Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush
DESCRIPTION: "Here we go round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush, Here we go round... So early in the morning." "This is the way we wash our clothes." "This is the way we bake the bread." And so forth, through many household tasks
EARLIEST DATE: 1834 (Opie-Game)
KEYWORDS: work nonballad playparty
FOUND IN: US(MW,NE) Canada(Ont)
REFERENCES (11 citations):
Wolford, pp. 56-57=WolfordRev, pp. 215-216, "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" (1 text, 1 tune)
Linscott, pp. 38-40, "Mulb'ry Bush" (1 text, 1 tune)
MHenry-Appalachians, p. 244, (no title) (1 short text)
Opie-Game 66, "The Mulberry Bush" (5 texts)
Newell, #23, "We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" (1 text, 1 tune)
Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #638, p. 253, "(Here we go round the bramble bush)"
Jack, p. 61, "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" (1 text)
Dolby, p. 126, "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Emelyn E Gardner, "Some Play-Party Games in Michigan" in The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. XXXIII, No. 128 (Apr 1920 (available online by JSTOR)), #33 pp. 113-114, "Mulberry-Bush" (2 texts, 1 tune)
F.W. Waugh, "Canadian Folk-Lore from Ontario" in The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. XXXI, No. 119 (Jan 1918 (available online by JSTOR)), #637 p. 54 "The Mulberry-Bush" (1 text)
cf. "Gathering Nuts in May" (tune)
cf. "This Is the Way We Wash Our Clothes" (lyrics)
cf. "She Washes the Dishes Three Times a Day" (form)
cf. "The Old Soap-Gourd" (form)
cf. "A Young Lady Sat Down to Sleep" (lyrics, form)
NOTES: Linscott reports this to the tune "Nancy Dawson," also used for "Nuts in May," and they do use the same tune in my experience, though I've never heard it called "Nancy Dawson."
Dolby mentions a suggestion by R. S. Duncan that this was about Wakefield Prison and the female prisoners there, who had a mulberry tree -- but this really strikes me as a children's song, not some sort of political piece!
There is another song, indexed as "This Is the Way We Wash Our Clothes," which shares lyrics and feeling with this. But it's a doll-dancing song; I've very tantatively split them. - RBW
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