Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I want to invite you to a musical treat:

check in at 8 PM Eastern Standard time.. If Bernie isn't on that day, check the next day.

It is quite a treat.. I promise.

at the bottom of this page

Dedicated to my Weight Watchers Leaders,
Patricia and Mickey

I'll Get That Whole Wheat Bread

Newest 2 Poems

I have a problem eating out. I therefore limit myself to no more than once or twice a week at most. However, last week I had to eat out almost every day and therefore sabotaged my plan. I luckily only
gained one pound and am back on track. This limrick describes what happened.


I went through two weeks of mad hell.
 I was surely not  eating  so well.
No time in gym, things were looking quite grim..
How much weight I put on......couldn't tell.

Then I found out  I put on a pound.
But now I intend to rebound.
I will follow the plan, and I know that I can.
It's an eating routine very sound.

Because limricks are difficult to read , I am putting emphasized words
in  red, larger print and italics.

                                                       went through two weeks of mad hell.
 I was surely not  eating  so well.
No time in gym, things were looking quite grim..
How much weight I put on......couldn't tell.

Then I found out  I put on a pound.
But now I intend to rebound.
I will follow the plan, and I know that I can.
It's an eating routine very sound.

A Meal Can Be a Banquet

I’ll put down my fork,
Between every bite.
Perhaps it will help,
I think that it might.

My eats will last longer,
A satisfied feel.
And more like a banquet
Than a very small meal.


I am a member of Weight Watchers. Maintaining a healthy weight for myself is not easy. My coach once suggested that I find a way of making losing weight "fun." I thought of writing some weight-loss poems, and finally started a collection of Mother Goose rhyme adaptations.  As a composer/lyricist, I decided to expand my efforts and use the poems as lyrics put to melodies.

PLEASE NOTE: The songs and poems might not be suitable for those who are hypersensitive about weight, and weight loss. The songs and poems are for those who want to have a bit of fun on their weight loss journey, and for those who would like a laugh now and then.  

"Mother Goose" is part of folklore legend. There are many theories as to the origin of the name, and how the Mother Goose folk literature developed. 


"Mother Goose" is part of folklore legend. Legends are historical stories in which the "facts" are not verified. Some parts of the legend might be true, other parts are not. Legends are traditional and  speculative.There are many theories as to the origin of the  name, and how the Mother Goose folk literature developed.  The term , “Mother Goose” is associated with short rhymes told to children, also known as nursery rhymes. The term “Mother Goose” was   first used as a title for a collection of folk stories.  The origin of the term “Mother Goose” is unproven, though there are many theories.

One legend is that the term “Mother Goose” is associated with  an 8th century woman of noble birth named Bertrada who married  Pippin the Short, of the Franks..the parents of Charlemagne.  Bertrada educated her son, and was involved with other children.Legend has it that she had large, peculiar shaped feet and was known as
Berte aux grand pied, or Bertha Greatfoot, or Queen Goosefoot--sometimes referred to as "Goose-footed Bertha." Another legend of still another Bertha, born about 972 ,
claims that she gave birth to a child who had the head of a goose.

References to “Mother Goose” can be traced to the 17th century.  In France,Charles Perrault published  a collection of folktales in a volume under the title Tales from the Past with Morals, but has the subtitle “Contes de ma mere l’ove…Tales from My Mother Goose.

Perrault’s book was translated into English around 1729. It was called Mother Goose’s Tales.  This book became popular when John Newbery republished it as
Mother Goose’s Melody in 1760. By this time, short rhymes were also included.

  In America, the book was published under the title Mother Goose Melodies in the late  18th century by Isaiah Thomas. It is also claimed that an earlier version , published in 1719 by Thomas Fleet called Songs of the Nursery  or Mother Goose’s Melodies for Children. Thomas Fleet was married to a woman named Elizabeth Goose (also known As Vergoose or Vertigoose).  Elizabeth lived in Boston. It was claimed that her name was the origin of  Mother Goose, but there is no evidence to support this claim. In any case, the term “Mother Goose” appeared both in France and England as early as the 17th  century.

There is an old  rhyme which actually uses the term “Mother Goose” –

Old Mother Goose
When she wanted to wander
Would fly through the air
On a very fine gander.

Mother Goose had a house;
It stood in the wood
Where an owl at the door
As sentinel stood.

