We all pat the bone!

I had another one of those ‘did I imagine that?’ flashbacks to childhood.  This time Google bore out plenty of contemporary references to it, so it’s not just me.  For us it was a staple of Primary School aged birthday parties, for others it seems to have even been a playground game (who needs extra playground games when you can play British Bulldog?!)…

It was a song called ‘The Farmer’s in his den’ – somebody was the farmer in the midst of a ring of children, he was tasked with picking a wife.  The selected wife goes on to pick a child, who chooses a nurse, she selects a dog who, of course, picks out a suitable bone.  The game concluded with the poor child selected to be the bone getting roundly pummelled by all present as they screeched the last verse of ‘we all pat the bone!’.  The whole song was like this:

The farmer’s in his den
The farmer’s in his den
Ee-aye-ad-ee-oh
The farmer’s in his den

The farmer wants a wife
The farmer wants a wife
Ee-aye-ad-ee-oh
The farmer wants a wife

The wife wants a child
The wife wants a child
Ee-aye-ad-ee-oh
The wife wants a child

The child wants a nurse
The child wants a nurse
Ee-aye-ad-ee-oh
The child wants a nurse

The nurse wants a dog
The nurse wants a dog
Ee-aye-ad-ee-oh
The nurse wants a dog

The dog wants a bone
The dog wants a bone
Ee-aye-ad-ee-oh
The dog wants a bone

We all pat the bone!
We all pat the bone!
Ee-aye-ad-ee-oh
We all pat the bone! 

Why on earth that popped into my head is probably something I shouldn’t probe too deeply, but it’s triggered an amusing memory of Rich being ‘the bone’ I suspect at my 11th birthday party (I think 11th) it was hosted at the Nottingham Olympic Judo Club in Sneinton.  Of course, I might be wrong.  On another note, I remember getting an ace mug at that party which was blacked out until it had hot liquid in, which revealed the writing ‘Mist Rolling in from the Trent’

It’s amazing what I’ll waffle on about to avoid looking at the smug face of John Torode.

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Categories: blog | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “We all pat the bone!

  1. Rich

    You played ‘The Farmer’s in his Den’ at your ELEVENTH birthday party?! That’s well gay.

    • Think so… can’t remember which one t’was, it was a joint birthday party with the Tool at the Judo club though, and if so, then you, a massive 18 months younger, took the starring role as ‘the bone’!

    • Addendum… apparently I didn’t, Ma has confirmed. T’was a merging of assorted birthday memories in my addled mind. So there!

  2. And now I’ve just been Googling “We all pat the bone” and who do I find at number three?!

    To be honest I thought patting the bone was an odd thing to be doing when I was young enough to be involved in such an activity, but rather than ask what it was all about I think I just assumed it was one of the many things everyone else in the world knew and for some reason I didn’t. I’m glad you’ve put that to rest, at least.

  3. Pingback: Where did you come from? | Alan Fisher

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