Pease Porridge Hot

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"Pease Porridge Hot"
Roud #19631
PeasePorridgeHotMusic1922.png
Music from The Song Play Book.[1]
Music by Traditional
Published c. 1760
Written England
Language English

"Pease Porridge Hot" or "Pease Pudding Hot" (also known as "Peas Porridge Hot") is a children's singing game and nursery rhyme. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 19631.

Lyrics[edit]

The lyrics to the rhyme are:

Tune for Pease Porridge Hot

Problems playing this file? See media help.
Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold,
Pease porridge in the pot, nine days old;
Some like it hot, some like it cold,
Some like it in the pot, nine days old.[2][3]

Origin[edit]

The origins of this rhyme are unknown. The name refers to a type of porridge made from peas, pease pudding, also known in Middle English as pease pottage. ("Pease" was treated as a mass noun, similar to "oatmeal", and the singular "pea" and plural "peas" arose by back-formation.)

The earliest recorded version of Pease Porridge Hot is a riddle found in John Newbery's Mother Goose's Melody (c. 1760):[2]

Pease Porridge hot,
Pease Porridge cold,
Pease Porridge in the Pot
Nine Days old,
Spell me that in four Letters?
I will, THAT.[4]

Where the terms "pease pudding" and "pease pottage" are used, the lyrics of the rhyme are altered accordingly.

Game[edit]

Children playing Pease Porridge Hot.[5]

Schoolchildren often play Pease Porridge Hot by pairing off and clapping their hands together to the rhyme as follows:

Pease (clap both hands to thighs) porridge (clap own hands together) hot (clap partner's hands),
pease (clap both hands to thighs) porridge (clap own hands together) cold (clap partner's hands),
Pease (clap thighs) porridge (clap own hands) in the (clap right hands only) pot (clap own hands),
nine (clap left hands only) days (clap own hands) old (clap partner's hands).
(Repeat actions for second stanza)[1]

NOTE: The actions are performed during recitation of the word or phrase, not following.

In popular culture[edit]

  • In the 1986 film Troll main character Wendy Potter recites the first half of this rhyme right before being trapped in the troll world.
  • In Laura Ingalls Wilder's fictionalized memoir Little House on the Prairie, young Laura recalls singing the song as "bean porridge hot." Laura notes that she likes bean porridge hot or cold, but that in her house, it never lasts nine days.
  • A line in the poem was used for the title of the 1959 Billy Wilder film, Some Like It Hot.
  • In the De La Soul song, "Pease Porridge", the recording of the rhyme recorded by Harrell and Sharon Lucky is sampled repeatedly.
  • In the poem "red-rag and pink-flag", poet e.e. cummings references the rhyme with the verse "some like it shot, some like it hung, some like it in the twot nine months young."
  • In the popular internet animation series, Salad Fingers, an episode features the title character reciting this song whilst eating pease pudding at a picnic. In another episode, Salad fingers recites this rhyme to his new 'play mate'.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wollaston, The Song Play Book, p. 37.
  2. ^ a b I. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), p. 345.
  3. ^ Notes and queries - Google Books
  4. ^ Whitmore, The Original Mother Goose's Melody, No. 41.
  5. ^ Miller, In the Nursery of My Bookhouse, p. 5.

References[edit]

  • Miller, Olive Beaupré. In the Nursery of My Bookhouse. Chicago: The Bookhouse for Children Publishers (1920).
  • Whitmore, William H. The Original Mother Goose's Melody, as First Issued by John Newbery, of London, About A.D., 1760. Albany: Joel Munsell's Sons (1889).
  • Wollaston, Mary A. (compiler). The Song Play Book: Singing Games for Children. New York: A.S. Barnes and Company (1922).