Tuesday, October 28, 2014

(C, D) 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.

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 Rhymes A, B" page http://cocojams2.blogspot.com/2014/10/hand-clap-rhymes-examples.html.

A number of these rhymes are featured in posts on my pancocojams blog. Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/ 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 cocojams.com 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 https://pancocojams.blogspot.com, 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.


C, D

We used to do a chant where we all made a circle and somebody stood in the middle. The words in parenthesis are what the person in the middle would say:

Chili chili bang bang

Let me see you do yo' thang,
(I cant!), Why not?,
(I just can't), Why not?,
(My back hurt, my bra too tight,
my hips shake to the left, to the right,
to the left and to the right! Hey!)

And the girl in the middle had to move her hips as she sang. It was sooooo funny then because we all thought we were FINE anyway! ROTFL!!

-MsAnn (African American female; Louisiana) http://www.greekchat.com/gcforums/showthread.php?t=4123&page=3 Childhood chants and games......; December 30, 2000


Chinese checkers. I can do karate.
Chinese checkers.
I can call my mommy.
Chinese checkers.
ooh I’m sorry.
you better be sorry.
cause I’m not sorry.
itsy bitsy soda pop.
itsy bitsy ooh.
itsy bitsy soda pop.
A boy likes you.

-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Svwim3MzAJ0&feature=related> .This is my transcrption of this hand clap game video. For an explanation of the first part of this rhyme, read my comment below for "Ching Ching China".


Ching Ching China
Sitting on a bench,
Tried to make a dollar
Out of 65 cents.
She did it, she did it
She did it like this...

(you had to jump w/ this one. first feet apart, then legs crossed, then feet apart again (on and on) and if you landed on "this" with your feet apart, you were a boy, and if your legs were crossed, you were a girl :o )
-Grace Kim, http://battery-d.livejournal.com/87113.html ; 12/17/2005
"Ching Ching China", "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", "Shimmy Shimmy China", "Choo Choo Charlie" and other similarly titled playground rhymes are adaptations of the anti-Asian rhyme Ching Chong Chinaman. However, in spite of their source (which few children or adults are aware of), the contemporary rhymes with that title aren't offensive.

Note the similarities between lines in these rhymes and the rhyme "Down Down Baby I Can Do Karate". Examples of that rhyme are found below.


Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Sittin on a fence.
Tryin to make a dollar
out of 15 cents
She missed, she missed, she missed like this.
She missed, she missed, she missed like this.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
I can do ka-ra-te.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!
I can hurt somebody.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!
Oops! I’m sorry.

-African American boys & girls , around ages 6-10 years, (Duquesne, Pennsylvania), 1998, collected by Azizi Powell, 1998
I've seen this rhyme performed [In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and adjacent communities] as a partner handclap routine with some corresponding movements* or just sung with corresponding movements. The words "karate" and "sorry" are pronounced so that they rhyme (kah-RAH-tay" and "sor-ray"). That pronunciation points to African American origin of these rhymes.

On the words "Oops, I'm so sorry, each handclap partner pretends to slap or to punch the other one. The girls or boys lean back so that they won't be touched by the other person. While they sang the words "She missed she missed etc, the children did criss cross jumps. At the end of the rhyme if your feet weren't side by side, you were out. * Boys said "he" instead of "she". See "Ching Chong China" on this page and "Shimmy Shimmy China" for examples of very similar rhymes. (However, "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" may not have been performed the same way as these other two rhymes. Also, see my comments about the word "China" that I posted to the "Ching Ching China" example.

*I've never seen any children do "karate" movements when they said this word, but I'm sure that those kinds of movements are sometimes done with this rhyme.


this is one we did in school

chitty chitty bang bang
chitty chitty bang bang im sitting on a fence trying to make a
dollar but all i can do is holler she missed she missed she
missed like this she missed she missed she missed like
this chitty chitty bang bang i can do karate chitty
chitty bang bang i can hurt somebody chitty chitty
bang bang opps im sorry
-mariah; Cocojams, 2/26/2009
-snip- This example was written in run on sentences. That writing style is quite common with people under forty years old who text, and who write on the internet. I thnk that's because speed is much more highly values than following grammatical rules or spelling correctly.

mariah spelled the word "chitty" with an "s". I took the liberty to substitute that letter with a "c" because I want to ensure that this website is available in educational facilities which might block access because of "bad" words.


