Appalachia children Games

Jump Rope Songs

the old Martins-Creek-School

The old Martins Creek School – Photo courtesy of Susie Swanson

I loved to jump rope when I was in elementary school. There was a little room off the gym that housed all manner of things, including jump ropes and hula-hoops. Whenever it rained we were allowed to play in the gym and everyone always tried to get to the jump ropes and hula-hoops first. I never did though. On those rainy days the gym turned into bedlam with kids running and screaming. It was impossible to jump rope or hula-hoop without someone running into you or pushing you down in the name of fun.

The photo above shows the backside of the old school. That’s where us girls liked to jump rope. All the traffic seemed to be in the front of the building, although the drive was circular and went all the way around. The playground was also in the front of the building, maybe that’s why the backside always seemed quieter. The only time anything much went on in the back was when it was time for the buses to pick-up or drop-off.

Here’s a couple of jump rope songs we sung as we took turns turning the rope for whoever was jumping:

Cinderella, dressed in yellow
Went upstairs to kiss her fellow
Made a mistake
And kissed a snake
How many doctors
Did it take?
1, 2, 3, 4, 5…

Not last night but the night before
24 robbers came to my door
As I ran out
They ran in
How many policemen came around
1, 2, 3, 4, 5…


Blind Pig reader Leilani Worrell shared this one with me:

(Doctor, Doctor, come on in),
Mama’s got a brand new baby,
It isn’t a boy, it isn’t a girl,
It’s just a brand new baby.

Wrap it up in toilet paper,
Put it in the elevator,
How many floors will it go up?

(And then you would skip rope until you missed a beat.)


Blind Pig reader Hazel Rawls Carr shared these jump ropes songs with me:

Butterfly, butterfly turn around
Butterfly, butterfly touch the ground
Butterfly, butterfly show your shoe
Butterfly, butterfly that will do.

Last night, the night before
A pickle and a fork came knocking at my door
I went downstairs to let them in.
They hit me over the head with a rolling pin.

My sister has a baby, his name is tiny Tim
She put him in the bathtub to teach him how to swim
He drank all the water, and ate all the soap
Now my sister’s baby has a bubble in his throat.

Teddy bear, teddy bear go upstairs
Teddy bear, teddy bear say your prayers
Teddy bear, teddy bear go to sleep
Teddy bear, teddy bear don’t you peep.


Blind Pig reader Susie shared this one with me:

Down in the valley where the green grass grows, there stood ”Debbie” (who ever was jumping) as sweet as a rose , she sang, she sang, so sweet along came ”David” and kissed her on the cheek how many kisses did she get that week, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7, till you tripped up 🙂


In Wanda Stalcup’s book “How I Saw Cherokee County” she shares the following jump rope song:

Bubble gum, bubble gum in a dish, how many pieces do you wish? 1, 2, 3, etc. as you jump.


If you remember any jump rope songs from your childhood please leave a comment and tell us about them.


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  • Reply
    Sherry Thacker
    September 4, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    Does anyone remember the one about who you will marry? Doctor , lawyer, Indian chief. That is all I remember.

  • Reply
    Rosamary Christiansen
    September 6, 2019 at 6:35 am

    “Mabel Mabel, set the table. Don’t forget the red hot peppers!”
    Red hot peppers meant the jumprope was turned very very fast.
    1-2-3-4-….counted each time you jumped the rope.

  • Reply
    August 28, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    All of this does bring back our child hood, and it makes a big smile on our face. Thank You.

  • Reply
    August 28, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    My mother and your mother live across the way.
    Every night they have a fight and this is what they say.

  • Reply
    August 28, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    I remember many of these.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    August 28, 2018 at 11:25 am

    and Don Byers,
    You learn so much reading the Blind Pig and the Acorn. My High School English teacher was Margaret Freel, married to Charles Freel. When I was in High School, every time Mrs. Freel left the room, all the boys waited for her return, and you could hear those High Heels coming down the halls. She was a Good Teacher. …Ken

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    August 28, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Mother, mother I am sick
    Call the doctor quick, quick
    Doctor, doctor, will I die?
    Yes my child but don’t you cry.
    How many cars will be at my funeral? Pretty morbid!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    August 28, 2018 at 9:39 am

    Mary Mack is the only one I remember, but I wasn’t a very good jumper

  • Reply
    August 28, 2018 at 9:20 am

    I loved jumping rope. The sidewalk going up to the front door was perfect for it. I’m reliving my childhood with this post. Children today are missing out on so much.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    August 28, 2018 at 9:12 am

    I think I heard the girls use this for a jump rope song but was used mostly to torment a boy and girl that were struck on one another. Debbie and David setting in a tree, K I SS I N G, first came love, then came marriage, then comes David with a baby carriage.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 28, 2018 at 8:47 am

    Not last night but the night before
    24 robbers came to my door
    They got nothing
    Not even a bean
    Cause I’ve got a 30 round magazine
    For my AR-15
    HOT SHOT!!

