buckingham Palace and I think they have a gun salute too ... but soon we will find out, in the meantime I wish both parents well ...

Wikipedia entry re the nursery rhyme
Wiki page on the Opies 

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's great you got to meet up with Patsy. I bet she was full of energy.
I'd like to see all of the stanzas. And for the record, I am not made of slugs.

Janie Junebug said...

What beautiful hair Patsy has. I'm excited about the new baby, but I'm always excited about new babies.


Sara said...

I like the "new image." The hat is adorable. I always wished I could wear hats, but I can't. They never look good on me.

It is amazing it's time for the times flies, although I doubt Kate feels that way. It must be hard to have the entire country waiting for you to give birth.

As usual, I enjoyed the bit about folk songs, especially the "What are little boys made of..." It was interesting that it was continued into "What Folks are Made of..."

I'm glad you had fun with Patsy. You're right; I'm jealous of all the beautiful red hair:~)

I also have fine hair, which presents lots of challenges, but I like your comment about "it made life easier with a rinse and wash and go style."

I know you'll keep us up to date on the BABY and give us all the news once things are announced.


Anonymous said...

Interesting that you post this today,Hilary, when over here on wordpress the weekly writing prompt includes "snips and snails and puppy dog tails", which I had never heard before.
Interesting post, as always.

Patsy said...

My gran used to say the slugs and snails rhyme - probably as I was a tomboy and she wanted me to be more girly. Had the reverse effect as I thought it'd be fun to be made of puppydog tails.

That hat really suits you - and it's a sensible piece of clothing in this weather.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex .. it was/is fun .. the stanzas must be somewhere .. but I didn't search - would have made the post way tooooo long! Ok noted - you're not made of slugs ... !!

@ Janie - yes she does have gorgeous hair doesn't she ..

No sign of baby yet ..

@ Sara - thanks re my hat! The hair what's left of it looks awful when the hat comes off!!

Poor girl yes the world's press is outside the hospital and Buck Palace ..

I thought bloggers would enjoy hearing a little of the literary history of folk songs ..

It was lovely meeting up with Patsy .. and she does have lovely hair ... my hair has its advantages!

Yes I will - baby post sometime later this week ..

@ Sue - isn't that coincidental .. and that was the bit I didn't put in ...

... they used other words .. eg frogs, snips or snigs (Cumbrian dialet for a small eel), snakes - rather than slugs ....

Fascinating that the Wordpress Writing Prompt ties in with my own thoughts ...

@ Patsy ... I think I was more tomboy than girl too - and I know we sang that song ... knowing us very loudly on our bicycles!

Thanks - the hat is a fun piece of gear .. and I've enjoyed wearing it ...

No baby just yet!! Cheers Hilary

Chatty Crone said...

I have that poem framed - it was in my son's room now in my grandson's room. They are made of those things! Now who is Patsy - your daughter? sandie

Suzanne Furness said...

Hopefully we shouldn't have long to wait now before an 'announcement.' How lovely you met up with Patsy. Your new look is fab, Hilary, love the hat.

Anonymous said...

How wonderful to see you, my friend! Hugs from me and Jen ((( )))

Anonymous said...

Your new image...LOVE it. And the hat... JUST wonderful...

Bish Denham said...

Lovely locks. And what a wonderful thing that certain people collected the songs and stories. How tragic it would be if they had been lost.

Here's to HRH.

Southpaw said...

The new image is fantastic and I love that hat!

Inger said...

I said it last time, I really like your new picture. Cool hat. So now we know ~ it's a boy! Congrats to the new parents and all of you my British friends.

Old Kitty said...

It's a boy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Awwww but the royal news pales in comparison to this one!! You and the fragrant Patsy together! Brilliant, just brilliant!!

Awww Hilary!!! Your new image is totally stunning!!! Pink suits you!! I love pink!!

Take care

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I love both photos of you.

I am probably sugar and spice on my good days. :)

J.L. Murphey said...

Another King for the realm!

Luanne G. Smith said...

Love the new image! I've been seeing you around the blogs in your new hat and was going to tell you how festive it is for summer. :)

And, well, we know the news now. All we need is a name for the little prince.

Denise Covey said...

So it's a boy! I really thought it was to be a girl. So much excitement. I wouldn't like to be in London at the moment!

Love your new image Hilary!

Looking forward to your next post.


Margie said...

You wear the hat beautifully :)
Oh, I have always loved that nursery rhyme.

Margie :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sandie .. I've put the link in - Patsy is another blogger and author - whom I was able to meet locally.

The poem is a funny one isn't - love that you've got it framed and in your grandson's room ..

@ Suzanne - they knew, but we didn't by the time I was writing the post - the little boy had arrived. It was great to meet Patsy ..

@ Ann and Jen - how wonderful to see you here - and thanks so much re the hat!

@ Bish .. thanks - yes it's always interesting to learn about where lists and recorded data have come from .. the British Library also have recently been recording sounds for posterity .. and dialects ..

@ Holly - thanks so much ..

@ Inger - yes thanks, you picked up the new 'image' in my last post .. now we know ... all the other snippets of info I can weave together into a new post ..

@ Old Kitty - yes - it's a boy!

It was lovely being able to meet up with Patsy .. I'm not sure we were so fragrant in that heat! I should wear more pink - you're right ..

@ Teresa - thanks so much .. I guess us girls could so easily be either or - depending on our day .. outside climbing trees, making mud pies ... or being pretty!

@ JL - yes a 3rd in line ..

@ LG - thanks so much .. the hat is the success! Oh dear - you think I should change it for winter!?!

The name for the new heir might be a while yet .. lots of speculation ..

@ Denise - I have to say I'd hoped for a girl ... but when I heard someone mention it'll be a boy, as it's late - I thought oh ok = it will turn out to be a 'he'.

@ Margie - thanks re the hat, the nursery rhyme is one of those classics isn't it ..

Cheers to you all - parts of the country are swamped with heavy rain and lightning storms - not a drop here so far. Hilary

Annalisa Crawford said...

It's great meeting up with blogger buddies, isn't it?

Every time my boys do something horrible and boy-like I recite the boy part of that rhyme to them :-) Yes... every time... they love me lol

Anonymous said...

Love the hat Hilary! A Royal Garden party sort of hat perhaps? Great that the baby has been born but now my daughter is praying that they do not 'steal' their chosen name (her own little boy is due in four weeks and they have finally settled on...I shall not say but oh woe is she if the Royal baby pips them at the post!)

Anonymous said...

Love the hat Hilary! A Royal Garden party sort of hat perhaps? Great that the baby has been born but now my daughter is praying that they do not 'steal' their chosen name (her own little boy is due in four weeks and they have finally settled on...I shall not say but oh woe is she if the Royal baby pips them at the post!)

Unknown said...

How nice that you got to visit with Patsy. I hope you get to meet again soon. I would love to meet you someday.

A Lady's Life said...

love your new image lol
You look great!

Unknown said...

I've always wanted a full head of read hair! Alas I'm mostly gray and have to color mine which is thin. Gosh Hilary I wish I could pull off wearing a hat like you!

Any guesses on the new babies name?

Jo said...

Always loved those rhymes. I also like the Monday's child rhyme too. I was a Wednesday's child, so full of woe.

Well now we know the new prince is here and what he is made of. All we need now is his name. I had never heard of the Prince of Cambridge title before although have since read up about it. I'm rather surprised I didn't know, I am usually quite good on titles.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Annalisa - it is fun meeting up with bloggers and putting that face to an actual person! I shall get to Cornwall sometime and then my Cornish/Devon meet ups will start ..

Your boys - must be thrilled!

@ Debbie - thanks so much .. I'm not so sure about that - I did go to a Royal Garden party years and years ago with my father .. but can't remember what I wore or if I had a hat ...

Oh yes - I can see the dilemma re baby's name ... I hope they don't 'steal' her thunder and choose a different name .. we shall see and you will let me know!

@ Clarissa - it was lovely catching up with Patsy .. and yes - I'd love an invite to meet you sometime .. so pencil that in for 201x ??!!

@ A Lady's Life - thanks!

@ Jen - I always wanted 'decent' hair .. I have to say I was happy in my squash playing days - but now I could do with a better head of hair ...

... oh well hats - and perhaps turbans ... Helena Bonham-Carter playing Elizabeth Taylor showed a few off in the Channel 4 film on Taylor and Burton last night ...

I've always looked good in hats - but simply don't like wearing them!

Babies name .. no idea - I slightly hope it'll be something different ... I don't think it will be Edward, George - or Charles or James being too contentious I'm not sure ...

We shall wait and see ..

@ Jo - I love those sorts of nursery rhymes too

The title is quite old as you've gathered and I had a glance when Kate became the Duchess of Cambridge on her marriage to Prince William, who was already the Duke of Cambridge ..

Cheers to everyone .. Hilary

Julie Flanders said...

What a great picture of you and Patsy! And I love your new profile image.