Choo Choo Charlie Sitting on a bench ...
Tryin to make a dollar outta 15 cents
he missed he missed he missed like this...

Its one of those clap games....did it when i was in 2nd or 3rd grade
-brittanie; Octoblog, December 4, 2005
The name "Choo Choo Charlie" may have come from the 1960s or so "Good n' Plenty television commercial which included the jingle about a little boy pretending he was an train engineer. The jingle goes "Choo Choo Charlie was an engineer/ ????. The chorus was "Charlie says "Love my Good n' Plenty"/ Charlie says "Really rings my bell"/Charlie says "Love my Good n' Plenty"/ "Don't know any other candy that I love so well".


CINDERELLA DRESSED IN YELLA (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.

Cinderella, dressed in yella, went upstairs to kiss a fella,
Made a mistake and kissed a snake, how many doctors would it take?
1, 2, 3, 4,...(count until jumper misses.)

Cinderella, dressed in blue, went outside to tie her shoe,
Goodness gracious, she'll be late. How many seconds did it take?
1, 2, 3, 4,...(count until jumper misses.)
-Jon W.; http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=4300 ;Cinderella Dressed In Yella, 2/10/98


CINDERELLA DRESSED IN YELLOW (Version #2; Jump Rope Rhyme)
Cinderella dressed in yella,
wen' upstairs to kiss her fella,
she made a mistake,
and kissed her snake,
how many doctors did it take? 1234 . . . ect.

Most of the jump-rope rymes are rather morbid no?
-Tommaeee, Octoblog, April 1, 2007 [This blog is no longer accessible.]


CINDERELLA DRESSED IN YELLOW (Version #3; Jump Rope Rhyme)
Cinderella, dressed in yella
Went downtown to get some musta'd
[mustard] On the way her girdle busted
How many people were disgusted?
Red, hot, PEPPER!

...and the number of times you could jump fast ("pepper") was the number of people who were disgusted. lol
-eShirl; http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=270x290#291 ; Anybody remember jumprope rhymes?; July, 5, 2006


Cinderella, dressed in yella
went downtown to kiss her fella,
by mastake she kissed a snake,
How many cute boys did it take?

-Guest, baby * shake; http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=65824&messages=29 "Aussie Childrens' School Song origin?" ; January 31, 2008
No performance activity was given. Note: The title of the discussion thread does not necessarily mean that the poster is from Australia.


CINDERELLA DRESSED IN YELLOW (Version #5 & Version #6 ; Jump Rope Rhyme)
Cinderella dressed in yellow,
went downstairs to kiss her fellow.
Made a mistake,
kissed a snake.
How many doctors did it take? (count until the jumper misses)

Here's another:
Cinderella dressed in green,
died last night at 8:15.
How many cars, came to her funeral (count until the jumper misses)
- Afi S. (African American female, from memories of childhood in Nashville. Tennessee, between 1962 and 1965) ; February 21, 2011


COCA COLA (Version #1)
Coca Cola, Coca Cola
Allley Alley pussy cat
Alle Alle pussy cat
Coca Cola, Coca Cola
Allley Alley pussy cat
Alley Alley pussy cat

The boys got the muscles,
The teacher can't count,
The girls got the sexy legs
So you better watch out.
The boys go tsh tsh*
The girls go Whoo!!

- weeneilly;(Wolverhampton, England), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf8uQbAkJjc&feature=related, May 10, 2009
The "tsh tsh" sound is given as "X X" in another transcription of that video that is found at http://thevicarswife.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/playground-rhymes-1-coca-cola/

In another version of this rhyme, "Pepsi Cola" is chanted instead of "Coca Cola". An example of that rhyme will be showcased in the cocojams2 page for the letter "P". Also, versions of this rhyme will be included in the cocojams2 children's cheerleader page.