Mother Goose as a Witch
Many of the Mother Goose rhymes can be traced back to the 17th century, or possibly earlier. During the 16th and 17th century people were obsessed with witchcraft. There were many disasters, especially the Bubonic plague epidemics (a serious epidemic occurred  in England, especially London, in the year 1665, followed the following year  by a devastating London fire. People sought out an explanation, and often put the blame on witchcraft.  Legend tells us that Mother Goose might have been associated with witchcraft. Many early pictures of Mother Goose depicted her as some sort of witch...though some of the pictures do not necessarily show her as  evil.

Witches were known to use what was called  "a familiar,"  an animal the witch used to assist her in her evil deeds. Many of the nursery rhymes have animals such as cats, frogs, geese,crows, mice. 

One rhyme is known to be associated with the Bubonic Plague: Ring-a-round-a Rosie.

Mother Goose Rhymes With Hidden Meaning?

It has been thought that perhaps some of the Mother Goose Rhymes had hidden
historical/political interpretations. There does not seem to be any documentation
to prove this. There is some legendary speculation that the rhymes referred to
people and events at the times when the rhymes were first recognized-- or perhaps later.  It is possible to be the case because the early centuries in British History, especially the 16th and 17th centuries were very repressive times.   Throughout these centuries,one "inappropriate" or "ill-advised" word could land one's head on the chopping block, or  body at the stake to be burned.  Historical/political comment had to be symbolic or not spoken at all.  The theories are interesting but may never be proven one way or the other. However, since these theories are part of folklore, they are interesting in that light.

Is Mary, Mary quite contrary Mary Queen of Scots? Is she Queen Mary I (Bloody Mary) No one knows for sure.  Who was Jack Horner and Old King Cole? Read the backgrounds for the songs and discover some of the on the menu on the sidebar. 

 Please keep in mind that the information is based on legend and is therefore speculation; nothing is proven for sure.

A book written by Katherine Elwes Thomas, The Real Personages of Mother Goose,  describes many of these legends.Online resources were also used for information used in this blog.



Weight Loss Song-click

Background Weight-Loss Song

Background- Weight-Loss Song

Weight-Loss Song
5) MARY MS. CONTRARY Background

Weight Loss Songs, not connected with Mother
Goose Rhymes

1) I'll Buy That Whole Wheat Bread


1. Little Bo Peep
Weight-Loss Poem

2. Peter,Peter, Pumpkin Eater
Weight-Loss poem

3.There Was An Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe
Weight-Loss poem

4. Little Miss Muffet Background
Weight-Loss poem

5.Little Jack Horner
Weight-Loss poem

6. Jack Be Nimble
Weight-Loss Poem

7. 'A Diller, A' Dollar
Weight-Loss Poem

8. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son
Weight-Loss Poem

9. Goosey, Goosey Gander
Weight-Loss Poem

10. Hickory, Dickory
Weight-Loss Poem

11. Humpty Dumpty
Weight-Loss Poem

12. In Mom's Day

I invite you to visit my other blogs and website; please click below for an index of those sites.


 Some nursery rhymes were used to educate children. Many of the nursery rhymes can be traced to the 17th century. In those times, the illiteracy rate especially among peasants was high. Nevertheless, some nursery rhymes, such as " 'A' WAS AN ARCHER" were used to teach children the alphabet.

The original  nursery rhyme is:

A was an archer, and shot at a frog,
B was a butcher, and had a great dog.

C was a captain, all covered with lace,
D was a drunkard, and had a red face.
E was an esquire, with pride on his brow,
F was a farmer, and followed the plough.
G was a gamester, who had but ill luck,
H was a hunter , and hunted a buck.
I was an innkeeper, who loved to bouse,
J was a joiner, and built up a house.
K was King William, once governed this land,
L was a lady, who had a white hand.
M was a miser, and hoarded up gold,
N was a nobleman, gallant and bold.
O was an oyster wench, and went about town,
P was a parson, and wore a black gown.
Q was a ween, who was fond of good flip,
R was a robber, and wanted a whip.
S was a sailor, and spent all he got,
T was a tinker, and mended a pot.
U was an usurer, a miserable elf,
V was a vintner, who drank all himself.
W was a watchman, and guarded the door,
X was expensive, and so became poor.
Y was a youth, that did not love school,
Z was a zany, a poor harmless fool.
Music and lyrics by Susan Maskin; voice, Susan Maskin, arranged and played by Bernie Katzman 


Lyrics (check below the lyrics for some definitions)

