This is the way the ladies ride (Songs from childhood ~ Helen)
Helen MacGregor is one of the UK's most prolific authors of educational music books. They include Music Express, Listening to Music, Singing Times Tables, and many many more. She was one of the pioneers of baby music groups in the UK, and for many years advised and taught music in Southwark and Kent. She enjoys music making with her own grandchildren now as well as continuing a lively career writing for schools. Here is her favourite play song from childhood. A similar version of it is published in Playsongs:
It seems to me I have always known the knee-bouncing game, This is the way the ladies ride. I can’t remember when I learned it, but I have always known it was my maternal Grandad who played it with me in the early 1950s. I was his first grandchild and have wonderful memories of him singing and playing with me, including his accusation that one day, at about the age of five, I had pushed him into his fishpond! Somehow, thirty years later when I had my own children, I found I knew all the words and how to change the actions to the more rumbustuous side to side movements in the last verse to make it one of those games that always has to be played over and over to the cry of ‘Again!’ Nowadays, I am playing it with my grandchildren, who love it as much as I obviously did!
This is the way the ladies ride - mim mim, mim mim, mim mim (gentle knee bounces to beat)
This is the way the gentlemen ride - trit trot, trit trot, trit trot (slightly stronger knee bounces)
And this is the way the farmers ride - hobbledy dee, hobbledy dee, hobbledy dee, (alternate side to side knee bounces)
And dowwwwwwn into a ditch! (then tip child backwards towards the floor!!!)