Coca Cola (clap clap clap)
went to town (clap clap clap)
Hi-C (clap clap clap)
knocked him down (clap clap clap)
7up (clap clap clap)
picked him up (clap clap clap)
Dr. Pepper (clap clap clap)
gave him (clap clap clap)
sleeping pills (clap clap clap)
jelly rolls (clap clap clap)
Theres a place on Mars
where the ladies smoke cigars
every puff they take
is enough to kill a snake
when the snake is dead
you put diamonds in his head
when the diamonds break
it's enough to bake a cake
when the cake is done
it is 1991
when you tie your shoe
it is 1992
when you get stung by a bee
it is 1993
when you slam a door
it is 1994
when you dance the jive
it is 1995
when you pick up sticks
it is 1996
when you like a boy named devon
it is 1997
when you close the gate
it is 1998
when you're feelin' fine
it is 1999
then it gets all cold
then you
- Miranda; http://blog.oftheoctopuses (Octoblog), August 19, 2004
This example includes the rhyme "There's A Place Called Mars".


I have a great song for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(To the tune of Stella-Ella-Olla!!)

coca cola went to town,
diet pepsi knocked em down,
doctor pepper fixed em,
now were drinking 7 up,
7 up got the flu,
now were drinking mountain dew,
mountain dew fell off the mountain
now were drinking from the fountain, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5!

-amia, Cocojams, 6/15/2007
"Coca Cola went (or "came") to town" is found in a number of versions of the long form of "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky", particularly when that "Down By The Banks.." rhyme. Many examples of that rhyme refer to Pop mega-star Michael Jackson. Those rhymes also obliquely document the cola wars between Pepsi Cola and Coca Cola. Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2014/04/folk-etymology-forms-of-references-to.html "Forms Of The Name "Billie Jean" In "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky" Rhymes" for a pancocojams post that provides more commentary about and examples of this rhyme.


no thats not the way its supposed to be said and different people in different places learned it different ways i learned it as

pepsi cola wnet to town
coca cola shot him down
dr.pepper fixed him up
now we all drink 7 up
and so on so yeah its fun hearing different ways people learned it but u cat tell her that her way is wrong she just learned it different -
omgitsalize, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFYB_QCRRyY&feature=related, 2008


Coca cola came to town
Diet Pepsi shot him down
Dr. Pepper picked him up
Now we all drink 7up
Bom Bom
Run around around around
Crash Beep Beep
Honk Honk
Run around around around
Crash Beep Beep
Oh Oh
Run around around around
Crash Beep Beep
Crash Beep Beep
->br>adam, hope, lana (United Kingdom) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3xDuBQeqg8&feature=related, January 20, 2009 [transcription by Azizi Powell, 4/16/2010.


okay all you people gotz this wrong......... this is how it goes:

coca cola went to town
diet pepsi shot him down.
dr pepper picked 'em up
now were drinkin 7 up.
7 up got the flu
now were drinkin mountain dew.
moutain dew fell off the mountain.
now were drinkin from the fountain.
fountain broke had a stroke.
now were back to plain old coke.

-TheTotalityForces; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6Cw-Awwm_M&feature=related "Coca Cola went to town rhyme (lyrics)",December 2010


Note: Examples with different names are given below.

CONCENTRATION 64 (Concentration handclap game, Version #1)
This is how I used to play it.

Two people stand facing each other with their hands out. Both their right hands are on the top and left is on the bottem. They move their hands up and down clapping 3 times in between. They are chanting

No mistakes. Or hesitations.
I'll go first. and you go second.
The topic is --make up a topic--." Keep going on with the topic until someone messes up. The other person wins.

P.S. In the quotes, when you see a period(.) that is where you clap three times.
-GuestaAmi; Origins: Concentration (kids' game); http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=85915, 5/09/2009
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2011/11/concentration-64-handclap-game.html for comments about the possible source/s of phrase "concentration 64" for this hand game.


HANDS UP FOR ONE EIGHTY-FIVE (Concentration handclap game, Version #2)
I'm from Queens,NY. The game we used to play is as follows:

Hands up for one eighty-five (clap-clap)
It's gonna be (clap-clap)
A big surprise (clap-clap)
No repeats (clap-clap)
No hesitations (clap-clap)
No demonstrations (clap-clap)
Starting with (clap-clap)
Names... (clap-clap)
Of... (clap-clap)
(colors, girls, boys, etc...) (clap-clap)... repeat names until someone loses.

The first person to repeat, hesitate, or demonstrate any word lost the game.

