Miss Lucy had Friday Fluff

When a friend of my mom’s asked her about “that thing all women can do, and some men,” it turned out he meant hanging your sunglasses off the collar of your shirt. But when my husband talks about “that thing all girls know” he means hand jives (otherwise known as clapping games, hand games, handclaps, etc.). I think he was very struck by the time my friend Emily and I, two grown women in our late 20s who did not grow up together, launched into the very complicated hand motions associated with the “ooh, ah, want a piece of pie” rhyme with no prior discussion.

What’s interesting to me, though, is that all girls know hand jives but almost no two know them the same. For instance, I thought of this fluff idea because I woke up with what this website calls “uno, dos-ee-a-say” stuck in my head, only we used to do it “uno dos-ee-a-mo.” And when I went to look up the “ooh, ah, want a piece of pie” rhyme I found all sorts of funky variations. What were your rhymes? Let’s compare notes.

Below the fold, a few of my favorites to start us off.

ABC, easy as 123, my mama takes care of me
Ooh, ah, want a piece of pie
Pie too sweet, want a piece of meat
Meat too tough, wanna ride a bus
Bus too full, wanna ride a bull
Bull too black, want my money back
Money back too green, want a jellybean
Jellybean not red, wanna go to bed
Bed not made, want some lemonade
Lemonade too sour, wanna take a shower
Shower too cold, want a piece of gold
Gold too shiny, so kiss my hiney
Hiney too fat and that is that.


I am a pretty little Dutch girl, as pretty as can be
And all the boys all around the block are crazy over me
My boyfriend’s name is Fatso
He comes from Cincinetto (?)
He’s got pickles on his toes and a cherry on his nose
That’s the way my story goes
My mother told me
If I was good-ie
Then she would get me
A rubber dolly
But someone told her
I kissed a soldier
So I won’t get my
Rubber dolly
Go to the river, jump in
Sink to the bottom, the end


Say say my playmate
Come out and play with me
And bring your dollies three
Climb up my apple tree
Slide down my rainbow
Into my cellar door
And we’ll be jolly friends forevermore, more, shut the door

Say say my enemy
Come out and fight with me
And bring your weapons three
Climb up my poison tree
Slide down my razorblade
Into my dungeon door
And we’ll be enemies forevermore, more, shut the door


Miss Lucy had a steamboat
The steamboat had a bell
Miss Lucy went to heaven
The steamboat went to…
Hello Operator
Please give me Number Nine
And if you disconnect me
I will kick you from…
Behind the ‘frigerator
There was a piece of glass
Miss Lucy sat upon it
And broke her big fat…
Ask me no more questions
I’ll tell you no more lies
The boys are in the bathroom
Zipping up their…
Flies are in the meadow
The bees are in the park
Miss Lucy and her boyfriend
Are kissing in the D-A-R-K D-A-R-K dark dark
Dark is like a movie
A movie’s like a show
A show is like a TV show and that is all I know
I know my mother
I know I know my pa
I know I know my sister with the 40-acre bra
[incidentally, almost sure this is a corruption of something like "48-D bra"]

394 thoughts on “Miss Lucy had Friday Fluff

  1. cinderella, dressed in yella
    went upstairs to kiss a fella
    made a mistake
    kissed a snake
    how many doctors did it take?
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Whew! i’m alive!

  2. Would you believe the only one of these I know is Miss Suzy had a steamboat? I’ve never heard the other ones. And it was always Miss Suzy, not Lucy.

    I can’t believe I’ve known you half my life and we haven’t discussed this before.

  3. oh, and does anyone remember a really complicated one that involved lots of girls in a circle? the rhyme was a story about a swamp or a bog or something and you slapped hands around the circle until someone got slapped out at the end. you did this over and over until there were only 2 girls left and you had a sort of hand/arm tug of war going as fast as you could through the rhyme to be the one who won?

    i hate that i can’t remember more of these!

  4. infamousqbert, I believe you want this one:

    Down by the banks of the Hanky Panky
    Where the bullfrogs jump from bank to banky
    With an eep, ipe (?), ope, op
    Hop off the lilypad and… kerplop
    1 2 3 4 5

    I always really liked the melody of that one.

  5. SM, i knew miss suzy, too, and ours ended a lot earlier than that version.

    Ask me no more questions
    I’ll tell you no more lies
    the cows are in the meadow
    eating chocolate pies
    something something something
    something something something

    if you don’t believe me
    i’ll kick your little butt! butt! B-U-T! B-U-T-T! BUTT!

  6. I can’t believe I’ve known you half my life and we haven’t discussed this before.

    We must have! It’s impossible that we didn’t. We went to summer camp together. (Also it sounds kind of familiar.)

    Oh, and I definitely did “Down By the Banks of the Hanky Panky” (with essentially no variations from SM’s!) and we had a similar circle setup for “Fuzzy Wuzzy Was a Bear.” But I only knew “Cinderella Dressed in Yella” as a jump rope rhyme.

  7. eeny meeny sicilini*
    ooh ah amelini
    otchy kotchy Liberace
    I love you
    take a peach, take a plum, take a piece of bubble gum
    no peach, no plum, just a stick of bubble gum
    saw you with your boyfriend
    how did you know?
    looked through the keyhole (nosy)
    didn’t do the dishes (lazy)
    didn’t flush the toilet (nasty)
    jumped out the window
    now I know you’re really crazy!
    eeny meeny sicilini, etc.

    *or “gypsellini”

    and

    I don’t wanna go to Mexico no more, more, more
    There’s a big fat policeman at the door, door, door
    If you open the door
    He will pee on the floor
    I don’t wanna go to Mexico no more, more, more

    There’s also a long one that I don’t remember, but the end of it was

    3,6, 9
    Your momma ain’t fine
    She looks like a monkey on a telephone line

    I recognize the “1, 2, 3, 4, 5″ one above as the ending of the rhyme that starts “uno-dos-i-esa” (or “a-mo”) that FJ talked about:

    I met my boyfriend at the candy store
    He bought me ice cream, he bought me cake
    He took me home with a bellyache
    Mama, mama, I feel sick
    Call the doctor, quick quick quick
    Doctor doctor, will I die
    Count to five and you’ll be alive

    I did a couple of these when I was a kid, but most of the ones I know are from working at a before-school program for young kids a few years ago.

  8. SM, that’s it! only ours ended:

    With an eep, ipe, ope,
    Slap-a-doodle and kerplop!

    on the kerplop, whoever got slapped last was out. we did this one well into high school to kill time on church trips and such. the boys always stood back in awe.

  9. Ahaha! I remember these! From southern Australia, c.the late 1980s…

    Ask your mother for fifty cents
    To see the big giraffe
    With spots on his hind legs and spots on his…
    Aunty Mary had a canary, also had a duck,
    She took it round the kitchen and taught it how to…
    Fried eggs for breakfast, fried eggs for tea,
    The more you eat the more you want to grow up to be
    A fisherman, down on the wharf,
    Along came a shark and bit off his…
    Cocktails, ginger ale, forty cents a glass,
    If you don’t like it, shove it up your…
    Ask no questions, tell no lies,
    I saw a policeman doing up his…
    Flies are dirty, mosquitos are worse,
    This is the end of a very rude verse!

  10. Our Miss Suzy, incidentally ended with this:

    where’d you get that 48-inch bra?
    i got it from my boyfriend,
    he got it at the store,
    then he blew off his weiner
    and i don’t like him anymore!

    Miss Suzy also had a baby at some point in a different rhyme, and there was something about a nurse and a lady with an alligator purse, but I can’t remember that one.

  11. ohmigawd, this is the best thread ever. such great memories! i remember the one kateS is talking about now, too!

    “uno-dos-iesa” starts with a hand swing, right, rather than claps?

  12. Miss Lucy had a baby
    She named him Tiny Tim
    She put him in the bathtub
    To see if he could swim
    He drank up all the water
    He ate up all the soap
    He tried to eat the bathtub but it wouldn’t go down his throat

    Miss Lucy called the doctor
    Miss Lucy called the nurse
    Miss Lucy called the lady with the alligator purse

    … and then they all come in and diagnose him, but I can’t exactly remember (and should be working).

  13. Miss Lucy (or Suzy) had a baby
    His name was Tiny Tim
    She put him in the bathtub
    To see if he could swim
    He drank up all the water
    He ate up all the soap
    He tried to eat the bathtub
    But it wouldn’t go down his throat
    Miss Lucy called the doctor
    Miss Lucy called the nurse
    Miss Lucy called the lady with the alligator purse
    Measles said the doctor
    Chicken pox said the nurse
    Nothing said the lady with the alligator purse
    Miss Lucy kicked the doctor
    Miss Lucy punched the nurse
    Miss Lucy gave a dollar to the ladywiththealligator purse purse purse

    You had to say “ladywiththealligator” fast to make it fit.

  14. “uno-dos-iesa” starts with a hand swing, right, rather than claps?

    I can’t remember, but in my world at least, the first two I listed do… it’s very complicated, with a hand swing, slaps up, slaps down, a sort of hand-grabbing-swinging-thing, butt slaps, snaps…

  15. That’s the one you can impress husbands with if you still know it when you’re almost 30 and it turns out all your friends do too.

  16. I’m from Australia and we used to have:

    See see my playmate!
    I cannot play with you
    my sister’s got the flu
    the mumps and measels too
    slide down my rainbow
    into my pot of gold
    and we’ll be jolly friends
    forever more, more, shove you out the door!

    and:

    Down on the shores of the hanky panky
    where the bullfrogs jump from bank to banky
    with an A -E -I -O -U – slapadoodle – and – Y!

    and:

    Miss Suzy had a stinkbug
    The stinkbug had a bell – ding ding! (and here you would do a dinging hand motion to the side)
    Miss Suzy went to heaven
    The stinkbug went to…
    Hello Operator
    Give me number 9
    And if you can’t connect me
    I’ll chop off your…
    Behind the ‘fridgerator
    is a piece of glass
    miss Suzy sat upon it
    And broke her little…
    Ask me no more questions
    Tell me no more lies
    The boys are in the bathroom
    Zipping up their…
    Flies are in the meadow
    Cows are in the park
    Miss Suzy and her boyfriend
    Are kissing in the D-A-R-K-D-A-R-K dark dark dark!
    The dark is like the movies
    The movie’s like a show
    A show is like a TV show and that is all I know
    I know you know my ma
    I know you know my pa
    I know you know my sister with the 40-acre bra

    (This lends credence to your 48-D corruption theory: we don’t use acres in Australia!).

  17. We had Miss Mary, not Miss Lucy. And we stopped at the dark.
    Now I feel kind of deprived.

    When I was in college, I found out that “Say-say oh playmate” was pretty much the lyrics of “Playmates,” a hit for Kay Kyser in 1940. Sadly, the Kay Kyser lyrics have overwritten my childhood version in my head.

  18. I also only know Miss Lucy, of these. I did do IQB’s Cinderella, but we did it as a jump-rope rhyme, not handgames.

    I remember there was one hand game rhyme I really liked, but I can’t remember the words… I have a vague feeling now that it was racist… Something about a loaf of bread?

    Plus the other classic, Miss Mary Mack.

  19. @rachael: i wonder if your stinkbug variation isn’t also a corruption of the original steamboat, since it makes much more sense for a steamboat to have a bell, than for a stinkbug. it’s like an international game of telephone!

  20. I have a vague feeling now that it was racist…

    yah, there was a version of jingle-bells i learned in kindergarten that nearly got me smacked when my mom heard me singing it. fun with teaching innocent kids the n-word!

  21. Come to think of it we also don’t have stinkbugs in Australia. Or bullfrogs.

    We also had Miss Mary Mack. And Miss Suzy’s baby Tiny Tim!

  22. Kate S., the first one, except it was:

    The saints* go:
    eenie meenie popsakini
    ooh aah oobelini
    otchie kothchie liberace
    say the magic words:
    a peach, a plum, a half a stick of chewing gum
    and if you want the other half, this is what you say
    amen, amen, amendiego sandiego
    hocus pocus dominocus
    sis sis, sis boom bah
    rivers, rivers, rah rah rah
    boo boo boo
    criss cross, applesauce
    do me a favor and get lost
    while you’re at it drop dead
    either that or lose your head.
    sitting on a trash can
    I can, you can, nobody else can
    sitting around, nothing to do
    along comes grandma**, cootchie coochie coo!***

    *or “spades”… mmm racist overtones.
    ** or “fat lady.” right.
    ***accompanied by tickling, of course.

    That’s actually not even a little bit the same. Wow.

    And the Miss Lucy ones were my favorites!

  23. *delurks*

    Oh I love this! I’m in my 20s now and I still have the overwhelming urge to turn to the person next to me and start playing a clapping game whenever I’m standing in a line. Fortunately I trained my younger brother to play with me many years ago so I still have someone I can do this with. It gave my father fits. Mwahahaha!

    Here’s one I picked up when I lived in Alabama:

    My momma, your momma
    Live across the street
    18, 19 Alligator Street
    Every night they have a fight
    And this is what they say
    (clap clap clap)
    Boys are rotten
    Made out of cotton
    Girls are sexy
    Made out of Pepsi
    Babies are ticklish
    Made out of licorice
    Soda pop
    Mama pop
    I love you!

  24. You know, we used all those as jump rope rhymes – I don’t know any of the hand clap stuff, which is kind of sad.

  25. Oooh I bet stinkbug IS a corruption of steamboat! That makes sense. But when I was little I used to imagine a tiny stinkbug ringing a bell like jiminy cricket or something. (I grew up in the US and Australia but most of these games I remember are from the years in Australia).

    Miss Suzy had a baby
    His name was tiny tim
    she put him in the bathtub
    to see if he could swim
    he drank up all the water
    he ate up all the soap
    he tried to eat the bathtub
    but it wouldn’t go down his throat

    We never had the last lines! :(

  26. he tried to eat the bathtub
    but it wouldn’t go down his throat

    I have also heard this one end “and every time he tried to talk there was a bubble in his throat,” and stopping there, minus the alligator purse lady.

  27. Well, this ties it. I’ve suspected it all my life and the fact that I never dieted was a strong clue, but now I know it’s true… I was raised a boy. Hand jives???

  28. NomadiCat:

    Or:

    Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider
    Girls go to Mars to be superstars

    We didn’t use that intro though.

    I know the racist one that people have mentioned: it starts “I went to the Chinese restaurant to buy a loaf of bread / He put it in a paper bag and this is what he said,” and you can probably imagine the ching-chong jokes from there.

  29. Our “Don’t Wanna Go To Mexico” was a little different…

    I don’t wanna go to Mexico no more more more,
    there’s a big fat policeman at the door door door.
    He’ll grab me by the collar,
    make me pay a dollar,
    I don’t want to go to Mexico no more more more.

    My music history class in college (and a fellow student thereof) inspired me to write a parody:

    I don’t wanna go to History no more more more,
    my teacher makes me melt into the floor floor floor,
    but the hottie in the back
    makes me wanna come on back,
    so I’m gonna go to History some more more more!

  30. Down by the banks of the Hanky Panky
    Where the bullfrogs jump from bank to banky
    With an eep, ipe (?), ope, op
    Hop off the lilypad and… kerplop
    1 2 3 4 5

    Ours was way shorter.

    Down by the river with the hanky panky
    Where the bullfrogs jump from bank to banky
    With an E, I, O, U, bam, boom.

    We did ABC, 123, too, but it’s completely different than Fillyjonk’s.

    ABC, easy as 123, my daddy drank Cocafee(don’t ask what that is) right off of my feet.
    That’s how nasty people can be.
    Judge, judge, call the judge!
    Mama’s gonna have a baby, a sweet little choc-o-late baby!
    If it’s a boy, I’ll give it a toy.
    If it’s a girl, I’ll give it a curl.
    If it’s a twin, I’ll give them a spin.
    Wrap it up in toilet paper,
    Send it down the elevator.
    First floor, STOP.
    Second floor, STOP.

    And then it would just go on until someone screwed it up….usually me.

    And our “uno-dos-ee-a-say” sounded more like “uno-dos-siesta”, which makes total sense when you’re 8.

  31. That “jokes” should be in fingerquotes, by the way, since the “joke” was, “A Chinese person!” A real knee-slapper there.

  32. Miss Lucy had a steamboat
    The steamboat had a bell
    Miss Lucy went to heaven
    The steamboat went to…
    Hello Operator
    Please give me Number Nine
    And if you disconnect me
    I will kick you from…
    Behind the ‘frigerator
    There was a piece of glass
    Miss Lucy sat upon it
    And broke her big fat…
    Ask me no more questions
    I’ll tell you no more lies
    Miss Suzie told me all of this
    The day before she…
    Dyed her hair in purple
    She dyed her hair in pink
    She dyed her hair in polka dots
    And washed it down the sink, I think.

  33. There’s a great book called _The Games Black Girls Play_ by Kyra Gaunt that looks at black girls’ jump rope and hand clapping games (including some of those mentioned above) as the foundation of African American musical styles and a tool for enculturating/socializing girls’ bodies. Highly recommended.

  34. Oh, oh! I had to actually start doing the hand-claps to remember these, which amused the heck out of my three-year-olds. We did “Miss Susie had a steamboat” too, but here’s the other popular one:

    Eenie meanie pepsapini
    Ooh bop bop a-weenie
    Education liberation I love you
    Down little baby
    Down by the roller coaster
    Sweet sweet baby
    No place to go
    Caught you with your boyfriend
    Naughty naughty
    Didn’t do your homework
    Lazy lazy
    Jumped out the window
    Crazy crazy
    First comes love
    Then comes marriage
    Then comes [name]
    With a baby carriage
    Eenie meanie pepsapini
    Ooh bop bop a-weenie
    Education liberation I love you

    Where and when did all of you do your particular hand-jives? Mine are from Mississippi circa early 80s. I’d love to see how these vary according to region and age!

  35. My gramma used to sing this to me. :(

    Hello, my playmate
    Come out and play with me
    And bring your dollies three
    Climb up my apple tree
    Shout down the rain barrel
    Slide down the cellar door
    And we’ll be jolly friends forevermore,

    No, no, my playmate
    I cannot play with you
    My Dolly has the flu
    Boo, hoo, boo hoo, boo hoo
    Ain’t got no rain barrel
    Ain’t got no cellar door
    But we’ll be jolly friends
    Forever more

  36. “I went to the Chinese restaurant to buy a loaf of bread / He put it in a paper bag and this is what he said,”

    i was just trying to remember this one. did it involve poodles somewhere in it?

    also, did anyone else do one that started “bobo, see ottin, tottin”?

  37. Where and when did all of you do your particular hand-jives? Mine are from Mississippi circa early 80s. I’d love to see how these vary according to region and age!

    i grew up in the dallas area, elementary from 84-90.

  38. Miss Lucy, the racist one, and “Girls go to Mars” etc. are all from mid-’80s CT for me — out in the boonies. “I don’t wanna go to Mexico”, “Uno-dos-i-esa” and my version of “eeny meeny” are all urban RI in 2004 or thereabouts.

  39. Miss Mary Mack Mack Mack
    All dressed in black black black
    With silver buttons buttons buttons
    All down her back back back

    She asked her mom mom mom
    For fifty cents cents cents
    To see the boys boys boys
    Pull down their pants pants pants
    or-
    Jump over the fence fence fence

    They jumped so high high high
    They touched the sky sky sky
    And they never came back back back
    Till the Fourth of July July July

  40. infamousqbert, the “Chinese restaurant” one I remember just had a bunch of racist, bad-kung-fu-movie syllables, I think. Did yours have words?

  41. Oh, gosh. In the UK (late 70s) we had a rhyme that went:

    Mary had a little lamb, she thought it rather silly
    She threw it up into the air and caught it by its
    Willy was a bulldog, sitting in the grass
    Along came a bumblebee and stung him up the
    Ask no questions, tell no lies
    I saw a p’liceman doing up his
    Flies are a nuisance, gnats are worse,
    That is the end of my dirty little verse.

    There was also an song:
    When Suzie was a baby, a baby Suzie was,
    She went waah, waah, waah-waah-waah
    When Suzie was a schoolgirl, a schoolgirl Suzie was
    She went Miss, Miss, I can’t do this
    When Suzie was a teenager, a teenager Suzie was,
    She went ooh, aah, I lost my bra,
    I left my knickers in my boyfriend’s car
    When Suzie was a mother, a mother Suzie was
    She went shush, shush, the baby’s sick
    When Suzie was a granny, a granny Suzie was
    She went knit, knit, knit knit knit
    When Suzie was a skeleton, a skeleton Suzie was,
    She went rattle, rattle, rattle-rattle-rattle
    When Suzie was a ghost, a ghost Suzie was
    She went wooo, wooo, woo-woo-woo
    When Suzie was an angel, an angel Suzie was
    She went flap, flap, flap-flap-flap

    There were appropriate actions to go with most of those. I’ve heard a few variants. I think Suie may also have done something as a toddler, but I forget what it was in our version.

    infamousqbert, our version went ‘Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin flew away, Kojak lost his lollipop on the M-1 motorway…’ We had altered versions of most of the Christmas carols. Shepherds washing their socks by night was the very least of it.

  42. Our “Don’t Wanna Go To Mexico” was a little different…

    Ours was “he’ll grab you by the collar, girl you gotta holler.”

    Emma B., here’s my version (I think it’s related):

    Down down baby
    Down by the rollercoaster
    Sweet sweet baby
    I’ll never let you go
    Jimmy jimmy cocoa pop
    Jimmy jimmy pow
    Jimmy jimmy cocoa pop
    Jimmy jimmy pow
    Grandma grandma sick in bed
    Called the doctor and the doctor said
    “Let’s get the rhythm of the hands” *clap clap* (2x)
    “Let’s get the rhythm of the feet” *stomp stomp* (2x)
    “Let’s get the rhythm of the head, ding dong” (shake head) (2x)
    “Let’s get the rhythm of the hooooot dog” (swivel hips) (2x)

    … and I’ve totally blanked on the rest! It might just go back to “down down baby.”

  43. A sailor went to sea-sea-sea
    to see what he could see-see-see;
    but all that he could see-see-see was the
    bottom of the deep blue sea-sea-sea.

    Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man,
    Bake me a cake as fast as you can… I’ve lost the rest of it; something about stamping it with your initials.

    I’m from the UK so didn’t learn any of the rhymes quoted so far in this thread!

  44. I remember this one (from growing up in the UK!). It makes absolutely no sense at all, now I come to write it down!

    I went to a Chinese restaurant
    To buy a loaf of bread-bread-bread
    She wrapped it up in a five-pound note
    And this is what she said-said-said:
    My name is Elvis Presley
    Girls are sexy
    Sitting on the back porch
    Drinking Pepsi
    Cuddling and kissing
    Wow-ee!