    Well, what did you expect? I’m a boy!

  • Reply
    Sharon Schuster
    August 28, 2018 at 7:05 am

    I loved jumping rope as a little girl- by myself, with friends, leisurely, fast, Double Dutch…
    It was fun and quite a challenge when the rhymes called for acrobatics and multiple jumpers.
    Sadly, I don’t remember all the rhymes and I don’t recall all the words to the rhymes that I do remember. When I jumped alone or skipped rope, I used a colorful braided one with red wooden handles. With friends, we used longer clothesline-like ropes. Here are a few jump rope rhymes I remember chanting.

    My mother and your mother were hanging out clothes;
    My mother punched your mother right in the nose.
    What color was the blood?
    Purple. P-U-R-P-L-E. Purple.
    (repeat with different colors)
    Bluebells, cockleshells,
    Eevie, ivy, over
    my dog’s name is Rover;
    He’s standing in the clover
    (can’t remember the rest!)
    I’m a little Dutch girl
    Dressed in blue.
    Here are the things
    I like to do:
    Salute to the captain,
    Bow to the queen,
    Turn by back
    On the little submarine.
    3-6-9, the goose drank wine
    the monkey chewed tobacco on the streetcar line
    the line broke
    the monkey got choked
    they all went to heaven in a little row boat.
    Miss Lucy had a baby.
    She named him Tiny Tim.
    She put him in the bathtub
    To see if he could swim.

    He drank up all the water.
    He ate up all the soap.
    He tried to eat the bathtub,
    But it got stuck in his throat.

    Miss Lucy called the doctor
    (Second jumper comes in.)
    The doctor called the nurse.
    (Third jumper comes in.)
    The nurse called the lady
    With the alligator purse.
    (Fourth jumper comes in.)

    “Mumps” said the doctor.
    “Measles” said the nurse.
    “Nothing” said the woman
    With the alligator purse.

    Miss Lucy hit the doctor.
    Miss Lucy slapped the nurse.
    Miss Lucy paid the woman
    With the alligator purse.

    Out ran the doctor.
    Out ran the nurse.
    Out ran the lady
    With the alligator purse.
    (Extra jumpers exit.)
    Five little monkeys,
    Jumping on the bed.
    One fell off,
    And bumped his head
    Mama called the doctor,
    And the doctor said:
    “No more monkeys
    jumping on the bed!”
    Mabel, Mabel, set the table,
    Just as fast as you are able.
    Don’t forget the salt and… pepper!
    (that’s when they turn the rope faster)
    Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack
    All dressed in black, black, black
    With silver buttons, buttons, buttons
    All down her back, back, back.
    (can’t remember any more)
    Will I marry, tell me so,
    Is the answer yes or no?
    Yes, no maybe so, yes, no, maybe so . . . . .

    • Reply
      August 28, 2018 at 9:17 am

      I remember the one about the monkey and the street car line.

    • Reply
      August 28, 2018 at 10:49 am

      Sharon-thank you so much for adding what you remember 🙂

    • Reply
      August 28, 2018 at 4:01 pm

      Ooh, I know it!
      Miss Mary Mack…She asked her mother, mother, mother
      for 50 cents, cents, cents
      to see the elephants, elephants elephants
      jumpin over the fence, fence, fence.

      They jumped so high, high, high
      they touched the sky, sky, sky
      and they didn’t come back, back, back
      till the 4th of July, lie, lie.
      And my contribution,
      The witch, the witch
      Fell in a ditch.
      Found some pennies
      And thought she was rich.
      1, 2, 3,…

  • Reply
    Don Byers
    August 28, 2018 at 6:41 am

    According to Margaret Walker Freel’s “Our Heritage”, which I refer to as
    “The Green Book”, building contractor W.T. Moore built Old Martin’s Creek School. Also, the stone structures at Robbinsville and Elf School in Clay County. The river bridge at Chatuge Dam has his name as contractor.

    • Reply
      August 28, 2018 at 10:51 am

      Don-fascinating! Is the one at Robbinsville the Stechoah School Building? Every time I go in that building I’m transported back to the old Martins Creek Building and always wondered if they were built by the same person.

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