Multiple people stood in a circle and clapped hands with kids to the right and left of them. If only 2 people, they faced each other.

I now play this game with my kids. They love it!
-Guest, Melissa; Origins: Concentration (kids' game); http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=85915, 6/2/2010


CONCENTRATION (Concentration handclap game) Version #3)
I used to play a game called concentration
all the girls played it
it was like this

concentration(clap clap clap)
64(clap clap clap)
no repeat(clap clap clap)
or hesitation(clap clap clap)
I'll go first(clap clap clap)
you go last(clap clap clap)
the category is(clap clap clap)
______________ (fill it in your self.)

you slapped each others hands while you were saying the words and after the category name the person had to say something in that category without repeating what someone had already said or hesitating or they were out.
Guest, just visiting Origins: Concentration (kids' game); http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=85915, 11/11/2011


Double double this this
Double double that that
Double this
Double that
Double this and that.

-African American girls, ages 7-10 years; Fort Pitt Elementary School (Pittsburgh, PA). collected by Azizi Powell, 2003
I've seen this rhyme performed [in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania] by two children standing facing each other, by four children (two sets of partners who take turns slapping the hands of the two people across from them), and by three children )(standing in a triangle formation).

I've also seen "Double Double This" performed by more than four children (standing in a circle formation). Here's how it was played in a circle:
If the handclap rhyme is played with more than four children, one person is selected to starts the game. The children chant together. On the first word the starter lightly slaps the hand of the person to her or his right. On the next word, that person slaps the next person to his or her right and so on. The person whose hand is slapped on the last word of the rhyme is out. When only two people are left in the circle, they face each other and slap hands with each word. At this point, the two usually perform a standard handclap routine with the chant becoming faster and faster each time it is repeated. The person who messes up the routine is out, and the last person remaining is the winner.

A standard routine for pairs:
Select a partner. Face partner. In the case of three children, there are no partners, but the handclapping routine alternates with each child.

Here's a standard handclap routine: On “double double” use your upheld right hand to lightly slap the upheld left palm of partner.

On “This This” hold up both hands and lightly slap partners hands two times. On “Double this and that” hit partners’ two hands with your two hands.

Children may dip when they chant, and slap high, slap low, slap under their legs, and add hip shaking and body swaying movements. Sometimes children may also fancy up a handclap routine by combining body pats such as chest pats and pats to the soles of their feet. However, handclap routines are performed "in place". There is little if any movement away from the spot where the child is standing.

The most important part of the handclap rhyme is maintaining the correct sequence of hand clap exchanges. The chant helps children do this because you can remember which hand motion goes with which word.

Usually each time "Double Double This" is chanted, it goes faster. When this is played as a partner game with one or more sets of partners, those who perform the wrong motion, or don't perform fast enough are out. The person who is the last one remaining is the winner.


Examples are given in the "F" section of this cocojams2 series under "Flea Fly Flow".


There are so many different versions of "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky" that it would be impossible to select a small number of representative examples. In addition to the five examples that are showcased below, read these two blog post on my pancocojams blog for more examples and commentary about this HUGE rhyme family:
http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/05/song-sources-for-down-by-banks-of-hanky.html and http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2014/04/folk-etymology-forms-of-references-to.html "Forms Of The Name "Billie Jean" In "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky" Rhymes"

More examples and comments about "Down By The Banks.." can be found on this Mudcat discusson thread: http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=94034 "Origins of Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky".

"Homophobia in Playground Rhymes" is another Mudcat discussion thread about certain examples of the long form of "Down By The Banks...". http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=119441 WARNING - Some examples of "Down By The Bank's... in both those Mudcat threads and elsewhere on the internet are quite offensive. I'm not showcasing any of those examples on this page.



Down by the banks
with the hankity panks
where the bull frog
jumped from
bank to bank
with an
hes got on the lilly with a big

::at ker-plop the players would try to a) freeze b) clap hands or c) hit each other on the head (depending on the version)
-contortme, http://blog.oftheoctopuses.com [Octoblog], 9/16/2003
This is a good example of the standard form and words for the short form of "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky".


down by the lake with the hanky panky
where the bullfrogs jump from bank to bank
singing fee fi fo fum
ure momma looks like king kong
didley dong i went to school with nothing on
iu asked the teacher what to wear
polka dotted underwear
not too big not too small-no name given, Octoblog, “Schoolyard games”, 9/16/2003
This is one example of the long form of "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky" that doesn't mention Michael Jackson. In this example the "Hanky Panky" rhyme is combined with the "Oh My, I Want A Piece Of Pie" rhyme.


