Fourth of July
Go ask your mother for fifty-cents
to see the elephant jump the fence.
He jumped so high, he touched the sky
and didn’t come down ’til the Fourth of July!
When I was I child my mother used to recite this rhyme. I have very early memories of her saying it. Here’s a version of the Rufus Thomas song, Walking the Dog, that includes this little rhyme and other nursery rhymes. I like it because the guitarist, Brian Jones, I think, “whistles for the dog” in the same way my dad used to whistle for our dog and, as I recall, for my brothers and me when we had wandered off. Skinny young Mick Jagger muffs and changes the words of the rhyme, but that’s his prerogative as the reciter of a folk rhyme.