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PoiPoi's avatar

Where did the song Miss Susie/Suzy Had Steamboat come from?

Asked by PoiPoi (274points) July 5th, 2011

I remember it being in a novel for pre-teens back in the 90’s. All I know that the title had the word “wombats” and something else. Does anyone know the source of the song’s first occurrence?

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3 Answers

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

The first known use was in Michigan in the 50’s.

I used to chant this little sing-song while playing a hand clapping game with a friend, when I was a little girl in the 80’s.

lillycoyote's avatar

Yes, it’s a rhyming/clapping song. @WillWorkForChocolate‘s like shows a number of versions and there are probably a lot of them, probably one with a wombat in it. Here’s one version with a video of two girls clapping out the rhythm and doing the rhymes and here’s a page that has a lot of children’s rhymes, including several versions of the Miss Suzie one. Those rhymes are supposed to be from the eighties but I know some of them have been around, in one version or another, for a lot longer than that.

LostInParadise's avatar

My guess is that the song is part of children’s culture, by which I mean that it was created and sung by children. There are a lot of such songs, usually with naughty lyrics and are which usually parodies, or at least borrow the tune from some other song. What is different in this case is that the tune can’t be traced to another song.

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