"This Old Man"

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Ryan Tsang, Feb 14, 2005.

  1. Ryan Tsang

    Ryan Tsang Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2000
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0
    In the nursery rhyme "This Old Man", he plays Knick Knack all over the place. What is Knick Knack? What is Patty Whack? And why was he rolling home?
     
  2. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 7, 1999
    Messages:
    2,921
    Likes Received:
    1
    I think it has something to do with S&M with a dog, but I'm not quite sure

    Brent
     
  3. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 1998
    Messages:
    9,709
    Likes Received:
    173
    I loved a Far Side cartoon in which Gary Larson showed an old lady saying "With a knick knack paddy whack, give a dog a bone!", and in the next panel we see an old man rolling down the hill towards the house....
     
  4. Yousaf

    Yousaf Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, "rolling" is a term referring to being on Ecstacy (maybe other drugs as well?), and with the creative naming of drugs on the street, I wouldn't discount the possibility of "knick knacks" or "paddy wacks" or "knick knack paddy whacks" referring to some exotic substance or combination thereof. So, in an effort to dull his old man pain, he goes out to buy a few "knick knack paddy whacks", ingests them, and then "rolls" home.




    Out there? Maybe, but remember Puff the Magic Dragon...[​IMG]
     
  5. MarkMel

    MarkMel Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,838
    Likes Received:
    106
    A lot of nursery rhymes have some meaning. Sing a song of sixpence was actually a coded message from Blackbeard to recruit sailors for his ship.
     
  6. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    Messages:
    1,699
    Likes Received:
    0
    'Cause his old man's a Rolling Stone. [​IMG]
     
  7. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,654
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Pittsfield, MA
    Real Name:
    Jay

    What about Puff? He lived by the sea.

    [​IMG]

    Jay
     
  8. Kenneth

    Kenneth Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1997
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    0

    It's that Jackie Paper. I heard he was trouble [​IMG]

    Kenneth
     
  9. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    6,531
    Likes Received:
    15


    Quite true. Often they were used as a coded criticism of the monarchy in England. Unlike the urban legend that "Bah, Bah, Black Sheep" is a racist rhyme, it actually is a complaint about the high taxes the crown and it's subsidiaries levied on the average "sheep" (peasantry). "One for my master, one for my dame...".
     
  10. andrew markworthy

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1999
    Messages:
    4,762
    Likes Received:
    12


    Urban myth, I'm afraid - see Stopes.

    A very useful book on the subject of nursery rhymes and their origins is The Oxford Book of Nursery Rhymes edited by Peter and Ilona Opie, published by Oxford University Press. As far as I can recall 'knick knack paddywhack' is deliberate nonsense. Unfortunately the book isn't to hand and I won't be able to get my hands on it until later this week, but I'll try to remember to look it up.

    Oh and just before anyone says it, Ring a Roses is not about the plague. The earliest version of the rhyme is 19th century and has nothing to do with plague symptoms.

    However, if you want a really creepy origin for a nursery rhyme, check out London Bridge is Falling Down. The song is all about how the bridge will be prevented from falling down. What is not often realised is that in the oldest versions of the rhyme a 'watcher' was to be placed in the bridge. This is a reference to the charming habit of burying a person alive in the foundations of a river bridge to assuage the river gods.
     
  11. MarkMel

    MarkMel Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,838
    Likes Received:
    106
    Really? huh, I could've sworn that I saw that on some history channel type show not from an internet source.

    Oh well, live and learn.
     
  12. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    8,311
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino


    You probably did. TV documentaries are no more immune from falling for this junk as newspaper columnists or the authors of books. (All of whom have perpetuated various urban legends.) I once saw an urban legend reported as fact on one A&E or TLC show and the same legend debunked a few hours later on an "urban legends" show on the same channel. [​IMG]

    Chances are that last weekend your local TV news and/or newspaper made reference to the "fact" that more incidents of domestic violence are reported on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year. The only problem is, this simply isn't true. There is no statistical evidence whatsoever to support the notion. But that doesn't stop people who read it years ago, before it was debunked, from repeating it endlessly, leading new people to believe it and repeat it at the end of every football season.

