Friday, October 31, 2014

(G, H) Hand Clap & Jump Rope Rhymes Examples

Edited by Azizi Powell

This cocojams2 series showcases examples of English language hand clap & jump rope rhymes, with a special focus on examples from African American culture. The pages present examples whose "titles" begin with the featured two letters, with the exception of post #11 in this series which features examples whose titles begin with the letters "u" - "z".)

Unless otherwise indicated, the examples given below were (or "are") "hand clap rhymes".

This cocojams2 series on English language hand clap and jump rope rhymes isn't meant to be a comprehensive listing of those rhymes. For instance, I've chosen not to include a number of versions of rhymes that are generally found on other children's rhyme sites.

A number of these rhymes are featured in posts on my pancocojams blog. Click and either enter that rhyme's name or enter the words "children's rhymes" or "African American rhymes and cheers".

Also, a number of the examples in this collection were featured on my cultural website that was online since December 2001. That website vanished late October 2014 [!?!) and I am partially recreating its playground rhymes pages from back-up files and from recent internet "rhyme harvesting". That's the story behind this blog name cocojams2.


The content of this post is presented for folkloric and recreational purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.
Thanks to all those who have contributed to this collection.

With considerable regret, I have disabled the comment feature on cocojams2 blogs (and on my other blogs except for, because of the large number of spam comments that I received on those blogs.

Comments for those blogs can be sent to my email address azizip17 dot com at yahoo dot com for possible inclusion in a specific post on those blogs.

Note: These examples are published in alphabetical order based on their titles or the first few words of their first line. Multiple versions of specific rhymes are presented in chronological order based on their publishing date online or their collection date, with the oldest dated examples presented first.

G, H
Green Sally up Green Sally down.
Green Sally baked her possum brown.

Asked my mama for fifteen cents
To see the elephant jump over the fence

He jumped so high he touched the sky
And he never came back back back till the fourth of July

You see that house, on that hill
That's where me and my baby live.

Oh, the rabbit in the hash come a-stepping in the dash,
With his long tailed coat and his beaver on.
-Bessie Jone and Bess Lomax Hawes, Step It Down: Games, Plays, Songs, & Stories from the Afro-American Heritage (Univ. of Georgia Press, originally published in 1972, 1987 edition, p. 25)
Excerpt from Step It Down, page 25
..."this rhyme could be used for dancing as well as a clapping rhythm. Mrs. Jones plays this likeee "Pease Porridge Hot"; children sit facing each other in pairs, alternately clapping theeir own and their partners' hands...

The last couplet, "Oh, the rabbit in the hash", may be repeateeed over and over, either at a steady tempo or speeded up as much as three times faster. The "Green Sally" cooupleet functions as a refrain, and my be put in anywhere you want."
The "see that house on a hill" verse is found in versions of the African American children's rhyme "I Love Coffee, I Love Tea" and "I Met My Boyfriend At The Candy Store".

Click for a ring game example of "Green Sally Up" from the Georgia Sea Islands.

HAMBONE [Body patting rhyme]
Hambone, Hambonee, pat him on the shoulder.
If you got a pretty girl, I'll show you how to hold her.
Hambone, Hambone, where have you been?
All round the world and back agan.
Hambone, Hambone, what did you do?
I got a train and I fairly flew.
Hambone, Hambone, where did you go?
I hopped up to Miss Lucy's door.
I asked Miss Lucy would she marry me.
(in falsetto) "Well, I don't care if Papa don't care!"
First come in was Mister Snake,
He crawled all over that wedding cake.
Next walked in was Mister Tick,
He ate so much it made him sick.
Next walked in was Mister Coon,
We asked him to sing a wedding tune.
Now Ham...
Now Ham...
-Bessie Jones and Bess Lomax Hawes, Step It Down: Games, Plays, Songs & Stories from the Afro-American Heritage (University of Georgia Press, originally published in 1972, 1987 edition), pp 34-35

HELLO HELLO HELLO SIR (Jump Rope & Elastics Jumping)
Hello Hello Hello sir
meet you at the show sir
no sir
why sir
'cause I've got a cold sir
where'd you get the cold sir
at the north pole sir
what you dioing there sir
catching polar bears sir
how many did you catch sir
one sir
two sir
three sir
four sir
.... ten sir
all the rest were dead sir
how did they die sir
eating apple pie sir
what was in the pie sir
three dead flies sir
what was in the flies sir
three dead germs sir
what was in the germs sir
I don't know sir
shall we start again sir
no sir
why sir
because I've got a cold sir....
-Guest, "Child's Game: Elastics", 1/2/2007

This is a fun repeat rhyme that my friend taught me in 6th grade.

Leader: Hey, Burrito! (followers repeat each line)
Leader: Hey, hey, hey burrito! (echo)
Leader: Mmm yeah, burrito yeah (echo)
Leader: Taco bell taco bell! (echo)
Leader: Guacamole, cinnamon twist! (echo)
Ish bibbly oken tokon
no no paroken token no not paraken taken shhhh….