Let's skip through the alphabet,

That's what we'll do,
Join dear Mother Goose
We'll find people who,

Love drinking and eating and eating much more
Especially fattening stuff they adore,
A was an archer who lapped up some ale with
B the big butcher chewed cake from a pail.
C was a captain with cream on his face and
D dipsy drunkard  he drank wine by the case.
E was  an esquire and
F Farmer Fright,  along with
G gamester  ate pies with delight and
I was an ingrate he took loads of food from
J jolly joiner who  drank beer strongly brewed.
K was a king always ate like a pig,and
L was his lady into food they would dig.
M was a miser he hoarded his sweets, then took from
N nobleman who also  loved treats
O Oyster wench dined with

P Parson Brown 
Queen made a threesome in their food they would drown.
S sailor Snailsnatch and

T Tinker too, would eat enough pastries for me, them and you. And
U the town usurer was very able to eat with
V vintner desserts from the table.
W watchman ate cream puffs  galore, and other
eXpensive desserts by the score... So now we're at
Y they are youths at their schools, who learned that the others are
Z zany fools.

DEFINITIONS of lesser known words

esquire: a member of the English nobility, ranking below a knight

gamester- one who plays games, especially gambling games

ingrate- someone who is never grateful for anything
joiner-a person whose occupation is to construct articles by connection pieces of 
also, someone who likes to join clubs and get involved in various

oyster wench- a person, usually a woman, who collected oysters to sell

tinker-  a name given to someone who mends things in an amateur way; also

              used as a verb "to tinker" play around with
usurer- a money lender, usually at a very high interest rate

vintner- a person who makes wine

IMPROVISATION- by Bernie Katzman


         The original rhyme
The Queen of Hearts
She made some tarts,
    All on a summer's day;
The Knave of Hearts
He stole those tarts,
    And took them clean away.
The King of Hearts
Called for the tarts,
    And beat the knave full sore;
The Knave of Hearts
Brought back the tarts,
    And vowed he'd steal no more.
 Please note: Legends are historical stories within the category of folklore in which the "facts" are not verified. Some might be true, other facts might not. 

In The Real Personnages of Mother Goose, it is claimed that the poem is based on Elizabeth of Bohemia who was the Queen Consort during the 13th century. There was a lot of turmoil during her life, with the throne "stolen" back and forth continuously.

 It is also claimed that the rhyme is based on the playing cards.
The "Queen of Hearts"  was published in 1742 by an anonymous author and  included lesser known stanzas,"The King of Spades," The King of Clubs," and the "Diamond King."  It does not mean that the poem originated at that time.

Lewis Carroll in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (published in 1865) has a chapter based on the poem.



The Queen of hearts she made some tarts,
Early one steamy summer day,
The foolish queen consumed those tarts
Oh dear what she must weigh, too much,
Yes that’s what she must weigh.

The princess of hearts she has tons of smarts,
She looked at her mama to say,
To lose a pound advice  real sound,
You mustn’t eat this horrible way.

The Queen of Hearts still made the tarts,
And put them all upon a tray
The Knave of hearts he stole the tarts,
And took them clear away. Away..
He took them far away.

The Queen now eats some healthy treats,
To fattening stuff  she  shouts  nay.
Not plump at all, her waistline now small
The pounds are coming off each day.

The Knave is sad, he’s feeling bad,
And not at all okay
For he is like a Guernsey cow,
A gourmand’s sour 
Eats thrice an hour,
Gourmand’s protégé.

I'll Buy that Whole Wheat Bread

I'll Get That Whole Wheat Bread by Susan Maskin, performed by Bernie Katzman


I went to the store, to buy whole wheat bread.
I came back home, with donuts instead.
I wonder whatever got into my mind.
To bring home stuff of a fattening kind.

So the next day I went to buy that fine bread.
I came back home with cupcakes instead.
I wonder whatever it was that I thought.
It's so ridiculous what I bought.

Oh dear, Oh dear...the thing I did was not very smart
The best thing to do, i'm telling you.
Tomorrow I'll change, get a new start.

So the next day I went to get whole wheat bread.
I brought it home, nothing else instead.
I'll keep myself healthy, vigorous too.
I think it's also a good idea for you.

Oh dear, Oh dear, the thing I did  was so very smart.
The best thing to do, I'm telling you.
Tomorrow's the day we'll all be so smart.

Oh dear, Oh dear, the best thing to do is very smart.
So keep yourself healthy, vigorous  too.
I think it's such a good idea for all of us to do.

Eat healthy...