I've always loved those nursery rhymes so cute.

TALON said...

That poem brought so many memories back. And you look stunning, Hilary!~ Love the new image! :)

MunirGhiasuddin said...

I love your new image!

mail4rosey said...

Is it silly that I teared up when they made the announcement???

I first saw the 'puppy dog tails' saying on a onesie my last child got for a baby shower gift (part of a an outfit).

Glad you and Patsy had a good visit and got some awesome pictures too. :)

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

How interesting! I had no idea that nursery rhyme had more verses. I'll have to look them up just to satisfy my curiosity. (Yeah, I know: curiosity killed the cat... but satisfaction brought him back.)

Even U.S. newscasters are in a tizzy with news of the new king-to-be. I can imagine how it must be there.

Again, I LOVE the pic of you in that hat. Simply loverly.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, and puppy dog tails has arrived!!! Patsy has gorgeous hair. My mom is a redhead and as a kid, I was glad to be blonde, but as an adult, I wish I'd gotten it.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I didn't realize that rhyme was so old.

I like Patsy's red hair - for obvious reasons.

loverofwords said...

Welcome the HRH, the Prince of Cambridge! How exciting for all! Good news is especially welcome these days. And he might very well have red hair, which I am partial to, having a red-haired son my self--(that Viking influence, I understand). This has been a stellar year for the UK!

Carol Kilgore said...

Congratulations on your new prince! And I love your hat :)

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,

Shall keep this a mercifully brief comment today.

Delighted to see you met up with one of your adoring fans. Patsy, your good self and some light-hearted banter.

And thus it's announced she had a "baby boy." I would have been somewhat surprised if she gave birth to a fully grown male adult!

I'm much more interested in looking at your good self and your that compliments you so well. No, I don't mean your hat talks.

Have fun, enjoy the sun. Must go now and how....


cleemckenzie said...

Greetings, Patsy. Great to meet you on Hilary's blog.

Hilary, I love your new image. The hat is so fetching. Do people still use fetching or am I being old-fashioned?

I read Bryson's book, A Short HIstory of Everything, and was fascinated by how some of the oldest folk songs that had long disappeared from your side of the pond, popped up in the middle of the states.

Romance Book Haven said...

Love the new image, Hilary! And so cool that you met up with Patsy!


Julia Hones said...

How exciting that you met a blogger friend in person. I've never met anybody in person from the blogosphere.
The pictures are great.
Sugar and spice?
Mmmmmh. I have to think about that one...

Patricia said...

So liked your new picture and yes we have been doing baby watching over here too. Prince/ Duke William shares my oldest daughter's birth date (4 years younger) and now the New Prince shares my second daughter's birth date. My mum would have thought it a blessing.

History through songs of children always fascinating reveals and a good way to remember the details.

This was a fun read and I am so happy my new computer is up and running - it was such a long wait.

I too envy the red thick tresses - My oldest daughter has thick almost black/nearly grey tresses and she can do so much. I too am beneath a hat when outside for my baby fine salt and pepper. Hats are lovely :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Julie - it was fun meeting up with Patsy .. and thankfully I can put the new image up front now! Nursery rhymes mean so much to us ..

@ Talon - poems from our childhood or our children's young days stir up so many thoughts ...thank you re the 'image'

@ Munir - many thanks ..

@ Rosy - no I don't think so .. I'm a softie too and have had the odd tear recently ...

A 'onesie' .. a new one on me - but I can guess what it means by your description!

Meeting Patsy was fun ..

@ Susan - I hope you found the rest of the verses .. there wasn't a link to the others .. and odd curiosity did kill this cat this time ..

I've noticed - newscasters around the world have been in a right tizzy ... well I don't watch that much but journalism is journalism .. and media coverage is grabbing as much as possible! squeezing all stones to see if anything else pops up! I've been reading up!

Thanks re the hat ..

@ Hart yes 'puppy dog tails' is now home .. well his London home ..

We have red hair on my mother's side .. but nothing like Patsy's .. and it is gorgeous ... but can understand you'd rather have a good deep auburn/red colour ...

@ Diane - I had no idea Southey wrote it originally .. and yes snap with your red locks - they do frame you so well.

@ Tasha - yes finally the little lad arrived and everyone seems to want the good news .. he could have red hair - the Vikings gave us much!

The UK's had three pretty amazing years .. the wedding, then the Jubilee and Olympics, and now the Coronation anniversary and the new HRH - it'll be strange to be without a major event ..

@ Carol - thanks so much re the new prince and my hat!

