Nu när Alfredsson tydligen har lyckats att på ett lysande sätt filmatisera John Le Carrés lysande agentroman, den första i Karlatrilogin, är det viktigt att alla angloskandinaviska snobbar gör klart för sig vad bok- och filmtitelns bakgrund är. Vi kan naturligtvis alla svenska barnramsor som:
- siden, sammet, trasa, lump
- öga, öra, näsa, mun, här nere bor en liten kung (obs vågad, okänd i medelklassen)
- handtag, famntag, klapp eller kyss (Ryska posten; alla barns introduktion till erotiken på fyrtiotalet)
- älskar, älskar ej (prästkragar)
- och, ja, ni vet; det finns massor i svensk barnkultur
Och så Tinker, taylor, soldier, spy då! Vad är bakgrunden i engelsk barnkultur?
A. A. Milne's Now We are Six (1927) had the following version of "Cherry stones", where the whole fascinating and lovely English class society is present:
- Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief,
- Or Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief.
- Or what about a cowboy, policeman, jailer, engine driver, or a pirate chief?
- Or what about a ploughman or a keeper at the zoo,
- Or what about a circus man who lets the people through?
- Or the man who takes the pennies on the roundabouts and swings,
- Or the man who plays the organ or the other man who sings?
- Or What about the rabbit man with rabbits in his pockets
- And what about a rocket man who's always making rockets?
- Oh it's such a lot of things there are and such a lot to be
- That there's always lots of cherries on my little cherry tree.
The tinker, tailor is one part of a longer counting or divination game, often played by young girls to foretell their futures; it runs as follows:
- When shall I marry?
- This year, next year, sometime, never.
- What will my husband be?
- Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich-man, poor-man, beggar-man, thief.
- What will I be?
- Lady, baby, gypsy, queen.
- What shall I wear?
- Silk, satin, cotton, rags (or silk, satin, velvet, lace)
- How shall I get it?
- Given, borrowed, bought, stolen.
- How shall I get to church?
- Coach, carriage, wheelbarrow, cart.
- Where shall I live?
- Big house, little house, pig-sty, barn.
During the divination, the girl will ask a question and then count out a series of actions or objects by reciting the rhyme. The rhyme is repeated until the last of the series of objects or actions is reached. The last recited term or word is that which will come true. Buttons on a dress, petals on a flower, bounces of a ball, number of jumps over a rope, etc., may be counted.
There are innumerable variations of the rhyme:
- Daisy, daisy, who shall it be?
- Who shall it be who will marry me?
- Rich man, poor man, beggarman, thief,
- Doctor, lawyer, merchant, chief,
- Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor.
- Grandmother, Grandmother,
- What shall I wear?
- Silk, satin, calico, cotton.
- Where shall we live?
- Big house, little house, pigsty, barn.
- How many children shall we have?
- One, two, three, four, five, six, etc.
- Bara så att ni vet och inte gör bort er "in polite company".