France, Pants

There’s a classic rhyme:

There’s a place in France
Where the naked ladies dance
There’s a hole in the wall
Where the men can see it all

But I only call it classic because I read it in a book once, and it gets more Google hits than what I consider in my heart of hearts the real version — the version I learned as a boy in The Ward, Upstate New York. It’s sung to a what always struck me as a Mysterious Eastern Melody, which at least one website alleges is called “The Hoochie Kootchy Dance”.

Oh they don’t wear pants
On the other side of France
But they do wear jeans
Just to cover up their beans

Children’s rhymes are fascinatingly mutable. By far the more common version of this variant appears to have “the Southern part of of France” in the second line. Which makes sense climatologically, I suppose, tho I wouldn’t know about culturally.

A second couplet “But they do wear grass / Just to cover up their ass” was known to me and others as well, but considered a bit racy for mixed company. The internet knows of “But they do wear fleece / to protect them from the beast”.

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