  45. I only recognize “Say, say, oh playmate” and “Miss Lucy” (although we sang that one Miss Suzy and didn’t have the bit at the end after “dark”). All I remember about Miss Mary Mack is the first two lines: “Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack/All dressed in black, black, black…” Anyone else remember the rest?

    Also, funny story – a month or so ago, a friend gave my daughter a music box at her baptism party that plays the tune from “Say, say, oh playmate.” When I wound it up, all of the women and the trans man who were there sang the entire thing, some of us complete with hand claps! The men who were there all looked at on in confusion.

  46. @infamousqbert and Sweet Machine

    Our version went:

    Down by the park you say hanky panky
    say ooh la ooh la hanky panky
    say fe fi fo fum
    pass it to the sound of the
    a e i o u bulldog
    Mickey Mouse built a house
    Donald Duck messed it up
    Who will pay the consequences Y-O-U

    And whoever got hit on the last “U” was out. It got violent!

    Additionally, my hometown’s variation on Miss Suzy was:

    Ask me no more questions
    And tell me no more lies
    The moral of the story
    Is Suzy really dies

    We had another Miss Suzy one with her at various stages at life. All I remember is that the phrase for teenager was “Oh no I lost my bra, in my boyfriend’s car,” though. Anybody else familiar with it?

  47. Tiny Tom Hanks is right, it was “shimmy shimmy cocoa pop.” I misremembered.

    Oh, and mine are from the DC area, elementary ’84-’90.

  48. Ooh, Fillyjonk, I remember that one too! And mine are a mix – some from California in the late 80s/early 90s, some from New Mexico in the early-mid 90s.

  49. also, did anyone else do one that started “bobo, see ottin, tottin”?

    I did, I did! In fact, though I remember a bunch of these rhymes, that’s the only one I remember doing hand-clapping to.

    Bo-bo-see-ottin-tottin
    Nay-nay-I-am-boom-boom-boom
    Itty-bitty-ottin-tottin
    Bo-bo-see-ottin-tottin
    B0-bo-see-ottin-tottin
    BOOM!

    Florida, mid-80s. My cousin in Houston knew the same jingle but with “wottin” instead of “ottin.”

  50. oh my god I can’t believe how many of these I know! Most of the ones I knew where more vulgar… like..

    ABC your momma has stinky feet…

    and something I can only vaguely remember with a girls “fruit cock tail” where you would cross your hands over your (non-existent) breasts, then crotch, then butt (for each syllable).

    and terrible MJ references…
    I pledge alliegance to the flag, Michael Jackson is a f*g.. etc

  51. I went to a Chinese restaurant
    To buy a loaf of bread-bread-bread

    This! This is the one I remember, except mine ended differently.

    I went to a Chinese resturant
    To buy a loaf of bread-bread-bread.
    They wrapped it up in tin-foil
    And this is what they said-said-said.
    Myyyy naaaame issss
    Kay-eye pickolotta
    Pickolotta kay-eye
    Come back Sally
    Wally-wally Whiskey
    Chinese Chopsticks
    CHOP!

    And on Chop you were supposed to try and ‘chop’ the other person’s wrist with your hand. So, yeah, now I see why I had a vague feeling that it was racist.

  52. Mine are mid- to late-80s, Western PA and Boston suburbs. I was always amazed when I returned home from summers in MA to find that the words were different back in PA.

  53. @ Kate S: I’d completely forgotten about that variation! Though the one we used was “Girls go to Mars to get more candybars”. Thank you!

    @ E: My mom used to sing that one to me! I’m going to have to call her tonight.

  54. fillyjonk! i had forgotten about the “let’s get the rhythm of the…” bit on that! good times!

  55. Oh I remember these! I knew the Miss Suzy/Lucy ones, Miss Mary Mack, and one that went with the doublemint gum jingle, which, if I remember the motions right, sounds like they are the same as this: … it’s very complicated, with a hand swing, slaps up, slaps down, a sort of hand-grabbing-swinging-thing, butt slaps, snaps…
    I have no idea why we were doing that to the doublemint gum jingle.

    We also did the one with standing in a circle and slapping people out, but it went to a nonsense rhyme:

    Stella ella ola, clap clap clap clap
    S chicka chika, chika chika slapjack
    Go! Slow! go slow go slow 1 2 3 4 5

    We used to play that practically every day in elementary school, and sometimes on the bus on the way to school.

    And I knew Cinderella dressed in yella as a jump rope rhyme, not clapping. I feel like there were others, but maybe just more jump rope rhymes that I don’t remember clearly anymore.

  56. We also had this:

    First comes love
    Then comes marriage
    Then comes a baby in a baby carriage

    Suckin’ his thumb
    Wettin’ his pants
    Doin’ the hula hula dance

  57. E, I’m glad somebody besides me knows the “rainbarrel” version with the second verse about being sick at home!

    We had Miss Suzy too, not Miss Lucy, and oh, we had one I don’t think I saw above!

    A jump-rope rhyme:
    Cinderella
    Dressed in yella
    Went upstairs to kiss a fella
    Made a mistake and kissed a snake
    How many doctors did it take?
    (start counting and keep going until the person in the rope misses a jump)

  58. And now I see my Cinderella rhyme is the very first comment. No wonder I’d forgotten seeing it by the time I got to the bottom of the comments! :-)

  59. Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack
    All dressed in black, black, black
    With silver buttons, buttons, buttons
    All down her back, back, back,
    She asked her mother, mother, mother
    For fifty cents, cents, cents
    To see the elephants, elephants, elephants
    Climb up a fence, fence, fence

    Okay, that’s all I remember — and I confess those last two lines seem pretty wonky to me. (Maybe my sister’s and my variation when we couldn’t remember the real words?) But maybe I’ve jogged someone else’s memory!

  60. What a great thread! I don’t really remember any but most of these mentioned are bringing back memories.

    The hanky-panky was always my fave. In fact, I want to play right now. Too bad y’all are online. Virtual hanky-panky, anyone? Wait, that doesn’t sound right.

  61. This is making me really sad! Most of my primary school days were spent at a school with a grand total of three girls in the class, so I never got to learn the secret girl-language of hand jives and rhymes. I did, however, grow up with a very sound working knowledge of cricket, football (AFL here, I’m another Aussie) and Transformers.

  62. Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack
    All dressed in black, black, black
    With a row of buttons, buttons, buttons,
    All down her back, back, back . . .

    And then it trails off in my memory . . .

    I grew up in Cincinnati and remember sliding into the cellar door and being friends forever more . . .

    I also remember the woman in the alligator purse giving Tiny Tim something that made him

    And Whoops—up came the water,
    Up came the soap
    Up came the bathtub that got stuck in his throat

    And then Mother paid the Woman.

  63. Hmm, I knew Ms Suzy but ours ended with something like

    The flies are in the meadow
    The bees are in their hive
    And forty girls and boys
    Are kissing in the D-A-R-K D-A-R-K D-A-R-K dark dark

    My best friend can never wrap her head around “how weird” is the version I know.

    I also used to know a plethora of “Cinderalla dressed in [color]” rhymes. I think I made some up myself, but then I had a book of jumprope rhymes so it’s possible I got them from there, but I only remember the first half of the one involving blue and tying shoes. :(

  64. There are so many of these I don’t know!

    I do, however, know:

    See, see, my playmate
    Come out and play with me
    And bring your dollies three
    Climb up my apple tree
    Slide down my rain BARREL
    Into my cellar door
    And we’ll be jolly friends
    For ever more (and various more, shut the door, channel 4 variations)

    Everyone around me did rainbow, but my mother had told me it was supposed to be rain barrel so I was all condescending to other people who had never heard of rain barrels. I actually think my mom may have been right in the original since nothing else in the rhyme is impossible.

    No one seems to have mentioned this one (much is phonetic, no idea how it should be spelt):

    Stella stella ola clap clap clap
    Singing es-chica-chica chica-chica-chac
    Singing es-chica-chica velo, velo, velo velo velova
    1-2-3-4-5

    and if you are hit on 5 instead of taking your hand away you are out.

  65. Cute Bruiser, what happened to Cinderella when she was dressed in other colors? Did she always kiss a snake and need medical assistance?

  66. Kansas City, Missouri, early ’90′s:

    Miss Lucy sat upon it
    And broke her big fat…
    Ask me no more questions
    I’ll tell you no more lies

    Her “ask” was little, not big and fat. Interesting! We also ended with “Dark.”

    The “jolly friend” slid down your “rain barrel”, which must be a combination of your “slide down my rain barrel” and another poster’s “shout down my rain barrel”.

    Cindarella was a jump-rope rhyme, and you kept jumping after “How many doctors did it take?” until you messed up to determine the astronomical count of doctors. If you sucked at jumping, it only took a few to save her.

    With an eep, ipe (?), ope, op
    Hop off the lilypad and… kerplop

    The second line was nonsense syllables until the word “flop”.

    I’ve never heard most of the others. I do remember a complicated circle handclap involving “Rockin’ Robin”.

    And lastly, Girls went to Mars to get more fancy cars.

  67. Oh, and I knew Miss Mary Mack to go like this:

    Miss Mary Mack Mack Mack
    All dressed in black black black
    With silver buttons buttons buttons
    All down her back back back

    She asked her mother mother mother
    For fifteen cents cents cents
    To see the elephants elephants elephants
    Jump over the fence fence fence

    They jumped so high high high
    They touched the sky sky sky
    And they didn’t come back back back
    ‘Til the fourth of July-ly-ly

    I think there was more after that, or it somehow led into repeating the whole thing over again.

  68. FAIL! Re: rain barrels, I meant a combo of “slide down my rainbow” and “shout down my rain barrel”.

  69. A sailor went to sea-sea-sea
    to see what he could see-see-see;
    but all that he could see-see-see was the
    bottom of the deep blue sea-sea-sea.

    That’s one of the few I can remember. And I may have broken the rules, because I taught it to my son.

  70. @Lisbeth Feldspar – Thank you! Those are the words I remember (now that you’ve jogged my memory, at least!). Seems like there was a bit at the end about jumping so high they won’t be down til next July…but I might be mixing it up with a folk song I know. And I think you’re remembering the last 2 lines right, because that’s the version we sang too.

  71. delurking to note that I remember Miss Suzy from second grade up, and Down By The Banks of the Hanky Panky from Jr. High. We also had the following:

    Down down baby
    Down by the roller coaster
    Sweet sweet baby
    Never gonna let you go
    Shimmy shimmy cocoa pops
    Shimmy shimmy POW POW
    Shimmy shimmy cocoa pops
    Shimmy shimmy POW POW
    Mama mama sick in bed
    Called the doctor and the doctor said
    Let’s get the rhythem in the head
    Ding dong (head side to side with ding and dong)
    Let’s get the rhythem in the head
    Ding Dong
    Lets get the rythem in the hands
    (clap clap)
    Let’s get the rhythem in the hands
    (clap clap)
    Let’s get the rhythem in the feet
    (stamp stamp) (stomp feet)
    Let’s get the rhythem in the feet
    (stamp stamp)
    Lets get the rhythem in the…
    HOT DOG (hands on hips making circle with hips!)
    Let’s get the rhythem in the…
    HOT DOG
    Put them all together and what do you get?
    Ding dong
    (clap clap)
    (stamp stamp)
    HOT DOG
    Put them backwards and what do you get?
    HOT DOG
    (Stamp stamp)
    (clap clap)
    Ding Dong!

    As it so happens, I was at a camp retreat two weeks ago, and the subject of hand clap games came up. Two blinks, and we had a circle going, made up of women ages 18 to 29 – and two guys who had never done this in their lives, but were vastly amused to be learning. It honestly was one of the highlights of the weekend – none of the planned and organized team building activities had NEARLY the same impact that doing Miss Suzy and her steamboat did!

  72. @rhiannonproblematising–
    Pat-a-cake is a favorite rhyme in my family. We’ve all played it with Grandma since we were babies!

    Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man.
    Bake me a cake as fast as you can.
    Roll it, pat it, and mark it with a “B”
    and pitch it in the oven for [baby's name] and me!

    Aww, I’ve got the warm and fuzzies from all the memories. Thanks!

  73. oh! I knew Fillyjonk’s version of “down down baby, down by by the rollercoaster” too (with shimmy). But I don’t think it was as popular as the others I mentioned. And I can’t really remember if I did clapping things to it or not.

    I learned the ones about Miss Suzy and Miss Mary Mack when I lived in northern Indiana, and then I moved to western PA and I think people there knew them with minor variations. Western PA is definitely where I learned Stella Ella Ola, and I’m fuzzy on the rest. I also went to a summer camp for Indiana University alumni and their families, and may have learned some there.

  74. We sung a distorted version of that “Say say my playmate”! This was Edinburgh, early 80s. It went something like:

    See see oh play me, come out and play with me
    And bring your dolly too
    My dolly’s got the flu
    Climb down your drainpipe
    And up my apple tree
    See see oh play me, come out and play with me

    The associated hand movements went: clap own hands, clap right hand with playmate’s right, clap own hands, clap left hand with playmate’s left, clap own hands twice, clap back of both hands to back of playmate’s, clap palm of both hands to palm of playmate’s. (Muscle memory is weird.)

    There was also a long one about the life and times of “Jenny” who was a baby (who went waah waah), then a child (can’t remember), then a teenager (who went Ooh Ah I Lost My Bra), and then a Mum (nag nag), a Granny (knit knit), a Ghost (whooo!) and then a Nothing which is where the rhyme stopped.

    Fascinating to see how it varies across the world – what a splendid Friday Fluff!

  75. Oh, I remember the “down down baby” one! Also the Miss Suzy ones. And Miss Mary Mack. (PG County Maryland, elementary school 1988-1996 since I just had the one school that didn’t differentiate elementary to middle.)

    We had another one. It was a circle game with one person in the middle with her eyes covered, who would dance at the beginning and spin round at the end to point to the next person in the middle:

    One day when I was walking
    Walking to the fair
    I met a senorita with a flower in her hair
    Oh shake it senorita
    Shake it all you can
    Shake it like a milkshake
    And do the best you can
    Oh she wobbled to the bottom
    She wobbled to the top
    She turned around and turned around
    Until she made an S-T-O-P STOP!

    ….Amusingly, the first few times I did this? I completely misunderstood what the song was about. Being as I had a waist-length mass of hair, I was shaking THAT. Got me plenty of mockery, I can tell you, until someone “kindly” pulled me aside to “explain” what I was doing wrong.

  76. I don’t think she always needed medical assistance, but I honestly can’t remember. I’m pretty sure my friends didn’t like the other Cinderella rhymes very much so I didn’t usually have a chance to repeat them.

    At our school in California, girls went to Mars to get more candy bars.

  77. We had Miss Lucy, and “kick your big fat ask me no more questions,” I think. But in our version it was a 16-hour bra (actually, after “and that is all I know-know-know I know my mother…). I have heard versions that then go into like 4 more verses after the bra line, which I always find shocking.

    I always wanted to know the alligator purse one! I never learned it and was always jealous of the girls who knew it. And I never had Miss Mary Mack down really well. But I remember like 3 different songs we would use for the complicated one that impresses husbands, including the Oreo cookie ad song.

    It doesn’t transcribe, but we spent a LOT of time doing Slide. There was also a really short one that also involved counting, and I’m trying to remember it. It involved a man drinking turpentine, and to survive you had to count to ten with your eyes closed?

    Oh down by the banks! That was the camp game we always played when we had to wait for something, like for lunch to be ready. That and other camp songs will be stuck in my brain for the rest of my life, taking up space. It makes me a hit with kids, though.

  78. We had Miss Suzie too! We also had the bullfrog one, but had a slightly different ending:

    Down by the banks of the hanky panky
    Where the bullfrog jumps from bank to banky
    Where the eep, opp, oo-sock-a-dilly and a ker-plop!
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10!

    Then on ten, if the slapper hit the slappee’s hand, then the slappee was out. If the slapper missed, then he or she was out.

    I was a camp counselor a few years ago, and they had added to it! After counting they had a verse:

    Mickey Mouse had a house
    Donald Duck messed it up
    Who should pay the consequences mouse or duck?

    Then the person who got slapped on duck had to pick. Then they spelled out either M-O-U-S-E or D-U-C-K and did the competitive slapping thing.

    We also had Miss Mary Mac when I was little:

    Miss Mary Mac Mac Mac
    All Dressed in black black black
    With silver buttons buttons buttons
    all down her back back back
    She asked her mother mother mother
    For 50 cents cents cents
    To see the elephants elephants elephants
    Jump over the fence fence fence
    They jumped so high high high
    They touched the sky sky sky
    And they didn’t come back back back
    Till the Fourth of July ly ly

    We also had a game called Slide which didn’t have any words, except at the beginning you said “Slide, slide, slipperly slide” and sometimes people would count, but not always. Then you clapped once, clapped right hands once, clapped, then clapped left hands once, clapped, and clapped both hands back and front once. Then did all of it twice. Then three times, until someone messed up.

    We also had this more complicated clapping game that started “Avocado is the name of the game if you mess up you must have a word to say.” This phrase got repeated over and over with the clapping until someone messed up. Then you had to think of a good word. Then you were out and that word became the name of the game for the next round.

    Oh man, these were also awesome. There were more, but I’m not remembering them.

  79. I never knew the Mexico song! I have wished for years i could remember the original song we did sing with those hand movements (before the Oreo cookie song), but I think it was mostly nonsense syllables and I also think it’s gone from my brain.

  80. My “Down by the banks” went “with an eep, op, soda-pop/ fell off the lily pad and went ker-plop!”

    And I think we had down down baby with “shimmy shimmy cocoa pop”, and I definitely don’t remember the “hot dog” part, though I can’t recall what we said instead.

    I only know “Cinderella, dressed in yella” as a jump rope rhyme, and the number of doctors was how many times you could jump without missing.

    Man, this stuff brings back memories! I was always so terrible at these, but I loved them.

  81. And they didn’t come back back back
    ‘Til the fourth of July-ly-ly

    We always shouted “liar” after “July-ly-ly.”

    interfacings, what part of western PA were you in?

  82. Meaghan, we grew up really near each other! (Though at slightly different times.) So it’s no surprise if you know the same “down down baby” as me, and I also remember the senorita song, although I always thought (incorrectly and sort of ridiculosly) that she “waddled” to the bottom.

  83. Shoshie, it sounds like we had similar games. There was a good year or two in school when I played Slide over and over again both in the morning before school started and during recess. I wish I could remember the highest number I got to!

  84. Aaaah BunnyMcFoo, thank you for remembering the rest of Down Down Baby! That is exactly how we did it. Down to “the rhythm of the head” being first (I misremembered that too).

  85. We played a game called Concentration where everyone stood in a circle and then there was a rhyme that went:
    Concentration do-de-wop
    Pick it up
    Naaaame ooooof *some noun like colors or shapes or states, anything*
    Then, each person had to name a color or shape or whatever while keeping the rhythm of the game and if they missed their beat they were out.
    The circle kept getting smaller and smaller
    and when it was only two people
    we held hands and swung our arms back and forth to Down by the River
    if it ended when your elbow was back you lost and the other person was the winner.

    That is competitive girl rhyming Texas style.

  86. bellacoker, our “Concentrate” involved pounding rhythmically on someone’s back while chanting:

    Concentrate
    Concentrate
    People are dying, children are crying
    Concentrate
    Concentrate

    Stab a KNIFE in your back and let the blood run down, let the blood run down, let the blood run down (2x) (at this point you thump them on the back, then run your fingers down)
    Squeeze an ORANGE on your shoulders let the juice run down, etc.
    Crack an EGG on your head and let the yolk run down, etc.

    There were two possible endings to this, both of which went “you’re at the top of the Empire State Building, suddenly your best friend PUSHES you off” (and you push them in the back). One required your victim to pick a color beforehand, and you would say “did you see your color?” That one never worked. The other went “a cool breeze” (blow on neck) “a tight squeeze” (squeeze shoulders) “and now you’ve got the chills.” That one worked.

  87. I also had more on the end of Miss Lucy Had a Steamboat, though the rest is identical to FJ’s main post (I was also in the DC area, so perhaps that’s why).

    I know my mother
    I know I know my pa
    I know I know my sister with the 40-acre bra
    My mother is Godzilla
    My father is King-Kong
    My sister is the stupid one,
    who made up this dumb song.
    My mother gave me a nickle,
    My father gave me a dime.
    My sister gave me a boyfriend,
    His name is Frankenstein.
    He made me do the dishes,
    He made me wash the floor,
    He made me wash his underwear,
    So I kicked him out the door.
    I kicked him over London,
    I kicked him over France.
    I kicked him to Hawaii,
    (here there were two options)
    Where he lost his underpants.
    Or
    Where he did a hula dance! Hula hula!

  88. Concentration! That’s the one that I was trying to remember. Except we said:
    Connncentration
    Concentration is the game
    keep the rythym
    keep the rythym and the beat (sometimes name)
    and then we’d pick a category, or “Starting with [letter]” and then the game progressed as bellacoker described.

  89. Where I’m from, we didn’t do hand jives that much, and I really can’t remember the jump rope rhymes (which is a shame). But we did play that game with lot’s of people in a ring and hand slapping!

    The song goes (in Finnish):

    Ken on juossut läpi kaupungin
    viidessä sekunnissa, allekin
    arvaat kai ketä tarkoitan
    se on Vinski
    Vinskipä tietenkin

    bum-bum-bum

    Tsuidaduida
    osaat sä uida
    pysyt sä pinnalla
    ilman uimapukua
    napa kiven päällä
    PUM!

    Translation:

    Who has run across town
    in five seconds, even less
    you must guess who I mean
    it’s Vinski
    Vinski of course

    bum-bum-bum

    Tsuidaduida
    can you swim
    are you able to float
    without a swimsuit
    your bellybutton on a rock
    PUM!

    It always puzzled me how the two parts don’t seem to have any connection with each other.

  90. We played a very similar version of Concentrate, but it always involved the pushing but neither of the other parts of the ending and I’m not sure if we did the whole rhyme. I think we just repeated the “people are dying” rhyme over and over. As well, we always tried to come up with a setting besides the Empire State building. Everyone was always trying to one up each other with a more creative story.

  91. farfalla, I totally did the first extra verse of your Miss Lucy addition (“my mother is Godzilla,” etc.)! The rest are new on me.

  92. Also I cannot spell rhythm, lol. Okay, now I have to actually do work and stop being distracted by childhood memories and spamming the moderation queue. *grin*

  93. Cute Bruiser, yes I remember Wadeliachee! Did you grow up in the Midwest by chance, maybe around central Iowa? You seem to have all the ones I remember.

