Sunday, July 16, 2006

If you see a crocodile...

Today, I visited the Ballard farmer's market. I talked for a bit with an artisan selling her hand-made baby-clothes, wrap-around skirts and handbags. I didn't buy anything, but I told her that I had started sewing a year ago, and that I appreciated the pieces I saw. As I began to leave the stall, a woman came up to me, accompanied by her husband and young child.

"Excuse me," she said, "We were at one of your young toddler library storytimes. We are trying to remember the second verse of Row Row Row Your Boat. I know it has something to do with a waterfall and an alligator, and goes Eeek at the end. My son sings it in the bathtub all the time."

I told the woman, "You've just made my day." I wrote out the second verse for her:

Row row row your boat
Roughly down the stream,
If you see a crocodile
Don't forget to scream:

I learned that verse from a friend in Scotland years ago. I didn't encounter the verse again until I looked up the Wikipedia entry, which has not only the crocodile verse, but even more alternates to make you shiver and laugh. Here is my own contribution for the family I met at the farmer's market:

Row, row, row your boat,
Down the waterfall
If you see an alligator
Throw a melon ball.

Yes, well, it's challenging to improve upon a classic.


abcgirl said...

you crack me up! i don't know many people who would think to rhyme "waterfall" with "melon ball". :)

my favorite row row row your boat version is in a large board book by annie kubler. it has the crocodile/scream verse and also a lion/roar verse. (row your boat gently to the shore, if you see a lion, don't forget to roar) it has great illustrations of babies playing row your boat with each other and is a great way to "sneak" another book into my baby storytime.

Lone Star Ma said...

I love that book, too. It was the Lone Star Baby's very favorite when she was a young baby. She was fond of the whole series.

Nonny said...

I didn't even realize there was additional verses to that song. Very cute. I suppose you've got a million of em :)

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

ABCGirl: It was a toss-up between melon ball and cannon-ball. Although, now that I think of it, I could have worked "caterwaul" in somewhere, eh?

LSM: I did not know of this book, nor that there was a series. See, just because I'm a hoity-toity children's librarian doesn't mean I know everything.:)

Nonny: What about the verse that ends with "throw your teacher overboard and listen to her scream?!"

Lady K said...

Loveable Lyle is just so...well, loveable! And so are YOU. VERY cute post.

Lady K said...


Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Addendum: ABCGirl Alack, my library system does not have the Annie Kubler version of Row, Row Your Boat. I will have to interlibrary-loan it, buy it, or take your word for it that it's good.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Thanks, Lady K!

Lone Star Ma said...

It is a wonderful board book, but the Lone Star Baby, who still mostly just likes board books, has outgrown it - I think Lucia would be way beyond it. If you still want it, let me know and I will send you ours.

HitManJ said...



(shouts of glee)

Word Verifier: The Gathering
I'm back!
Puns, humor, sex, and fun.
Only in the Hideout

goddess of clarity said...

I don't recall any alligators, but I certainly do remember "throwing the teacher overboard" verse, to be repeated ad nauseum on the bus during class field trips.