She Loves Coffee and I Love Tea

DESCRIPTION: "I love coffee, I love tea, I love the boys and the boys love me, Wish my mama would hold her tongue, She loved the boys when she was young." "I wish my papa would do the same, For he caused a girl to change her name."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1922 (Brown)
KEYWORDS: courting nonballad playparty
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
BrownIII 91, "She Loves Coffee and I Love Tea" (2 text plus 1 excerpt and mention of 2 more)
BrownSchinhanV 91, "She Loves Coffee and I Love Tea" (1 tune plus a text excerpt)

Roud #740
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Grandma's Advice" (theme)
cf. "Sailor Laddie (II)" (four lines)
NOTES: This looks like it might be a fragment of "Grandma's Advice" or something similar. Since, however, the Brown texts all seem to survive in similar form, I've given it a separate listing. - RBW
I concede that it is a stretch to make a connection with Opie-Oxford2 386, "One, two, three": "One, two, three, I love coffee, And Billy loves tea, How good you be, One, two, three, I love coffee, And Billy loves tea" (earliest date in Opie-Oxford2 is 1842). - BS
Whatever the origin of the Opie item, it is also found in Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #629, p. 249-250. - RBW
There are lots of reports of skipping rope rhymes beginning "I love coffee, I love tea, I love the boys and the boys love me" (see, for example, E.C. Perrow, "Songs and Rhymes from the South" in The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. XXVIII, No. 108 (Apr 1915 (available online by JSTOR)), #58 p. 186 "I Love Coffee" (1 text); Robert Craig Maclagan, The Games and Diversions of Argyleshire (London, 1901 ("Digitized by Google")), p. 254, ("March, march, two by two, my little sister lost her shoe, I love coffee, I love tea, I love the boys and the boys love me" (1 text)), but I have only seen "I wish my mother ... when she was young" with "x loves coffee, etc.," in "Sailor Laddie."
On the other hand, the "hold your tongue" lines exist independent of "x loves coffee." For example, "Tell your mother to hold her tongue. She had a fellow when she was young. Tell your father to do the same. He was the one to change her name" (source: Ed Cray, "Jump-Rope Rhymes from Los Angeles" in Western Folklore, Vol. XXIX, No. 2 (Apr 1970 (available online by JSTOR)), p. 126, ("Tell your mother to hold her tongue") (1 text)). Another game has a mother refuse to allow her daughter to "go down to the corner to meet her beau"; her father says, "Yes my daughter, you may go Down to the corner to meet your beau. Tell your Mother to hold her tongue She had a beau when she was young!" (source: Loman D. Cansler, "Midwestern and British Children's Lore Compared" in Western Folklore, Vol. XXVII, No. 1 (Jan 1968 (available online by JSTOR)), p. 14). - BS
Last updated in version 4.1
File: Br3091

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.