    Coooome ooooon and
    Wadeliachee wadeliachee
    Wadelly-oo wadelly-oo
    Wadeliachee wadeliachee
    Wadelly-oo wadelly-oo
    Simplest thing, there isn’t much to it
    All you gotta do is doodle-ee-do it
    I love it so, wherever I go I
    Doodle-ee-doodle-ee-do
    (Repeat, getting faster each time; last time the last line is
    “Doodle-ee-doodle-ee-Doodle-ee-doodle-ee-Doodle-ee-doodle-ee-do.”)

    I can’t remember the gestures, though.

  94. Also, when we played Concentration, it involved three people. One person to tell the story and push, one person to be pushed and a third person who held the falling person’s hands and slowly lowered them onto their stomach to create a sensation of falling.

  95. also, did anyone else do one that started “bobo, see ottin, tottin”

    Wow! All of these are jogging some very old memories. I grew up in L.A. in the ’70′s and I definitely did Mary Mack, Miss Lucy, “Say, Say oh play mate (with the good/evil sides) and Down by the banks of the Hanky Panky.

    My sister who has a memory like a steel trap would remember every word to every one of these but they are, for me, pretty vague, but a fun reminder!

  96. Fillyjonk and Bunnymcfoo, that is exactly how we did Down Down Baby too! Mid/late 80′s, Charleston, WV for me. We generally stopped Miss Suzy after the D-A-R-K dark line too.

    I think this is a new one:
    Miss Sue
    Miss Sue
    Miss Sue from Alabama
    Sittin in her rocker
    Eating Betty Crocker
    Watching the clock go tick tock
    Tick tock bananarama
    Tick tock
    Tick tock bananarama
    A, B, C, D, E, F, G
    Wash these grass stains off of me
    Moonshine, moonshine, moonshine freeze!

    At which point a freezing contest occurred.

  97. @millefolia: Nope! I grew up in California, but I spent a lot of time at summer camp with kids from all over the country (and some from out of country) so maybe that’s where I got some of them, because my friend who also grew up in California thinks Waddaliacha is WEIRD.

  98. Oh this is so fun! In elementary school in LA we used to do a huge group one where you’d take turns jumping into the middle of the circle and making up a move that everyone else would then add on to the rest of the ‘dance’. There was a repeating rhyme involved, but all I remember was that it ended with ‘my name is so and so, and this is the way I jigalo!’ LOL Does anyone know the rhyme that goes with that? I wish I could remember it.

  99. @Cute Bruiser: Yes! Those are the exact words we used for “Mary Mack,” thank you! (Wonder if it was fifteen cents or fifty — inflation?)

    @fillyjonk: I haven’t thought about “Concentrate” in years! We often used to do it at the same time as the “Trance” thing where you try to get the girl in the middle to levitate (yeah, THAT often worked), so I may have mixed up their aims, but I thought “Concentrate” was also supposed to have some sort of paranormal payoff…. Anyone remember?

  100. Okay, just crossed with Cute Bruiser. Yes, I think that might have been what we did with “Concentrate,” too. My, you are the font of girl-games information! :-)

  101. Oh, and our version was a bit different as well:

    Wadaliacha, wadaliacha
    Doodly-doo doodly-doo
    Wadaliacha, wadaliacha
    Doodly-doo doodly-doo
    It’s the simplest thing
    There’s nothing much to it
    All you gotta do is doodly-doo it
    I like the rest
    But the part I like best
    It goes doodly-doodly-doo, woo!

  102. I thought “Concentrate” was also supposed to have some sort of paranormal payoff

    It seems like it would because it’s so solemn and chanty, but all I remember is the “seeing your color”…

  103. @Lisbeth Feldspar: Inflation would make sense (cents? Haha). Then again, my friends were famous for mishearing EVERYTHING. The line about “dollies three”? They were convinced it was “jolly free” no matter how many times I asked what the heck that meant!

  104. I was a weird kid. I hated games (clapping, card, ball, rhyming, etc) and never learned/played any, not even at summer camp.

    I do remember my younger sisters doing tons of clapping games.

  105. Speaking of paranormal payoff, this is slightly different, but did anyone else do the whole Bloody Mary thing in the mirror? I always refused to participate, but apparently you turned off the lights, said Bloody Mary three times while facing the mirror, and she was supposed to appear.

  106. FJ, my Concrete was exactly the same, too! Clearly there’s a regional link. I was in Montgomery County schools, in MD.

    I actually really loved having Concrete done on me. I always thought it felt nice.

  107. farfalla, depending on where and when you went to school, one of us might even have learned it from the other one. :) (Though from the fact that you have that many Miss Lucy additions, I’m guessing you’re younger than I am.)

  108. Ha! Well, I would have been a couple’ve years behind, I think. But it does explain the similarities :)

  109. Hunh. I learned a version of “eeny meeny gypsallini” from one of my sisters (possibly from her friends who corrupted other words), but I never heard any of the others. I guess nice middle class girls from the suburbs in upstate NY in the early 80s did do this much? Or I had a deprived childhood.

    Ama lama ku ma lama
    ku ma lama yees-tay
    Ama lama ku ma lama
    ku ma lama yees-tay
    Oh de oh de yo yo yees-tay
    eeny meeny gypsallini
    ooh ah ah amelini
    otchi katchi kumalachi
    I mean you!
    Czechoslovakia – boom city boom
    Yugoslavia – boom city boom
    Let’s get the rhythm of the hands (clapping)
    We got the rhythm of the hands (more clapping)
    Let’s get the rhythm of the opposite numbers
    two and four and six and eight
    I want it, I want it, I want it so bad
    And when I don’t get, it makes me mad
    And when I get mad, I get frisky
    Get your mind out of the gutter
    I’m talking about whiskey!

  110. i remember fillyjonk’s version of “concentrate”, but that one was something i learned in middle school.

    killedbyllamas: eek! bloody mary! i still have this little niggling in my brain that says that one’s real. i was so freaked out by it as a kid!

  111. @Cute Bruiser and Millefolia – My mom taught me Guadaliacha! She learned it at a family camp in Northern CA where she used to work. The version she knew went:

    Guadaliacha, guadaliacha
    Doodle-ee-doo, doodle-ee-doo
    Guadaliacha, guadaliacha
    Doodle-ee-doo, doodle-ee-doo

    Simplest thing, there isn’t much to it,
    All you gotta do is doodle-ee-doo it
    I like the rest, but the part I like best
    Is the doodle-ee-doodle-ee-doo.

    And then you sang it faster and faster until you couldn’t keep up. The hand motions were pat legs twice, clap hands twice, shake fists one over the other twice, touch ear, nose, other ear, and nose with one hand, then raise open hand and close it in a fist (right hand first, then left hand), and repeat. That doesn’t make much sense written down, but maybe it’ll sound familiar…

  112. lasersloth, I vaguely remember that one but not from childhood. I learned it for the first time as an adult. I remember doing it at 8 months pregnant. But I couldn’t tell you the words.

    How on earth do you all remember all this stuff?

  113. @killedbyllamas – I refused to do Bloody Mary too! Except the version I heard was that you went into the bathroom, turned off the lights, and spun around three times, saying “Bloody Mary” three times. Then she would come out of the mirror with an axe and chop off your head! You can see why I refused to do it.

  114. Miss Rachel and I have a similar version of the Miss Lucy. (I’m from St Louis Mo, hi five for the midwest yo) Here is my version:

    Miss Lucy had a steamboat
    Her steamboat had a bell
    Miss Lucy went to heaven
    Her steamboat went to
    Hello operator
    please give me number nine
    and if you disconnect me
    I’ll kick your fat
    Behind the frigerator
    there was a piece of glass
    Miss Lucy sat upon it
    And broke her little
    Ask me no more questions
    And tell me no more lies
    Miss Lucy’s in the bathub
    with 40 Naked guys.
    And 50 lemon pies.

    And then there are a couple more versus I don’t remember….. But it ends with

    Boys and girls are kissing in the
    D a r k
    D a r k
    D a r k
    Dark dark dark.

  115. @Nina: Ours was something like that. Pat legs twice, clap hands twice, but we had flat hands and not fists but otherwise the same motion, after that it gets blurry for me. I remember touching your nose and ear on each side, but I’m almost certain we didn’t do the last fist part.

  116. @shinobi42: Ahh, that line about naked guys made me think of “Place in France/Mars” rhymes we used to sing.

    Does anyone remember these?

    There’s a place in France
    Where the naked ladies dance
    There’s a hole in the wall
    Where the men can see it all

    But I prefered this one:

    There’s a place on Mars
    Where the women smoke cigars
    And the men don’t care
    To see their naked underwear

    And that last line? Yeah, I blame my friends again.

  117. @ Cute Bruiser – where in California did you grow up? I’ve never met anyone else who knew Guadaliacha except people who went to the same camp – maybe it’s a NorCal thing? But that doesn’t explain Millefolia’s version…

  118. Add me to the “too scared to do Bloody Mary”. But I was scared of dark bathrooms anyway. I don’t know where that fear came from but I could not go into a room that had a mirror in the dark so I had to reach my hand in to flip on the switch before I could go all the way in. Bloody Mary was definitely out of the equation.

  119. Okay, I definitely know the “place in France” one, plus the line “but the men don’t care, ’cause they’re in their underwear” or sometimes “’cause they eat their underwear.”

    But does anyone else know this one? Same tune. I vaguely suspect a friend of mine of making it up in one of those fits of druglike free-association that happen when you’re six or seven.

    There’s a dance in France
    Where the naked ladies dance
    And the dance was written just by Magoo
    But Magoo couldn’t dance
    So they shot him by his pants
    And the pants he wore
    Cost a dollar 84
    Tax.

    Ok just from typing that out my eyes are tearing up from the effort of not busting up laughing at work.

  120. Cute Bruiser, I remember that song, but I learned slightly different lyrics:

    There’s a place in France
    where the naked ladies dance,
    There’s a hole in the wall,
    where the boys can see it all
    But the boys don’t care,
    ‘Cuz they’re sitting in their underwear!

    Seems to be some combination of the two you know. Oh, and that one I definitely learned in California, probably around 1990.

  121. @ Nina: At the time I learned Wadaliacha I would have been living in the Sierra Nevadas. I can’t be sure if I learned it at Girl Scout camp, which I only attended once, or the church camp I went to every summer after that. Both of those were in California, though. My friend who thinks it’s weird grew up in the Bay Area.

  122. Dallas area, early 90s.
    We had “eeps ipes opes ops, jumped off the lilypad and went kerplop.”
    And miss Suzy with a little ask me no more questions.

    I definitely remember the “ooh, ah I lost my bra,” but maybe as part of a different rhyme.
    I also remember something about a valley girl, but I’m not sure if it was a clapping game or a song with pantomiming.
    And speaking of songs with pantomime,

    You must pay the rent! (napkin pinched in the middle, at mustache height)
    I can’t pay the rent! (napkin on the head like a bow)
    You must pay the rent! (mustache)
    I can’t pay the rent! (bow)
    I’ll pay the rent! (napkin on the neck, like a tie)
    My Hero! (bow)

  123. Cute Bruiser, I forgot about that one! We used “the men don’t care cause they’re in their underwear” line as well.

    Nina, I’m not sure whether she was actually supposed to do something when she appeared in our version or not. I refused to do it because I was fairly sure it wasn’t real, but was scared enough that it was that I preferred to not poke a potentially hostile paranormal thing with a stick.

  124. Mine are all from Louisiana during the mid-to-late 80s. As I type these I start to notice that there’s several versions that get mashed together.

    We had two Miss Lucy’s that had babies, the one stated above, and the other one I vaguely remember…

    Miss Lucy had a baby, a baby, a baby.
    Miss Lucy had a baby and this is what she did.
    She went “Rock, rock,
    rock, rock,
    rock, rock, rock, rock, rock, rock.”

    There was a lot more to it, but I don’t remember it at all. Basically, replace “baby” and “rock” with other things.

    We also had this one:

    Down down baby, down down the roller coaster..
    Sweet sweet baby, I’ll never let you go…
    Shimmy shimmy cocoa puff, shimmy shimmy dooowwwn
    Shimmy shimmy cocoa puff, shimmy shimmy dooowwwn

    I’ve got a boyfriend (a biscuit)
    He’s so sweet (a biscuit)
    Like a cherry tree (a biscuit)

    Shimmy, shimmy, one
    Shimmy, shimmy, two
    Shimmy, shimmy, cocoa butter
    I love you.

    Then there was “Rockin’ Robin”, which started off the same as the actual song, but then it wanders off around the second verse.

    Rockin’ in the treetops
    all day long
    huffin’ and a puffin’
    just singing that song.
    All the little girls on Jaybird street
    love to hear the robin going
    tweet tweet tweet.
    Rockin’ Robin
    tweet tweedle leet
    Rockin’ Robin
    tweet tweedle leet

    Mama’s in the kitchen, cooking rice
    Daddy’s outside shooting that dice
    Brother’s in jail for raising hell
    Sister’s on the corner selling fruit, cock, tail
    Rockin’ robin
    tweet tweedle leet
    Rockin’ robin
    tweet tweedle leet

  125. Wow! This is a great thread! In the late 70s in Sparks, NV we did Mary Mack, Miss Suzy, See See Oh Playmate, Down Down Baby, and Cinderella. That’s all I can remember. We did versions of these in double dutch, as well as hand claps. I’m going to have to relearn all of these so I can teach my daughter (and my son too, if he’s interested)!

  126. Are Cassi and I the only ones who didn’t grow up with *any* of this? I seriously don’t remember a single one of these, I don’t remember other girls doing them, they’re all a complete mystery to me. It’s sad! I wish I’d done all this stuff, but no.

  127. Why do I have no earthly idea what this is all about? I’m 34, and grew up in a suburb north of New York City. I have NEVER heard of this rhyme or hand jive or any version of it…or others. When I first started reading I thought you were going to talk about the hand jive from Grease. I’m sad, this sounds like it was fun!

  128. @Cute Bruiser – huh, that’s weird. The camp my mom learned it at was near Yosemite, but it was associated with Berkeley, so it had a Bay Area connection. No accounting for how some songs travel, I guess!

    @Puffalo – We did the “you must pay the rent” pantomime at Girl Scout camp in New Mexico. I’d totally forgotten about it!

  129. Growing up in the Chicago ‘burbs in the ’70s, most of my friends were guys, so I only played the hand clapping with my sister and a few girl friends in school. We only knew Miss Mary Mack to go along with the clapping.

    I feel like this is right up there with the string game around your hands, when it comes to weird stuff everyone does as a kid.

    Cat’s Cradle!! This was more popular in school–we’d play this all the time (the teachers didn’t complain as much since it was quiet compared to hand claps). That and what are now known as “cootie catchers,” but we never had a name for them other than “those paper finger-clicking things.”

  130. I will give anyone a dollar if they know the Magoo song*. Recipients of previous dollar bets from this thread not eligible.

    *I won’t.

  131. Ack, posted too soon. I meant to add that all these rhymes and games sound awesome, and it makes me sad that they apparently weren’t part of my environment when I was growing up (70s, Northern Nevada).

  132. That and what are now known as “cootie catchers,” but we never had a name for them other than “those paper finger-clicking things.”

    SM and I were just talking about those! She sent me one recently in a letter that I had made in 2002, and I was really horrified that I had made it in 2002. It was a particularly good cootie catcher, though.

  133. We had wadili-atcha in my part of California!

    Oh, what about “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board”? Except I was already a fat kid, and nothing was gonna make me light as a feather.

  134. @killedbyllamas – yeah, I knew rationally that it couldn’t be real, but still… Of course, I also knew people who swore up and down that they had done it and barely escaped with their lives, so yeah, why poke a hostile paranormal with a stick? (love that phrase, by the way!)

  135. I’m sure that we did this before, but some of you still haven’t come to the true church of Shout down my rain barrel, Slide down my cellar door. I am deeply troubled by this.

    Also, some of you seem to be cutting corners on Wadaliacho. It’s the decline of civilization.

    Please play for me
    That sweet melody
    Called Doodley Doo, Doodley Do
    I like it so that wherever I go
    It’s just Doodley Doo, Doodley Do

    Simplest thing, there isn’t much to it,
    All ya gotta do is just doodley doo it
    I love it so that wherever I go
    It’s just doodley doodley doo . . . doo.

    [THEN, and only then, do you get to]

    Come on and wadliacho

  136. Hm, we had the Place in France, and it included the Place on Mars, but I only remember the first two lines of each. The Mars bit was like, the women smoke cigars and the men wear bikinis and the children drink martinis. Then something about a snake with something in it’s eyes?

    And, has someone already mentioned this one, there was a circle-clap game where one girl would stand in the middle and ‘shake it like a milkshake’ and at the end was turn around and turn around and S-T-O-P STOP!? I can’t remember any more of that one, because I was always too shy to play any of the circle games.

  137. @meganmae – we played light as a feather, stiff as a board as a slumber party game. I don’t remember it being particularly effective though…too much giggling.

  138. Kathy A, we had cootie-catchers too, but I can’t recall that we ever called them anything in the UK. Unless any other UK people here know different?

  139. I also recall a hand-game that was more about the clapping than a chant. It was like a challenge to see how far you could go. I don’t remember if you increased the speed each time you did it, or if you added a new step to the end, or both, but I don’t remember any words to it beyond counting each “level”. Does this sound familiar to anyone else?

  140. @Bunnymcfoo – that’s the exact same Down Down Baby we used to do. I grew up in central NC.

    We also had:

    Miss Suzy had a steamboat
    The steamboat had a bell
    Miss Suzy went to heaven
    The steamboat went to
    Hello operator
    Give me number nine
    And if you disconnect me
    I’ll kick you from
    Behind the fridgerator
    There was a piece of glass
    Miss Suzy sat upon it
    And cut her big fat
    Ask me no more questions
    I’ll tell you no more lies
    That’s what Miss Suzy told me
    Just before she died!

    I faintly remember her dying her hair in a sink, but I don’t think we used it consistently.

    There was also:

    A sailor went to sea sea sea
    To see what he could see see see
    But all that he could see see see
    Was the bottom of the deep blue sea sea sea
    Repeat verses 3 more times swapping out see/sea for chop, knee, and ankle.
    Repeat verse one last time using sea-chop-knee-ankle.

    For sea/see, you put your hand on your forehead, for chop, you hand chop your elbow/upper arm, for knee and ankle just pat that area. Then you have to do all four hand motions for the last verse.

    My absolute favorite is one I haven’t seen here yet – the Mcdonalds hand game. For that one, we’d sit in a circle and one girl would clap the hand of the next girl to start off. The clap would travel and whoever’s hand was clapped last was out. It went: Big Mac, Filet of Fish, Quarter Pounder, French Fries, Icy Coke, Thick Shakes, Sundaes and Apple Pies!

    Oooh – just remembered this one:

    Early one morning, late one night
    two dead boys got into a fight
    Back to back, they faced each other
    Pulled a knife and shot each other
    A deaf policeman heard the noise
    And ran to save the two dead boys
    If you don’t believe it’s true
    Ask that dead man who saw it too!

    Good times!

  141. OMG, I totally forgot about the “Hot Dog” part of “Down down baby”.

    We had a Miss Sue from Alabama, but I can’t remember how the rest goes at all.

    Now, I’ve never heard “See, see oh, playmate. That’s where the first set of lyrics to TV on the Radio’s “Wolf Like Me” comes from.

  142. Northern California, mid to late 1960s, jump-rope -

    Dancing Dolly has no sense
    She buys eggs for fifty cents
    The eggs went bad
    Dolly went mad
    One, two, three … and OUT!

    I liked this one, because it didn’t require any fancy moves.

  143. Ireland, 1980s:

    Under the bambushes, down by the sea (bum bum bum), Johnny broke a bottle and put the blame on me (bum bum bum), I told my momma, she told my papa,l and Johnny got a whacking on the B-U-M [try to hit other child's butt].

    A sailor went to sea sea sea to see what he could see see see but all that he could see see see was the bottom of the deep blue sea sea sea. There were other verses.

    I went into a grocery store to buy a loaf of bread, they wrapped it up in a five-pound-note and this is what they said: My name is Hanky-Panky sugar-and-candy, roly poly tipsie toesie, sitting on the backseat drinking all the Pepsi.

    There was one about Suzy who had a baby which grew up, finally being a teenager who left her knickers in her boyfriend’s car (though no-one I knew knew a teenager whose boyfriend had a car, at that stage – it was definitely based on American television).

  144. Rachael, in New Zealand the Suzy rhyme was the same with the exception of stinkbug being doggy (poor dog going to hell, we always thought), and I’ve never heard the rhyme continue after the ‘dark’ bit.

    And the baby rhyme had the unfortunate ending of “and he died last night with a bubble in his throat.”

    More word shift :D

  145. We, too, had a version of “Bo-bo see wottnin tottnin” (suburban Minneapolis in the mid 70s). I learned it from a girl who had moved to our suburb from exotic and faraway Milwaukee.

    It went:

    Bo-bo see wottnin’, tottnin;
    Eh Eh see Bo-bo bo bo [Bo-bo boom boom]
    itty bitty wottnin’ tottnin’
    Bo-bo see wottnin’ tottnin’
    BOO!

    I always thought that Bobo was a name of a person (maybe a baby, though at one point I imagined a baby bear) and that the “wottnin, tottnin” was a corruption of walking and talking. Bobo was a baby who is walking and talking, and maybe falling down) an itty bitty baby walking and talking, who toddles up and scares you (Boo!).

    And for our “Say say oh playmate” we also said “SLIDE down our rain barrel INTO our cellar door” which was delightfully nonsensical to me at the time.

    Oh, fun….

  146. I refused to do Bloody Mary too! Except we were older, like fifteen I think, and it wasn’t Bloody Mary, but a man from some horror movie. I seem to remember that he got somehow killed by bees in the movie, and came back to haunt everyone or something (I refused to watch the movie as well). I want to say Sandman, but I’m pretty sure it’s not right. I’m sure it was a somethingman …maybe?

  147. Miss MARY had the steamboat, damnit! Otherwise my version was pretty much the same, only a 40-metre bra (metric system represent! haha). We also had a version of “down down baby” which was similar to the one Emma B posted but unfortunately I can’t remember it.

    Also:
    Stella ella ola tap tap tap
    Singin’ ess tiego tiego tiego tiego tap tap
    ess tiego tiego velo velo velo velo velo va
    1-2-3-4-5
    That one you played sitting in a circle and you had to pull your hand away on 5 or you were out. We still play that one at Brownies but my Brownies sing it:
    Stella ella ola tap tap tap
    Singin’ ess tiego tiego tiego tiego tap tap
    ess tiego tiego baloney baloney cheese and macaroni
    1-2-3-4-5

  148. In London we had a variation of the say,say one:

    See, see my bonny
    I cannot play with you
    My sisters got the flu
    Chicken pox and measles too
    Slide down the vortex
    Into the swimming pool
    And we’ll be best of friends
    For ever more, more, shut that door at number sixty four four

  149. Oh hey, question for you guys about Ten In A Bed. I’m going to go ahead and assume most Americans, at least, know that one. But did anyone do the Extended Remix Version, which went like this?

