At breakfast, mama tells us all

she’s making soup today,

and we all know just what that means,

we’d best stay out of her way.


‘Cause when my mama’s making soup,

she makes a great big pot,

and some of it gets canned in jars

because  there’s such a lot.


From the garden come the carrots,

String beans and tomatoes,

From the cellar pa brings out

a bushel of potatoes.

From the hen house mama takes

a hen that isn’t laying

and as she wrings the chicken’s neck,

she tells it to start praying;


From her herb plot by the door,

she takes parsley and some onions,

checking stems so carefully,

she only wants the young  ones.


She tells me to fetch water from

the well and fill the pot,

and I ask pa to help me out,

because it weighs a lot.


Mama puts her apron on and

sharpens up her butcher knife,

When mama gets that soup look on,

You’d best run for your life


She’s peeling carrots, chopping beans,

and crushing up tomatoes,

and all the while she’s peeling and

chopping up potatoes.

She throws the peelings out the kitchen door

and all the hens come running,

and gather round to hunt and peck,

where the cats are sunning.

Pa goes to fetch the mason jars

stored down n the cellar,

and brings them up for me to wash,

Cause I’m such a cordial helper;

Before long, Mama’s  kettle boils

with vegetables and chicken,

and anyone who crosses ma

is sure to get a lickin!

The canning jars go into a pot

and mama boils them too,

and when the soup has cooked enough,

there’s plenty more to do.

Pa and I help mama fill

the jars up to the top

and get the canner boiling

Til’ the water’s really hot.

When the jars have boiled enough,

and are lined up on the table,

we all have a bite of soup.

and some bread if we are able.


Sandra Lee Smith

Originally posted June 9, 2010

Updated September 15, 2018



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