Monday, October 4, 2010

Don’t Care

Don’t Care

Don’t care didn’t care,
Don’t care was wild:
Don’t care stole plum and pear
Like any beggar’s child.

Don’t care was made to care,
Don’t care was hung:
Don’t care was put in a pot
And boiled till he was done.



Anon.


Another blast from the past.  It's got the brutality and morality of an old fairy tale, a very very short fairy tale, and I remember a certain grandmother having a particular fondness for the second verse.  It wasn't until later that I discovered there was a first verse to go with the second.  with it the poem makes somewhat more sense, and has a wonderful tone and gathering of rhythm that's kind of fun -- but mostly its great because now my children hate it almost as much as I did :)



A..J. Ponder - author page

17 comments:

  1. It is brutal, isn't it? My mother often used the line "don't care was made to care" but not the rest: perhaps she didn't know it?

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    Replies
    1. afaik it was a shortening commonly used to refer to the whole saying. almost used as a threat to children.

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  2. it was in a book I had as a present when I was a child, the book was called "The Ten Minute Story Book" . . .

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    Replies
    1. Book is on YouTube, apparently.
      Look it up on Google.
      Book published 1914.

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  3. I found it (most recently) in a purple book of children's poetry, I seem to remember it has a cauldron on the front - but "the ten minute story book" does ring a bell.

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  4. This little poem is currently the ring-tone on my phone, with my daughter and I taking turns to recite the lines in our best threatening tones.

    It's so over the top it's hilarious.

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    Replies
    1. Not that over the top.
      Children were indeed hung for stealing food.
      Boiling alive however was a punishment reserved for poisoners.

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    2. Not that over the top.
      Children were indeed hung for stealing food.
      Boiling alive however was a punishment reserved for poisoners.

      Delete
    3. I remember it as:
      Don't care was made to care
      Don't care was spanked
      Don't care was put in a box
      and shook until he was franked.

      Delete
  5. Thanks for dropping by Penelope - Such a fun image - takes me back - reciting over the top poetry in the car. :)

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  7. the grammar is incorrect, it's hanged, not hung

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  8. It brings back memories.
    My dad often used the second part (except he "stewed till he was done").
    But also like you, I didn't know there was a first part and, yes, the second part does make more sense now.
    Thanks for the memory.

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  9. In our family, we use the shortened version: "Don't care was made to care, put in a pot and boiled".

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  10. I am having a hard time finding an author for this poem. Is there one?

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  11. A mother was bathing her baby one night
    The youngest of ten, and a tiny young mite
    The mother was poor and the baby was thin
    Only a skellington covered with skin
    The mother turned round for the soap off the rack
    She was but a moment, but when she looked back
    Her baby was gawn and in anguish she cried
    “Oh where is my baby?” The Angels replied,

    Your baby has gorn down the plughole
    Your baby has gorn down the plug
    The poor little thing was so skinny and thin
    He ought to have been barfed in a jug
    Your baby is perfectly happy
    He won't need no bathing no more
    He's mucking about with the angels -
    Not lorst, but gorn before.

    I grew up witht his one; was a bit taken aback when Cream recorded it as 'A Mother's Lament.'

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  12. I remember this was in a book called Cake And Custard. 8ve searched for this book but have been unable to find it. Any suggestions?

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