Saturday, November 1, 2014

Children's Taunting Rhymes (A-L)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part I of a two part series on English language children's taunting rhymes. Part I features a sample of children's taunting rhymes whose titles (first words) begin with the letters "A"-"L".

Click for Part II of this series. Part II features examples of English language children's taunting rhymes whose titles (first words) begin with "M"-"Z". In addition, that post includes a small number of children's retorts (come backs) to taunts.

These examples are posted for folkloric and recreational purposes.

Thanks to all who have contributed these rhyme examples.

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.


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.

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.

A, B
Hit it!
Thats the way uh huh uh huh i like it uh huh uh huh
Thats the way uh huh uh huh i like it uh huh uh huh
peace puch captain crunch
break a wall waterfalls,girl you think you know it all you dont i do so, poof with the attitude
wait, come back, you need a tic tac not a tic not a tac but the whole six pack
yo mamma, yo daddy, your bald headed granny
she 99 she thinks shes fine, she going out with frankenstein go granny go go, go granny wooooo
"ABC Hit It" rhymes are usually part of the huge "Brickwall Waterfall" family of rhymes.

Structurally, the phrase"ABC Hit It" can be said to be an introductory phrase which (at least theoretically) serves basically the same function as "Ready Set Go".

Notice that the girls chanting this rhyme said "Break a wall" instead of "Brickwall". "Break a wall" is an example of "folk etymology" when a word or phrase is misremembered, or misheard, or is misunderstood, and a more other word or phrase (usually a more familiar word or phrase) is substituted for it.


AH BEEP BEEP (Version #1)
Ah Beep Beep
Walkin down the street
Ungawa. Ungawa
That means Black power.
White boy.
I said it. I meant it
And I’m here to represent it.
Soul sister number 9
Sock it to me one more time.
Uh hun! Uh Hun!
Source: Tracey S., African American female; childhood memories of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1968 , collected by Azizi Powell, 2000
Here are a few comments about this rhyme:
In my opinion, the lines "ah beep beep/walkin down the street" self-bragging comments about she is so attractive that men honk their car horn when she walks down the street.

The word "ungawa" was created by someone associated with Tarzan movies to mimic traditional African languages. That word, when uttered by Tarzan to speak to the animals, or when uttered by African "natives" in those Tarzan movies could mean just about anything. However, in the 1970s, Black people co-opted the word "ungawa" and used it as an expression of Black power in slogans such as "Ungawa!/Black power! (with the word "power" being pronounced "powa".

African American vernacular sayings are used throughout the "Ah Beep Beep" rhyme. Click to read my comments about some of those sayings in the above mentioned pancocojams post about the movie Big and in my comments about a very similar rhyme entitled "I'll Be". That rhyme was that was published in a 1973 American book on children's rhymes.

The version of "Down Down Baby" ("Shimmy Shimmy Co Co Pa") in the 1988 American movie Big appears to have used "Ah Beep Beep" as its primary source. Click for comments and videeos about that subject.


AH BEEP BEEP (Version #2)
OMG i'm finally remembering it...

ahh beep beep walkin down the street

10 times a week...
ungawa, ungawa this is black power


white boy
i said it

i meant it

i really represent it
i'm a soul soul sista from a soul soul town
aint too many sista gonna keep me down.
if you don't like my apples
don't shake my tree
cuz i'm a soul soul sista named... Ja-nie


again i'm not black.
- Guest,duh (Janie), "Downtown Baby"; 2/23/2009


AH BEEP BEEP (Version #3)

I think your website is awesome. I was looking through it and found a chant that is similar to the one we did on our bus ride home from school.

There would always be a couple of the older kids holding a beat by hitting the seats for a kick drum and tapping the windows for a snare effect. Our version was a little different. The lyrics were as follows:

AAAhhh Beep Beep,
Walking down the street,
Ten times a week,
Ugawa, ugawa,
This is Black Power,
So sweet, so sour.
Soul sister number 9, sock it to me one more time,
Uh, ah, I really needed it,
AAAH beep beep,
Walking down the steet,
10 times a week,

…and it would go on and on til there were no more kids on the bus. I remember this one out of all of them because it was my favorite and I like how it went back into itself to make an infinite chorus.
-Lem B., Raleigh, North Carolina, African American children; 7 or 8 years old (1977, 78-recited during long bus rides across town to attend majority white school);, 11/30/2009
In the 1960s "sock it to me" was a popular African American vernacular phrase. That phrase meant "give it to me" (and not "hit me"). While "sock it to me" originally probably had a sexual meaning, Aretha Franklin's use of "sock it to me" in her hit 1967 R&B record "Respect" helped change that phrase's meaning to one that could mean something other than "give me some loving".