BULL FROGS (Down By The Banks of the Hanky Panky; Version #4)
down by the banks of the hanky panky
p- where the bullfrogs jump from bank to banky
where the epps orps ops
triple cycadelic cur-plops.

-Makina L.; (Canada), Cocojams 10/18/2005
This is another example of the short form of "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky".


Down by the bay
with the hanky panky
where bull frogs jump
from bank to banky
with a
Hop Hop
and a skittle
and a dittle
and a kernal pop
i pledge alegiance
to the flag
Micheal Jackson
makes me gag
Coca Cola messed him up
now hes drinking 7up
7 up has no caffine
now hes drinking gassoline
Gassoline not good for you
now hes drinking Mnt. Dew
Mt. Dew fell off the Mt.
now hes drinking from a fountain
fountain water has no taste
now hes drinking milkshake
milkshake goes down wrong,
now he's drinking alcohol.
alcohol is against the law
now hes drinking nothing at all.

GUEST,Dana, Origins: Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky 11 Jun 07

This is an example of a (relatively non-offensive) version of a "Michael Jackson" long form of "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky".


Down by the banks of the hanky panky
Where the bull frogs jumped to bank to bankies
with ah eeps opps I wanna piece of pie.
Piece of pie too sweet. I wanna piece of meat.
Piece of meat too rough. I wanna ride a bus.
Bus too full. I wanna ride a bull.
Bull too black. I want my money back.
Money back too green. I want a jelly bean.
Jelly bean not cooked. I wanna read a book.
Book too red. I wanna go to bed.
Bed not made. I want some lemonade.
Lemonade too sour. I got that funky power.
-hanzie99 , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpVeoxwDGcY,, October 2, 2010; (transcription by Azizi Powell from the video)
This is another example of the long form of "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky" that doesn't mention Michael Jackson. In this example the "Hanky Panky" rhyme is combined with the "Oh My, I Want A Piece Of Pie" rhyme.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/02/down-by-banks-of-hanky-panky-video.html "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky" (video & different text examples) for additional examples of this rhyme and for links to other pancocojams posts about "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky"


Down Down Baby" is a large family of playground rhymes that are also known as "Shimmy Shimmy Co Co Pop" or similarly sounding titles. As is the case with many other children's rhymes, examples of "Down Down Baby" are usually made up of a combination of two or more independent (stand alone) verses.

A number of "Shimmy Shimmy Co Co Pa"/"Down Down Baby" rhymes are very closely related to the "I Love Coffee I Love Tea" family of rhymes. Examples of "I Love Coffee I Love Tea" will be found in the "I" section of this hand clap rhyme post.

Some "Down Down Baby"/"Shimmy Shimmy Co Co Pa" verses are also found in certain examples of "Last Night, The Night Before" and "Not Last Night But The Night Before" rhymes. In addition, some versions of "Apple On A Stick", "Take A Peach Take A Plum" and "Eeny Meenie Epsideenie" include lines from this rhyme.

Furthermore, since at least the early 1980s, "Down Down Baby" rhymes appear to usually be performed as handclap games. Previously, "Down Down Baby" rhymes were chanted while jumping rope. Also, since around the late 1980s, some versions of "Down Down Baby" include confrontational language and a specific pattern of racial references. This pancocojams post focuses on that pattern: http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/01/racialized-versions-of-i-like-coffee-i.html "Racialized Versions of "I Like Coffee I Like Tea" Rhymes."

Given all of that, you can see how diffcult it would be to try to select five examples to represent that "Down Down Baby" rhyme family. I'm not going to try to do that, but will instead just showcase five examples which represent themselves and not the entire family.

Note that "Down Down Baby I Know Karate" is an off-shoot of the "Down Down Baby" rhyme and the "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" Rhyme. Examples of "Down Down Baby I Know Karate" are found below.


