Thursday, 25 July 2013

More cherries

Eldest brother has reminded me of this poem by A A Milne. Christopher Robin was a big part of his childhood and was read to him a lot. My twin brother and I were/are 7 years younger so he could read to us.

A. A. Milne's Now We are Six (1927) had the following version of "Cherry stones":
Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief,
Or what about a cowboy, policeman, jailer, engine driver, or a pirate chief?
Or what about a ploughman or a keeper at the zoo,
Or what about a circus man who lets the people through?
Or the man who takes the pennies on the roundabouts and swings,
Or the man who plays the organ or the other man who sings?
Or what about the rabbit man with rabbits in his pockets
And what about a rocket man who's always making rockets?
Oh it's such a lot of things there are and such a lot to be
That there's always lots of cherries on my little cherry tree.[3]

And also that this was/is a counting song that included the bits I remembered. I remember this year, next year, sometime, never and big house, little house, pigsty, barn, but not the others.
When shall I marry?
This year, next year, sometime, never.
What will my husband be?
Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich-man, poor-man, beggar-man, thief.
What will I be?
Lady, baby, gypsy, queen.
What shall I wear?
Silk, satin, cotton, rags (or silk, satin, velvet, lace)
How shall I get it?
Given, borrowed, bought, stolen.
How shall I get to church?
Coach, carriage, wheelbarrow, cart.
Where shall I live?
Big house, little house, pig-sty, barn.


  1. I remember some of these...seem to recall them being associated with skipping.

    A.A. Milne was not an influence on my early years...father regarded him as bourgeois... so I grew up on Lewis carroll and Hilaire Belloc who presumably were not.

  2. Now you've said skipping I seem to recall the rope being turned faster and faster as the choices were chanted? But since they all seem to get worse as you go on, presumabley you had to get through the rhyme and start again to get the ideal marriage :-)

  3. Gosh, those take me back! We still have cherries on our trees, so off out to pick some and do the rhymes. :-)

  4. Are there any postings that explains how you ended up renovating a stone house in France. I lived in Paris for one year when I was eighteen. Loved the country. The locals take a long time to warm to.

  5. Just one of our 'oh go on then, let's give it a go' decisions. Parisians have the reputation of being difficult to get to know.