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Lost quotations

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"That naughty little Emma Jane..." | 14-Apr-05

"That naughty little Emma Jane
has hid her Mummy's hat again
She broke a saucer and a cup
and wouldn't do her laces up"

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Do you know this poem? Do you have any clues to help us find it?


I remember another 2 lines, I think:

She isn't unwell and she hasn't a pain,
But she's thrown all her dolls out the window again.

My mother used to recite it, having learnt it in the twenties, I think.

I remember singing a song based on it:
'Whatever's the matter with Mary Jane?
She's thrown all her dolls out the window again!
She's not a bit sorry, she'll only declare
She won't be a girl any longer, so there!

She's torn off her pinny, she's cut up her frock.
She's kicked off her shoes, there's a hole in her sock.
She's not a bit sorry (...as above)'

In 1949 as a Mixed Infant, I found this amusing and rather shocking, given the shortages of material things. I thought her very silly, not to know that it was an anatomical fact that she just was a girl.

veronica bradney

Could this be "Whatever's the matter with Mary Jane?"

From "When we were very young" or, "Now we are six" by A.A.Milne (can't remember which).

What is the matter with Mary-Jane?
She's perfectly well and she hasn't a pain.
And it's lovely rice pudding for dinner again ...
Jane Wickenden

"That naughty little Emma Jane" is a different poem to the A. A. Milne poem 'Rice Pudding' which contains the refrain "What is the matter with Mary Jane?". 'Rice Pudding' is in Milne's collection 'When We Were Very Young'.
Poetry Library

I think it goes like that
whatever's the matter with mary jane
she won't eat her dinner , rice pudding again
marguerite howe

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