DOWN DOWN BABY (Example #1)
Down, down baby
Down by the roller coaster
Sweet, sweet baby
I'll never let you go.
Shimmy shimmy coco pa
Shimmy shimmy pow!
Shimmy shimmy coco pa
Shimmy shimmy pow!
Grandma, Grandma sick in bed.
Called the doctor and the doctor said,
Let's get the rhythm of the head.
Ding dong.
Let's get the rhythm of the hands
Clap, clap.
Let's get the rhythm of the feet
Stomp, stomp.
Let;s get the rhythm of the Hot dog.
Put it all together and what do you get?
Ding-dong, clap, clap. Stomp, stomp. Hot dog.
Say it all backwards and what do you get?
Hot dog. Stomp, stomp. Clap, clap. Ding dong!
-multiple sources. This is the example that was showcased in a segment of Sesame Street. It also is the version that I chanted during my childhood in Atlantic City, New Jersey in the 1950s. However, I remember it as a movement rhyme,and not a handclap rhyme.


DOWN DOWN BABY (Example #2) [From the movie Big
....Ooh! The spades go, Down! Down! Baby!
Down! Down the roller coaster!
Sweet, sweet baby!
Sweet, sweet delectable!
Shimmy, shimmy cocoa pop!
Shimmy, shimmy rock!
Shimmy, shimmy cocoa pop!
Shimmy, shimmy rock!
I met a girlfriend a triscuit!
She said a triscuit a biscuit!
Ice cream, soda pop,
vanilla on the top!
Ooh Shelly, walking down the street,
ten times a week!
I met it! I said it!
I stole my mother's credit!
I'm cool! I'm hot!
Sock me in the stomach three more times!

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-real-meaning-of-spades-go-space-go.html for the pancocojams post "The REAL Meaning Of "The Spades Go" & "The Space Go" In Playground Rhymes". That post includes a video of actor Tom Hanks (who starred in the movie Big reciting "Down Down Baby". That post also includes the above transcripton of that version of "Down Down Baby" as well as other examples of playground rhymes that include the phrase "the spades go" or "the space goes".


DOWN DOWN BABY (Version #3)
Down Down Baby
Down by the Roller Coaster
Ah Biscuit
Shimmy Shimmy Coco Pah
Ah Biscuit
Um Shar Shara
Uh she she ahwa
Ah Biscuit
I had ah boyfriend*
Ah Biscuit
He’s so fine
Ah Biscuit
Like a cherry pie
AH Biscuit
Shimmy Shimmy Coco Pah
Um Shar Shara
Uh she she ahwa
I wanna tickle you.

-Diamond, Quala. Ashley, (African American females); Quinton, Javonte (African American males); Duquesne, Pennsylvania, 7/1999; Collected by Azizi Powell
As I recall this gatherng at a summer camp, these children were shy and therefore didn't show me the hand clap routine that they usually did wth this rhyme. The hand clap rhyme formations for this and other rhymes were (and still are) with two people standing facing their partner; with three people in a diamond formation, with four people -two sets of partners facing each other in a square formation, or standing in a crcle formation with more than four people.


DOWN DOWN BABY(Version #4>
I remember

Down Down Baby Down Down the rollercoaster
Sweet Sweet Baby I'll never let you go
Shimmy shimmy cocoa puff shimmy shimmy I
Shimmy shimmy cocoa puff shimmy shimmy I
I like coffee I like tea
I like a colored boy and he likes me
so step back white boy
you don't cause a cool colored boy gonna bet your behind
He'll beat it once he'll beat it twice
He'll beat it beat it beat it
So let's get the rhythm of the head
Ding dong
Sho' got the rhythm of the head head
Ding dong
Let's get the rhythm of the hands
Sho' got the rhythm of the hands
Let's get the rhythm of the feet
(Stomp, Stomp)
Sho' got the rhythm of the feet
(Stomp, Stomp)
Let's get the rhythm of the Hot Dog (While doing the snake)
Sho' got the rhythm of the Hot Dog
Ding dong, clap,clap,stomp,stomp,Hot Dog
-Guest ,Pazzion; "I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes" http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=81350; 5/26/2005
This is an example of what I call a "racialized rhyme", meaning a rhyme that now mentions race when no mention of race was previously mentioned. Another characteristic of what I refer to as "racialized rhymes" is that those verses are usually confrontational.