    There were ten in a bed and the little one said “roll over, roll over”
    So they all rolled over and one fell out
    And he gave a little scream and he gave a little shout
    Please remember to tie a knot in your pajamas [this line is to the tune of "Hail, Brittania"]
    Single beds are only made for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
    Nine in a bed and the little one said…

  150. So many memories! I grew up on the Canadian prairies, and am very familiar with Miss Suzy and her ilk. Incidentally, the fact that my family lived in the UK meant I was exposed to multiple versions through visits to my girl cousins!

    Anyone remember this one?

    One bright day in the middle of the night,
    Two dead boys got up to fight.
    Back to back they faced each other,
    drew their swords and shot each other.
    A deaf policeman heard the noise
    and ran to save the two dead boys.
    And if you don’t believe it’s true,
    go ask the blind man, he saw it too.

  151. @infamousqbert Plano.
    I also heard a few things in Girl Scout camp, which drew girls from other places in North Texas.

    Also, the bobo sewottin tottin stuff sounds familiar, but not familiar enough for me to remember what that sounded like where I lived.

  152. @farfalla I think the hand game might have been concentration?

    Concentration *clap clap clap*
    64 *clap clap clap*
    no repeats *clap clap clap*
    or hesitations *clap clap clap*
    I go first *clap clap clap*
    And you go next *clap clap clap*
    Level 1 …. etc etc.

    I remember it being really complicated and I could never get past level 4 or so…

  153. Also, on the subject of counting up/counting down songs and songs with hand gestures — “Three Chartreuse Buzzards,” anyone?

  154. Ohh, we had so many of these;
    In my neck o’ the woods, the “Seniorita” one went:
    We’re going to Kentucky
    We’re going to the fair
    To see the Seniorita
    With flowers in her hair.
    Shake it, Seniorita
    Shake it if you dare.
    Shake it like a milkshake, and
    do the best you can.

    We also had one that I haven’t seen here yet:
    Have you
    ever ever ever
    In your long-legged life
    Seen a long-legged sailor
    with a long-legged wife?
    No, I’ve
    never never never
    In my long-legged life
    Seen a long-legged sailor
    with a long-legged wife.
    Have you
    ever ever ever
    In your short-legged life
    Seen a short-legged sailor
    with a short-legged wife?
    No, I’ve
    never never never
    In my short-legged life
    Seen a short-legged sailor
    with a short-legged wife.
    Have you
    ever ever ever
    In your bow-legged life
    Seen a bow-legged sailor
    with a bow-legged wife?
    No, I’ve
    never never never
    In my bow-legged life
    Seen a bow-legged sailor
    with a bow-legged wife.
    Have you
    ever ever ever
    In your long-legged life
    Seen a short-legged sailor
    with a bow-legged wife?
    No, I’ve
    never never never
    In my long-legged life
    Seen a short-legged sailor
    with a bow-legged wife.

    The jive was the same each verse, but there were different hand motions for “long” “short” and “bow”. You got faster each verse, and tried not to get it wrong on the last one, which went really really fast.

  155. Nobody has mentioned my favorite one, which had a more complicated clapping pattern than most of the rest:

    The spades go:
    Two lips together, tie them forever
    Bring back my love to me
    What is the me-ee-eaning
    Of all these flo-ow-owers
    They tell the sto-o-ory
    The story of love
    From me to you

    My [someone] bought a new car
    He painted it red with a star
    He crashed it into a rock
    And now he’s dead, oh yes sirree

    (and lots of other verses I don’t remember)

    And here’s a partial variation of one that someone else mentioned:
    My name is L-I, L-I, piccali piccali
    Pom pom beauty, wah wah whiskey
    Chinese, Japanese, American Indian chief. [what is the obsession with Chinese?]
    (at which point you had to cross your arms over your chest and sit motionless until whatever happened)

  156. I *loved* Concentrate. And while it’s not a handclap, there was always “Princess Pat”

    The Princess Pat
    lived in a tree
    she sailed across
    the seven sees
    she sailed across
    the channel two
    she took with her
    a rigabamboo
    a rigabamboo
    now what is that?
    It’s something made
    for the Princess Pat

    … I’m sure there’s more, but I can’t remember it. I learned them both in (otherwise-detested) YMCA day camp in Delaware in the late 80s-early 90s.

  157. Fillyjonk, yes we sang that part (of 10 in a bed)… I didn’t know it wasn’t actually part of the song, haha.

  158. I remember the Princess Pat! And the rigabamboo!
    I think how I heard it, she might have sailed across the “oceans three” instead of the seven seas, which makes considerably less sense.

  159. I can honestly say I do not know a single one of these, or any hand jive anything. Seriously. Not one rhyming hand clapping game. I don’t even know patty cake. I think this might be the reason I’m not girly. I could never understand it until now.

  160. Our “Concentrate” was slightly different (suburban Minneapolis around 1990). I don’t remember the exact parameters of the beginning part, but the rest went:

    Goin’ on a treasure hunt
    X marks the spot
    Question mark
    Question mark
    Dot dot dot
    Cool breeze
    Tight squeeze
    Now you’ve got the shiveries!

  161. All I know is that I’m going to have “the lady with the alligator purse purse purse” going through my head all day. I haven’t thought about this stuff in years and sadly remember so little of it, though I know my friends and I certainly did it (elementary school from late 70s to 1984-85ish in the northwest suburbs of Chicago). This is great.

  162. @Emerald – Thank you! That would have bugged me all day. In our version toddler, Suzy wanted a lollipop.

    I probably should have mentioned I learned these in Chicago south suburbs in the mid 90s, but it’s awesome to see all the regional variations.

    Also, ‘slide,’ with no words, was really popular. Once, on a long train ride, my friend and I discovered we went to the same junior high a few years apart and instantly started it up, much to her husband’s confusion and horror. :)

  163. CloeMireille: I think it started “Miss Sue from Alabama, her real name’s Susie-Anna” but I can’t remember the rest of it.

    About “Ten in a bed”: for us it was “ten bears in a bed, and the little one said” etc, without the “extended remix”.

    I had totally forgotten Miss Mary Mack until it was mentioned here!

  164. The end of Princess Pat:
    It’s red and gold (it’s red and gold)
    And purple too (and purple too)
    That’s why it’s called (that’s why it’s called)
    A rigabamboo (a rigabamboo)
    Now Captain Jack (now Captain Jack)
    Had a might fine crew (had a might fine crew)
    They sailed across (they sailed across)
    The channel too, (the channel too)
    His ship did sink (his ship did sink)
    And yours will too (and yours will too)
    If you don’t take (if you don’t take)
    A rigabamboo, a rigabamboo, a rigabamBOO!

    My sister learned this one at camp and taught it to the rest of us.

  165. interfacings-thank you! I was sitting here wracking my brain to think of stella ella ola-we used to do that at recess all the time!

    The other one I thought of may have only been a thing in Canada, where Smarties (chocolate, like plain M&Ms) are available. It was a wierd hand clapping pattern to the old jingle:

    “When you eat your smarties do you eat the red ones last?
    Do you suck them very slowly, or crunch them very fast?
    This candy coated chocolate, now tell me when I ask,
    When you eat your smarties do you eat the red ones last?”

    We used to try to go as fast as we possibly could without screwing up the words or the motions. Thanks for the fond memories :)

  166. Thanks fj, that was it! It still scares me a bit, especially now that I remember how the girls used to say “Caaaandymaaan…” slowly in this lowered tone. I’m all shivery now, all alone at the office, and it’s dark outside. Silly, I know…

  167. Just remembered this one:

    Apples on a stick make me sick, make my tummy go 246,
    Not because I’m dirty, not because I’m clean,
    Not because I Kissed a boy behind a magazine.
    Uh – oh here comes Neenee with her pants on tight!
    She can wiggle, She can wobble, she can do the splitz,
    But I betcha bottom dollar that she can’t do this!
    1-2-3-4 Betcha bottom dollar she’ll hit the floor!

  168. Kelly, for you it was a call-and-response rhyme? That reminds me of “The littlest worm” and one other one that was done to the same tune, but I can’t remember it right now.

    The littlest worm (the littlest worm)
    I ever saw (I ever saw)
    Was stuck inside (etc)
    My soda straw

    All together:
    The littlest worm I ever saw
    Was stuck inside my soda straw
    My soda straw

    He looked at me
    I looked at him

    and I can’t remember how the rest of it goes, except that it was the kid deciding whether or not to go ahead and take that drink.

  169. Every now and then, like now, I really feel the results of always had more boys as friends than girls :-)

    I remember hearing some of these as camp songs, but I don’t remember them having hand gestures.

  170. CuteBruiser, we had one, part of which went a bit like:

    In the South of France
    Where the naked ladies dance
    And the men play drums
    On the naked ladies’ bums…

    There was also one a girl came back from some holidays taught us all which involved standing in a big circle and it became a massive craze at my school (boys and girls). I have a feeling there was some competitive bit at the end to so with being fast but not sure… It sounds like it might be related to a senorita song someone mentioned up thread, but got misheard and retold as (phonetics):

    See-see car-ah,
    See-see away away-away
    Simmy simmy ack-aye
    Simmy simmy ay
    Simmy simmy ack-aye
    Simmy simmy ay
    Ooka-backa ooka-backa
    Ooka-backa SINITA

    I’m not even sure that’s all of it…

    We also had Miss Mary Mack (I seem to remember a verse where she went upstairs, stairs stairs…?) and our version of ‘I went to a Chinese Restaurant was like this:

    I went to a Chinese restaurant,
    To buy a loaf of bread-bread-bread
    He wrapped it up in a five pound note
    And this is what he said-said-said

    Bow to the King
    Curtsy to the Queen
    Show your knickers to the football team! (this verse accompanied by actions including flicking skirt up, but most of us just pretended.

    There was another verse, or maybe a whole version where ‘He said-said-said’ (racist actions included):
    Bend down and touch your knees
    Eyes like a japanese
    Hair like a billy goat
    Boys do the can-can
    Girls do splits
    I don’t care if I show my knicks (more skirt flipping)

    And Susie…

    When Susie was a baby,
    A baby Susie was
    And she went wah-wah
    I want my ma!

    When Susie was a toddler
    A toddler Susie was
    She went “WHYYY? WHYYY?
    WHYYY? WHYYY?”

    When Susie was a schoolgirl,
    A schoolgirl Susie was,
    She went Miss! Miss! I can’t do this!
    Got my knickers in a right old twist!

    When Susie was a teenager,
    A teenager Susie was,
    She went ooh-ahh, I lost my bra,
    I lost it sitting in my boyfriend’s car!

    When Susie was a mother
    A mother Susie was,
    She went shit! shit!
    The baby’s sick!

    When Susie was a Grand-ma
    A Grand-ma Susie was
    She went knit-knit
    I dropped a stitch!

    When Susie was dying
    Dying Susie was
    She went urrghh-arrghh
    Urrgh-argghh!!

    When Susie was a ghost
    A ghost Susie was
    She went wooo-wooo
    I’m haunting yoooou!

    When Susie was a nothing,
    A nothing Susie was,
    And she went ….
    …..

  171. Count me in as another one who doesn’t really know any of these. Iheard other girls play these games, but I was never invited to join in.

  172. Hee! My father occasionally does a variation on the nonsense-syllable one (spelling is, of course, a wild guess):

    Lo-bo see watsun-datsun, lan-and-a-boom
    Lo-bo see watsun-datsun, lan-and-a-boom
    Ishki bibbilty eeton-deeton
    Ishki bibbilty oaton-doaton
    Lo-bo see watsun-datsun, lan-and-a-boom

    No hand motions, though. I never thought to ask him where he got it.

  173. Ooh I just remembered a song (with actions but not a clapping game!) Mum used to teach it at playgroup and added some of her own verses so I don’t know which were originals, and I can’t remember all of it …

    Mr Wiggle Worm
    He lives under a stone
    Doesn’t have a television
    Doesn’t have a phone

    Doesn’t have a table and
    He doesn’t have a chair
    Doesn’t have a bed but
    He doesn’t really care

    Mum made up loads of extra bits and made up actions and little picture cards with the words on that she held up — the kids used to love it! :-)

  174. I am truly horrified to have just remembered a version of the “say say, my playmate” that we used to do. The first verse was the same as upthread, and the second began thusly:

    Say say my playmate,
    I cannot play today.
    Because of yesterday,
    He took me to his house,
    He threw me on the couch,
    He said it wouldn’t hurt,
    He stuck it up my skirt,
    Boy did my belly rise,
    And was my mom surprised!
    My daddy jumped for joy,
    It was a baby boy!

    I’m pretty sure I blocked that one out until just now…

  175. We did “Cinderella dressed in yella” for jumping rope and we also had this one:
    Strawberry shortcake cream on top
    What’s the name of your sweetheart?
    Is it A, B, C. . .

    The letter where you stopped/stumbled was the initial of the boy you had a crush on.

    We also had a handclapping/rope jumping rhyme of which I can only remember a couple of lines:
    Mama Mama I’m so sick/Call the doctor quick quick quick/ Doctor, Doctor, will I die/ Close your eyes and count to five/ One-two-three-four–five/ I’m alive!

    Then this gem:
    Firecracker, Firecracker boom boom boom/Firecracker, Firecracker boom boom boom/ The boys got the muscles/ The teachers got the brains/ The girls got the sexy legs/ And we won the game!

  176. I learned Princess Pat at YMCA camp too. (Camp Lakewood) There were a whole bunch of those actually, all of which I hated because they made us sing them for EVAH before breakfast.

  177. Ours was Miss Suzy also. In addition to the “steamboat” one, we had one that involved various hand gestures, but wasn’t a clapping game. It would go something like:
    Miss Suzy was a baby, a baby, a baby
    Miss Suzy was a baby
    And this is what she said
    “Waah Waah” [accompanied by rubbing eyes to mime crying]
    There was a whole series of them, and after every new verse, you would go back and say all the other ones as well, in reverse order.
    The one that got the most giggles on the playground was:
    Miss Suzy was a teenager, a teenager
    A teenager
    Miss Suzy was a teenager
    And this is what she said
    “Ooh aah forgot my bra!” [while slapping hands crosswise on chest]

    @Kate S: I remember a version of your first one, it was like a call-and-response:
    Saw your boyfriend last night.
    How’d you know?
    Peepin’ through the window
    Nosy!
    Stole a piece of candy
    Greedy!
    Jumped out the window
    You gotta be crazy!
    [Then said together]
    Eenie meenie attcha keenie
    Ooh ahh alloweenie
    Otcha cotcha liverotcha
    Which
    means
    I
    hate [or love]
    you
    so
    ppbblllt [blowing a raspberry; possibly it was blowing a kiss if saying "love?"]

    Also, anyone remember doing something where you sat behind a person, knocked on hir head, and said, “Crack an egg on your head, let the yolk run down, let the yolk run down” (while running your fingers down hir back) and then poked hir in the back and said, “Stab a knife in your back, let the blood run down, let the blood run down” (repeating the fingers-on-back). I am not sure what the point of it was, I think something spooky, along the lines of Bloody Mary?

  178. Holy shit, Kirsche! Children are terrible!

    I have the littlest worm song stuck in my head but also can’t remember most of the verses. I remember:

    He said to me
    Don’t take a sip
    For if you do
    I’ll surely flip

    and

    I took a sip
    And he went down
    It seems to me
    He must have drowned

  179. I didn’t play them much, Renatus, but I heard them so much that I can recognize them, even if I can’t remember them fully.

    The valley girl one I was thinking of earlier started with “Like totally, for sure,” may have talked about not wearing underwear, and also had the line, “I think I popped my wonderbra!” in there, if I remember correctly, though it may have been “I think I lost my underwear”.

  180. Does anyone remember one that ends “that’s why campbells soup is mmm mmm good!” ??? I remember the words were about something gross and you slurp right before the campbell’s soup line but I can’t remember the whole thing.

  181. I knew Miss Suzy had a steamboat and another version of Bobo

    Bobo skee wottin tottin
    Eh eh eh eh boom boom boom
    Itty bitty wottin tottin
    Bobo skee wottin tottin
    Bobo skee wottin tottin
    BOOM!

    Also, we jump roped to Cinderella dressed in yella’.

  182. Puffalo, we had something like that about cheerleaders:

    Like totally, for sure!
    I even got a manicure!
    The sun, I swear
    Is bleaching out my hair!
    33, 64
    Does anybody know the score?
    Go, go, fight, fight
    Gee, I hope I look all right.

    Common themes in children’s rhymes: cruelty to others, racism, RAPE APPARENTLY. Also nonsense, thank god.

  183. We did “Concentrate” almost exactly as Fillyjonk described it, except the ending was “Tie a rope round your neck and pull… pull… pull….” – the person being “pulled” was supposed to fall backwards at that point. Sometimes worked. I think there was a vague feeling that it was somehow supposed to make something supernatural happen, but nobody was very clear what it was. Wow, I haven’t thought about that in years.

    We also did a version of “Say say my playmate” which went:

    See see my pretty
    Won’t you come play with me?
    My sister’s had the flu
    Since 1972
    Slide down the drainpipe
    Slide down the banister
    And we’ll be best of friends
    Forever more
    One-two-three-four
    And slam the DOOR!

    (This was all from Manchester in the UK, mid to late eighties.)

  184. End of the littlest worm song:

    He was my pal
    He was my friend
    But he ain’t no more
    This is the end

  185. As far as I know, Miss Mary Mack wanted to see the ELEPHANTS jump over the fence.

    Clearly, my version is the canonical one :0)

    But I could never do the hand jives. Too uncoordinated! And I had a book in my hand, probably.

  186. Ooh, just found the first part of the doctor rhyme in an earlier comment. Thanks Kate S.

    We also had a game called Strut Miss Lucy that involved two lines of girls clapping and singing while each girl in turn promenaded between the two lines.

    I learned a lot of these songs and rhymes in Girl Scouts.

  187. Oh, we also had a somewhat more, uh, consensual version of Kirsche’s song, I think:

    We are the dolly girls
    We wear our hair in curls
    We wear our dungarees
    To show our sexy knees

    The boy next door
    He got me on the floor
    We did it once or twice
    And it was very nice

    My mummy was surprised
    To see my belly rise
    My daddy jumped for joy
    It was a baby boy

  188. fillyjonk, I might have been combining the memory of that one about cheerleaders (but with “the sun, I swear, i s bleaching out my gorgeous hair!”) with some other, lewder rhyme. Or maybe we had a second verse.

  189. Now my brain is rather confusedly trying to sing Miss Mary Mack to the tune of the littlest worm song. “She asked her mom (she asked her mom) for fifty cents (for fifty cents) to see the elephant (to see the elephant) jump over the fence (jump over the fence…”

  190. @Kelly, was that maybe “Great green globs of greasy grimy gopher guts?”
    Urgh, I shudder to remember the whole rhyme, it’s so disgusting.

  191. The littlest worm:

    The littlest worm (the littlest worm)
    I ever saw
    Was stuck inside
    My soda straw

    He said to me,
    Don’t take a sip,
    For if you do,
    I’ll really flip.

    I took a sip,
    And he went down,
    Right through my pipes,
    He must have drowned.

    He was my pal,
    He was my friend,
    But now he’s gone,
    And that’s the end….

  192. Well, I too was one of those girls that never played clapping games (to be fair, this is because I was a: antisocial and b: horrible to almost everyone – I’m not proud of it) but I grew up in London in the ’90s, and I definitely remember hearing “down down baby” done as a clapping game. Strange to think how long these rhymes have been around, and how far they travelled.

  193. Apropos of the mention of elephants in Miss Mary Mack’s rhyme: does anybody else know the Tree Song? It was my absolute favorite song from camp, and I still sing it sometimes today. It has hand movements, but not jivey ones, instead they illustrate what’s going on in the song:

    There was a tree (arms go up to represent tree) (everyone else repeats)
    The prettiest little tree (arms represent tree) (everyone else repeats)
    That you ever did see! (hands flail about with excitement at how pretty the tree was) (everyone does this line together)
    And the tree was in the hole (arms make a hole) and the hole was in the ground (patting motion for ground) and the green grass grew all around all around and the green grass grew all around. (more patting motions for grass) (everyone did this line together too)

    Further verses added branch, twig, elephant, etc. to the tree. :-)

  194. I’m having hand-clapping-game flashbacks from this whole thread! (Grew up in Tucson, Arizona, learned them in elementary school in the 1970s.) Though, @alibelle, I don’t think there’s a causal relationship to being ‘girly,’ since, for what it’s worth, I never was and still am not.

    For those who aren’t familiar with them, there seem to be a number of videos on YouTube searchable by “hand clapping games”; here are two showing a couple of the basic clap-patterns I remember using most often:

  195. Did anyone else play the Quackadilios? Stand in a ring, hands on hands, clapping around, and

    The Quackadilios goes quack quack quack
    From Santo Rico
    Rico rico rico
    New York, New York,
    newyorknewyorknewyork NEW YORK
    One two three four! (pull your hand away from the clap on 4, or you’re out)

    The place names could be varied, but those are what I’m dredging up from my shattered brain today.

  196. I don’t remember all of it but I don’t think it’s been mentioned yet. It was a jump rope game that started “down in the valley where the green grass grows” and something, something a boy kissed her or something.

    I just realized that there’s a lot of these rhyming games about being kissed by boys.

  197. OMG this is so fun! I was in elementary school in the mid-90′s in Phoenix, and Miss Suzy was definitely still around, having babies, sitting on glass, etc. lol.

    Here’s one no one has mentioned:

    Candy Apple, on a stick
    Makes my tummy go two-forty-six
    Not because I’m dirty,
    Not because I’m clean–
    Just because I kissed a boy behind a magazine! Woo!
    (kissy face noises)

    We also did an alternate ending to “Down by the rollercoaster”…as I recall, after the “shimmy shimmy” verse, we did:

    I had a boyfriend (a Triscuit!)
    He said a Triscuit (a biscuit!)
    Cherry ice cream, soda pop, vanilla on the top!
    Ooh Chileeta [sp?]
    Walking down the street
    Ten times a week
    I said it, I meant it
    I stole my mama’s credit
    I’m cool, I’m hot
    Sock me in the stomach,
    Three more times, UGH! [with punching motions]

  198. Oh goodness. This is bringing me back.

    We definitely did the two versions of Miss Suzy (had a steamboat the steamboat had a bell, and when she was a baby/teen/mother). I also remember doing Miss Mary Mack, but in our version it was an elephant that jumped the fence.