    BTW, the invaluable Urban Legends Reference page that everyone should have bookmarked isn't "Stopes", but "Snopes".

    Snopes not only has the phony Blackbeard pirate story, they have the story of how TLC's Mostly True Stories: Urban Legends Revealed story got it wrong

    Given the tendency to read way too much into this stuff, I see no particular reason to buy the "bah bah black sheep" story, either, although Snopes does not debunk that.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  13. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    6,531
    Likes Received:
    15



    The "Bah Bah Black Sheep" story is true, I read it in an origins of fairy tales book written by a noted history of literature professor (forgot the title and prof., it was for a class about 15 years ago). The urban legend about the rhyme comes from the false assumption that it is somehow related to racist thought.

    Origins of nursery rhymes:

    Ditto
     
  14. andrew markworthy

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1999
    Messages:
    4,762
    Likes Received:
    12

    I'm afraid that a lot of our better-known nursery rhymes do have more sinister or 'adult' origins. The danger is that once started, people want to read something into every rhyme. E.g. people have tried to read all sorts of things into 'The Twelve Days of Christmas', though according to the Opies' book (and I urge anyone interested in this sort of thing to get hold of a copy) it started off as a memory game for Victorian Christmas entertainment (before TV, the need for amusement must have been dire). Against this, however, there is very good evidence that something as innocuous as 'ladybug, fly awy home' has its origins in rhymes from ancient Egypt. The trouble is that without good scholarship, sorting out the true (no matter how bizarre) from the fanciful is practically impossible.
     
  15. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    8,311
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino
    I'll have to find that book. As for the SCA website, I don't think I would trust anything on it. This howler is so historically illiterate that it calls every word on the site into question, not excluding "and" and "the":


    What do these people have against poor Richard? [​IMG] And why would a king who died in 1485, after less than two years on the throne, be particularly connected with a law passed 210 years earlier? I think whoever compiles this site is too credulous by half.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  16. andrew markworthy

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1999
    Messages:
    4,762
    Likes Received:
    12


    Richard III was demonised by the Tudors who replaced him on the throne. Although in reality he was probably no better or worse than most monarchs he was made into a hate figure to justify Henry VII's rather tenuous claim to the throne. Given that Henry VII heralded in a period of relative peace, people were prepared to go along with the propaganda.
     
  17. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    Messages:
    2,203
    Likes Received:
    106


    andrew said ain't!

    What kind of Brit are you? :wink:
     
  18. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Messages:
    3,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually, Snopes supports the sixpence/Blackbeard connection.....

    http://www.snopes.com/lost/sixpence.htm


    Of course they could be wrong, but why haven't they bothered to change it in years? They update every other myth if it is proven true or untrue. Obviously its a conspiracy!

    Snopes uses coded myth refrences in a an attempt to overthrow the president! Viva' la revolution! [​IMG]
     
  19. MarkMel

    MarkMel Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,838
    Likes Received:
    106




    Ah ha, so I was right. Or was I? Who knows. And I believed some guy on an internet forum that told me that snopes discounted the story, without even clicking the link myself. Shame on me. [​IMG]
     
  20. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    6,531
    Likes Received:
    15
    That was the book I read for that course, by Henry Bett -

    Nursery Rhymes and Tales, Their Origin and History

    I too believed a poster instead of trusting my own memory and checking a link for positive proof. Shame on me, also.

    Edit - Whoops. Looks like Snopes put the joke on all:

    Snopes explains Pocket full of Wry Hoax

    Funny, but they did cite the book I read. I had not recalled the Blackbeard explanation being in the book, though. Turns out for good reason!
     

Share This Page