(the last part we just added on because it was fun to say)
-Katie S. (White female, 17 years old, Dallas, Texas), Cocojams, 10/6/2009
I'm not sure if this is a handclap rhyme or not, but I wanted to add it to a Cocojams2 page, and this page fits it the best. Other examples of "bibbly oken tokon" are found in the A, B post of this cocojams2 hand clap & jump rope rhyme series.

HEY CONCENTRATION (Double Dutch Jump Rope rhyme) Version #1
Hey concentration
Where have you been
Around the corner
And back again
Stole my money
Stole my honey
Mama's got the hiccups
Daddy's got the flu.
Now come on boys
Let's slice the ice.
Slice it 1
Slice it 2
Slice it 3 4 5
Slice it 6
Slice it 7
Slice it 8 9 10
Hey everybody
Come on and do your thing.
2 up bop, bop.
2 down bop, bop
2 up bop, bop.
2 down bop, bop
2 up
-Elnora Fulton and Pat Smith Let's Slice The Ice (St Louis, MO.; Magnamusic-Baton, 1978, p 27)
The authors noted that this is a Double Dutch Jump Rope rhyme. Here are the performance directions for jumping double dutch that the authors included with this rhyme:
"Two players face each other, holding two ropes, one in each hand. The right hand of one player turns one rope counterclockwise, and his left hand turns the other rope clockwise.

The right hand of the second player turns counterclockwise and his left hand turns clockwise. The right hand and left hands of each player correspond in moving.

One child "jumps in" when one rope is up in the air and the other is down. His foot pattern is a skip from side to side."

It's interesting that the authors used the pronoun "his" instead of "her" since traditionally most Double Dutch jumpers have been female. I think the use of that male pronoun reflects 1970s grammatical practices, and shouldn't be read to mean that the players were males.

I've searched but haven't found any definitions for or references to the phrase "slice the ice". In the context of this rhyme, I think that "slice the ice" was probably a commonly used African American Vernacular English phrase that meant to perform a rhythmic movement or dance step in which the person slides from one side to another.


HEY CONCENTRATION (Double Dutch Jump Rope rhyme) Version #2
Hey concentration
Where have you been
Around the corner
And back again
Stole my money
Stole my honey
Mama's got the hiccups
Papas got the mumps.
Now come on baby
Let's slice that ice.
Slice 10 9 8 7
6 5 4 3 2 1
Gypsy Gypsy, Rosalie
Who on earth can your old man be?
Is he a rich man, poor man
baker man, chief?
Dr, lawyer, store man, thief.
Now spell your name on one foot.
That's a N-i-n-a
Nina's a girl from overseas
She don't dig no boys in dungarees.
She lives uptown, she lives downtown
She lives all around
Now let's get down.
(then you hot jump as fast as you can for as long as you can)"

Source: vis email from Nina Gonzalez (Jersey City, New Jersey)

Nina also added this comment. "I love this. when i was a little girl in jersey city nj we had a variation of hey concentration which was/is my favorite rope song"
Thanks Nina!


Very interesting how these rhymes etc. are spread across continents.

Version of the above, called "Jackalo", as a handclapping song, played by middle-class white British girls in private school, Essex, just outside Greater London, end 20th/beginning 21st century:

My name is [each partner holds hands together, palm to palm, as if "praying", then each pair of hands brushes the other]

Hands now parted. Partners face each other. [Whilst the rest of the song is sung, left hand is held straight out, as if waiting to shake hands. Right hands meet, high and low, to match the rhythm of the song]:

Hi, low, Jackalo, Jackalo, Jackalo,
Hi, low, Jackalo, Jackalo and HIGH!
-jeanie, "Gigalo & other children's rhymes & cheers", 4/15/2007
Click "The Children's Rhyme "Gigalo" - Examples & Probable Sources"


We have a different version of "high low peccalow" here (Herts, England). Instead of peccalow it reads:

My names is ....
High Low Jigga-low
Jigga-low high Low

High Low Jigga-low
Jigga-low high

You hold onto your friend's right hand with yours and your left hands make contact.
When the song says high, you clap above the joined hands, when the song says low you clap below and when the song says Jigga you clap on the joined hands.
The aim is to run through the song as fast as possible without mucking up the clapping.
We're 17 now, but we still sometimes play it if we've nothing better to.
Usually the most muck ups happen on the second line where it goes low high.
-Guest ,Amon; "Folklore: Do kids still do clapping rhymes?"; 11/25/2007
I believe that the fairly well known American movement rhyme "Gigalo" (or "Jigalow") has it origin in the British hand clap rhyme "High Low Peccalow". Click "The Children's Rhyme "Gigalo" - Examples & Probable Sources"


I know a little Dutch girl
All the boys at the football club say
How is your father
All right
Died at the chip shop
Last night
What was he eating
Raw fish
How did it happen
Like this DevilBunny; "Skipping and clapping rhymes", February 13, 2003


