Mary Mac (Friday the 13th)

…Mary Mack or Merrimack but not Meramec, which is a local valley and waterway

If you get to googling, it comes up as Mary Mack. I never thought of it that way when I was taught as a child. I thought they shortened her name for anonymity. Then again, I also use some Irish words that I didn’t know were Irish til I was an adult. -are the new readers gone yet?

While I’m Irish on dad’s side, my mother’s mother raised me and they were Russian Jews. Whatever. She taught me lots of important things like how to skip rope and sing. I didn’t know ‘Mary Mac’ was a clap game til reading this online! On the playground, we sang the song, too, and did Double Dutch to it. WikiP said something like, ‘Clap song that somebody, somewhere, said a couple of people used to jump rope.’ Well, we’re the rarities! Go figure. It’s always the Hillbillies.

Witch Hazel, I always kinda thought this must be what Mary Mac looked like

Witch Hazel, I always kinda thought this must be what Mary Mac looked like

Here’s a neat page of kids’ songs, including Mary Mack.

This popped into my soft noggin today because it’s Friday the Thirteenth.

Gram didn’t leave the house on any 13 Friday. She said it wasn’t Safe. I don’t think that I’ve covered the many superstitions that I was raised with on this blog, although I think I’ve been writing on it since late 2008? In earlier incarnations of Blog Me -blogging in some form or another since the mid-90s; I’m tired of my own stories and can’t remember which ones I’ve shared, where I covered a lot of that. This blog sports my name and it’s easier to talk about personal and silly (at the same time) things when undercover.

Nevertheless, stay in bed, she did — on the 13th!

I can remember the first one that popped up as I was of school age. ‘Should I stay home?’

She said, no, but that I should come straight home. -where else would a Hillbilly kid go? She meant, no traipsing across hill and dale.

One 13 Friday, Gram walked in the door (her house was a little over 1 mile from my parents) of my parent’s house. You could’ve knocked me over with a feather. ‘Gram! It’s Friday the 13th!’ She looked at me (this, in itself, was odd; one of Gram’s tics was not looking at you when she spoke — she’d look up -sometimes when you walked in and she’d kiss you hello and goodbye but the rest? Nope.) and said, ‘I don’t do that anymore.’


Years of lying abed due to the Unsafety of it all, then? ‘Nah. That was a bunch of BS.’ So funny!


6 thoughts on “Mary Mac (Friday the 13th)

  1. Double Dutch brought back memories of my childhood…..and to think there is an entire league devoted to it. Maybe Irish influence in Australia….I don’t know.


  2. I love the Mary Mack clap song. I was trying to teach it to my 7 year old niece but I forgot some of the moves. Sigh!
    But, thanks for the memories and you made me think of my Gram, too. We would play “Trivial Pursuit” with her and no matter whose turn it was she would answer every question. Not always correctly, mind you, but an answer would pop out! We would laugh so hard.


  3. I love Miss Mary Mack Dressed all in black… We used to skip double dutch in the playground at recess and lunch – I wasn’t very good at it though. That’s a great story about your gran.


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