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(learned from Tom Paxton in 1968)

(music to go here)

When I was a wee little lad, full of health and joy,
My father homeward came one day and brought to me a toy,
A wonder to behold it was, with many colors bright,
And the first time I laid eyes on it, it became my heart's delight,
    It went Zip! when it tipped, Pop! when it stopped, Whirr! when it stood still,
    I never knew just what it was, and I guess I never will.

The first time that I picked it up I got a big surprise,
For on its bottom were two big buttons that looked like big green eyes,
First I pushed one, then I pushed the other, then I twisted its lid,
And when I put it down again, this is what it did,
    It went Zip! when it tipped,etc.

First it marched left, then it marched right, then it marched under a chair,
And when I looked where it had gone, it wasn't even there,
I started to cry but my father just laughed for he knew that I would find
When I turned around my marvelous toy just chuggin' from behind,
    It went Zip! when it tipped,etc.

The years have gone by, too quickly it seems, I have my own little boy,
And the other day I gave to him my marvellous little toy,
His eyes nearly jumped right out of his head, he gave a squeal of glee,
Neither of us knows just what it is, but he loves it just like me,
    It goes Zip! when it tips, Pop! when it stops, Whirr! when it stands still,
    I never knew just what it was, and I guess I never will.

(from miriam berg's folksong collection)