“My Mother and Your Mother”
"My mother and your mother Were hanging out clothes; My mother came to your mother And snipped off her nose."
The text given here is sort of a reconstruction of something I vaguely remember. It's sort of an infant game; on the last line, the speaker grabs the listener's note between index and middle fingers and pretends to cut it off as with a scissors.
At least, that's what I remember. The Baring-Goulds have a different version of the rhyme ("My mother and your mother Went over the way, Said my mother to your mother, It's chop-a-nose day"), and their version of nose-chopping is two-handed.
Henry's informant had a very different version: Instead of nose-chopping, Mother #1 merely PULLED Mother #2's nose. Curiously, Henry's informant also claimed that there was more to the song.
Incidentally, while actually chopping off the nose was not common in history, slitting the nostrils as a punishment for crime is well-attested. - RBW
- Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #581, p. 234, "(My mother and your mother)"
- MHenry-Appalachians, p. 240, (no title) (1 short text)
- BI, MHAp240A