City Life, College Students, College Town Life, Crime, Downtown Madison, Freakfest, Halloween Party, Madison WI, Police, State Street, Surveillance Cameras, University of Wisconsin--Madison, WISCONSIN, Wisconsin State Journal

An the Goblins Will Get Ya If Ya Don’t Watch Out!

Little Orphan Annie’s come to my house to stay.
To wash the cups and saucers up and brush the crumbs away.
To shoo the chickens from the porch
and dust the hearth and sweep,
and make the fire and bake the bread
to earn her board and keep.
While all us other children, when the supper things is done,
we sit around the kitchen fire and has the mostest fun,
a listening to the witch tales that Annie tells about
and the goblins will get ya if ya don’t watch out!

“The Little Orphan Annie” by James Witcomb Riley

The big Halloween Party weekend has come and gone for another year. Freakfest was a huge success at least in terms of safety and lack of violence and property damage. According to “The Wisconsin State Journal” it only cost the city $500, 000! Somewhere in the neighborhood of 34,000 people attended and paid the $5.00 admission fee and only 175 of them got arrested.

It was pretty tame from my point of view except that the last band was really loud and one of the points of exit must have been close to home because there was a significant amount of boisterous foot traffic on my street which made my dog nervous. The light went out well before 3:00 am though.

Three years ago I listened and watched as the tension with at least twice as many people versus a much smaller police force came to a head and the riots began. Walking down State Street the next morning was almost like walking through a warzone Our Mayor and City Council deserve congratulations and Thanks for turning this annual gathering into a safe but fun party once again.

Unfortunately I had developed a fine case of insomnia but the city was calm and quiet by 3:30. There weren’t even any house parties with loud music disturbing the peace nearby. No screams and cries for help like I heard this past summer when one of the rapes took place nearby. No arguments from domestic disturbances. Pretty tame for a Saturday night. Gosh, it’s good to have the students back in town!



5 thoughts on “An the Goblins Will Get Ya If Ya Don’t Watch Out!

  1. WIlliam says:

    This is one of the first poems I ever remember having read to me. It was read by my 3rd grade teacher (I’m now 42) and remember the first verses very plainly…Little orphan Annie, come to my house to play, and wash the cups and saucers up…etc…

    It has always been one of the fondest memories of my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Hanks. She taught my father, my older brother, and myself. The memories of this lady live forever in my life (as well as a couple of other teachers from my elementary school days).

    Thank you for allowing me to have a copy of this poem again. Obviously, others have some memory of this poem, as well. I hope they were of the most fond, rather than the more terrorizing that this kind of poem could produce!

  2. bairbresine says:

    William, you are so welcome. I have been surporised by the number of people who have commented on this poem being part of their childhood memories. My Grandaddy made it deliciously spooky but but he’d always make us laugh before anmd after. He was the best story teller. I have a grandson who is ready to be spooked and I can’t wait!.


  3. George Shaw says:

    I learned to read very early in life, and even during the Great Depression my parents scrimped to buy me books. One book was a book of poetry, and it contained the “Little Orphan Annie” poem. Thank you for printing it here. It brought back a flood of memories.

  4. Colleen Morris says:

    THANK YOU!!! I have been looking for this poem for years! I didn’t remember the “Little Orphan Annie” part, just about the Goblins. I was under the impression that this was a poem by Eugene Field. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to have this poem again. I loved it as a child!

  5. Kathryn Hemingstam says:

    I have wanted to remember the words to this poem for all my adult life. My 2nd grade teacher, in 1957, read this to us and I remember being so scared! There was also another poem that had the line: and one night when she went upstairs, her mother heard her holler and her father heard her cry, but . . . . she wasn’t there at all! Does anyone know this one?

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