    We also did “Down By the Banks” which is similar to what others have done:
    Down by the banks of the Hanky Panky
    Where the bullfrogs jumped from bank to bank
    Saying eeps, ipes, opes, ums
    Chili Willy ding-dong
    I pledge allegience to the flag
    Michael Jackson makes me gag
    Pepsi-Cola’s got caffeine
    Now we’re talking Billie Jean
    Billie Jean went out of style
    Now we’re back to
    Down by the banks of the Hanky Panky
    Where the bullfrogs jump from bank to bank
    Saying eeps, ipes, opes, ums
    Chili Willy ding-DONG!

    I also went to Girl Scout camp where we sang one song about the Titanic (the only line I remember is, “uncles lost their aunts/little children lost their pants/it was sad when the great ship went down”), and Tom the Toad, which was a favorite:
    Oh Tom the Toad
    Oh Tom the Toad
    Why did you jump into the road (x2)
    You were so big and green and fat
    And now you’re small and red and flat
    Oh Tom the Toad
    Oh Tom the Toad
    Why did you jump into the road

    Also, we did “I won’t go to Mexico,” but for us it was “I won’t go to Macy’s.” Everything else is the same.

    My favorite was always Keeping Rhythm, where you clap out a basic rhythm (usually at a table during a meal). Everyone is given a number, starting with 0. There’s a song that you sing at the beginning of the game that goes:
    Keeping rhythm
    Jolly jolly rhythm
    Ready go?
    Let’s go.
    Starting with
    Zero.

    Then the girl who was 0 would say her number twice, and call another number. If someone messed up (either called a number that wasn’t in the game, or got off the rhythm), she was out. Once there were two people left, they were named two similar words (soup/soap, bubble/bauble, etc.)

    I grew up in the 90′s, and went to Girl Scout camp around ’95. I also went to a Jewish sleepover camp starting in 2001. Eventually, my friends and I stopped doing hand games and would sing Spice Girls/BSB/Nsync songs instead. :)

  199. We sang the Princess Pat at Girl Scout camp (the whole version, including the lines Kelly listed)! As well as a variation on the worm song…now that I think about it, we sang a lot of songs to that tune: one about a bear, and “the cutest boy,” as well as the Princess Pat and the worm.

    I also vaguely remember the cheerleader chant, although I never would have without reading the words through a few times. In response to the people who didn’t know these because they were antisocial, I remember a lot of words and tunes, but none of the hand motions. This is because I was too shy to actually play any of the games! I just watched other people play from a distance and avoided participating myself.

  200. @millefolia – I know a version of the tree song, but it isn’t a call and response song and doesn’t have hand motions. It goes:

    Once there was a tree
    ’twas the prettiest little tree, did you ever see a tree,
    and the tree in the ground,
    And the green grass growing all around, all around,
    the green grass growing all around.

    And on that tree there was a limb,
    prettiest little limb, did you ever see a limb,
    limb on the tree and the tree in the ground
    and the green grass growing all around, all around
    the green grass growing all around.

    You keep adding verses – branch, bough, twig, leaf, nest, bird, etc. I learned it from Sam Hinton’s album “Whoever Shall Have Some Good Peanuts.”

    Another song I learned from my mom (who learned it at family camp in CA) was this one:

    Did you ever see a fishie on a bright summer day?
    Did you ever see a fishi go swimmin’ down the bay?
    With his hands in his pockets and his pockets in his pants,
    Did you ever see a fishie do the hootchy-kootchy dance?
    You never did!
    You never will!

    Anyone else recognize it?

  201. I also went to Girl Scout camp where we sang one song about the Titanic (the only line I remember is, “uncles lost their aunts/little children lost their pants/it was sad when the great ship went down”)

    Oh they built the ship Titanic to sail the ocean blue
    And they thought they had a ship that the water wouldn’t get through
    But something something something the ship would never land
    It was sad when the great ship went down

    It was sad, it was sad
    It was sad when the great ship went down (to the bottom)
    All the husbands’ and wives’ little children lost their lives
    It was sad when the great ship went down

    Oh they were not far from England
    They were not far from shore
    When the rich refused to associate with the poor
    So they put them down below
    Where they’d be the first to go
    It was sad when the great ship went down

    It was sad, it was sad
    It was sad when the great ship went down (to the bottom)
    All the uncles’ and aunts’ little children lost their pants
    It was sad when the great ship went down

  202. re: 40-acre bra – I knew the exact same rhyme but I always ended it with “18-hour bra.” which I then got older and assumed must have been 18-dollar bra… but apparently 18-hour bras are real! BLEW MY MIND.

    i also did Miss Mary Mack (the elephants/fourth of july), and here’s my own version of eeny meeny:

    eeny meeny sesalini
    oo-wop bop a leeni
    otchy kotchy liberace
    i hate boys
    a peach, a plum, a stick of bubble gum
    not a peach, not a plum, just a stick of bubble gum
    last night, saw you with your boyfriend
    how’d i know? peeped through the peephope
    nosy, ate a box of cookies
    greedy, jumped out the window
    crazy, that’s when i heard her calling, and this is what she said
    (repeat beginning)

    i also knew some girls who knew a complicated set of hand-gestures to take me out to the ball game but i never learned them :(

    & i also did a rockin robin that got pretty weird.

  203. krismcn: if you’re still reading this thread, email me at phledge at cox dot net. Sparks is small enough that I might know you personally.

    So many of these I remember vaguely! We ended some differently; for example

    There’s a place in France
    where the naked ladies dance
    there’s a hole in the wall
    where the men can see it all
    but the men don’t care
    ’cause they poo their underwear
    and the underwear they poo
    costs a dollar-ninety-two PLUS! TAX!

    And Cinderella was ended with a count of how many doctors it took = how many plain rope jumps you could do.

    Wow, good times.

  204. oh some people have posted a song here that’s I’m sure to teh same melody as this one…like snake charmer music?

    In the land of Oz all the ladies smoke cigars
    every puff they take is enough to still a snake
    with the snake is dead they put roses on his head
    when roses die they put diamonds in his eyes
    when they diamonds break is it 1988 ????? (wierd we kept singing that after 1988, when I was 8 years old by the way)

    the one song I knew the guys got involved with is the come be my playmate song. Because we all learned the nice verse in music class. ANd then after class they boys would sing the verse “slide down my razorblade into my cellar door and we’ll be enemies for ever more” or something mean like that.

  205. @infamousqbert: I learned that exact same “Cinderella, dressed in yella” rhyme as a jump-rope rhyme in upstate New York in the mid-1960s! We also had an alternate, naughty version:

    Cinderella, dressed in yella
    Went downtown to kiss a fella.
    On the way her girdle busted,
    How many people were disgusted?
    1,2,3,4, etc.

    Another jump-rope rhyme I remember is:

    My mother and your mother
    were hanging out clothes.
    My mother punched your mother
    right in the nose.
    What color was the blood?
    (call out a color, then spell it out and jump once for each letter.)

    Children are so full of sunshine and compassion.

    There was another one that started:

    Engine, engine number nine
    Coming down Chicago line…

    but I don’t remember the rest of it.

    BTW, my daughter, who is ten, knows “Miss Lucy had a baby” and “Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack,” as well as numerous other clapping games.

  206. oh and at chorus camp we warmed up with “cinderalla dressed in yella went upstairs to meet a fella, on the way her panties busted how many people were disgusted one two three four five…”!!!!!!!!

  207. I vaguely remember many of these from my school-age years in Nebraska and South Dakota in the late 70s/early 80s, especially “Say Say Oh Playmate/Enemy” and “Miss Suzy.”

    Not sure anyone has posted this version of “Eeny Meeny” yet. I actually learned it as a cheer for the local high school football team, complete with extensive gestures:

    Eeny meeny pepsadini
    Oo bob a boobalini
    Hotche kotche liberace
    I pick you up
    Have a peach, have a plum
    Have a stick of chewing gum
    If you want another one,
    This is what you say:
    A man, a man, a man diego, san diego
    Hocus pocus domino
    I pick you up
    Sis, sis, sis boom bah
    [Team name], [Team name] rah rah rah!

    Sarah C., I also knew “Firecracker, Firecracker, boom boom boom” — also as a cheer done from the stands at high school football games.

  208. Our version of Down by the banks of the hanky panky went,

    down by the banks.. etc
    saying, east side, west side, east side, west side,

    and then something like “diddly-bang-WHOMP” and whoever was “whomp” was out.

  209. Hehh,

    @sarah quoting @Kelly, was that maybe “Great green globs of greasy grimy gopher guts?”

    Great green globs of greasy grimey gopher guts
    Mutilated monkey meat (or, Marinated)
    Dirty little birdie feet.
    Great green globs of greasy, grimy gopher guts,
    And I forgot my spoon. (or, “me without my”)

    Do you remember the one about Comet?

    Comet, it makes your mouth turn green
    Comet, it tastes like listerine,
    comet, it makes you vomit
    So take some comet, and go vomit!

  210. @lastersloth …. yes I rememebr the gigalo and the tune it went to. It was like hey laser…yeah…are you ready….yeah …you sure you’re ready?…yeah…to gigalo…
    and then while you dance you go “I got my hands up high and my feet down low and that’s the way we gigalo”

  211. DRST –”I guess nice middle class girls from the suburbs in upstate NY in the early 80s did do this much? Or I had a deprived childhood.”

    I don’t know DRST, maybe I wasn’t a “nice” middle class girl from the suburbs of upstate NY in the ’80s because I know most of these and even the rape version of the playmate one (which I was trying to think of all the way through these comments-Thanks Kirsche).

    We called them hand-games and we had the slap ones and the back tickling ones too. Did anybody else make rose-gardens on other girls arms. I can’t remember the exact sequence but you basically pretended to rake (scratch), ho, plant (pinch), etc. the other girls arm until the skin turned bright red and you had a “Rose Garden.”

    Somebody asked about Three Chartreuse Buzzards which wasn’t a hand jive but had big gestures and we did it as a call and response. It went:
    Three (hold up three fingers) chartreuse (hold arms down to sides with hands clawed) Buzzards (flap arms like wings)
    Sitting in an old tree (we got very creative with our old tree shapes)
    One flew aaaa-way. (arm swung away)
    What aaaa shame! (hand to forehead in gesture of woe-is-me)

    Two chartreuse buzzards (etc.) until you got to No chartreuse buzzards and said: “One has reeee-turned, let us reeee-joice!” (arm swings back and shake hands in a hallelujah gesture) and counted back up to three.

    Interestingly, none of my hand games had any reference to being fat that I can remember. (e.g. Miss Suzy broke her LITTLE ask me no more questions). I somehow grew up without much internalized fat hatred and never remember anyone making fun of me or my family for being fat so perhaps the culture of the kids around me hadn’t picked up on it. Once I hit high-school I started to pick up on the larger pop-culture feel of it but until then I was blissfully ignorant that lots of folks hated fat people.

  212. Here’s the “place on Mars” song we did in central Iowa in the 70s:

    There’s a place on Mars
    Where the women smoke cigars
    Every puff they take
    Is enough to kill a snake
    When the snake is dead
    They put diamonds in its head
    When the diamonds crack
    They put mustard on its back
    When the mustard dries
    They count 1-2-3-4-5!

    The last line is yelled out very quickly.

    Also a big favorite among the 2nd grade crowd in those days was:

    This land is my land
    It isn’t your land
    I’ve got a shotgun
    And you ain’t got one
    I’ll blow your head off
    If you don’t get off
    This land belongs to only me

    Guaranteed to piss off parents, which made it obligatory for all carpooling.

    I know I did some clapping games back in the day, too, but the only rhymes I remember are the jumprope ones.

  213. It’s funny that the Lucy/Suzy baby one was taught in a different version as a preschool song:

    I had a little turtle.
    His name was Tiny Tim.
    I put him in the bathtub
    To see if he could swim.
    He drank up all the water.
    He ate up all the soap.
    And now he’s home sick in bed
    With bubbles in his throat.
    Blub! Blub! Blub!

    I learned most of these in some version, though I was never good at the actual clapping. Extreme childhood klutz here.

    One that I haven’t seen yet:

    Three Irishmen, three Irishmen,
    digging in a ditch.
    One called the other one a dirty son of a
    Pitched me out the window,
    landed on a rock.
    ‘Long came a bumblebee and stun me on my
    Cock-tails, Cock-tails,
    five cents a glass.
    If you don’t like it, shove it up your
    Ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lies.
    If you ever get hit with a bucket of pitch,
    Be sure to close your eyes.

  214. OMG, I did not read through all of these because I must run, but what an awesome trip down memory lane! I remember the shimmy-shimmy coccoa puff one, the Miss Suzy (ours was a weeee bitty bit different) and the lily pad one, and Miss Mary Mack. I grew up in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh, and graduated high school in 96, if that helps :)

    Does anyone remember Sarah Sponda? It was more like a game, and I remember it from Girl Scouts. You sit in a circle and you pass something, like a stone or something, from your right to your left hand then to the person next to you, while singing:

    Sarah Sponda, Sarah Sponda
    Sarah Sponda rat-tat-tat
    Sarah Sponda, Sarah Sponda
    Saraha Sponda rat-tat-tat
    A dor-ray-oh
    A dor-ray-boom-day-oh
    A dor-ray-boom-day rat-tat-tat
    A-say-pah-say-oh!

    And whoever had the object at the end was “out,” which mean that with fewer and fewer people, we always tried to sing it as fast as we could to not get “out.” Oh, memories :)

  215. Yes, I remember the chartruese buzzards too! That was another Girl Scout one AFAIK. Some other gesture ones I remember are “Little Rabbit in the Woods,” “Swimming, Swimming,” and “Alice the Camel.”

  216. Oh man, I’m going to be distracted all afternoon now.

    I could never get the hand-claps right, but I loved the rhymes. I’d sing along when girls did these, but mostly I played with the boys – it was easier.

    Suburban MA, early 90s.

    I don’t think this one has been mentioned yet:
    A peach, a plum
    A half a stick of chewing gum
    And if you want the other half, here is what you say:
    Amen, A man
    A man Diego, San Diego
    Hocus-pocus almagocus (?), sis-boom-bah
    Rah rah rah, boo boo boo*
    Criss-cross, applesauce
    Do me a favor and get lost
    While you’re at it, drop dead
    If you don’t you’ll lose your head
    Dun da-da dun dun, dun dun (to the tune of “shave and a haircut”)

    *Here one could insert the name of your summer camp and the name of a rival summer camp, such as:
    Meadowbroook, Meadowbrook, rah rah rah
    Grossman, Grossman, boo boo boo

    Not sure if there was clapping for this (it was a boy song, which did not generally involve clapping):
    Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg
    Batmobile lost a wheel and Joker does ballet – hey!

    @vegkitty We did Keeping Rhythm too! Betcha we have some Jewish geography in common.

    Someone above mentioned (ohgodohgod it’s so gross…):
    Great big globs of greasy grimy gopher guts
    Mutilated monkey meat, itsy bitsy birdy feet
    French fried eyeballs floating in a pool of blood
    Shoot! I forgot my spoon!
    (I’ve got a straaaaaaw…!)

    @fillyjonk re: cheerleaders. We had the following:
    Oh, my god!
    I just got a manicure!
    The sun, I swear
    Is bleaching out my gorgeous hair!
    36, 24
    I don’t even know the score!
    Go, go, fight, fight
    Gee, I hope I look all right.

    And the boys forgot their underwear while watching the naked ladies dance. In France.

  217. Does anyone know a song about a Baby Bumblebee? You pretend that you have it in your hand and in the end it gets smushed tragically.

    We also used “Iko Iko” by Cindy Lauper and/or Dr. John for jumping rope.

  218. Oh gosh yes — “Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee.” (“Won’t my mommy be so proud of me…”) But that’s one that, like Mary Mack and a couple others, I would suspect doesn’t have a ton of regional variation. I think the peach, plum, half a stick of chewing gum is so far the champ as far as number of mutations available, though Miss Lucy’s steamboat/stinkbug is up there.

  219. I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee,
    Won’t my mommy be so proud of me,
    I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee,
    OUCH! It stung me!

    Then you squish up the baby bumblebee, only to find you have baby bumblebee all over you, then you either lick it off and then throw it up then mop it up (if it’s after Taps and you’re an older Girl Scout!) or just skip straight to wiping off the dead baby bumblebee on your neighbors.

  220. Gosh, I guess my friends and I were nasty kids…

    We had one that went “Fuck, fuck, fuck a duck” to the tune of “Row row row your boat” … I’d share the rest of it, but it was pretty much all about molesting animals.

  221. Our version of the cheerleader song was just a wee bit different:

    Oh my god, I think I need a manicure
    The sun, I swear, is bleaching out my hair
    57, 54, was I supposed to know the score?
    Ra ra, fight fight,
    Gee I hope I look alright
    Go Team!

    In the interest of full disclosure, I was a cheerleader from 5th through 12th grade (I know, I know :P) and for that entire time we occasionally did that as an actual cheer just to be funny, as we were a particularly non-stereotypical squad.

  222. My mom taught me the Titanic one. We used to sing it in the car. I always thought she made up the Uncles and Aunts line so it was weird to see it here.

    Oh they built the ship Titanic, to sail the ocean blue.
    and they thought they had a ship that the water would never go through.
    She was on her maiden trip when an iceburg hit the ship
    It was sad when the great ship went down.

    It was sad, (so sad)
    It was sad, (too bad)
    It was sad when the great ship went down.
    (Husbands and wives, little children lost their lives or Uncles and Aunts, little children lost their pants)
    It was sad when the great ship went down.

    The were near to Englands shore, about a hundred miles or more.
    When the rich refused to associate with the poor.
    So they put them down below where they’d be the first to go.
    It was sad when the great ship went down.

    (As a child I thought they had put the rich down below for their bad behavior. I was really shocked when I found out it was the other way around.)

    I taught music at a girl-scout summer day-camp in upstate NY throughout my high-school years so I got to teach a lot of my childhood songs to bunches of little girls. It was great fun.

  223. @Maya and @Sarah – That’s the one! Except after “I forgot my spoon” we’d sing “Use a straw! Mmm mmm good, mmm good, that’s why Campbell’s soup is mmm mmm good.”

    Never heard the Comet one, though I’m surprised since apparently the branded songs made the rounds in my circles (McDonalds & Campbells).

    @dreamingcrow – Never heard the Irishman one, but I love it!

    @bellacoker – We used to sing:

    I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee (Pretend to hold a bee)
    Won’t my Mommy be surprised at me
    I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee (Shake hands like you’ve been stung)
    Ouch, he stung me
    I’m squishing up a baby bumblebee (Squish bee between your hands)
    Won’t my Mommy be surprised at me
    I’m squishing up a baby bumblebee
    Squish, squish, squish
    I’m licking up a baby bumblebee (Pretend to lick bee off hands)
    Won’t my Mommy be surprised at me
    I’m licking up a baby bumblebee
    Slurp, slurp, slurp (make the sounds)
    I’m throwing up a baby bumblebee (pretend to throw up)
    Won’t my Mommy be surprised at me
    I’m throwing up a baby bumblebee
    Blech, blech, blech (make a sick face)
    I’m sweeping up a baby bumblebee
    Won’t my Mommy be surprised at me (Sweep bee into one hand)
    I’m sweeping up a baby bumblebee
    Swish, swish, swish
    I’m bringing home a baby dinosaur (act like your carrying something heavy)
    Won’t my Mommy kick me out the door
    I’m bringing home a baby dinosaur
    Oops, he ate me!

  224. @ RP

    Yes! I knew there was something about something in the snake’s eyes. That’s the same one we sang.

    I also remembered another jump-rope song:

    Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground
    Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around

    And I think there was more. But I was crap at any jump-rope beyond basic enter & exit (and I considered THAT a huge accomplishment) and couldn’t handle the turning and ground-touching, so I never played it myself.

  225. Also, FJ:
    “The littlest worm
    I ever saw
    Was stuck inside
    My soda straw

    He said to me
    Don’t take a sip
    For if you do
    I’ll surely slip

    I took a sip
    And he went down
    Right through my pipes
    He must have drowned

    I coughed him up
    And he was dead
    So I buried him
    In my camper/counselor’s bed

    He was my pal
    He was my friend
    But now he’s gone
    And that’s the end

    The moral of
    This little tale:
    If you see a worm
    Just don’t inhale”

    Nina:
    Aaaaand theeee elephant on the spot and the spot on the bug and the bug on the feather and the feather on the bird and the bird on the egg and the egg in the nest and the nest on the leaf and the leaf on the twig and the twig on the branch and the branch on the tree and the tree in the hole and the hole in the ground and the green grass grew all around and the green grass grew all around. [gasp for air]

    vegkitty, Tom the Toad! That was really one of the best:
    Oh Tom the Toad, oh Tom the Toad!
    Why did you hop upon the road!

    He was my friend, but now he’s dead!
    He bears the marks of tire tread!

    Oh Tom the Toad, oh Tom the Toad!
    Why did you hop upon the road!

    You sat upon the yellow line!
    Now you’re just a streak of slime!

    Oh Tom the Toad, oh Tom the Toad!
    Why did you hop upon the road!

    You sat upon the yellow trail!
    You’re plastered on the guard rail!

    Oh Tom the Toad, oh Tom the Toad!
    Why did you hop upon the road!

    Seriously, if we get any further into camp songs I am going to fill up the whole thread, so I am going to try to stop. But now I have all of the frog-themed songs popping into my head, so we’re getting into dangerous territory.

  226. Growing up north of Toronto in the ’80s, I sang Miss Mary (Lucy), but the lines in the middle went

    Behind the yellow curtain
    There was a piece of glass
    Miss Mary sat upon it
    And hurt her little…
    Ask, etc.

    I also know Stella Ella Ola with nearly the same words as Dr. Confused.

    The other day, I also discovered that The Princess Pat, which I sang in Girl Guides, is actually a badly garbled and bowdlerized version of the regimental song of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. There are some notes about the song here: http://dragon.sleepdeprived.ca/songbook/songs4/S4_17.htm

  227. Ah! Kelly! That’s almost the same as the version I knew, just with less “slurp slurp slurp” and more “I don’t feel so good…” and my mother is always proud of me. And then after mopping up you have to wring out your baby bumblebee (“uh oh, sink’s clogged”) and then plunging up your baby bumblebee.

