Cinderella Dressed in Yella

Perhaps the best known of all jump rope rhymes:

Cinderella, dressed in yella
went upstairs to kiss her fella
made a mistake, kissed a snake
how many stitches did it take?
1, 2, 3,…

This turns up in most collections of this sort of thing, almost invariably with a note saying that Freudians have a regular field day with this one.

Of course, it’s just one of many versions that have gone around since at least the 1950s.

Another common version is:

Cinderella, dressed in yella
went upstairs to kiss her fella
on the way her girdle busted
boy oh boy was she disgusted

Others have her dressed in different colors.

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14 Comments

  1. Amy

    Another chant we jumped rope to in 1980s Cleveland:
    Teddy bear, teddy bear turn around.
    Teddy bear, teddy bear touch the ground.
    Teddy bear, teddy bear go upstairs.
    Teddy bear, teddy bear say your prayers.
    Teddy bear, teddy bear turn out the light.
    Teddy bear, teddy bear good night!

    After each line, the jumper would do some action to represent the direction.

    Reply
  2. soccernik06

    we said it with "how many doctors did it take"

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    Along with soccernik's version, I also knew:

    Cinderella, dressed in yella
    Went downtown to kiss a fella
    On the way her girdle busted
    How many people were disgusted?
    10, 20, 30…

    Reply
  4. Glenda Carl

    In Overland Park, Kansas, in the early 60's, we said:

    Cinderella, dressed in yellow,
    Went downstairs to kiss her fellow.
    How many kisses did she get?
    1, 2, 3, …

    Reply
  5. Glenda Carl

    In Overland Park, Kansas, in the early 60's, we said:

    Cinderella, dressed in yellow,
    Went downstairs to kiss her fellow.
    How many kisses did she get?
    1, 2, 3, …

    Reply
  6. Tephy101

    Cinderella, dressed in yellow,
    Went downstairs to kiss her fellow.
    How many doctors did she get?

    Newport News VA 1990s

    Reply
  7. Katie Morgan

    i know 2:

    1. Cinderella dressed in blue,
    Went upstairs to tie her shoe,
    Made a mistake and tied a knot,
    How many knots will she make?
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, etc.

    Reply
  8. Katie Morgan

    Cinderella dressed in green,
    Went downtown to buy a ring,
    Made a mistake and bought a fake,
    How many days before it breaks?
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, etc

    Reply
  9. LaeLee

    Cinderella dressed in yella
    Went upstairs to kiss her fella
    Made a mistake
    Kissed a snake
    How man doctors did it take
    1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
    She's dead
    Get out the rope

    Reply
  10. Misse Viscous

    Cinderella, dressed in yella
    Went upstairs to kiss her fella
    By mistake, she kissed a snake
    How many kisses did it take?
    (1, 2, 3 … etc)

    I also remember some kids saying "How many doctors..?"

    Both made sense to me back then as
    — how many kisses with the snake before she noticed it was not her fella??
    — how many doctors to fix her after being bitten/getting pregnant?

    Victoria BC, around 1979/1980

    Reply
  11. S. L. Weippert

    In Goldendale, Washington (near Columbia River), we used to count how many times the jumper could go until they made a mistake. We also used this rhyme with that hand slapping game where two girls sat crossed legged facing each other. When we got to the counting part, each girl would slap her hands against the other girl's hands as hard as she could until somebody stopped from the pain. Don't ever think girls can't be tough.

    Reply
  12. Agatha

    Cinderella dressed in yella went upstairs to kiss her fella
    And she kissed Solid Snake
    Yaaaaaaay!

    (NYC, 1988)

    Reply
  13. InvaderYoukoChan

    Cinderella dressed in yellow, went upstairs to kiss her fellow
    She made a mistake, she kissed a snake
    So how many doctors did it take?

    At this point we’d count either from one to five or from ichi to go.

    That’s how many doctors it did take
    To cure her wounds from the snake
    Then she kissed the right fellow this time
    I guess that’s the end of our rhyme

    (Japan, 2001)

    Reply
  14. Becca

    Ours was a little different:

    Cinderella, dressed in gella (Seems to be a misheard word, but that’s what we sung)
    Went upstairs to kiss a fella
    By mistake, she kissed a snake
    And ended up with a tummy ache! (on tummy ache we would tickle the other person)

    Reply

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