AH BEEP BEEP (Version #3)
Here is the version from Brooklyn, New York in the early 70's...the Brownsville version:

Ahh, Beep Beep!
Walking down the street
Ten times a week
Black Power!
White Boy!
I said it, I meant it
I'm here to represent it
I'm cool, I'm calm
I'm Soul Sister Number Nine
Sock it to me one more time!
Uh-Uh! Good God!

We had so many rhymes like this. Some were very graphic!
- Guest, "Lyr Req: Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko-Bop (Little Anthony)", May 12, 2011
Another blogger on that same Mudcat discussion thread posted a very similar example of "Ah Beep Beep" from his meemory of "Chelsea, Manhattan, New York City, NY at PS 33 in 5th grade in the early 70s". In that version the line was "I'm soul brother number nine".


"Bang Bang Choo Choo Train" is a very popular bragging rhyme which is often combined with other rhymes, especially "Brickwall Waterfall". All versions of "Bang Bang Choo Choo Train" aren't taunting rhymes. Some non-taunting examples of this rhyme will be included in cocojams2's game songs and movement rhymes series.


Hey I am a 13 year old african american girl. I go to school in japan. there are lots of these kinds of songs.

bang bang chocho train
round me up and Ill do my thang
no recise pices no butter cup
you mess with me Ill mess you up
I know karate I know kong fu
I aint scared of no girl like you.

It goes on and on all races here say them. young and small
-Davonna {Japan},, 7/16/2006
-snip- was a cultural website that I launched in 2001. For some reason, that website disappeared in October 2014. Consequently, I'm re-posting some of the material from that website on this newly launched cocojams2 blog. Click for informaton about and for a general description of cocojams2.

"Bang Bang Choo Choo Train" and a number of other English language taunting playground rhymes have African Amercan origins. It's important to realize that just because those rhymes have African American origins, they don't depict how most African Americans really are. When children chant taunting rhymes they are acting out a part. Unfortunately, that image of the quick to anger person who verball mocks and challenges his or her adversary and threatens that adversary with physical violence has been labeled "acting ghetto", "acting street", and "acting hood". And for many non-Black people, those terms have become equated with all or with most Black people. Making those assumptions is pre-judging (prejudice). Please be mindful of these comments while reading these examples, and afterwards.


bing ban choo choo tran,
girl you think you got it all
but you dont, I do
so whoosh with the attitude.
rock and roll baby,
in control baby,
up and down baby
move it all around.
elbow elbow wrist wrist
shut up girl you just got dissed...
-Paige, cocojams2, 3/6/2007
"Whoosh with that attitude" means to quicly get rid of your attitude (or else)

The verse beginning with "rock and roll baby" to "move it all around" is probably a folk processed version of the Caribbean Soca record "Roll It Gal".

"Elbow elbow wrist wrist" originated as the movements that fashion models had to do to wave to people. However, in these taunting rhymes that phrase probably means "preparing to hit someone (wave your fist at someone).

"Dissed" means "insulted". That word is a clip of the word "disrespected".


Here's one cheer from Saltillo Mississippi
Bang,Bang choo choo train
come on girls let's do our thing
Why not
cause my back is aching and my bras to tight
my booty's shaking to the left to the right
see my pinkie see my thumb
see my fist so you better run
this is skinny this is fat
this is me i'm all that
i like coffee
i like tea
i like boys and boys like me
so O-U-T spells out.
-Alibeth H.,, 10/29/2007


ur all wrong! its

my name is nicky
i'm feeling groovy
u mess with me
i kick ur
hey watch ur mouth
i said bang bang choo choo train
wind me up and i'll do my thing
i kno karate
i kno kung foo
u mess with me i mess with u
-nickytwilight4eva,, 2010


Bobbie, Bobbie wash your feet -
the Board of Health is across the street.
-emilyg, "Silly Kid Rhymes, Apr-16-11
It's likely that the name would be changed to the name of whoever you were insulting.


Judging from the frequency of Internet postings of "Brickwall Waterfall", including the number of times examples of this rhyme have been submitted to my former website, "Brickwall Waterfall" appears to be one of the most widely known contemporary handclap rhymes in the USA. "Brickwall Waterfall's popularity is probably due to that rhyme being featured in the 2003 movie Dickie Roberts, Former Child Star. This post only showcases a very small sample of this bragging, confrontational playground rhyme.

