Monday, February 16, 2009

Och Tamale

My Aunt Sissy never married, and with no children of her own, she had plenty of time to dote on her nieces and nephews. As a high school French and English teacher and librarian, Sissy was always teaching us something. Things like...

I'm a little Dutchman. I drink beer.
My little belly sticks way out here.

Or...

I'm a cute little girl
With a cute little figure.
Stand back boys
'Til I get a little bigger.

The other day I was remembering bits and pieces of a nonsense rhyme that she had me memorize, but I couldn't quite come up with all the words. After 50 years or so, they were buried too deeply in my brain. So I googled "ink damink," a part of the rhyme that I thought I could spell reasonably well. Well, you can find just about anything on Google.

The rhyme is actually a cheer started at the University of Redlands in California in 1920. Sissy graduated from Redlands. A well-to-do aunt and uncle offered to pay for her college education if she attended Redlands, so off she went from tiny Lewisville, Arkansas, to sunny California.

Although I suspected that the rhyme came from her Redlands days, I wasn't certain, because when we would chant it, we always substituted our own name for "Redlands." Here are the words to "Och Tamale."

Och Tamale
Gazolly Gazump
Deyump Deyatty Yahoo
Ink Damink
Deyatty Gazink
Deyump Deray Yahoo
Wing Wang
Tricky Trackey
Poo Foo
Joozy Woozy
Skizzle Wazzle
Wang Tang
Orky Porky Dominorky
Redlands!
Rah, Rah, Redlands!

And some people think "Woo Pig Sooiee" is strange!

8 comments:

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

What a cute post, and how interesting that you were able to google that cheer and that it originated at her college. Aunt Sissy sounds like a fun aunt to have had. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. laurie

darnold23 said...

This is such a hoot! Thanks for a laugh today.

Baumbastic said...

LOL, that's even crazier than Hotty Toddy!

Malvie said...

I think I would have loved Aunt Sissy.

As Marilyn Schwarz said in "A Southern Belle Primer", every southern family has an "Aunt Sister (Sissy) or an "Uncle Bubba (Brother)."

In our family, it was "Aunt Sister". Her entire family (including her mother and father) called her "Sister" from the time her first sibling was born.

http://www.dixiefriedsports.com/Top_Southern_Traditions.html

Anonymous said...

Hey, Kathy..Enjoyed the remembrance of Aunt Sissy..what a fabulous aunt with so many stories and tales for the grands..I am so glad I got to share her. Nobody could write a thank you note faster than Aunt Sis!
Susie

xinex said...

What a sweet aunt!...Christine

ann said...

What precious memories.She lloks so kind...Ann

Chandy said...

That is such a precious memory of your aunt. What a great post about her legacy.

Thanks!

Carolyn of What Now? Tablescapes