Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Wallflower, Wallflower...

Wallflower, wallflower, growing up so high
All the little children are all going-to die
Except [Johnny Smithson] - he's the only one
Fie for shame! Fie for shame!
Turn your back to the wall again

I remember this chant from my childhood, together with vague memories of a game that went with it involving some kind of dropping-out of one kid at a time until the last one was left - perhaps the one who was going to die?

It always struck me as a sinister and unlucky song, and I was very reluctant to sing it, or name anyone as the 'except' person who was not going to die - because of the people I was not naming.

But it has that strange, uncanny power about it that some nursery rhymes retain - the product of being orally-transmitted folklore, handed down among children one generation after another.