Brick wall waterfall
boy/girl you think you no it all
you dont i do
so shh whith that Additude
Your Mama your daddy
your balled headed granny
she 99
she thinks shes fine
she going out whith frankinstine
shes hip
shes fat
she needs a tic-tac
not a tic not a tac
but the hole six pack
im sorry to be mean
but she needs some listrine
not a sip not a swallow
but the hole bottle
-Timothy, cocojams2, 2/2/2006


Brick Wall Waterfall they think they got it all
they dont we do so boom with that attitude
-deneera; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, colleected by Azizi Powell, 2/23/2006

"Boom with that attitude" (also given as "poof with that attitude") that the person being addressed better quickly get rid of her unpleasant and/or disrespectful attitude (toward the chanter). That person's attitude should quickly disappear as it would in an explosion, hence the word "boom". Or, in the case of the word "poof", that person's "attitude" should quickly disappear as in a puff of smoke (as is said to occur in magic tricks.


When ur talking to me all im thinking is

Brickwall water fall,
(name) thinks they no it all,
You don't so i say
boom wid that attutude
pinch punch captin crucnch
i have something you can't touch
bang,bang cho cho tran
you wind me up i do my thing
no reason piece of 7up
mess wid me i'll mess u up

this is for girls of any years that want to show off
-kenisha; (England),, 3/8/2006
I was curious as to how this rhyme had made it to England. Kenisha responded to my email and informed me that she is an African American who is currently living in England. Kenisha said that she knew this rhyme before she moved to England. And I'm sure that she probably has taught it to some of her new friends in that country.

Notice the "BangBang Choo Choo Train verse in this version of "Brickwall Waterfall". That verse is found in many "Brickwall Waterfall" rhymes.


it's called A-B-C Hit It! {and/ or Brickwall Waterfall}. It goes:

A-B-C Hit It! That's the way Uh-Uhh I like it Uh-Uhh.
That's the way Uh-Uhh I like it Uh-Uhh. Brickwall Waterfall
Girl you think you know it all. You don't. I do. So Poof with the Attitude. Peace Punch Captain Crunch. I got something you can't touch.
Bang Bang Cho Cho Train. Wind me up I'll do my thing.
Yummy Yummy 7Up Mess with me I'll beat you up. Wait, Come back.
I think you need a Tic Tac. Not 1 Not 2 But the whole six-pack. I'm not trying to be mean but you need some Listerine. Not a sip not a swallow. But the whole dang bottle.

{PS. To the owner of this website usually the Brickwall rhymes are games you play with your hands. Thanks!!!}
-lauren; S.A T.X ro, ; 5/7/2006


1, 2, 3,
that's the way
uh huh uh huh
i like it
uh huh uh huh
that's the way
uh huh uh huh
i like it
uh huh uh huh
peace. punch
captain crunch.
brick wall. waterfall.
girl you think you know it all?
you don't! i do!
so poof with the attitude.
loser loser with a twist
elbow elbow wrist wrist.
wipe a tear. blow a kiss.
kiss this.
hunnie u aint got none of this.
-k to the c, [Octoblog]; 6/20/2006 [blog no longer assessible]


that's the way
uh huh uh huh
i like it
uh huh uh huh
that's the way
uh huh uh huh
i like it
uh huh uh huh
break wall water fall
girl you think you know it all
but, you don't
i do
so poof with that attitude
bubble gum in my hair
peanut butter every where
even in my underwear
see my pinky
see my thumb
see my fist
you better run
take a shower
blow your nose
call your friends
and out you go
call mommy
wet your pants
scootchy scootchy do your dance
-Ellie; age 8 (Austin, Texas),,7/15/2006


Hi! I have a school taunt I just learned today. It's nothing like what you have.

Brick wall, waterfall,
girl you think you got it all.
You don't, I do.
So poof, with that attitude.
Elbow, Elbow, wrist, wrist.
*smooch, smooch* kiss kiss.
Ooh, girl. You just got dissed.
Wait, come back.
You need a tic-tac.
Not one, not two, you need the whole pack.
Talk to this *hold up hand like a telephone*
Cause the face aint home.
And leave a message after the tone.
Beep. Cut off.
-ZOMGitsLily,, 3/5/2008


brick wall waterfall
man you just think you got it all
well ya dont cause i do
so boom with your attitude!
peace punch captain crunch
i got something you cant touch
1 bang bang choo choo train
wind me up i do my thing
no reeses peices 7up
yall mess with me i mess you up!
i now karate i know kung fu
step to me and ill use it on you!
shake your booty shout and twist
ooh girl you just got dissed!
im the best you ever heard
now shut up girl you just got served! -jenna,, 7/23/2008