  228. I remember Chartreuse Buzzards too! Except ours were sitting in a dead tree. And we sang sarasponda in Girl Scouts, but not as a rock passing game. Although that reminds me of another passing stuff game we played in Girl Scouts, the Button Game. Everybody sat in a circle with one person in the middle and put one hand open on their left knees; with the other hand, you tapped your neighbor’s hand twice, then your hand twice and sang

    Button, button,
    How I wonder
    How it gets
    From one to the other?
    Is it fair, is it fair
    To keep poor [insert person in the middle's name] waiting there?

    A button (or other small object) was being passed surreptitiously around the circle and the person in the middle had to guess who had it. If they guessed right, they joined the circle and the person caught with the button had to sit in the middle.

  229. Oh! Oh! And there was the jump-rope song which was supposed to tell you whether or not some boy and/or boys generally liked you.

    I like coffee, I like tea,
    I like the boys and the boys like me.
    Yes,
    No,
    Maybe so.

    Repeat the last three lines until you mess up, and that’s the answer.

  230. Sweet Machine –

    You are from Western PA? I had no idea. Me too. I know some of these rhymes from the mid-70s in Western PA (I was in elementary school from 73-79).

  231. In Georgia in the mid-late 80s, our version of the “hanky panky” one went:

    Down by the river by the hanky-panky
    Where the bullfrogs jump from bank to banky, say
    E-I-O-U
    Your mama stinks and so do you
    so PING PONG!

    And the person whose hand was slapped on the “pong” was out.

    I have no idea how we got that from the other versions…

    We had both “Miss Suzie” ones too, both the baby and the steamboat.

  232. There’s a boy and a girl in a little canoe
    With the moon shining all around
    And as they paddle that little canoe
    You couldn’t even hear a sound

    So they talk and they talk til the moon grew dim
    Then she/he said you better kiss me or get out and swim

    So whatcha gonna do in a little canoe
    With the moon shinin’ all a
    Girl/boy paddlin’ all a
    Boy/girl swimmin’ all around

    *kiss kiss* oh yeah? *kiss kiss* oh yeah.

  233. WELL IIIII walked around the corner and I walked around the block
    And I walked right into a doughnut shop
    And I picked up a doughnut straight from the grease
    And I handed the lady a five-cent piece

    WELL SHEEE looked at the nickel and she looked at me
    And she said this nickel isn’t good to me
    There’s a hole in the middle and it goes right through
    There’s a hole in the middle of my doughnut, too

    Thanks for the doughnut, goodbye!

    (This one has very enthusiastic hand gestures to accompany it. I remember being forced to sing it, with all of the hand gestures, while treading water as part of a swim test. Mean lifeguards!)

  234. Whoa, Henchminion, that’s fascinating! Though I could do without the moralizing tone of the article… come on, dude, you’ve never heard a song you take seriously get mangled or made fun of by schoolchildren? ‘Cause if so, I can tell that at the very least you never went to Hebrew school (“watermelon, gingerale, french fry, pizza pie”).

  235. @volcanista – I was just thinking of the canoe song the other day! We sang it at Girl Scout camp with “He said…” and “Boy swimmin’ all a-/Girl paddlin’ all a-/Moon shinin’ all around.” And we didn’t have the last line.

    Also, @Henchminion – I’m with Kelly, you just totally blew my mind! It’s interesting to know the origins of the song though…I mean, the lyrics we sung didn’t make much sense.

  236. I just remembered another! Looking back, the brand placement creeps me out a bit!

    Pepsi Cola came to town
    Coca Cola shot him down
    Dr Pepper stitched him up
    Now we all drink 7UP

    7UP got the flu
    Now we all drink Mountain Dew
    Mountain Dew fell off the mountain
    Now we all drink from the fountain

  237. Another camp song, to the same tune as “Princess Pat”:

    The other day (the other day)
    I met a bear (etc)
    Up in the woods
    Away out there

    [then you repeat the whole verse all together]

    He looked at me
    I looked at him
    He sized up me
    I sized up him

    He said to me
    “Why don’t you run?
    Cause I can see
    You have no gun.”

    I said to him
    “That’s a good idea
    Now legs get going
    Get me out of here!”

    And so I ran
    Away from there
    But right behind
    Me was that bear

    [there's a verse about finding a tree but I forget it]

    And so I jumped
    Into the air,
    But I missed that branch
    Away up there

    Now don’t you fret
    And don’t you frown
    I caught that branch
    On the way back down

    [I think some other stuff happens, which I also can't remember]

    That’s all there is
    There is no more
    Unless I meet
    That bear once more

  238. @Cute Bruiser – I only knew the 1st verse of that one! And I think it was often attached to the “I’m a nut” song (“I’m a nut/in a rut/I’m craaaazy!”).

  239. Yeah, I had to laugh when I read that about the Princess Pat.

    Does anyone else know the rhyme that goes

    Engine, engine number nine
    Coming down Spadina line
    If the train goes off the tracks
    Will you get your money back?

    The chanter is going around the circle pointing at a different person with every syllable. The person she’s pointing at when she comes to the end picks yes or no. If it’s no, she says

    N-O spells no
    So out you go
    With your mother’s
    Big fat juicy toe.

    I forget what you do if the answer is yes.

    Since Spadina is a street in Toronto, I’m willing to bet that the rhyme is different in other places.

  240. Oompa went the little green frog one day
    Oompa went the little green frog
    Oompa went the little green frog one day
    Oompa oompa oompa

    Beep beep went the big Mac truck one day
    Squish squash went the little green frog
    And the little green frog didn’t go oompa
    Cause he got eaten up by the dog

  241. Western Australia, late 70s

    Under the brown bushes, under the sea, boom, boom, boom,
    True love for you my darlin’, true love for me,
    And when we get marrieeeeeed, we’ll have a family,
    A boy for you, and a girl for me,
    And then we’ll be, ?? at sea.

    Wish I could remember goes in the question marks–I want to say Humpty Dumpty, but that make no sense at all…

    I also remember Miss Mary Mack (she’s a legend!), and Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, but most of the others are a complete mystery to me!

  242. Does anyone else know the same words to Pomp & Circumstance that I do? I learned them from a Girl Scout.

    My reindeer flies sideways
    Your reindeer flies upside down
    My reindeer is purple
    Your reindeer is green
    My reindeer’s a Girl Scout
    She can dig a latrine
    My reindeer flies sideways
    Your reindeer is dead, ha ha ha

  243. YES! I’m a nut! I remember that, too, now that you mention it! And I do believe it was attached. How did that one go?

    I am an acorn round
    Lying on the cold, cold ground
    Everybody steps on me
    That is why I’m cracked, you see

    Our chorus just involved repeating “I’m a nut” and making clicking sounds.

    Called myself up on the phone
    Just to see if I as home
    Asked myself out on a date
    Picked me up at half past eight

    Took myself to the picture show
    Sat down in the very first row
    Put my arm around my waist
    Got so (something) I slapped my face

    That’s all I remember beside what I already said. D:

  244. @Henchminion – I remember it as:

    Engine, engine number nine
    Coming down the county line
    If the train goes off the tracks
    Pick it up, pick it up, pick it up!

  245. @ Henchminion

    I’m from metro DC, and we used ‘Chicago line’. And we didn’t have any of the juicy toe business. ;)

  246. Ha!

    My reindeer flies sideways
    My reindeer flies upside down
    My reindeer flies backwards
    My reindeer flies diiiiagonal

    My reindeer eats ice cream
    My reindeer eats pumpkin pie
    My reindeer eats pooomegranates
    My reindeer is sick. again.

    [repeat]

  247. I’m a nut,
    big and round,
    I lay on the cold, cold ground
    People come, step on me
    That is why I’m cracked, you see
    I’m a nut (dum dum), I’m a nut (dum dum)
    I’m a nut, I’m a nut, I’m a nut (dum dum)

    I’m a little N-U-T, I’m as sweet as I can be
    I can sing, I can dance,
    I wear ruffles on my — whoops, boys take another guess
    I wear ruffles on my dress.
    I’m a nut (dum dum), I’m a nut (dum dum)
    I’m a nut, I’m a nut, I’m a nut (dum dum)

  248. ging gang gulee gulee gulee gulee whatzit
    ging gang goo
    ging gang goo
    ging gang gulee gulee gulee gulee whatzit
    ging gang goo
    ging gang goo

    hay la
    hay la shay la
    hay la shay la ay la oooooooo
    hay la
    hay la shay la
    hay la shay la ay la oo.

    shaliwali shaliwali shaliwali shaliwali
    oompa oompa oompa oompa

    Her name is ____ and she lives in a hut
    And if you don’t believe me, just watch her shake her butt!
    Singing oo, shawadawada
    Oo, shabangbang
    Oo, shawadawada
    Shaking her thang.

    [This is one of those songs that requires the targeted person to dance on the spot. I know a couple of those, too.]

  249. We had “slide down my rainbow” in the playmate song, too!

    So interesting how many different variations and such there are.

  250. I wish I’d known the words to Pomp & Circumstance back when I was in band (the trombone line for that song is extremely boring) or when I was working security at places that held graduation ceremonies. It would have been much more interesting!

    I suspect this one is to the same tune as Volcanista’s doughnut song:

    Weeeellll IIIII stuck my head in a little skunk’s hole
    And the little skunk said, “Well, bless my soul!
    Take it out!
    Take it out!
    Take it out!
    Reeeemooooove it!”

    Weeeellll IIIII didn’t take it out and the little skunk said
    “If you don’t take it out, you’ll wish you had!
    Take it out!
    Take it out!
    Take it out!
    Reeeemooooove it!”

    (make a noise like “pssssssssssss”)

    I removed it–too late!

    And Volcanista, your version of the tree song has more verses than mine! I may steal a few of those. I’ve just got “(gasp)And the elephant was on the feather and the feather was on the wing and the wing was on the bird and the bird was in the egg and the egg was in the nest and the nest was on the twig and the twig was on the branch and the branch was on the limb and the limb was on the tree and the tree was in the ground and the green grass grew all around, all around, and the green grass grew all around.”

    Eve, your bear song is the other one I was trying to remember to that tune, thanks!

  251. We had “Miss Lucy sat upon it and it went right up her
    Ask me no more questions …”

    More painful, but no mention of ass size. Which is worse?

  252. Ooh, I know the skunk song, millefolia!

    And Cute Bruiser, those are the other verses I sang – thanks for reminding me! We sang it “Got so fresh I slapped my face,” too, Puffalo.

    Also, I can’t believe I’ve never heard the reindeer versions of Pomp & Circumstance. Wish I’d known them too – the clarinet part is slightly less boring than I expect the trombone part was, but the number of times it had to repeated doesn’t bear thinking about. Blech.

  253. I remember “bobo skee otten totten”!

    Bobo see otten totten
    nay nay I am boom boom boom
    itty bitty otten totten
    bobo skee otten totten
    bobo skee otten totten
    BOOM.

    And what about this one?

    I praised the lord as I climbed the fence
    Said I won’t tear my Sunday pants
    Say ee, eye, gimme some pie
    Say ee, oh, gimme some mo’
    Say ee scuffa luffa scuffa
    Eye scuffa luffa scuffa
    Ee scuffa luffa scuffa OH.
    Corn grits and nero seefo (?)
    Ticky ticky tock
    Many many get along
    Many long more so
    UHN!

    I grew up in South Carolina in the 70′s and 80s.

  254. Miss Lucy’s in the bathub
    with 40 Naked guys.
    And 50 lemon pies.

    Totally OT, but I’m getting a kind of ‘Piggy Moo does the _Rolling Stone_ cover photoshoot’ feeling off that one.

    Also…Girl Scout songs? (Or rather, Girl Guides as they are over here.) One that we used to sing was this – one person sings the line, then everyone repeats it, then you all sing the chorus…

    Oh you’ll never get to heaven (oh you’ll never get to heaven)
    In a biscuit tin (in a biscuit tin)
    Cause a biscuit tin (cause a biscuit tin)
    ‘s got biscuits in (‘s got biscuits in)

    (Then the chorus repeated the two lines plus)

    I ain’t gonna grieve my Lord no mo-o-ore…

    (and then you had – these first two interchangeable, and personalized with whoever fitted:)

    Oh, you’ll never get to heaven in XXX’s bra
    Cause XXX’s bra won’t stretch that far

    Oh you’ll never get to heaven in XXX’s car
    ‘Cause XXX’s car won’t get that far

    (and you ad-libbed with whatever you could make up, and then when everyone was tired you ended up with:)

    Well if you get there, and I hope you do,
    Dig a little hole and pull me through…

    Ah, fun times. I could never put a tent up properly, and I was crap at first aid, but hey, at least I remember the songs.

  255. Can I just say, I do not know any of these hand clapping games or the rhymes associated with them. The other girls would stand together at lunch in middle school and do them and I could never join the circle, because I had no idea what the hell they were doing. Maybe it’s because I spent elementary school in my room with a book, I don’t know. But I never learned them.

    So no, not all girls know.

  256. Heh, I know a song that’s clearly related to the littlest worm, but ours was

    The cutest boy (the cutest boy)
    I ever saw (I ever saw)
    Was sippin’ ciiiiiiiiiiiider through a straw (der through a straw)
    The cutest boy I ever saaaaw was sippin cider through a straaaaaw

    And while I can’t remember all the verse, I do remember at some point the girl and the cute boy end up “sippin’ lip to lip”

    My mother used to sing one to me from her childhood about a girl getting pregnant but I can’t remember anything more than “La la la boom-de-ay, how did I get this way?”

  257. X little angels, all dressed in white, tryin’ to get to heaven on the end of a kite
    but the kite broke, and down they all fell
    instead of going to heaven, they all went to-
    X little devils, all dressed in red, trying to get to heaven on the end of a thread…

  258. Speeakkkinnngggg of Girl Scouts…. (then I really really have to go…)… Is it me or is this just one weird song?

    I woke up Monday morning,
    I looked upon the wall,
    The skeeters and the bedbugs
    Were having a game of ball.
    The score was six to nothing
    The skeeters were ahead
    The bedbugs hit a homerun,
    And knocked me out of bed.

    I’m singing
    Eeney meeney and-a miney mo
    Catch a wiffle waffer
    By his toe
    And if he
    hollers, hollers, hollers
    Let him go!
    Eeney meeney and-a miney mo!

    I went downstairs for breakfast
    I ordered ham n’ eggs
    I ate so many pickles
    The juice ran down my legs!

    [chorus]

    I fell into a sewer
    And that is how I died.
    They didn’t call it murder,
    They called it sewer-cide!

    [chorus]

  259. (For the sake of any anthropologists of children’s culture who might happen on this thread, I’ll add that I didn’t learn the skunk song from my central Iowa peers, I learned it from my Virginian parents.)

  260. “The cutest boy (the cutest boy)
    I ever saw (I ever saw)
    Was sippin’ ciiiiiiiiiiiider through a straw (der through a straw)
    The cutest boy I ever saaaaw was sippin cider through a straaaaaw”

    I remember that one from Girl Scouts.

  261. Ethyl, that’s gonna bug me because I remember the verse about the skeeters and the bedbugs, but I can’t remember the tune!

  262. Emmy, I think the littlest w0rm was a parody of that song.

    Emerald, I only knew that you can’t get to heaven on roller skates (’cause you’ll roll right by the pearly gates).

  263. And that should be credited to Emmy – cause I sure as heck didn’t remember that one on my own. sorry.

  264. Millefolia, I wish I could hum through the tubes to ya :)

    And ooh the boy and the girl in the little canoe! Ours ended like this:
    Oh yeah? Yeah! Chicken!
    ~sung~ get out and swimmmmmmmm!

  265. LOL, x-rated version:

    See see my playmate
    Come out and play with me
    And bring your sex machine
    If you know what I mean
    Right down my brastrap
    Into my pantyhose
    And we’ll be jolly friends forever more, more, shut the door

    In Winnipeg ours was Miss Mary:

    Miss Mary had a steamboat
    The steamboat had a bell
    Miss Mary went to heaven
    The steamboat went to…
    Hello Operator
    Please give me Number Nine
    And if you disconnect me
    I will kick you from…
    Behind the yellow curtain
    There was a piece of glass
    Miss Mary sat upon it
    And broke her big fat…
    Ask me no more questions
    Tell me no more lies
    The boys are in the bathroom
    Doing up their…
    Flies are in the city
    Bees are in the park
    Miss Mary and her boyfriend
    Are kissing in the D-A-R-K D-A-R-K dark dark

  266. Wow, that took forever to read…

    That said, I was in elementary school from 89-95 in north east Ohio, we did Miss Mary Mack, with the elephants, Apple on a Stick, Cinderella Dressed in Yella (jump rope) Shimmy Shimmy Cocoa Pop, and Miss Suzy had a Steamboat.

    We also had “Jingle bells Batman smells, Robin laid an egg, Batmobile lost a wheel and the Joker got away!” and the OH so charming

    Joy to the world the teacher’s dead
    We BBQ’d her head
    What happened with the body
    We flushed it down the potty
    And round and a round it goes
    and round and around it goes
    around around around it goes

    and the even more charming

    Deck the halls with gasoline.
    Fa la la la la, la la la la.
    Light a match & watch it gleam.
    Fa la la la la, la la la la.
    Now your school is down in ashes.
    Fa la la, la la la, la la la.
    Aren’t you glad you played with matches?
    Fa la la la la, la la la la.

    Looking back my grade school kind of looked like a bunch of serial killers in training…

  267. @ Emmy: I remember that one! We had another verse that went

    X little martians, all dressed in green
    Tried to get to Heaven on the end of a string

    And when you reached the last verse, you finished like this

    But the string it broke and down they fell
    Instead of going to Heaven they all went to –

    Now don’t get excited, don’t lose your head
    Instead of going to Heaven, they all went to bed!

  268. Slyth, I never learned the hand-clap stuff either, though I remember a few of the songs, either from Brownies or my mom (which would make them the 1930′s versions of the songs since that’s when she was a kid).

    One bright day in the middle of the night
    Two dead boys got up to fight
    Back to back they faced each other
    Drew their swords and shot each other
    A deaf policeman heard the noise
    And came and shot the two dead boys.

    That’s where the version I know ends.

    I haven’t seen this one yet:

    Peeping through the keyhole
    Of grandpa’s wooden leg
    Who’ll wind the clock when I’m gone?
    Go get the axe
    There’s a flea in Lizzie’s ear
    And a boy’s best friend
    Is his mother!

  269. I learned Bobo-see as Bubba-ski in Northern California, mid-80s. It sounds pretty close to Babuski to me, isn’t that a last name? I always pictured a little kid learning how to walk and stomping up a storm- boom, boom, boom.

    Little Bubba-ski, walkin, talkin,
    uh-uh-uh,
    boom-boom-boom.

    Little Bubba-ski, walkin, talkin,
    uh-uh-uh,
    boom-boom-boom.

    One side,
    Two side,
    Three side,
    Freeze!

    (You’d wind up making little guns with your fingers, pointing them across at the other person. The slower person would put their hands up “this is a stick up” style.)

  270. My Apples on a Stick went like this:

    Apples on a stick just make me sick
    make my heart go 246
    Not because I’m dirty,
    Not because I’m clean,
    Not because I kissed a boy behind a magazine.
    Heyyy, girls!
    You wanna have some fun?
    Here comes Billy with his pants undone!
    He can wiggle, he can wobble, he can do the splits
    but most of all, he can kiss kiss kiss!

    Alternate ending:
    but most of all, he can’t do this
    bow to the queen,
    kiss the king,
    show his legs to the football team!

  271. I am loving how similar/connected these all are. It’s kind of beautiful.

    “See see my playmate”! Our second verse was different, more like E’s

    See, see, my playmate
    I cannot play with you
    My Dolly has the flu
    Chicken pox and measles too
    There is no rainbow
    Into the cellar door
    But we’ll be best of friends
    Forever more more more more more

    And the moves were the ones MissPrism knows.

    We also (Northern Ireland, 1990s) had

    Under the bramble bushes
    Down by the sea (boom boom boom)
    Johnny broke a bottle and he blamed it on me
    I told my mamma
    She told my papa
    And Johnny got a beating on the B-U-M spells BUM!

    There were other verses but they are gone from me.

    Also the stunningly racist

    I know a little Chinese girl called Eye [touch your eye] Shoe [touch shoe] China [bow]
    She said she knew a football team called Eye Shoe China
    How is your father?
    All right. Died in the fish shop last night.
    What did he die of?
    Raw fish.
    What did he die like?
    Like this

    rhiannonproblematising, yes! I totally remember the see-see-see one.

    I know there’s one that starts I went downtown, I met Miss Brown but I don’t remember the rest. And the alligator purse is really familiar, but I think as a poem rather than a hand game?

    I miss clapping games! I did them well into my teens. It might be time to resurrect them.

    Also! Does anyone remember the dib-dib-gdib games with all your feet in a circle to decide who was it? I remember

    A bottle of sink went down the sink
    How many miles did it go?
    [person stopped on picks number, e.g. 5]
    1 2 3 4 5
    You are not on it
    [Repeat]

    And Emerald, no, I never heard those paper things called anything here.

  272. This is the best post ever. I could never do clapping games as a kid, but I liked the rhymes. XD nth-ing the girl scouts as a source for this stuff (till I got kicked out XD).

    The “Miss Lucy” one was always a favourite, but a few differences:

    Miss Molly had a steamboat
    The steamboat had a bell
    Miss Lucy went to heaven
    The steamboat went to…
    Hello operator
    Give me Number Nine
    And if you disconnect me
    I’ll kick in your…
    Behind the yellow curtain
    There was a piece of glass
    Miss Lucy sat upon it
    And broke her little…
    Ask me no more questions
    I’ll tell you no more lies
    The boys are in the bathroom
    Zipping up their…
    Flies are in the meadow
    The bees are in the park
    Miss Molly and her boyfriend
    Are kissing in the D-A-R-K spells dark!
    Dark is like a movie
    A movie’s like a show
    A show is like a TV show and that is all I know
    I know my ma
    I know I know my pa
    I know I know my sister with the 44 foot (I have no idea why) bra

    There are also the wonderful choosing-who’s-it rhymes, with several stopping places so you got to decide who was it. XD

    Eenie meenie miney mo
    Catch a tiger by the toe
    If he hollers let him go
    Eenie meenie miney mo (Could stop here)
    My mother told me to choose the very best one (Could stop here)
    Not because you’re dirty
    Not because you’re clean
    Just because you kissed a boy
    Behind a magazine

    Inky pinky ponky
    Daddy bought a donkey
    Donkey died
    Daddy cried
    Inky pinky ponky

    Inky pinky ponky
    Daddy bought a lady
    Lady stripped
    Daddy flipped
    Inky pinky ponky (Wtf, younger self)

    And:
    I am slowly going crazy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 switch
    Crazy going slowly am I
    6 5 4 3 2 1 switch
    (Repeat, speeding up as you go)

    We also liked tongue twisters, but that was just my siblings and I. Peter Piper, the woodchuck one, and the slit sheets one.

