Saturday, February 14, 2009

In the car with Justin on the way home...UPDATE!

"I am going to blog about this," I told him. "The title will be, 'Musings of a sleep deprived new mother:' or something like that. I realized as I was playing "patty cake" with my daughter that I really don't know the words. Is it two words, like 'Patty Cake?' Is that someone's name? Baker's man? Why does the baker have a man? What kind of man? Is Pattycake like a slave name? Is the song racist? Or is it like the baker's special manfriend?"

"No, Alex, I think it's 'baker-man.' Like Pattycake is the baker's nickname or that's just what he does, he pats cakes."

"So there's not a 'baker's man'?"


I've been singing it wrong. He sounds like he knows, but I am still not sure.

"So if it's a name, is it Patty Cake or Paddy Cake, like he's Irish? And why are we in such a hurry for the cake?"

"Oh Christ, Alex. I don't know."

I found this from 1901, perhaps confirming that the origins of "pat-a-cake" are racist:


Justin Allan said...

As the said co-subject of this post, I feel I must comment: firstly, the person pictured in this manuscript is neither of color, nor a stereotype of anything but a "baker".

Secondly, the only word that has a possible negative connotation is "master", but it is just as likely that this word is referring to an S/M master/slave relationship (something us gays know a lot about).

Which then begs the question: Why is the baker making a cake and marking it with a third individual? Is this a polyamourous relationship? Or is this a not-so-subtle hint that the narrator is now dating someone else?

The politics of cake!

Logos Mori said...

I think they guy in the picture is the baker, not the baker's man. It's complicated though, obviously. If he has a S/M slave, then why is he raising a finger!?

I have always said cake is a tricky lifestyle.

Deirdre said...

I still say that the origins are older than that poster you found and that the creator of the poster had his own agenda and created his own meaning of the song. Couldn't the baker's man be like the sous chef of the bakers' world? better ask Ellen!