That's the way uh huh uh huh
i like it uh huh uh huh x2
Peace punch captain crunch,
I got somthin u can't touch
Bang Bang Choo Choo train,
wound me up i do my thang
I know karate, I know kung fu,
mess with me I mess with you
Brickwall, waterfall,
girl u think u know it all
U don't i do

So boom with that attitude.
resie pice 7 up
u mess with me ill mess u up
Loser whatever fly away forever

get the picture, get the picture, get the picture
-Jacob H.,, October 8, 2011


I grew up knowing brick wall waterfall girl you think you kno it all but you don't and I do so you need to go to school
-jonneisha from Lousiana, August 1, 2012


C, D
don't make me snap my fingers in a Z formation hip rotation,
elbows elbows, wrists, wrists shut up girl you just got dissed by this
-ellen;, 10/2/2007


DON'T MAKE ME SNAP MY FINGERS (Version #2 & Version #3)
There are movements
Dont make me snap my fingers in a Z for-ma-tion (Snap In a "Z")
Talk to To the Hand ( Make a "Stop" signal)
Talk to the Butt ( Turn around Back facing person your talking to)
You just dont know
How to strut Ex-cla-ma-tion POINT (Pop person on forehead lightly)


Dont make me snap my fingers in a Z for-ma-tion
Talk to the hand
Talk to the Fist Girl
I think you just got dissed
Ex-cla-mation POINT!
-Coumba,, 10/6/2007
"Don't Make Me Snap My Fingers" demonstrate how children's playground rhymes incorporate body gestures that may be used in everyday life.

"Snapping your finders in a z formation" is an actual contemporary street gesture that might be made when someone does something or says something that offends you. The "z formation" is made by pretending to draw a letter "z" in the air right in front of you (but actually, supposedly right in front of the person or persons you are taunting).. The word "exclamation" in some versions of this taunt is made by pretending to draw an exclamation mark in the air.

In videos that I've seen of this taunt the chanters do the"talk to the hand" gesture by holding their right hand in front of them a little bit below their chest, just like the "stop" gesture is made. However, African Americans who I've seen do this gesture turn their head to the left away from the person they are speaking to, and at the same time, hold their right hand palm up near their face. This gesture means "talk to my hand because I'm through talking to you."

People doing this are supposed to have a stern facial expression or their face is expressionless. Their voice is neither quiet nor loud. Their voice isn't raised because to do so would mean that they have let the person/s they are addressing get next to them (get them angry). Because the way they speak is supposed to match what they are saying, when people say these taunts they aren't supposed to sound cheerful, or whining, or angry. The "performance goal" is to show that you are cool, confident, and completely unruffled by the person or persons who you are addressing. All of this points out how important dramatization is to the performance of playground taunts and other playground cheers. It's just an act, but it's supposed to done in a way that accurately reflects real life.

Remember that snapping your fingers in a z formation and saying these taunts can be considered as a challenge that that could lead to a real argument and/or a fight. It may be okay to pretend that you are a tough girl or boy with your friends, but please be cautious about saying & doing "snap in z formation" in real life situations when someone makes you angry.


driving down the highway doin 94,
(person name)laid a fart that blew us out the door
the wheels started shaking,
the engine fell apart,
all because of (person name) and his/her super sonic fart.
-, 10/15/2008


E, F


G, H
Happy Birthday to you.
You live in a zoo.
You look like a monkey.
And you smell like one too.
-multiple sources including Azizi Powell's childhood memories of Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1950s


Humpty Dumpty Dump
Yo momma don't wear no draws
Humpty Dumpty Dump
She washed them out in alcohol (I thought we just said she didn't wear any)
Humpty Dumpty Dump
She threw them on the railroad tracks
Humpty Dumpty Dump
The train came up and then went back
Humpty Dumpty Dump
She took them to the garbage can
Humpty Dumpty Dump
She scared away the garbage man
-Afrochic (Memphis, Tennessee), "Old school chants", 03-30-2003
Participants in this online discussion were members of various historically Black (African American) Greek letter sororties. Although no dates were given for these rhyme memories, from some comments about just graduating from a university, I'd date these childhood remembrances to the early or mid 1990s.