  273. It’s awesome to see how the some of the same rhymes got changed as they spread out and moved around. (The linguist in me really wants to research this, but the last thing I need is another project!)
    Growing up in 90s mid-Michigan, we had this one:

    Miss Suzy had a tugboat
    The tugboat had a bell
    Miss Suzy went to heaven
    The steamboat went to-
    Hello Operator
    Give me Number Nine
    And if you disconnect me
    I will kick you right-
    Behind the refrigerator
    There lay a piece of glass
    Miss Suzy fell upon it
    And broke her little-
    Ask me no more questions
    Tell me no more lies
    Miss Suzy told me all of this
    The day before she-
    Dyed her hair all purple
    She dyed her hair all pink
    She dyed her hair in polka dots
    And washed it in the sink-
    Me in the ocean,
    Sink me in the sea
    Sink me in the toilet,
    But please don’t pee on me!

    With the Girl Scouts we had the same sort of circle clapping game where the one who didn’t pull her hand out of the way at the end ‘lost’. I think that this one probably wouldn’t have flown had there been any Spanish-speakers in the area. ^_^()

    Stella-ella-ola, clap clap clap
    Singin’ ess chinga chinga, chinga chinga chat chat
    Ess chinga chinga, love, love, love love love love
    5-4-3-2-1!

    We had the ‘Down by the rollercoaster’ one too, but ours ended with a staring contest.

    Down down, baby
    Down by the rollercoaster
    Sweet sweet baby
    Sweet sweet, I love you so
    Shimmy shimmy cocoa pop
    Shimmy shimmy wow
    Shimmy shimmy cocoa pop
    Shimmy shimmy how
    I’ve got a girl and she is a Triscuit
    What’s that girl- a Triscuit, a biscuit!
    Shimmy shimmy cocoa pop
    Shimmy shimmy wow
    Shimmy shimmy cocoa pop
    Shimmy shimmy how
    Sittin’ at the table, peelin’ my potato,
    Watchin’ the clock go tick, tock
    Tick tock sha-walla-walla
    Tick, tock,
    Tick tock sha-walla-walla
    Freeze!
    5-4-3-2-
    First one to blink is dead!

  274. This is so fun!

    I grew up in Girl Scouts, as a camp director’s daughter to boot, so i know a version of many of these songs (Ethyl I had forgotten about the skeeters and the bedbugs!). I lived in from age 5 on: Virginia (2years), Maine (5years), Connecticut(2.5 years) and Washington (2.5 years) between 82 and 95 (when i graduated but I was still an active scout). I have so many i love i’m just going to mention a few.

    it is mentioned above but one of my favorites (learned in Maine) i know with different words

    Quack Diddly Oh So
    Quack Quack Quack
    Sail to Rico Rico Rico Rico
    Velour Velour Velour Velour Velour Velour
    1, 2 ,3 4

    I also loved the shimmy shimmy coccoa pop hand clap.

    As an adult now active in scouts I am always amazed at the subtle diffferences in regional songs and games.

    And an addition to the horrified by catagory, I learned this circle game as a Leader in Washington a few years back. My troop doesn’t play this one.

    Ride Ride Ride My Pony
    Get up and ride that BIG FAT pony
    Ride Ride Ride that pony
    This is how it’s done!

    front front front my pony (girls in circle shimmy their chests)
    (girls jump around so they’re sideways in the circle)
    side side side my pony (shimmy to the side)
    (girls jump around so they’re facing out)
    back back back my pony (girls shake their butts)
    (girls jump around so they’re sideways in the circle)
    side side side my pony (shimmy to the side)
    this is how it’s done!

    (the girl in the center is galloping/skipping around the inside of the circle throughout both verses and whoever she stops by at the the end of verse two trades places with her)

  275. I was in primary school from 1989-1994 in the UK and these are the clapping games/songs I remember from that period:

    ‘My boyfriend’s name is Winkletoes and he lives in a town called Wrinklenose
    With a curled up nose and wrinkled toes, this is how my story goes
    One day he gave me peaches
    One day he gave me pears
    One day he gave me fifty pence and kissed me on the stairs
    He took me to the movies
    He took me to the fairs
    And every time I turned my head, he kissed the girl next door to me
    So I gave him back his peaches
    And I gave him back his pears
    I gave him back his fifty pence and kicked him down the stairs
    I kicked him over England
    I kicked him over France
    I kicked him over Africa and saw his underpants’

    and:

    ‘All the girls in Spain wash their knickers in champagne
    All the boys in France do the hula hula dance
    And the dance they do is enough to tie a shoe
    And the shoe they tie is enough to tell a lie
    And the lie they tell is enough to ring a bell
    And the bell they ring goes ding a ling a ling’

    There was another one that included the lines (previously mentioned above) ‘what did she die of?Raw fish. How did she die?Like this!’ (falls backwards) but the rest of that one is a blur, unfortunately.

    It’s so cool seeing the commonalities and differences between the rhymes we all learnt, especially given the variety of ages and nationalities!

  276. This is so much fun! We did “say say my playmate” just like fillyjonk, but we said “shout down my rain barrel, slide down my cellar door”.

    RP, we had almost the same Place on Mars chant (in New Jersey) but it was a little longer.

    There’s a place on Mars
    Where the women smoke cigars
    And the men wear bikinis
    And the children drink martinis
    Every breath you take
    Is enough to kill a snake
    When the snake is dead
    You put roses on its head
    When the roses die
    You put diamonds in its eye
    When the diamonds crack
    You put mustard on its back
    When the mustard fades
    You call the Ace of Spades
    And the Ace of Spades says FREEZE!

    And am I the only one that sang “Aggravation”? It went something like:

    Aggravation, rehabilitation
    Aggravation, this is how you play
    First you take a bowling ball
    Then you roll it down the hall
    Hit your dad
    Make him mad
    Oh-oh-oh-oh
    Aggravation…

    There were a lot of verses but the only other one I can vaguely remember is about putting a plastic bag over your head and not being able to breathe and dying. Cheerful!

  277. I don’t know any hand jives. My mom was appalled when she found this out when I was 16. She spent the whole day trying to teach me Miss Mary Mack. She gave up and I got pissed because I was too uncoordinated. I also don’t know how to double dutch, skip solo rope, hula hoop, roller skate, ride a bike, skateboard or how to play the street game skelly (http://www.streetplay.com/skully/). I do know how to play jacks and hopscotch, though. I think somebody somewhere is going to take away Black ghetto-kid street cred. lmao.

  278. I am LOVING this!

    Similar to the Smarties one, we did Kit-Kat:

    Gimme a break, gimme a break
    Break me off a piece of that Kit-Kat bar
    Chocolatey wafers make my day
    All around the town you hear the people say
    Gimme a break, gimme a break
    Break me off a piece of that, break me off a piece of that
    Break me off a piece of that Kit-Kat bar

    Sarv, my X-rated version (Nova Scotia, early 1990s) was similar to yours:

    See, see my boyfriend
    Come out and play with me
    And bring your blankets three
    In case of pregnancy
    Slide down my bra strap
    Into my booby trap
    And we’ll be jolly friends
    Forever more, more, shut the damn door

    Zenoodle and Sarah! I had a Mary version of your Susie, but it must have the same root:

    When Mary was a baby, she always went like this:
    Whaa, whaa.
    When Mary was a child, she always went like this:
    Whaa, whaa.
    Gimme a sucker!
    When Mary was a teenager, she always went like this:
    Whaa, whaa.
    Gimme a sucker!
    Ooh! Aah! Lost my bra!
    When Mary was a mother, she always went like this:
    Whaa, whaa.
    Gimme a sucker!
    Ooh! Aah! Lost my bra!
    Where’s my makeup? Where’s my brush?
    When Mary was a grandmother, she always went like this:
    Whaa, whaa.
    Gimme a sucker!
    Ooh! Aah! Lost my bra!
    Where’s my makeup? Where’s my brush?
    Ooh, my back aches.
    When Mary was in heaven, she always went like this:
    Whaa, whaa.
    Gimme a sucker!
    Ooh! Aah! Lost my bra!
    Where’s my makeup? Where’s my brush?
    Ooh, my back aches.
    What am I doing here?
    When Mary was in hell, she always went like this:
    Whaa, whaa.
    Gimme a sucker!
    Ooh! Aah! Lost my bra!
    Where’s my makeup? Where’s my brush?
    Ooh, my back aches.
    What am I doing here?
    AAAAH!

  279. I can’t believe nobody’s said this:

    Super macaroni
    ham and cheese baloney
    potato chip chip chip
    potato chip chip chip
    1, 2, 3, 4

    Both had boths hands out, and each hand slaps the next, clockwise, and when you said 4, you tried to slap the other’s hand and they tried to avoid it.

    Also, another girl scout song.

    Girl scout camp, girl scout camp,
    the water that they give you, they say it’s mighty fine
    but when you take a sip of it it tastes like turpentine!
    Oh, I don’t wanna go to girl scout camp!
    Gee Mom, I wanna go back where the water flows, Gee Mom, I wanna go hooooome.

    Add verses like:
    the toilets that they give you, they say they’re mighty fine
    but you sit upon them, it chops off your behind

    There were more verses but I don’t remember them.

  280. Lu, I JUST remembered that and was considering posting about it! My mom told us about the suffocation song, which is also to the tune of Alouette (like I expect your Aggravation song probably is). Apparently it was popular when she was a kid:

    Suffocation, Remco Suffocation
    Suffocation, the game we love to play!
    First you take a plastic bag
    Then you put it on your head
    Plastic bag, on your head
    Go to bed, wake up dead
    Ohhhhhhhh

    !!! horrible!

  281. This thread is amusing, but I feel the need to say that no, not ALL girls know hand jives. I recall some other girls trying to teach me when I was little, but I never caught on. I was too busy being a tomboy, anyway.

  282. Grew up in Northwestern NJ in the 1970s. Never, not once, not at school or during the summer or in the decade I spent in Girl Scouts did I ever see or hear any girls doing any of the hand games you are all describing. There were a few jump-rope chants, but as I was busy playing kickball or football or baseball with the guys I never took part. I didn’t see any hand jives or chanting until I moved to Washington DC as an adult. So “all girls” doesn’t actually mean all females, does it?

    Lesson: Nothing, but nothing, is universal.

  283. Volcanista…I think your ooh shawadawada could’ve been where Nas got “oochie wally wally” And Nelly used “shimmy shimmy cocoa pop” in Country Grammar. Are any of these other songs inspirations for rap songs :D

  284. Miss Sue
    Miss Sue
    Miss Sue from Alabama
    She’s sittin’ in a rocker
    Eatin’ Betty Crocker
    Watchin’ the clock go
    Tick-tock
    Tick-tock, ta-walla-walla
    Tick-tock
    A-B-C-D-E-F-G
    Wash those grass stains offa me!
    Moonshine, moonshine, moonshine – FREEZE!

    also

    My name is…
    L-I, L-I, Pickle-I, Pickle-I
    Pom Pom Beauty,
    Walla Walla Whiskey (or ‘Whiskers’)
    Chinese, Japanese, Injun
    Chief!

    also

    2-4-6-8
    Who do we appreciate?
    [name], [name]
    Not because she’s dirty, not because she’s clean
    Just beacause she kissed a boy behind a magazine.
    Hey, girls! Wanna have some fun?
    Here comes [boy's name] with his pants undone!
    He can wiggle, he can waggle, he can do the splits
    But most of all he can KISS KISS KISS!!

    also a horrible one, really too horrible to write, about rape, to the tune of “Tarara Boom-de-ay”.

    Actually I could go on and on, I know tons of these. What a walk down memory lane!!

  285. I finally remembered the rest of our version of Miss Sue from Alabama!

    Miss Sue (clap clap)
    Miss Sue (clap clap)
    Miss Sue from Alabaaaama
    Her real name’s Susie-Aaaanna
    Sittin’ in a rocker
    Eatin’ Betty Crocker
    Watchin’ the clock go tick
    Tock
    Tick-tock banana-rock
    Tick
    Tock
    Tick-tock banana-rock
    A-B-C-D-E-F-G
    Wash those spots right off of me
    OOM-pah
    OOM-pah
    OOM-pah
    FREEZE!

  286. There’s this one particularly morbid one I love that a singer I like remade. It’s one of the ‘Miss Lucy’ ones. It goes:

    Miss Lucy had some leeches
    Her leeches liked to suck
    And when they drank up all her blood
    She didn’t give a
    Funny when the doctors
    Had locked her in her cell
    Miss Lucy screamed all night that they
    Should go to bloody
    Hello to the surgeon
    With scalpel old and blunt
    He’ll tie you to the table
    Then he’ll mutilate your
    Come it’s nearly teatime
    The lunatics arrive
    The keepers bleed them all until
    There’s no one left a
    Lively little rodents
    Are eaten up by cats
    We’re subject to experiments
    Like laboratory
    Rats I’ve dropped a teacup
    How easily they break
    I’m on my hands and knees until
    I pay for my mis-
    Take off all your clothing
    We’ve only just begun
    We have no anesthesia
    It’s eighteen forty
    One thing we should tell you
    Before you try again
    The tests are all invented by
    A lot of filthy
    Mentally hysteric
    She’s failed the exam
    Don’t bother telling Lucy for
    She doesn’t give a
    Damn that nitrous oxide
    For when you can’t escape
    They say the surgeons oft commit
    A murder or a
    Razor blades are rusty
    And not a lot of fun
    So when they try to amputate
    Your legs you’d better
    Run and fetch the chemist
    A patient’s feeling sad
    She’s been in chains for ages
    And she isn’t even
    Madness is a nuisance
    And no one is immune
    Your sister, mum or daughter
    May become a raving
    Lunatics are dangerous
    And doctors are obeyed
    They also go together just
    Like toast and marma-
    Ladies are like children
    With brains the size of squirrels
    Let’s give a clitoridectomies
    To all the little
    Girls are helpless treasures
    That daddies must protect
    So lie upon the table
    For the doctors to in-
    Speculums are super
    And stirrups all the rage
    So spread a lady’s legs and then put her
    Back in to her
    Cage of naked crazies
    The surgeon’s here to bleed
    The doctors are all learned men
    And some can even
    Reading can be risky
    For women on the verge
    It only did us worlds of good
    To poison, leech and
    Purging is a penance
    Phlebotomy’s a chore
    No need to sterilize the tools
    We never did be-
    Fore the night is over
    Before you go to bed
    They’ll take a hammer and a nail
    And jam it in your
    Headstones in the courtyard
    And statues in the park
    Are not for the insane
    Just leave them rotting in the
    D A R K
    Dark
    Dark
    Dark
    Dark
    Dark

  287. Wow, this has really been a trip down memory lane. I do have to add some verses to the Titanic song though (which although not a clapping song, does involve some hand motions). I, too, learned it at Girl Scout Camp (Camp Greenhill baby!!)

    Oh they built the ship Titanic, to sail the ocean blue.
    and they thought they built a ship that the water wouldn’t go through.
    But the good lord raised his hands, said that ship would never land,
    It was sad when the great ship went down.

    CHORUS
    It was sad, (so sad)
    So very sad, (too bad)
    It was sad when the great ship went down
    To the bottom of the seeeeeeeaaaa (Husbands and wives, little children lost their lives/Uncles and Aunts, little children lost their pants/Ma’s & Pa’s, little children lost their bras)
    It was sad when the great ship went down.

    They were not far from England, and headed for the shore (?? why headed FOR the shore??)
    Where the rich refused to associate with the poor.
    So they put them down below where they’d be the first to go.
    It was sad when the great ship went down.

    CHORUS

    Well they built another ship called the SS 42
    And they thought they built a ship that the water wouldn’t go through
    But they christened it with beer, and it sank right off the pier
    It was sad when the great ship went down.

    CHORUS

    Well the moral of the story is very plain to see
    Always wear a life preserver when you go out to sea
    Cuz the good lord’ll raise his hands and say that ship will never land
    It was sad when the great ship went down.

    CHORUS

    After the final chorus when it says “It was sad when the great ship went down” we added on:

    To the ground,
    It sunk, kerplunk,
    9, 10, do it again,
    The end, AMEN!

    To the Camp’s credit (I guess), some of the older campers did as their camp presentation how wearing a life preserver actually would NOT have helped the passengers of the Titanic, so even though it’s a super-fun song, it’s not entirely accurate. I thought that was really a good thing to do.

    Also, I always thought it said “it was sad when the GRAY ship went down” until I realized the Titanic was not gray. LOL!

  288. Does anyone remember a different ending to “shimmy shimmy cocoa puffs”? I’ve been trying to remember, but I wasn’t very involved in playground rhyme games so I can’t remember. I grew up in NE ohio in the late 80′s.

    Also, I know a couple more verses to that wiffer-woffer thing:
    I was walking round the corner, doing little harm
    When along came a policeman and grabbed me by the arm
    He took me to the jailhouse, rang a little bell
    And along came a jailer and locked me in a cell.

    and

    At 5:00 in the morning the jailer came around
    He had some bread and coffee that weighed a half a pound
    The coffee tastes like tobacco juice, the bread was hard and stale
    But that’s the way they treat the bums in NY county jail

  289. Oh man. So much memories. I actually took notes while reading through all 328 comments (holy cow!). So I’ll go through what I knew growing up in the 90s (born 1991) in Tucson, AZ. Here comes epic long comment. Sorry in advance.

    Mis Mary Mack, but I can only remember the first four lines and none of the versions anybody else has look right.

    Miss Suzy had a steamboat the steamboat had a bell ding ding the steamboat went to heaven miss suzy went to hello operator please give me number 9 the boys are in the bathroom zipping up the flies are in the meaadow the bees are in the park and miss suzy and her boyfriend are sitting in the D-A-R-K D-A-R-K dark dark dark! The dark is like a movie, the movie’s like a show, the show is like a tv show and that is all I know! I know I know my ma, I know I know my pa, I know I know my sister with the 40 acre bra! My ma is godzilla, my pa is king kong, and my sister is the stupid one who made up this whole song song song!

    Everyone ever seems to have a different version of the Hanky Panky – I knew it as: Down by the banks of the hanky panky where the bullfrogs jump from banky to banky with an eep eyep ohp owp something something kerplop.

    I knew Cinderella dressed in yella as a jumprope rhyme.

    Also a jumprope rhyme someone else mentioned a variation of this: “ice cream soda pop cherry on top, who’s your boyfriend let’s find out!” and then going through the alphabet over and over until you missed and the letter you missed on was the first letter of your boyfriend’s name. I remember intentionally tripping.

    Another clapping game: “Chinese checkers I can do karate chinese checkers I can move my body” and there may have been more but I can’t remember it.

    The parody I know of jingle bells: Jingle bells, batman smells, robin laid an egg! batmobile’s lost its wheel and joke did ballet-ey!

    Fairly horrible altered song: “On top of spaghetti, all covered in blood, I shot my poor , with a 44 slug, I went to his funeral, I went to his grave, some people threw flowers, I threw a grenade. I read in the newspaper, that he wasn’t quite dead, so I took a bazooka, and I blew off his head.” There are more verses, I believe involving both a barbecue and a toilet, but I can’t remember them.

    Also knew just this short version of: “There’s a place in france where the naked ladies dance there’s a hole in the wall where the men can see it all.” I was trying to think of that while reading through, glad someone had it down!

    Did anybody else know the cup game? You had to have those good red plastic cups for it, anything else tended to break to all hell. I love that game.

    Fillyjonk, a girl I went to middle school with knew that version of ten in the bed, I’d never heard it before then.

    Picking who’s it rhymes: “Eeenie meeny mieny noe, catch a tiger by the toe, my mother says to pick the very best one and you are it” (with “for the rest of your life” added onto the end if the picker was unsatisfied with the original result.) Also, “Inka binka bottle of ink, cork fell out and you stink”

    I know wadiliachee as: “Wadiliachee, wadaliachee, doodly-doo, doodly-doo, waddiliachee, wadiliachee, doodly-doo, doodly-doo. Simplest thing there isn’t much too is, all you gotta do is doodly-doo it, I like the rest but the part I like best goes doodly-doodly-doo.” Can’t remember the gestures at all.

    I also always refused to do Bloody Mary.

    I knew the bumblebee song as: “I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee, won’t my mommy be so proud of me I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee, ouch! it stung me! I’m squishing up the baby bumblebee, won’t my mommy be so proud of me I’m squishing up the baby bumblebee, yuck! what a mess!, I’m licking up the baby bumblebee, won’t my mommy be so proud of me I’m licking up the baby bumblebee, ugh, I don’t feel so good…. I’m throwing up the baby bumblebee, won’t me mommy be so proud of me, I’m throwing up the baby bumblebee, yuck! what a mess!” and the last two verses repeated until you got bored of singing it. Yeah, ew.

    The “but you can’t pay the rent!” thing I knew well and it also reminds me of There’s A Hole In The Bucket.

    We had cootie catchers and called them that. We also did fingerweaving with yarn. I’m not sure I can explain how to do it.

    Another version of the highly oxymoronic little story: “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I come before you, to stand behind you, to tell you a story I know nothing about. Down in a valley high on a hill there was a red house painted green and in this house lived two dead boys. One fine day in the middle of the night, the two dead boys started a fight. Back to back they faced each other, drew their swords and shot each other. A deaf policeman heard the noise, came and killed the two dead boys. If you don’t believe this lie is true, and the blind man, he saw it too.”

    Lu and volcanista, I know that song! There are several verses!: “Suffocation, jolly suffocation, suffocation jolly oh-dee-ay. First you take a pillowcase, then you put it on your face, go to bed, then you’re dead! Oh-oh-oh-oh. Suffocation, jolly suffocation, suffocation jolly oh-dee-ay. First you take a garden hose then you stick it up your nose turn it on then you’re gone oh-oh-oh-oh! Corporal punishment jolly corporal punishment corporal punnishment jolly oh-dee-ay. First you take a bowling ball then you roll it down the hall hits your dad then he’s mad oh-oh-oh-oh! Defenestration defenestration nation defenestration, jolly oh-dee-ay. First you take your friend-oh, throw ‘em out them window, big splat, very flat, oh-oh-oh-oh!” That really is a quite horrible song.

    My class also had the dead moose song – anyone familiar with it? This comment is long enough so I wo’t write it out :P We also had a dead chicken variation.

    There was a rhyme containing “not because I’m dirty not because I’m clean just because I kissed a boy behind a magazine” but I haven’t the foggiest what it was and nobody else’s contexts for it are familiar. Bah.

