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See-saw Margery Daw (NurseryRhymeHistory)

This is a recitation (also in song version) that children often say when they are playing on a real see-saw or when they are simulating a see-saw with a rope, like on this video. Also, this is a song parents sing to their children while balancing them on their knees. The poor chap may be called "Johnny", "Jacky" or rather "Peter".

For the song version click here.

For the mother play version click here.

Seesaw Margery Daw
Johnny shall have a new master;
He shall have but a penny a day
Because he can't work any faster.

Most traditional nursery rhymes are very old, and so they have lots of old-fashioned words and show a language and a way of life from the past.

SEESAW= Also: SEE-SAW
This expression means nothing, we use it just for the musical sound of it (alliteration). But it sounds like:

1- SEE (verb to see) and SAW (past form of the verb to see: see-saw-seen)

2- See (a) saw, where SAW is an instrument for cutting wood (see picture)


SHALL= (old fashioned) WILL

MASTER= (old fashioned) Boss

BUT= (old fashioned) Only

A PENNY A DAY= One penny every day

The rhyme may have its origins as a work song for sawyers, helping to keep rhythm when using a two-person saw.

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