Pinky Pie

Mrs. Murphy’s Chowder, gold at the end of the rainbow & O’Me

Posted on: March 17, 2011

“Who threw the overalls

In Mrs. Murphy’s chowder?”

Nobody spoke, so he

Shouted all the louder.

“It’s a rotten trick that’s true,

I can lick the drip that threw

The overalls in Mrs. Murphy’s chowder.”

Those of you who went to Old Bonhomme Elementary School with me might remember this song that we learned and sang each year around this time. Our music teacher – I believe her name was Mrs. Hannah – pushed a piano into each classroom to teach us songs of the various seasons.

I remembered this song overnight – and thus was unable to sleep – for my St. Patrick’s Day blog post. But it’s funny; I was a little worried about using the lyrics because I remember the words a little differently.

Those words were, “I can lick the Mick who threw” and I didn’t like the idea of using what could be an ethnic slur or at least disrespectful. But then I found lyrics on line that substituted drip for Mick. Is it silly political correctness? I think it’s best to error on the side of sensitivity.

Spoiler alert: the overalls were put into the wash by Mrs. Murphy, who  forgot to take them out when she started the chowder.

And when Mrs. Murphy, she came to,

She b’gan to cry and pout,

She’d put them in the wash that day

And forgot to pull them out.

McGinty, he excused himself

For what he said that night,

So we put music to the words …

I am not Irish but I am wearing green socks thanks to a gift from my friend, Mary Kay. Our family in La Crosse celebrated St. Patrick’s Day each year while the kids were growing up.

Matt long ago drew a picture of a rainbow with the expectation a leprechaun would leave gold at its end.  It wasn’t gold that he left but foiled chocolate coins. Trails of green candy led from the kids’ bedroom to the rainbow.

One day Matt told Maggie, “It has to be Mom. It’s on the wrong end of the rainbow.”

I am not confessing or anything but I want it noted that I had no idea there was a right or wrong end of the rainbow. I suggested – not to the kids – that it must have been a Hebrew Leprechaun who went from right to left or left to right in leaving the gold – whichever was incorrect.

The leprechaun was a major character at Emerson Elementary School, where this naughty little fellow would leave tracks, turn over chairs, and leave notes. The kids

had to use the clues to learn more about this little green fellow, who was never actually seen in the classroom.

What warms my heart is the story about Maggie in kindergarten who with a friend decided to explore the entire school – including upstairs where the big kids were – to learn more about the Leprechaun. They actually stopped in every class to ask if they had seen him.

The teachers of the older kids were amused, but not her kindergarten teacher who asked me to talk to her about leaving the class without permission.

Maggie was embarrassed and didn’t want to talk about it, but I thought it was hilarious.

It was like the time that Michael’s second grade teacher left the room with the message that they were to leave their seats. When she returned, she found Michael at the pencil sharpener or on his way back, hopping along in his desk.

“But I didn’t leave my seat,” he said.

My own little leprechauns were hilarious, creative and just plain fun. May you always have gold at the end of your rainbows, kids, whatever shape that gold may be.

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1 Response to "Mrs. Murphy’s Chowder, gold at the end of the rainbow & O’Me"

I love these stories.

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