Wednesday, October 29, 2014

(E, F) 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".)

This is not meant to be a comprehensive listing of 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.

I'm using the word "rhymes" as a catch-all phrase to mean rhyming verses, cheers, chants, and singing games that are used in children and youth's recreatonal activities.

Read what I mean by "Afrcan American rhymes" in the Hand clap & Jump Rope Rhymes A, B" page

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 exanples 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.


EENIE MEANIE (Jump Rope Rhymes)

Note: Some "Eenie Meanie" rhymes are "counting out" (choosing it) rhymes.

Eenie Meanie Justa Leanie
Ooca Acla Trackalacka, I love you.
Take a peach, Take a plum
Take a piece of bubble gum.
Teacher, Teacher, Dummy Dum
Gimme back my bubble gum.
Saw you with your boyfriend last night.
How do you know?
I was peekin' through the keyhold.
Wash them dishes
Jump out the window
Peaches on the tree, Bananas on the floor
Jump back baby. I Don't Love You No More!
-Donetta A. (African American female, memories of Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania, 1984); collected by Azizi Powell, 1998
Donetta said she learned this rhyme from her cousin from the South (USA) when her cousin visited her in 1984.

Examples of "Take A Peach Take A PluM" will be posted on the "T" page of this series.


For us it was always, and will always be

Eeney meeney macaraca
Air-eye dominaca
Chickaraca boomaraca
Bom bom French

This chorus was usually skipped to. We never gave a thought to the meaning of course, and never saw it written down. If it had been written, there would naturally have been fewer variations around the country.

Don't you love this kind of reminiscence? Mind you, I wouldn't want a whole morning of to work!
- Guest, wystan ; ; eena meena mackeracka (children's rhymes); September 17, 2008


Hi I live in East Harlem in New York and hand games are very much alive.

Eeny Meeny
Sys a leeny,
ooh aah tumble leeny,
ochy Cochy Liver achy
I Love you.
Take a peach
take a plum
not a stick of bubble gum.
No peach no plum
just a stick of bubble gum.
I saw you with your boyfriend last night.
I looked through the window.
I ate a bag of cookies.
I didn't take a bath.
I jumped out the window .
Now I know you crazy.
I like icecream
I like tea
I like the color boys
and they like me
so step off white boy
you don't shine,
I'm gonna get my boyfriend
to kick your behind.
He'll kick you up,
he'll kick you down,
he'll kick you all around the town.

(very racial driven at the end I know)
-Guest, KLC (East Harlem, New York, New York) ; "Folklore: Do kids still do clapping rhymes?" ; July 10, 2008
Here's is part of the response that KLC posted to my request that she provide demographical information about who plays this rhyme and other rhymes she shared:
"The children that play these games range from 5 - 12 years old. Both boys and girls play these games but girls are more into it and know a lot more hand games then the boys. The children that I see playing these games are Hispanic, African American, Carribean, Caucasian and Asian because that is the population that I serve at my program."

This version of "Eenie Meanie" is made up of a combination of verses from four independent rhymes.
The first rhyme "Eenie Meanie" ends with the line "I Love You".
The second rhyme "Take A Peach, Take A Plum" ends with the line "just a stick of bubble gum."
The third rhyme "Saw You With Your Boyfriend Last Night" ends with the line "Now I know you crazy."
The fourth rhyme, is a racialized variant form of "I Like Coffee I like Tea".


The first elevator said STOP!
The second elevator said STOP!
The third elevator said keep on going untll you mess UP!*

*Do fast handclap exchanges until one partner messes up
- Uploaded by irenekistler on Apr 7, 2011;


ET from outer space.
He has an ugly face.
Sittin in a rocket
eatin very tocket
watchin the clock go
Tick tock
tick tock shawally wally
You betta get your black hands offa me
You gotta smoooth cho
You gotta smoooth cho
You gotta smooth, smooth, smooth, smooth, smooth. Now Freeze!

(alternative last line: My mama said "Black eye peas").
-Kiera, African American girl, 8 years old, (Pleasantville, New Jersey) and Kion, African American male, 6 years old, (Pleasantville, New Jersey), 11/8/2008l collected by Azizi Powell
Kiera and Kion are my great niece & great nephew. Their mother, Kiemon, told me that she recited this same rhyme when she was a child. The "ET" in the rhyme is the lead character from the hit 1982 American science fiction movie E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

The rhyme "ET From Outer Space" is a version of the rhyme "Miss Sue From Alabama". In answer to my question, I learned that neither Kiemon nor her children knew the "Miss Sue From Alabama" rhyme.

"You gotta smoooth cho" is also found in some "Miss Sue From Alabama" rhymes as "take a smooth shot".

If this were a more text analysis oriented page, I'd have quite a bit to say about the line "get your black hands off of me". But this page is mostly just for presenting examples of rhymes. So the only thing I'll say is that unfortunately, this version of "ET From Outer Space" isn't the only one example of a Black children's rhymes where "black" skin color is mentioned in an uncomplimentary way. For another example of this line, read Version #3 of "I Am A Pretty Little Dutch Girl" in the "I" section of this series.


E.T.::clap clap::
E.T.::clap clap::
E.T. from outer space
he had an ugly face
sittin in a rocker eatin betty crocker
watchin the clock go tick tock
tick tock she walla wala
tick tock she walla wala
A. B.C.D. E. F.G.
I gota smooth shaa(?)
I gota smooth shaa(?)
I gota smooth smooth smoth smooth shaa(?)
and then u say sumthin like ya name and then go FREEZE! LOL!
-SharmaineB; (African American female; no location given), “HandClaps Throwbacks”; posted 2007; retrieved 9/15.2009
"Betty Crocker" is a fictitious cook for an American cook book brand. "Bettry Crocker" may be best known for her cookies and other pastries.

The question marks in this example was found in that Facebook comment. It probably means that the writer wasn't sure what "smooth shaa" means. In some versions of that rhyme, that line is given as "smooth shot". People probably did a sliding to the side movement while nchanting that line.


ET from outer space.
He had an ugly face.
Sitting in a rocket.
Eating chocolate.
Watching soap operas
All day long.
Get your black hands off of me. *
Now freeze! **
-Naijah S.; (African American female, 9 years old; Hazelwood section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; January 14, 2011; Collected by Azizi Powell 1/14/2011
While waiting for others to come to an African storytelling session that I was commissioned to do for children of members of a historically Black sorority, I took the opportunty to collect rhyme examples from a little girl who had arrived early.

Naijah recited "ET" without my asking for it by name. She said that the "ABCDEFG" part is used in another rhyme which she later recited. (Read "I Am A First Grader" in this Hand clap rhyme series.

*I said to Naijah that I heard that "get your Black hands off of me line before in other rhymes and I wondered if if meant that people were ashamed of being Black. Naijah looked shocked and said "I enjoy my heritage".

** Naijah said that "freeze" meant that whoever moved first, loses.


When I was in grade school in the late 40s, we said the rhyme like this:

First grade babies,
second grade tots,
third grade angels,
fourth grade snots,
fifth grade peaches,
sixth grade plums,
seventh grade ladies,
eighth grade bums.

Of course if you were a guy in 7th grade that didn't work, but being female, it worked for me and my jump-roping girlfriends. - Mary Ann;, retrieved September 12, 2010


Examples of this rhyme are given without regard to their title.

FLEA FLY FLO (Example #1)
...Used to sing it as a brownie and guide. the rhythm is done by slapping your thighs then clapping your hands.

(All lines are done by the leader then echoed)
Flea fly
Flea fly flo
Cumala, cumala, cumala vista
Oh no no no no da vista
Eeney meaney decimeaney ooh wala wala meaney ex a meaney sal a meaney ooh wala wa
Beat biddley oten doten bobo da beeten doten Shhhhht.

Then you do it FAST!!!
-alison, :// "meaning -musha ring dumma do dumma da", February 1, 1999
"Brownies and guides" are levels of the "Girl Scouts". The rhyme "bobo sku doten botten" or similar titles is found in the "B" page of this cocojams2 hand clap & jump rope rhyme series.


FLEA FLY FLEW (Example #2)
flea (flea) fly (fly) flea fly flew (ditto) coomalata coomalata coomalata beestay no no no no not the beestay and ended in a sort of scat-rhythm: eee-biddlety-oaten-doaten-wahbat-skee-watten-tatten-SHHHHHHHHHHHHH !!!! -Bonnie S.; "RE: eena meena mackeracka" (children's rhymes);7/1/2006


Forget that boom boom boom
Forget that boom boom boom
Forget that boom boom boom
Forget that boom

Some people may thing I’m nothing
But I just think I’m pretty
Sitting on the back peacefully
No one better not talk to me
No lie

My name is Elvis Presley.
Girls are sexy
sitting in the back seat drinkin Pepsi.
Had a baby
Named her daisy
Do me a favor
Drop dead. >br>Courtney & Shinice (t3delrowland-video uploader) ;United Kingdom; ;July 08, 2009 [transcribed by Aziz Powell on September 10, 2010 from that video.]
I'm not sure about my transcription of the verse that begins with the line "Some people may thing I’m nothing"

"Girls are Sexy" is an independent rhyme that often beginss with the line "My name is Elvis Presley."


FUDGE FUDGE CALL THE JUDGE (Version #1) Jump Rope rhyme
From my eleven-year-old daughter come these jump rope rhymes. She says they don't sing them, they are more of a chant than a song. They do this at school during recess.

Fudge, fudge, call the judge, (Sally's*) having a baby.
Wrap it up in toilet paper, send it down the elevator,
What shall it be?
Boy, girl, twins, triplets, boy, girl, twins, triplets...
(repeat until jumper misses)
*substitute jumper's name
-Jon W; Cinderella Dressed in Yella; March 10, 1998
"Fudge Fudge Call The Judge" is sometimes called "Mommy's Having A Baby". However, this example and other examples document the practice of using a girl's name (probably the one jumping in the middle of the rope) as the one who is "having a baby".


FUDGE FUDGE CALL THE JUDGE (Version #2) Handclap Rhyme
two African American girls behind me on the 86B bus [Pittsburgh, PA} were happily chanting:
Oh My! Don't Cry! Mommy's having a baby!
Daddy's going crazy!
If it's a boy I'll give it a toy!
And if it's a girl! I'll give it a curl!
wrap it up in toilet paper! send it down the escalator.

It was accompanied with clapping and gestures. There was also some discussion of wrapping babies in toilet paper, the conclusion being that this would not be a good idea.
-LadyJean; "Folklore: Do kids still do clapping rhymes ; September 22, 2003


FUDGE FUDGE CALL THE JUDGE (Version #3) Jump Rope Rhyme
Fudge, gudge, call the judge! [girl's name] Is having a baby! Hey boyfriend's going crazy! Wrap it up and toiliet paper, Send it down the elevator. what will it be? A boy? A girl? Twins or aliens? A boy? A girl? Twins or aliens? [Jumprope game. Player jumps until they mess up. Whatever they land on is what they have.] -Liz again., April 12, 2005 [This blog is no longer assessible.
-snip- "Grudge" is probably a typo of the word "fudge".


FUDGE FUDGE CALL THE JUDGE (Version #4) Jump Rope Rhyme
Growing up in suburban Detroit in the fifties, many of the ones you post are familiar to me.

[posted examples of other rhymes].

Oh fudge, oh joy
Momma's got a baby boy
Wrap him up in tissue paper
Put him in the 'frigerator.
-Barbara (Detroit ,Michigan) "I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes"; May 26, 2005 **** FUDGE FUDGE CALL THE JUDGE (Version #5) Jump Rope Rhyme
This rhyme was heard in Athol, MA in the 1950's:
Fudge, fudge, call the judge,
Mama's got a new-born baby
It's not a boy
It's not a girl
It's just an ordinary baby
Wrap it up in tissue paper,
Send it down the elevator,
First floor - Miss! [skipper to catch to rope between legs]
Second floor -Miss! [Continues until skipper fails]
The editors ot this Wikipedia page preface this example and several other examples of "Fudge Fudge Call The Judge" with this statement:
"Many rhymes consist of pure nonsense, often with a suggestion of naughtiness”
I don't think that this rhyme is an example of nonsense. It might be an example of naughtiness, but it also could be considered an expression of children's insecurity and fear that a new sibling might cause them to be replaced in their mother's affection. In addition, I believe that the "send it down the elevator, first floor-Miss!, Second floor Miss!" lines showcase the wit & creative word play of children (or whoever composed these rhymes).

Furthermore, the "Fudge Fudge Call The Judge" rhyme probably has its source in the old American folk songs "What'll I Do With the Baby-O". Click to find the lyrics to that song as sung by the (Anglo-American) folk singer Jean Ritchie. Here's a portion of those lyrics:
What'll we do with the baby-o?
What'll we do with the baby-o?
What'll we do with the baby-o?
If he don't go to sleepy-O?

Wrap him up in calico,
Wrap him up in calico,
Wrap him up in calico,
Send him to his mammy-o.

What'll we do with the baby-o? etc.
Wrap him up in a table-cloth, (3x )
Throw him up in the fodder-loft.

Click a post on my pancocojams blog about "Fudge Fudge Call The Judge" rhyme".


Thanks for visiting cocojams2.

Visitor comments and playground rhymes examples are welcome.

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