DOWN DOWN BABY (Example #5)
me and my friends do down down baby like this even when we are still 6 years old so it goes like this

down down baby
down down the rollacouster
sweet sweet baby
sweet sweet don't let me go
i have a boyfriend a BISQUIT
he so cute a BIQUIT
apples on the table petch in the frot [floor]
step on baby i don't love you any more
to the front to the back
to the side to the side
to the front to the back
to the side to the side and . . . FREEZE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-TIFFINILE ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTFdsz8llOI, ;July 2010
I reformatted this example from its run-on sentence form.


DOWN DOWN BABY (Example #6)
I used to do a chant/clap game similar to that with my friends in elementary school when I lived in Indiana, it went something like this:

Down, down baby, down by the rollercoaster
Sweet, sweet baby, too sweet, I'll let you go
Shimmy Shimmy coco pop
Shimmy shimmy down
Shimmy Shimmy coco pop
Break down, break down
Two Chinese, sitting on a bench,
Tryin' to make a dollar outta 15 cents
You miss, you miss, you miss like this
This is how me and my boy friend kiss
Like this

Looking back on it now, years later, it seems racist, but I didn't really think about it when I lived in an area that was virtually just Caucasian, even though I, myself, am hispanic.
-Guest ,Alexis; http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=100653&messages=24 ; Lyr Add: Down Down Baby-Race in Children's Rhymes
As I noted in my previous comments, there's no doubt that versions of "Down Down Baby" (with their "sitttng on a bench -or fence- and trying to make a dollar out of __ cents) came from the racist Ching Chong rhymes. However, I believe that simply mentioning a race in a rhyme or elsewhere means that that rhyme has racial content, but that rhyme isn't automatically racist. That said, the "trying to make a dollar out of __ cents, can be interpreted to be mocking those persons' lack of understanding of United States money. Or it might be scornful of those persons' engaging in "hustling" and trying to get more for less.


Down, down baby.
I know karate.
Down, down baby,
I can shake my body.
Down, down baby,
I can call my mommy.
Oops! I’m so sorry *
Down, down baby,
to the front,
to the back,
to the side, side, side **
Watch me do the butterfly ***
-Teneisha (African American female, 11 years) and Antoinette (African American female, 10 years); Pittsburgh, PA., 1999, collected by Azizi Powell
* both girls simultaneously “accidentally” tap each other player on the forehead
** to the beat, both girls jump to the front, then to the back, then to the right, then to the left, and back to the right
*** both girls do “the butterfly”, a hip wiggling Caribbean derived R&B dance that was popular around 1994.
"Down Down Baby I Can Do Karate" is a variant form of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and "Down Down Baby". A "sanitized" version of this rhyme was popularized by its inclusion on a segment of Sesame Street "Elmo's World" (an American television series for toddlers and pre-schoolers). That version of ""Down Down Baby I Can Do Karate" is found below.


Down down baby I can do karate.
Down down baby I can cut salami.
Down down baby I can call my mommie.
Down down baby I can shake my body.
Down down baby OOPS I'M SORRY. [hit the other persons head.]
Posted by: Shalala, http://roughdraft.typepad.com/dotmoms/2004/05/theres_a_song_i.html, December 08, 2008
This was posted as a comment to an article about memories of children's rhymes. WARNING: One example of another rhyme on that page contains profanity.

I've read that the puppet character, Elmo" watched girls chanting and doing a hand clap routine to this rhyme. But I haven't found that video. I doubt that "Elmo's World" showed girls attempting to hit another person's head, even if that action is supposed to be playfully attempted.


[This is] A jump rope rhyme I remember that probably has an African American origin:

Down in Mississippi where the boats go "pushy-whooshy"
(Two girls would jump together, and one would pretend to push the other out at the end of the "rhyme." I'm 60 years old and learned these on the playground in Waterbury Connecticut in the early 50s.
-Ellen R.; Cocojams, 11/9/2007


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Visitor comments and playground rhymes examples are welcome.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    so "Down down baby, I can do karate" can be heard in Elmo's World, "Singing" episode. At the "Ooops" part, they just clap each others' hands, of course they don't hit each other.

    Thanks a lot for the blog, it was the only clue on the rhyme I found :)



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