G’wan Home, Ya’ Mudder’s Callin’


Many of us have memories of our mothers singing songs to us when we were children. My mother, The Dowager Duchess, still tends to burst into song at the drop of a hat (I mean the drop of a word). I inherited that trait. Just about everything makes me think of a song. And if you want me to remember something forever, just put it to music. The Duchess’s favorite songs for children were not those sweet little ditties most mothers sang to their kids. Hers were old vaudeville tunes or songs from films. I don’t know if Good Housekeeping would give their seal of approval to these songs being sung to a 2-year-old, but I sure enjoyed them and will remember them forever. And whatever damage they may have done to my emotional development… well, I’ve learned to live with it.


The first song is one of my all-time favorites. In trying to find it online today, I learned that it’s an old jumping-rope rhyme. I couldn’t find a video of it being performed so you’ll just have to imagine it being sung by the ever-surprising Dowager Duchess.

Oh, I won’t go to Macy’s anymore, more, more.
There’s a big fat policeman at the door, door, door.
He’ll grab you by the collar.
And he’ll make you pay a dollar.
No, I won’t go to Macy’s anymore, more, more!

However, The Dowager Duchess apparently added her own personal twist to the last three lines. She didn’t sing them as above. Her lyrics were:

(Note: The first “ch” combination is pronounced gutterally, like German.)
He’ll squash you like a lemon.
Uchalotchka zulhimemnon.
No, I won’t go to Macy’s anymore, more, more!
I’m ending with The King’s Jesters and their classic tune written in 1936. I originally had posted here a very brief video clip from the 1946 film, “Two Sisters from Boston,” but the video has now been removed from YouTube for copyright infringement. This one contains the complete original song (although not performed by a bunch of chorus girls). The always appropriate Dowager Duchess would sing the verse from 2:42 to 2:51 while she did laundry.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

36 thoughts on “G’wan Home, Ya’ Mudder’s Callin’”

    1. John:
      I had never seen it until a few years ago when my cousin sent it to me (taken by her father). My mother had never even seen it. (And I haven't yet heard what she thinks of the whole world now having the opportunity to see it as well!)

  1. My mom, La Gran Dama Eloi could sing and still can at age 97. Both her I sing to Savannah every day…not surprising since I was professional, card carrying AFTRA entertainer in my teens.
    Neither one of us would sing the traditional Spanish lullabies like "Duermete mi niña"…we sing her stuff like Flamenco or love songs in Spanish. She is becoming used to French(Laurie's mom), Spanish and of course her mom being American -English.
    Are you much into Flamenco?


    1. Raulito:
      Savannah is very lucky to have you both. And oh how I would love to be a witness to one of your duets!

      I enjoy Flamenco, but haven't learned much about it. Would love to start to recognize specific songs (and the right places to go in Sevilla).

  2. Wow – I knew we had a lot in common. My mother used to sing to me all the time also, mostly Broadway tunes. And I also have that habit of a word or phrase causing me to break into song. In fact, I remember my mother saying, when I was a young teenager, "If you would remember your schoolwork the way you remember song lyrics, you would be brilliant!"

    This made me smile (not an easy task these days)!

    1. Carole:
      I always remember you breaking into song when we were in our teens and 20s. You couldn't help yourself. I also remember you breaking into song when we were in the car with your father one time. It was a "Grateful Dead" tune… something to do with "Ridin' that train…" and I won't go any further than that. Needless to say, your father was not "well pleased," as they say.

  3. Such nice memories Mitch. I am not sure how you can have such a keen memory for those things, I wish I did. There will come a day, very soon I fear that I will loose one of the people in my life who holds those memories. Your post brings home the fact that if you haven't already found a way to lock away all those good memories of your life, do it now.


  4. This is so very cool…music especially these songs are so much fun and really easy to remember…your Mother was a Teacher…really she was….love old movies and musicals…Ginger and Fred…mmm!

    1. Sophie/Ron:
      My mother really did teach with her songs. I had a world history exam when I was in the 6th grade and the only reason I knew that Istanbul used to be Constantinople was because my mother loved to sing that song. A woman of so many talents.

    2. Ron:
      So am I… "Even old New York was once New Amsterdam. Why'd they change it? I can't say. People just liked it better that way… Nyah nya nyah nyah…" Oh god help me!!!

  5. Now it ALL makes sense! No wonder you loved those songs, they are great and catchy!
    I LOVE that second photo too! But for the coat your Mom is wearing…..Lambswool, right? They were so popular and I thought they were so neat!
    A nod to your mother, Mitch, as I am sure she will read this!
    Great post and how about a little tune Mitch by you! Come on!

    1. Jim:
      That coat is Persian lamb and The Duchess still has it.

      In-person, I'm more than willing to break into song (it's hard to stop me), but you won't see me posting any singing videos!

  6. Just today at work, a new employee, June, came in wearing a very lowcut dress, and I instantly began singing, ♪♫June is busting out all over♫♪

  7. I have a John Lithgow CD called "Singin' in the Bathtub" with a lot of those old songs. My favorite is "Codfish Ball". It's actually a kids CD, but I'm a huge fan of Lithgow (Third Rock from the Sun) and I just love the album. I'll bet you would too!

  8. Oh that's a shame, the video isn't available any more. Songs and music do work brilliantly to lodge things in our memory – which is why I so easily recall songs about 'Two little men in a flying saucer' and the one about how a pink toothbrush met a blue toothbrush by the bathroom door……all nonsense, all lodged in my brain along with so many others. I am happy to say that at least one of my children has them lodged in her brain, too – I know this because we duetted them to Francesca only a couple of days ago! Fabulous photo of your parents.

  9. Elaine:
    I don't know if there ever was a video of "I won't go to Macy's…" since it was a jump-rope rhyme. Maybe I should get the Duchess to perform it for me — and my camera — (jump rope and all).

    I'll have to see if I can find your ditties. Those are new to me. So glad they continue to travel down the generations.

    1. Hi Pearl:
      Thanks so much for visiting. I had never known anyone who had heard this rhyme… until this post. An old friend emailed to say she had grown up jumping rope to it in NY.

    1. Jeff:
      She used to grab my father and dance him around the house whenever a musical mood would strike her. He would pretend to go along grudgingly, but I know he loved every minute of it. Of course, when we were on a drive and she would invariably break into song, my sister and I would laughingly yell, "Dad, turn on the radio!"

Please share your thoughts...

%d bloggers like this: