Thursday, October 30, 2014

(K, L) Hand Clap & Jump Rope Rhymes

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.

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 recreational activities.

Read what I mean by "African American rhymes" in the "Hand clap & Jump Rope Rhyme - 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 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.



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.

K, L


THE KISSING RHYME (Jump Rope & Handclap rhyme, Version #1)
X and Y sitting in a tree -- k-i-s-s-i-n-g
First comes love -- then comes marriage -- then comes X with a baby carriage.

Maybe kids today should sing that one -- love/marriage/children -- I think it would be good to go back to that order.
-seventythree;, "Anybody remember jumprope rhymes?" ;Apr-23-05
Here's a comment from Sparkly, another poster on that discussion thread on that same date: "Yes, I remember that one! That was a great one for teasing kids who had crushes on each other."

I remember this rhyme from my childhood in Atlantic City, New Jersey in the 1950s.


THE KISSING RHYME (Jump Rope; Handclap rhyme, Version #2)
Susie* and Johnny* sitting in a tree,
First comes love,
Then comes marriage,
Then comes Johnny with a baby carriage,
Suckin' his thumb,
Wettin' his pants,
Doin' the Hula-Hula Dance!

*Insert names of your choice.
-Shopping Sheryl - home from the hospital; Ma href=""> "Which playground rhyme do you remember most?"; September 2nd, 2007


(boy classmate’s name) and (girl classmate’s name) sittin’ in a tree
First comes love
Then comes marriage
Then comes (boy’s name) in a baby carriage!

The rest of that, where I grew up, is:

Get out the diapers
Get out the pins
(name) and (name)
Just had twins!
Twins, triplets, put them in the bath
How many babies did they have?

And then you counted until you stopped skipping. I am not sure why you put twins and triplets in the bath specifically, except that it sort of rhymes with ‘have’. Sort of. Not really. Oh well!
- Farore, "Shapely Pose"; October 5, 2009


Last night the night before
twenty five robbers at my door.
I got up to let them in.
and this is what they said to me.
Lady bird, lady bird
turn all around around around
Lady bird, lady bird
touch the ground the ground, the ground
Lady bird, lady bird
say your prayers, your prayers, your prayers
Lady bird, lady bird
step right OUT!
-Azizi Powell; childhood memories of Atlantic City, New Jersey; 1950s
The person jumping does the movements as directed by the words, but does not sing the words. On the word "OUT", the jumper jumps out, and the next jumper jumps in. "Lady bird" probably originally was "lady bug".


Here is a song we used to do on the playground in Birmingham, AL back in the 80s:

Last night and the night before I met my boyfriend at the candy store
He brought me ice cream he brought me cake
he brought me home with a stomachache
mama mama i feel sick
call the doctor quick quick quick
doctor doctor will i die
close you eyes and count to five
i said a one, a two, a three, a four, a five
I'm alive

[Optional part] we would do sometimes (a little risque for little girls):

see that house on top of that hill
that's where me and my baby gon' live
we gon' cook some cornbread
cook some meat
come on baby let's go to bed and do the boom boom boom. -Joi, Cocojams, 3/23/2008
There are a huge number of versions of the "[Not]"Last Night [But]The Night Before" rhyme. Click "Not Last Night But The Night Before" for multiple examples of this rhyme.


Lemonade (clap, clap, clap)
Crunchy ice (clap, clap, clap)
Beat it once (clap, clap, clap)
Beat it twice (clap, clap, clap)
Lemonade, crunchy ice,
Beat it once, beat it twice,
Lemonade, crunchy ice,
Beat it once, beat it twice (gets faster and faster and continues until someone misses a clap)
-Guest, Sharon;, "Folklore: Do kids still do clapping rhymes?" ; 9/22/2007


crunchy ice
sip it once
sip it twice

crunchy ice
sip it once
sip it twice

turn around
touch the ground
stand back up
& break it down
-MomWith3; "Lemonade"; June 23, 2009
In African American Vernacular English "break it down" means "to do your best dance moves".


LOOK AT THAT (Hand clap rhyme)
Look at that girl
Walkin down the street
Her jeans so tight
I bet she can't breathe.
Her shirt so high
You can see her belly.

Look at that guy
Walkin down the street.
His pants so low
His underwear show.

Look at that child
Walkin down the street
With a toy in his hand
and nothin* on his feet.

Look at that baby
Crawlin down the street
With a diaper on his butt
And it's real soggy.

Look at that city-It's ghetto.
Look around teh corner
You see a drunk fellow.
-Maleka and Malikia (two African American teenagers)- from a YouTube video that was posted by maleka911 on September 13, 2008 (and transcribed by Azizi Powell, 3/28/2010). That video is no longer available.


Thanks for visiting cocojams2. Visitor comments and playground rhymes examples are welcome.

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