Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nyah Nyah Nyah Nyah NYAH NYAH

Recalling that jump-rope rhyme last week, I got to thinking about the little musical phrase that went with the lines “Mother’s got a baby” and (oh joy, it’s a boy) “Daddy’s nearly crazy.”  I’d slip the tune in here if I knew how to post a musical clef, but I don’t.  You know the melody – it’s always TAUNTING – and here’s the best I can think of to show it.  The phrase goes –

g  g           g  
        e            e.
This is not Ronald Reagan

“I know what you’re THINK-ING!”
“I see Mary’s UNderPANTS!”
It's always something sarcastic or downright nasty.  What I want to know – does the phrase have a name, something I could look up on Google?  I’ll bet one could look up “Shave and a Hair Cut – Two Bits” for instance.  Something like that?  And I want to Google because I’m wondering how old it is  (Amy guesses it’s medieval).  And does it mean the same thing in Russia?  In Kenya?

Any help with this important problem will be appreciated.


  1. its a waltz. long, short short, (pick up) long long. nyah nyah best describes it though really. a taunt.

  2. Nope, not a waltz.
    short short short short long long

    4 beats

  3. "You're a dirty robber" is one I remember.

  4. must be even older than mediaeval.

  5. Not only can I not read music, I can't even read your musical notes above--but I do know the melody you're describing, and, yes, it is a taunt in every version I've ever heard. "We know what you're doing" is the main one I recall.

    And I was meaning to say something about the "Oh, joy, it's a boy/Daddy's nearly crazy" rhyme before. Because I was a third girl who was supposed to be a second boy, this one hits home.