Good to see you all and now we can stand down from HRH waiting! Cheers to you all .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Not quite sure what got into me there! Completely forgot I needed to scroll down for the rest of your wonderful comments - sorreeee!!

@ Gary - our lunch was fun .. and the light hearted banter added to the mix.

I'm sure I've been adding words where I need not - it would have been a miracle if he'd appeared as a male adult and I'd definitely be very doddery - and for now I'll keep those years ahead!

Thanks re the hat and the great outdoors - we all need to enjoy while it's here .. there's a lot of damp in the air today ...

@ Nas - it was lovely meeting Patsy and thanks re the 'image' ..

@ Julia - I've now met three ... all have been lovely - which just adds to the advantages of blogging .. meeting people you'd never normally meet ... it's been great ...

Your little one - is she sugar and spice?!!

@ Patricia - yea you're computer is up and running - that must make you breathe easier!

Incredible co-incidence re the birthdays .. fun though. History through the songs of our lands tell us so much - thankfully now we can keep them alive in audio libraries etc ...

Tresses - good word ...

And songs have been 'found' in early settler lands .. and are now recorded for posterity .. America, Australia, South Africa ... thankfully we realise the significance of and importance of keeping and recording these poems with music ...

Cheers to you all .. Hilary

Lynn said...

I like your new image - lovely. Nice hat!

I always remembered that poem as boys are made of "snips and snails and puppy dog tails." - I have no idea what snips are though. :)

Sara said...

LOL I hurried over here absolutely sure you'd have the latest on the new arrival. It's probably in the works...a boy after all, but I still approve of "The Succession to Crown Act."

Hope you doing well, Hilary.

Cheers to you:~)

Vallypee said...

I'm reading this post after the event, and the new baby is Goerge, so no worries about hairlines there. In any event, Hilary, I love the new look, and agree that Patsy has lovely hair!

Stephen Tremp said...

Love the new look you! I remember as a kid being sucked in by the pictures for.the nurdery thymes. They were indeed.worth.a.thousand words.

Congrats to.the new.addition to the Royal Family. I think they should name him Chase

Jannie Funster said...

Well, it IS puppy dogs tails, isn't it?? :)

I love your hairline just as it is. The hat is adorable too. just lovely! And good for a bit of sun protection.

Here we have Rounder Folk records, but nothing like the vast Roud index. Pretty interesting all!


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lynn - many thanks .. snips are small eels from the north west of England.

@ Sara - well I was taken aback at how quickly the names came out .. but I guess it was so they could be left alone ...

... also I wanted to make sure all was well - so I was tardy ... like HRH himself!

@ Val - looks like HRH's head of hair will be a good one for now. Thanks re Patsy and I ..

@ Stephen - appreciate the new me bit! I don't remember reading nursery rhymes - it was fairy stories and aesop's fables that completely took me over ..

Chase - well that's a thought .. perhaps for number two?!

@ Jannie - yes it is puppy dog's tails .. and George ..

Gosh you should see the hair line sometimes! Glad the hat passed muster though .. and good for the sun ..

Some of the folk songs - music and words - have been found in the States .. so being able to have access to both and fill in the blanks here has helped ...

Thank goodness some people enjoy listing things!

Cheers to you all - and next post is on its way .. Hilary

Juliet said...

I've got behind and am just catching up. I like the new look with the hat; it suits you well. And the other photo of you with Patsy shows you looking relaxed and summery. Very nice.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Juliet - I'm permanently behind .. thanks for coming by and glad you like the image of Patsy and I and then the 'new image' .. I'm way behind too .. cheers Hilary

Tina said...

Your new photo is STUNNING. You look radiant and happy and the hat is divine. I love hats. I have very fine hair, and it's been thinning for years. I'm totally jealous of Patsy's hair, but how neat that you got to meet.
I'm very appreciative of the folks who catalog and keep track of priceless treasures like that! I also didn't know that all those songs are indexed, that's cool. The American version has snails instead of slugs. Not sure there's much difference...maybe that snails carry their house...
Tina @ Life is Good

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. thank you so much .. and our hair sounds much the same .. but it had its advantages over the years. I agree Patsy's got a very fine head of hair ..

The history behind the songs' index .. I'd noted it before, but this time there was a reason to blog about it.

Our versions of puppy dog tails varies too .. slugs, snail, snips et al ...

Lovely to see you .. cheers Hilary

CMSmith said...

I like your new photo too. Is Patsy your daughter?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Christine .. thanks re the photo and no - Patsy is a blogging friend ..

Cheers Hilary