Ladles and Jellyspoons


A fellow dropped me some email and asked if I knew the poem that included the words "Ladles and Jellyspoons".  I asked around and received the answer (Thank You, Rebecca J. Bohner), and now present it here for anyone else who is curious.

The art work is mine.

Ladles and Jellyspoons,

I come before you, to stand behind you,
To tell you something I know nothing about.
Next Thursday, which is Good Friday,
There will be a mothers' meeting for fathers only.
Admission is free, pay at the door,
Pull up a seat and sit on the floor.
We will be discussing the four corners of the round table.

Author: Unknown

Original Artwork copyright 1999 Lisa Peppan

   Little did I know when I put the above here that there was more than one version of this childhood favorite.   As time has gone by, folks have so very kindly sent along the versions they learned.

   Brian Olshansky wrote to say that a version of this poem appears in an old book called Rocket in My Pocket.  

   James Dewolf wrote to say he memorized this from a book (thick hardcover) called The Winged Horse in about 1968, adding, "I believe it had a few more lines than your example."

   Barbee Sjodahl emailed me the following version, saying it was the first piece she ever memorized as a child:

Dear Ladies and Jellyspoons

I come before you
to stand behind you
And tell you something
I know nothing about

Next Thursday,
which is Good Friday,
there will be a Mothers meeting,
for Fathers only.

Wear your best clothes
if you haven't any,
and if you can come,
please stay at home.

Admission's free
pay at the door.
Take a seat
and sit on the floor.

It makes no difference
where you sit
The man in the gallery's
sure to spit.

   Ursula Roberts offered up this version:

I come before you, to stand behind you
To tell you something I know nothing about
Next Thursday, the day after Friday
There'll be a ladies meeting for gentlemen only
Admission is free, so you can pay at the door
No matter where you sit the kid in the gallery is sure to spit.

   And Chris Davis wrote to say:

 "I have been looking for this poem for years.  I remember illustrating it as a child and drew a picture of a man giving a lecture on fishing, having caught a boot on the end of his line.  The poem was published in a BBC booklet which went with a radio programme.  As I remember, it was written by Spike Milligan, the famous UK comedy writer and poet.  Thank you for reuniting me with an old friend!"

Nia says, "Just wanted to add that I memorized the following version in 4th grade (would have been 1992 or 1993)":

Ladies and jellyspoons,

I come before you
to stand behind you
and tell you something
I know nothing about.

Next Thursday,
the day after Friday,
there will be a ladies' meeting
for men only.
 
Wear your best clothes,
if you haven't any,
and if you can come,
please stay home. 

Admission is free,
you can pay at the door. 
We'll give you a seat,
so you can sit on the floor. 

It makes no difference
where you sit,
the kid in the gallery
is sure to spit."

"I'm not exactly sure about the line breaks.  I just remember it appeared in a book called A Popple in Your Pocket, a collection of well-known silly children's poems published by Random House, alongside an illustration of Popples attending a meeting and a kid spitting in the background.  I supposed the title was a take-off of A Rocket in Your Pocket, the book Ladles and Jellyspoons was supposed to have first appeared in.  And it definitely appeared with the "ladies and jellyspoons" beginning, not "ladles and jellyspoons

Know a version of Ladles and Jellyspoons that you don't see above . . . ?  Send it along with where you found and/or remembering from.

Keep those cards and letters coming, folks.

 

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updated 12 June 2003