HOLLYWOOD GOES SWINGIN'(Hand clap Version #1)
[Both girls] Hollywood.
Hollywood goes swingin.
Hollywood goes SWINGIN.
Swingin for the good times.
Swingin for the bad times.
[One girl]: My name is Teneisha
and I’m number 9.
I’m kickin it with Ginuwine.*
If you ever see me on the street,
you better speak.
“Long time, no see.”
Sexy as I wanna be.
Some hittin me high.
Some hittin me low.
Some hittin me in my-
Don’t ask what.
My b u t t b u t t butt.
That’s what.
-Teneisha (10 years) and Antoinette (11 years) (African American females, East Hills section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1998; collected by Azizi Powell, 1998
* Kickin it" means "relaxing with", "hangin" with (socializing with).

"Ginuwine" is a popular young African R&B singer. Three other late 1990s variations of this line that I have heard are “Kickin it with Busta Rhymes (the name of a popular male Hip-Hop star) “Kickin it with Scooby Doo" -"Scooby Doo" - the name of a canine cartoon figure) and “Kickin it with Winnie the Poo”- the name of a fictitious bear in children's stories.

I was surprised to see this rhyme performed as a hand clap routine as I had always saw it performed as a foot stomping cheer.

As is the case with most people I’ve asked, those two girls don’t remember that “Hollywood Goes Swinging” used to be foot stomping cheer. However, in my opinion, its roots as a foot stomping cheer are evident in that handclap rhymes are rarely dialogue rhymes, but are almost always recited in unison. In the case of this rhyme, the first girl says most of the rhyme while she and the other girl does hand clap routine. The girls then could repeat the rhyme with the same or the different verse.>p> I asked the girls if they ever did it to foot stomps. They weren't sure what "foot stomping" meant so my daughter who was part of the game song program that I'm conducted, demonstrated the movements for them. The girls confirmed that they had never seen "Hollywood" "done" like that.


HOLLYWOOD GOES SWINGIN' (fragment; Hand clap Version #2)
Hollywood goes swingin
Hollywood goes __ swingin
Swingin for Northside.
Swingin for the Eastside.
My name is Rita.
I'm Number 9
Going down Chicago line.
If you see me on the street
You better speak [uncertain about the next words]
Hey hey, you think you cool.
Hey hey, cool enough to rule your school.
Hey hey, you think you bad.
Bad enough to [didn't remember the rest of the words to this rhyme]
-African American girls and boys; Northview Heights Buddy Program, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, August 19, 1999; collected by Azizi Powell
This rhyme was performed as a hand clap routine. The girls who shared this rhyme said that the line might be "Hollywood keeps swingin". The dash means to pause one beat.

The girls said that another version is "swingin for the good times /swingin for the bad times/ swingin every time.


HOLLYWOOD GOES SWINGIN' (fragment; Hand clap Version #3)
Hollywood (clap clap clap)
Hollywood (clap clap clap)
Hollywood goes swingin.
My name is Shanika.
I'll bust it out.
I'll party to the left
I'll party to the right.
I'll party all night.
I'll party all day.

My name is Sandra.
I'm number one [don't remember the rest]
I'm busting all day.
I'm busting all night.
She's busting to the left.
She's busting to the right.
-Shanika and Sandra (African American females, under 11 years old) ; Garfied section of Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania; November 1, 2000; collected by Azizi Powell, November 1, 2000


Both girls:
Hollywood, Hollywood
Hollywood goes swingin
Partner #1:
My name is Raya and I'm number 2
Kickin it with Scooby Doo
Hit me high
Hit me low
Hit me where you wanna go.
Repeat the entire rhyme with the partner #1 saying the lines that partner #1 said, but substitute her name or nickname and (preferably) change the number rhyme
-ConRaya E. (11 years); Sha'Ona K. (11 years), African American girls; Pittsburgh, PA; 6/12/2008
There are a number of similar titles for this rhyme. Among them are "Hollywood", "Hollywood Rocks Swingin", and "Hollywood Keeps Swinging". The rhyme is based on the 1973 R&B song "Hollywood Swinging" that was recorded by Kool & The Gang. Click for a YouTube video of this song. The tune for the handclap rhyme (and the foot stomping cheer with the same name) is very similar to this song, although the tempo is somewhat faster.


HOLLYWOOD (Version #5)
Here's a handclap called hollywood!

(person 1) My name is (your name) im number one my reputation's just begun so turn around and touch the ground get back up and break it down

(person 2) you think you're bad

(1) b-a-d i know im bad

(2) you tink you're cool

(1) cool enough to rule the school

(2) you think your fine

(1) fine fine blow your mind mind take em up take em back give the man a heart attack

(2) you think you're hott

(1) hott anough to blow your pot!

That's it....there's clapping and all but its too hard to explain on this...good luck!


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