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Riddles and More Rhymes

Riddles and More Rhymes Playlist

“All these rhymes are usually performed. The rhymes included here are ones which mostly have no other function than to amuse. The riddles, catches and sayings, as well as many of the rhymes, belong to the countryside rather than the town. 

Answers to the riddles are usually things that can be seen on a farm. In 'Porridge and whey' hired farm workers say what they think of the breakfasts they get – or used to get – from farmers who hired them.”  — Hugh Shields, 1971

Enjoy the 36 recordings in the Riddles and More Rhymes Playlist and/or Return to the Songbook for more detailed information on each item. Please note the Songbook may contain extra songs and rhymes which Hugh and Lisa documented only in writing and no sound file exists.

The answers to all the riddles can be found here.

Riddles and More Rhymes Songbook
Now playing:  What goes over the water, riddle / Paddy Tunney, speech in English
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  1. What goes over the water, riddle / Paddy Tunney, speech in English

    What goes over the water, riddle / Paddy Tunney, speech in English

  2. What goes round the house, riddle [one] / Paddy Tunney, speech in English

    What goes round the house, riddle [one] / Paddy Tunney, speech in English

  3. What goes through the wood, riddle / Paddy Tunney, speech in English

    What goes through the wood, riddle / Paddy Tunney, speech in English

  4. What goes round the house, riddle [two] / Paddy Tunney, speech in English

    What goes round the house, riddle [two] / Paddy Tunney, speech in English

  5. My Mother Told Me [A Naughty Girl], song / Deborah Crowley, singing in English

    My Mother Told Me [A Naughty Girl], song / Deborah Crowley, singing in English

  6. Mammy, Daddy, Uncle Tom, rhyme / Peter Church, speech in English

    Mammy, Daddy, Uncle Tom, rhyme / Peter Church, speech in English

  7. There was a little man, rhyme / Daphne Hillis, speech in English

    There was a little man, rhyme / Daphne Hillis, speech in English

  8. I’m the wee faloorie man, song / Norah Shields, singing in English

    I’m the wee faloorie man, song / Norah Shields, singing in English

  9. Dan, Dan, the funny wee man, rhyme / Ann Clarke & [Brian] Clarke, speech in English

    Dan, Dan, the funny wee man, rhyme / Ann Clarke & [Brian] Clarke, speech in English

  10. Paddy on the railway, rhyme / Ann Clarke, speech in English

    Paddy on the railway, rhyme / Ann Clarke, speech in English

  11. Jack Smith, a fellow fine, rhyme / Eddie Butcher, speech in English

    Jack Smith, a fellow fine, rhyme / Eddie Butcher, speech in English

  12. Riddle me riddle me randy bo, riddle / Paddy Tunney, speech in English

    Riddle me riddle me randy bo, riddle / Paddy Tunney, speech in English

  13. Wee Jinny with the red nose, rhyme / Eileen Keaney, speech in English

    Wee Jinny with the red nose, rhyme / Eileen Keaney, speech in English

  14. Teachtaire beag ó theach go teach agus bíonn sé amuigh san oíche, riddle / Patrick Heekin, speech in Irish

    Teachtaire beag ó theach go teach agus bíonn sé amuigh san oíche, riddle / Patrick Heekin, speech in Irish

  15. Tá bean beag amuigh ansin, riddle / Patrick Heekin, speech in Irish

    Tá bean beag amuigh ansin, riddle / Patrick Heekin, speech in Irish

  16. Paschale and Alan were sitting on a tree, rhyme / Joan Smith, speech in English

    Paschale and Alan were sitting on a tree, rhyme / Joan Smith, speech in English

  17. Humpty Dumpty, rhyme / Denis Shields & Kitty Shields, speech in English

    Humpty Dumpty, rhyme / Denis Shields & Kitty Shields, speech in English

  18. Now Barry and Joan were under a bush, song / Kevin Smith, singing in English

    Now Barry and Joan were under a bush, song / Kevin Smith, singing in English

  19. Please keep off the grass, sir, rhyme / Marie Smith, speech in English

    Please keep off the grass, sir, rhyme / Marie Smith, speech in English

  20. Down in the alley where the green grass grows, song / Kevin Smith, singing in English

    Down in the alley where the green grass grows, song / Kevin Smith, singing in English

  21. A creel of peats, tongue-twister / Eddie Butcher, speech in English

    A creel of peats, tongue-twister / Eddie Butcher, speech in English

  22. There was a fiddler in Dublin, riddle / Paddy Tunney, speech in English

    There was a fiddler in Dublin, riddle / Paddy Tunney, speech in English

  23. How many feet has forty sheep, rhyme / Eddie Butcher, speech in English

    How many feet has forty sheep, rhyme / Eddie Butcher, speech in English

  24. If there were twenty-six sheep, rhyme / Eddie Butcher, speech in English

    If there were twenty-six sheep, rhyme / Eddie Butcher, speech in English

  25. If a fella met a fella, tongue-twister / Ursula O’Hara & Hugh Shields, speech in English

    If a fella met a fella, tongue-twister / Ursula O’Hara & Hugh Shields, speech in English

  26. My aunt Jane she called me in, song / Eileen Keaney, singing in English

    My aunt Jane she called me in, song / Eileen Keaney, singing in English

  27. Mrs Kelly, rhyme / Michael Shields, speech in English

    Mrs Kelly, rhyme / Michael Shields, speech in English

  28. Mrs White, rhyme / Michael Shields, speech in English

    Mrs White, rhyme / Michael Shields, speech in English

  29. Porridge and whey, rhyme / John Shields, speech in English

    Porridge and whey, rhyme / John Shields, speech in English

  30. Chewing gum a penny a packet, song / Ann Clarke, singing in English

    Chewing gum a penny a packet, song / Ann Clarke, singing in English

  31. As I went through yon guttery gap, riddle / Paddy Tunney, speech in English

    As I went through yon guttery gap, riddle / Paddy Tunney, speech in English

  32. As I went up a slithery gap, rhyme / Eileen Keaney, speech in English

    As I went up a slithery gap, rhyme / Eileen Keaney, speech in English

  33. As I went over Corny hill, rhyme / Eddie Butcher, speech in English

    As I went over Corny hill, rhyme / Eddie Butcher, speech in English

  34. C E L T I C, song / Raymond Crowley, singing in English

    C E L T I C, song / Raymond Crowley, singing in English

  35. Two, four, six, eight, rhyme / Raymond Crowley & David Tracey, speech in English

    Two, four, six, eight, rhyme / Raymond Crowley & David Tracey, speech in English

  36. As I went o’er Carnearney Hill, riddle / Arthur Coulter, speech in English

    As I went o’er Carnearney Hill, riddle / Arthur Coulter, speech in English