Taffy Was a Welshman

One of my favorite nursery rhymes, except for the anti-Welsh part.

Taffy was a Welshman,
Taffy was a thief;
Taffy came to my house
And stole a piece of beef.

I went to Taffy’s house,
Taffy was not home;
Taffy came to my house
And stole a marrow bone.

I went to Taffy’s house,
Taffy was not in;
Taffy came to my house
And stole a silver pin.

I went to Taffy’s house,
Taffy was in bed;
I took up a poker
And flung it at his head

There are many versions of the rhyme, including one that begins, “Taffy was my neighbor,” I assume to leave out the Welsh-bashing. There was little difference between the two in my mind when I was a child. It never occurred to me that the mention that Taffy was a Welshman was meant to reflect poorly on all the Welsh. Maybe because I grew up in the U.S., where there are no stereotypes whatsoever associated with the Welsh that I know of.

~ by lolarusa on December 13, 2010.

2 Responses to “Taffy Was a Welshman”

  1. “Welshman” meant nothing to me, either. I probably assumed it was a job title.

    One of my favourite nursery rhymes was a political satire, the meaning of which eluded me back then:
    Hark! Hark! The dogs do bark!
    The beggars are coming to town:
    Some in rags, and some in tags,
    And some in velvet gowns.

  2. I remember this rhyme from my father’s family who were from Tennessee. I don’t remember ever hearing the entire rhyme and this site seems to have it extant.

    Thanx

    jim belchere

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