"Humpty Dumpty Dump" is a variant form of "Yo (Your) Mama Don't Wear No Draws"*. Examples of those rhymes are found in Part II of this series. I believe that those improvisational rhymes help prepare chanters for "the Dozens" insult game.

*"draws = panties (underwear)


I, J
I'm a bad soul sister from a bad soul town
It takes 48 whites just to knock me down
Don't you pick no apples from my apple tree!
I'm a bad soul sister, don't you mess with me!
-Guest (from Brooklyn, New York in the early 70's...the Brownsville version),, May 12, 2011


I'm a winner see my prize
your a loser that sits and cries
-Tyler,, 12/10/2005


I am nice and you are pooh
What I just stepped in smells like you.
-Guest," I'm Rubber. You're Glue: Children's Rhymes", 6/1/2006


I MADE YOU LOOK (Verson #1)
I made you look.
You dirty crook.
You stole your mother’s pocketbook.
You turned it in
You turned it out.
You turned it into a sauerkraut.
-multiple sources including Azizi Powell's memories of Atlantic City, New Jersey,1950s


I MADE YOU LOOK (Version #2) I have a different version of I made you look that I learned from my mom when I was a child.

I made you look you
you dirty crook
you stole your mother’s pocketbook
you found a dime
you bought some wine
now you smell like turpentine
-Jason,, 1/12/2008


How about this one from 70s Minneapolis

Ink a bink
a bottle of ink
the cork fell out
and you stink
not because you're dirty
not because you're clean
just because you kissed a girl
behind a magazine
-geardaddy, "Silly Kid Rhymes, 4-18-11


Ink stink.
A bottle of ink.
Somebody let out
an awful stink.
It was Y-O-U!
-multiple sources including Azizi Powell's memories of Atlantic City, New Jersey (in the 1950s). I've also heard this rhyme in the 2000s.


___ IS A NUT
(insert name) is a nut;
He has a rubber butt.
Every time he turns the corner,
Putt putt putt! - wysiwyg,, I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes, 22 May 2005


ka boom with that attitude !
criss cross apple sauce
{the person your talking to} think they got it all
they I do so ka boom with that attitude.
--christal R, (age 11), (Pittsburgh, PA), 5/16/2006
"Ka Boom With That Attitude" is probably part of the "Brick Wall Waterfall" family of rhymes.


Kindergarten babies,
Stick you head in gravy,
Wash it out with bubblegum,
And then you're in the Navy.
-Guest,Pitheris,, "I'm Rubber . You're Glue" Children's Rhymes"; 3/25/2007
I remember that rhyme from my childhood waaay back in the 1950s (Atlantic City, New Jersey) except the example I remember ended with "wash your head with gravy."


Here is a taunt I learned from my mother: Kindergarden babies, wash your face with gravy, dry it off with bubblegum and send it to the navy
-Kat,, 8/16/2007


K I S S I N G (Example #1)
sitting in a tree
- "Top Five Stupidest Childhood Taunts, retrieved November 1, 2014
This rhyme was given as #4 on that list.


K I SS I N G (Example #2)
It's one of the first taunts I learned - and the one that taught me the "taunt rhythm," the meter and tones that make any song a taunt.

_____ and _____, sittin' in a tree
First comes love, then comes marriage
then comes ____ with a baby carriage

The truly inspired would add on the following:

Sucking his thumb, pooping his pants
Trying to do the boogie dance
and that's not all, that's not all
he's also drinking alcohol!"
-, retrieved November 1, 2014


LOSER LOSER (Version #1)
o.k i learned this one when i was in 5th grade when Lizzie McGuire was in now I'm in 11th grade so here it goes(Kate tells this to lizzie in an episode)

Loser Loser,
Double loser,
Yeah right.
Picture, picture,
Get the picture.

*there are hand gestures involved*
-Claire, cocojams; 10/20/2008


LOSER LOSER (Version #2)
This is the typical loser, loser rhyme: Loser Loser (Make an L with one hand on the 1st loser, then make another w/the other hand on the 2nd loser)
Double Loser (Bring them together) As if (Tilt the L's up to make a triangle)
Whatever (Twist your wrists to make the two L's into a W)
Get the picture (For "get the" make a picture frame around your head by holding the L's diagonal from each other with your head in the middle. For "picture", do the same thing but the opposite way)
Duh! (Either give them the "talk to the hand" signal or flip your hair back) Hope you like! Sorry it was hard to explain the gestures. You can kinda personalize it to make your own :)
-Luvbuggy22,, 12/8/2008


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Visitor comments and playground rhymes examples are welcome.

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