    Our version of Comet was: “Comet, it makes your teeth turn green! Comet, it tastes like gasoline, comet, it makes you vomit! So get your comet, and vomit, todaaaaay. Comet, it makes your teeth turn blue! Comet, it tastes like doggie doo, comet, it makes you vomit! So get your comet, and vomit, todaaaay.” Aand then we had the verse about one of my classmates we added on: “Comet! It makes you look like Mia! Comet! It gives you diarrhea! Comet! it makes you vomit! So get your comet, and vomit, todaaaaaay.” Oddly, Mia was fairly popular.

    I remember the existence of the rose garden thing on the arms but I cannot for the life of me remember how it goes. I can remember my best friend Claire doing it to me, though.

    Another jump-rope rhyme someone mentioned: “Teddy bear teddy bear turn around, teddy bear teddy bear touch the ground. Teddy bear teddy bear tie your shoes, teddy bear teddy bear .” And then I think another verse or two I can’t recall before “Teddy bear teddy bear turn out the light, teddy bear teddy bear say goodnight!” All with actions you had to do while jumping rope. I was quite bad at that one.

    All the frog songs people have mentioned have reminded me of Ten Green And Speckled Frogs and also my clear memory of my class learning Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog in elementary school, which is utterly bizarre because, um, Joy To The World by Three Dog Night has a lot of alcohol references at the very least.

    Something reminded me of the skit about oranges, fifty cents, as fresh as fresh can be – I can’t remember it properly, anyone know it?

    There’s also a really long annoying song called Stay On The Sunny Side which youo sing fasterandfasterandfaster and I’m not going to type it unless someone wants to know because long comment :P

    Someone mentioned tongue twisters, was my middle school class the only one that did peter piper doubling or tripling all of the p’s? It makes it harder. Also, my grandma has a jokebook that lists ‘rubber baby buggy bumpers’ as ‘there’s blood on the rubber baby buggy bumpers’, which creeps me out.

    NOBODY HAS MENTIONED JOHN JACOB JINGLEHEIMER SMITH WHAT IS THIS TRAVESTY.

    And finally, Becca boo, that song is really horrible! D:

    Sorry for the novel :P

  290. While we’re on Girl Scouts songs, I learned this while camping with my BFF’s brother’s Cub Scout troop:

    (tune is Battle Hymn of the Republic)

    I wear my pink pajamas in the summer when it’s hot
    I wear my flannel nighty in the winter when it’s not
    But sometimes in the springtime,
    and sometimes in the fall,
    I jump between the sheets with nothing on at all!
    Glory, glory hallelujah.
    glory, glory, what’s it to ya?
    Balmy breezes blowing through ya with nothing on at all!

    Oh, and Sippin’ Cider was always one of my favorites.

  291. BeccaBoo, I had to Google that to find out who would write such darkly feminist lyrics and now I think I’m in love with Emilie Autumn. Thank you!

  292. I had a ton of these growing up. I remember Miss Mary Mack and her elephants with their fence jumping. I remember shimmy shimmy coco pop. I even remember “Concentrate” and all the other putting people in trances games (including Light as a feather, stiff as a board– I was a morbid kid, loved all that). My bullfrog one went on for longer, but I couldn’t remember what happened next, I had to Google the lyrics but I knew exactly when I found the right one, it even mentions the local mall! Doesn’t get more regional than that, and here it is:

    Down by the river with the hanky panky
    Where the bullfrogs jump from bank to banky
    Singing E, I, O, U, your mama stinks and so do you
    King Kong, Donkey Kong, went to school with nothing on
    Asked the teacher what to wear, polka dotted underwear!
    Not too big and not too small, just the size of Broward Mall
    I pledge allegiance to the flag, Michael Jackson makes me gag
    Pepsi cola burnt him up, now we’re drinking 7-up
    7-up has no caffeine, now we’re singing Billy Jean
    Billy Jean is out of sight, now we’re talking dynamite
    Dynamite blew up the school, now we’re talking really cool
    10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

    Whoever was clapped on one was I guess out. Actually I remember that my first ever exposure to Michael Jackson was through these rhymes, I remember quite a few featured him. We also had a lot of songs about killing our teachers and burning down the school, you know, innocent schoolyard games!

    Girl Scouts was much cleaner than school for sure. We had a nice march we liked to sing:

    Left, left, left right left (x2)
    My back is aching, my bra’s too tight
    My booty’s shaking from left to right
    Mmm, mmm gour
    Girl Scouts is power!
    Hit it!

    Made the walk to mess hall a little bit shorter.

  293. First of all, our Miss Suzy always had a tugboat, and I swear I had never heard “steamboat” before.

    Second, at our school The Cup Game was actually the most popular. I can still do it super fast. Did it at college and BLEW EVERYONE’S MINDS.

  294. Yayy, somebody else with the cup game. Pity it can’t be played over the internet :P

    I’m probably no good now, been ages since I’ve done it.

  295. I grew up with this version of shimmy shimmy cocoa pop (and yes, we did steal it from Sesame Street).

    We also did:
    My name is
    Elvis Presley
    Girls are sexy
    Boys are rotten
    Made out of cotton
    Jump in the lake and swallow a snake
    And go home with a bellyache

    On the last line you would try to tickle the other person in the belly to give them the bellyache.

    We also had this charming song for long bus rides:
    Across the desert, across white sands
    I killed my poor teacher with a red rubber band
    I went to her funeral I went to her grave
    Some people threw flowers, I threw a grenade
    The coffin went up, the coffin went down
    The coffin went splat all over the ground
    She opened the coffin she wasn’t quite dead
    So I got a bazooka and blew off her head
    We got a new teacher, she sure was a pain
    So I got a vacuum cleaner and sucked out her brain.

    This was in country South Australia in the late 80s/early 90s

  296. OMG the cup game! Weird, though, we always did the first set of taps on the cup itself. I think it looks neater that way. Maybe those flimsy cups can’t take it. You need some solid plastic cups.

    You guys remember that hand slapping table game? The one where everyone crosses arms over their neighbor with hands on the table, and you slap the table as you go around the circle? I was pretty good at that game.

  297. Also, song.

    She sat on the corner and ate Hershey bars!
    Ate Hershey bars! Ate Hershey bars!
    She sat on the corner and ate Hershey bars!
    Aaaate! Herrrrrrshey Ba-a-a-ars.

    (this rhythm is repeated for the next lines)

    He sat down beside her and smoked his cigars.

    He told he loved he loved her but he really lied.

    He asked her to marry him and up up she died.

    He went to her funeral, but just for the ride. (beep! beep! <- while imitating honking a horn)

    He sat on her coffin and laughed 'til he died.

    She went up to heaven and flip-flop she flied.

    He went down to uhn-uh and sizzled and fried.

    The moral of the story is eat Hershey bars.
    Don't smoke cigars. Eat Hershey bars.
    The moral of the story is eat Hershey bars.
    Eeeeaaat. Herrrrrrshey. Ba-a-a-ars.

    …Which looking at it now, just looks like an ad campaign for Hershey.

  298. I remember the one “Say say my playmate”, as “See see my playmate” but uncorrupted it suddenly makes a lot more sense. It is different slightly throughout, but the most noteable difference to me is that “Slide down my rainbow” is “Slide down the drainpipe” in the version I know.

    It made me think of this (paraphrasing Eddie Izzard)
    “I wanna be an astronaut.”
    “Well, you’re British, so scale it down a bit.”
    “Ok I want to work in a shoe shop.”
    “You’re British, scale it down a bit.”

  299. Oh man! Well over 300 comments which I will read with much care later!

    I know bits of these as jump-rope rhymes (ca 1960, Michigan).

    I had a little brother
    His name was Tiny Tim
    I put him in the bathtub
    To teach him how to swim

    He drank up all the water
    He ate up all the soap
    And he died
    In the night
    With a bubble
    In his throat.

    Our clapping games had to do with little rubber balls and jacks. They were very complicated but I don’t remember how to do them.

    This is all from the era of kids bringing marbles to school and driving the teachers crazy with the marbles. We valued steelies and puries the most, with steelie boulders and purie boulders being the very best. Some kids would only play for keeps, and if you played them you’d probably loose your marbles and their big bag of marbles would get even bigger. Marbles that got seen in the classroom by the teacher got confiscated. Marbles got shown-off (and even traded) in the classroom in secret.

  300. @Fillyjonk

    My version of the France one went like so:

    There’s a place in France
    Where the naked ladies dance
    And the dance they do
    Was invented by a shoe
    But the shoe couldn’t dance
    So they kicked him in the laces
    And the laces that he wore
    Cost a dollar ninety-four
    No tax

  301. wow! These posts are awesome! I forgot a lot of these. I have an ending to Ms. Suzy had a baby that we used to do.

    Ms. Suzy had a baby
    His name was tiny Tim
    She put him in the bathtub
    to see if he could swim
    He drank up all the water
    He ate up all the soap
    He tried to eat the bathtub but it wouldn’t fit down his throat
    Ms. Suzy called the doctor
    The doctor called the nurse
    the nurse called the lady with the alligator purse
    In came the doctor
    in came the nurse
    in came the lady with the alligator purse
    Penicillin said the doctor
    penicillin said the nurse
    penicillin said the lady with the alligator purse
    out went the doctor
    out went the nurse
    out went the lady with the alligator purse

    …and that was where we ended!

    Did anyone remember the hand slap game from Mc Donald’s?

    Big mac, filet of fish
    quarter pounder, french fries
    icy coke, thick shake
    sundaes and apple pies
    you deserve a break today
    at Mc Donald’s
    Big Mac

    This makes me want to ask my fourth grade girls for any new hand slap games and report back!

  302. I had to add one more that I just remembered!!

    There’s a place on mars
    where the woman smoke cigars
    every breath they take is enough to kill a snake
    when the snakes are dead
    they put roses on their head
    when the roses die
    it’s a dollar ninety five
    but the men don’t car
    ‘cuz they chew their underwear

    …I know there is another one to this tune that starts with, “there is a place in France where the men and woman dance…or the naked ladies dance” or something like that but I didn’t know that one very well.

  303. I know E’s version of “See, see oh playmate”–also from my grandma by way of my mom. And this oh-so-charming one. From a childhood friend who was a Mormon (something my Waspy little Episcopalian self found endlessly fascinating.)

    Yo mama, yo daddy
    Yo greasy granny got holes in her panties
    Got a fine behind like Frankenstein
    Gonna meet the beat
    On Sesame Street, your turn.

    There was a stupid little dance with claps that went with it. Ah, third grade.

  304. Ok, I’m wondering if my school or the girls there were just weird, because there is a little chant we used to do that hasn’t been mentioned here!

    Early 80′s, Cicero, IL (basically Chicago). We would jump up and down, crossing and uncrossing our legs, and chanting the (probably racist undertones here) following:

    Chick-a chick-a Chii-na [China drawn out here]
    Sat upon a fence!

    Chick-a chick-a China [China said quickly here]
    Tried to make a dollar out of fifty cents!

    She tried and she tried and she went like THIS!

    [at "THIS" we would stop jumping and whoever landed with their legs open "won," or the one who landed with their legs closed won, I can't recall which]

    Anybody? Anybody?

  305. Tamara Jaber, an Australian singer known mostly for being Kyle Sandilands’ wife (and Kyle Sandilands is an Australian radio host known for basically being a complete dickhead), had a song based on some of these rhymes. It was fairly awful. YouTube is stuffing me around, but if you’re curious, search for her name. The song I’m talking about is the one that starts “Ooh, aah”.

  306. I never learned any clapping to go with any of the songs (too klutzy!) but in North Carolina in the early 70′s, our “Miss Lucy’s baby,” Tiny Tim, turned cannibalistic and then gassy at the end of the song.

    Right after “‘Chicken pox!’ said the lady with the alligator purse,” it went into:

    Tiny Tim ate the doctor
    Tiny Tim ate the nurse
    Tiny Tim ate the lady with the alligator purse

    BURP! up comes the doctor
    BURP! up comes the nurse
    BURP! up comes the lady with the alligator purse.

    Our variant of the “Chicago line” figuring-out-who’s-it rhyme was kind of funny in that it seemed like an extremely low-key response to a railway disaster:

    Engine engine number nine
    Going down Chicago line
    If the train should jump the track
    Do you want your money back?

    Y-E-S-spells-yes-and-you-are-NOT-IT.

  307. wow–for someone who never had that many friends growing up, and wasn’t particularly girly, I remember a ton of them!

    In addition to Ms. Lucy, Ms. Mary Mack, the Comet song, and lots of others, we would sing “Bungalow Bar [an ice cream pop brand], tastes like tar, the more you eat it the sicker you are”

    Also, we did one that included the lines:
    [person] on the bottom, [person s/he allegedly had a crush on] on the top, something in the middle going flippety-flop. Three months later, all was well; six months later, started to swell. Nine months later, out he came– little [boy mentioned above] junior, swinging his chain.

  308. Meaghan, could that be because you grew up near me but later? I could totally see “invented by Magoo” turning into “invented by a shoe” (which is cracking me up).

  309. Coming from Lethbridge, AB, Canada around the early nineties and Vancouver, BC, Canada through the mid-to-late nineties, here.

    We sang ‘see see my boyfriend[or playmate, or sexfriend, or sexmate - little kids don't make much sense, heh], come out and f*ck with me, and bring your condoms three, in case of pregnancy’ and ended with ‘and we’ll be jolly friends [or gay - hooray, homophobia!], forever more! more! jollyjollymoremore!’ but otherwise went just like Julia’s version.

    Our Miss Suzy went like this:

    Miiiiiiiiiiiss Suzy had a steamboat
    The steamboat had a bell
    When Miss Suzy went to Heaven
    The steamboat went to
    Hello, operator
    Give me number nine
    And if you disconnect me
    I’ll chop off your
    Behind the ‘fridgerator
    There was a piece of glass
    Miss Suzy sat upon it
    And broke her stupid
    Ask me no more questions
    I’ll tell you no more lies
    The boys are in the bathroom
    Pissing on their
    Flies are in the city
    The bees are in the park
    Miss Suzy and her boyfriend
    Are kissing in the D-A-R-K-D-A-R-K
    Dark is like a movie
    A movie’s like a show
    A show is like a cartoon
    And that is all I
    Know I know my mother
    I know I know my pa
    I know I know my sister with a forty-acre bra!

    Sometimes it just left off at ‘d-a-r-k-d-a-r-k dark dark dark!’ after the bit about our protagonist and her gentleman friend. Sometimes you’d add ‘boom boom boom!’ after the bra, which was accompanied with shaking your chest in a rather provocative manner.

    We also had a Coca Cola one:

    Coca Cola went to town
    Pepsi Cola shot him down
    Dr Pepper fixed him up
    Now you’re drinking 7up
    7up caught the flu
    Now you’re drinking Mountain Dew
    Mountain Dew fell off the mountain
    Now you’re drinking from the fountain
    Fountain’s broke
    Now you’re back to drinking COKE!

    That was sometimes done in a hand-slapping circle, in which case the person who got hit on COKE was out if they didn’t pull their hand away – but if you pulled your hand away before COKE, you were out anyway. It was rather tricky.

    Speaking of hand-slap-circles, our version of Stella Ella Olla was slightly different from those mentioned previously as well:

    Stella Ella Olla, clack clack clack!
    Singin’ ess cheega cheega, cheega-cheega chack chack!
    Ess cheega cheega, va-loh, va-loh, valohvalohvaloh
    Fire one, two, three, four, five!

    It was very catchy.

    We also had a slightly different version of:

    There’s a place in France
    Where the naked ladies dance
    There’s a hole in the wall
    Where the men can see them all
    But the men don’t care
    Cause they’re in their underwear

    And one I haven’t seen show up so far:

    I see London, I see France!
    I see ___name___’s underpants!
    I see Saxon, I see Gaul!
    Hey ___name___, I can see it all!
    PULL DOWN YOUR SKIRT!

    ‘Hey’ is omitted if the target’s name is too long, and for some reason, sometimes ‘shirt’ was substituted for ‘skirt’.
    Also, not only are hand-jives not universal among girls, they aren’t universally unknown among boys! My own gentleman friend likes very much to play Pattycake (which just has ‘Baby’ instead of the name of a baby, in the version I learned, and is ‘put it in the oven’ rather than ‘pitch’, which seems like it might result in a ruined cake and a rather messy oven), Miss Suzy, and Place in France with me, and even helped me teach the standard hand movements to our S.O., who grew up without them.

    Oops, long comment @_@

  310. oh lord this is the version of the yo momma one I knew

    yo momma, yo daddy
    yo goosey goosey granny with the big behind like Frankenstein
    I’m gonna beep beep beep down sesame street

    this one was when I was in 6th grade, and beep beep beep was kinda funny to us I guess

  311. Just to let you know how oooooold a lot of this stuff is, we had the “Miss Lucy” (both the “steamboat” and “Tiny Tim” versions), “The Littlest Worm,” and “Say Say My Playmate/Enemy” in suburban north central New Jersey in the early 1970s, pretty much exactly as written here.

    Only our “broken glass” rhyme went:

    Behind the ‘frigerator
    There lies a piece of glass
    And if you sit upon it
    It will cut you on your…ask me no more questions (etc.)

    And yep, the Titanic song. Only we had an “alternate version,” which we’d sing after the “official” one:

    Oh they built the ship Titanic to sail the ocean blue
    And they thought it had the power of a broken-down canoe
    So they christened it with beer
    And it fell right off the pier
    It was sad when that great ship went down.

    Oh it was sad
    Oh it was sad
    It was sad when that great ship went down
    To the bottom of the
    Uncles and aunts
    Little children lost their pants
    It was sad when that great ship went down.

    I wonder about the “shimmy shimmy cocoa puff” thing. There was a song in the late 1950s called “Shimmy-Shimmy Ko-Ko Bop” by Little Anthony and the Imperials, a silly little number about a “native girl” who “taught me a dance that put me in a trance.” I don’t know whether the song was based on that chant, or vice versa, but it’s the same hook. (About 25 years later, Little Anthony appeared on television — I think it was Alan Thicke’s show — and was asked about that song. He made a face and said, “That’s got to be the worst song ever written.”)

  312. JM, I was in the St. Paul burbs in the late 1980s, early 1990s, and we had a similar chant in maybe 5th or 6th grade that kids did while poking at each other’s backs. I’ll try to give the actions in parentheses:

    Let’s go treasure-hunting (4 pokes, like feet walking up the back)
    X marks the spot (make an X on the back, then poke the middle of it)
    Line, line, line, line, circle and a dot. (pretty much what it sounds like)
    Spiders crawling up your back, (tickling motion up toward neck)
    Crack an egg (make an egg-cracking gesture over the head)
    (blow on back of neck)
    You’ve got the goosebumps!

  313. Oh my god. I’m going to have *everything* stuck in my head *forever*.

    I, like DRST, grew up in Upstate NY, but I was in a rural area and my only real playmates were my siblings. So pretty much everything I know, I learned from Girl Scouts, and my mother–Scout leader, nursery school teacher, former camp counselor…

    To this day I will sing to the cats about how it was sad, so sad, it was sad, so sad, it was sad when the great ship went down–the cats because, you know, husbands and wives, little kitties (kiddies) lost their lives, it was sad when the great ship went down!

    And I’m trying to remember the rest of the fish rhyme–all I’ve got is this:

    He said, “Swim, little fishies, swim as fast as you can, and they swam and they swam right over the dam!”

    And then the ish-boom-biddy-biddy-waddam-chu! stuff.

    Oh, and a Halloween one, since it’s that time of year:

    One little, two little, three little witches
    Flying over haystacks, flying over ditches
    Sliding down the moon without any hitches
    Hey, ho, Halloween’s here!

  314. I remember “when Suzie was a baby”, as already quoted.

    And some very racist ones

    Warning, offensive language!

    Ching Chong Chinaman sitting on a fence
    Tried to make a dollar out of 58 cents
    He missed, he missed, he missed like this
    That was a bouncing ball game, I think.

    And there’s the count-out rhyme
    Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
    Catch a tiger by the toe.
    If he hollers let him go,
    Eeny, meeny, miny, moe
    Except it was the n-word, not tiger.

  315. Wow,

    I’m a couple days late for this, but I had to put in my 2cents anyway. Most of the handjive and jumprope rhymes I grew up with in the schoolyards have been mentioned here (eeny meeny sicileeny –which had the most complicated hand movements ever; Miss Mary Mack– of whihc we had a dirty version I can’t quite recall; Down Down Baby –my version was Shimmy Shimmy Coco Puffs and of course Miss Lucy) but although I tried to find them in the thread I didn’t see the three simplest ones which were the first ones I was taught by my friends. Sorry if these were posted and I missed them.

    Doggy doggy diamond
    says to step right out.
    Not because you’re dirty
    not because you’re clean
    just because you kissed a boy
    behind a dirty magazine.

    This was typically done to count off “doggies” (the fists of all participants arranged around one main person) while that person counted off each syllable. If the verse ended on your fist you were out. This was used to pick team members, best friends, who to pick on that day etc.

    The other 2 were used in the same manner, or were used to count jumprope skips.

    Fudge, Fudge
    Call the Judge
    Someone’s having a baby (someone = the name of whoever is jumping rope)
    Her Papa’s going crazy

    There’s more to the rhyme that I can’t remember. It has to do with counting off the letters of the alphabet to find the babydaddy name.

    And finally:

    Bubblegum, bubblegum
    in a dish
    how many pieces do you wish?

    There was another one that I can’t quite remember that involved donald duck and might have been on the slightly vulgar side (for 8 year olds anyway).

  316. Um, clapping games… I was always really bad at them – I have lousy rhythm. I remember something about boyfriend’s cars and bras and kicking her down the stairs. Hmm, way to normalise domestic violence.

    This wasn’t a clapping game but our favourite schoolyard chant was “Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin ran away, Wonder Woman lost her bra flying TAA.” I understand that, since TAA no longer exists, the last line is now different and not nearly as entertaining (it doesn’t involve bras).

  317. Wow, I finally made it through the whole thread! I’m amazed how many of these were familiar to me (though mostly as jump-rope rhymes) from Michigan in the late 50′s – early 60′s.

    Since nobody else put these in, I will!

    (boy classmate’s name) and (girl classmate’s name) sittin’ in a tree
    K-I-S-S-I-N-G
    First comes love
    Then comes marriage
    Then comes (boy’s name) in a baby carriage!

    Also,

    I love coffee
    I love tea
    I want (friend’s name)
    To jump-in with me!
    (Then the friend joined in and both girls jumped while the twirlers twirled the rope)

    Also,

    Mable, Mable
    Set the table
    Don’t forget the
    RED HOT PEPPER!
    (At “red hot pepper” the twirlers twirl the rope really fast and you jump til you miss)

    (We called fast jumping “hot pepper”)

  318. Katia^^& above, in decades following yours I believe we added an epilogue to the K-I-S-S-I-N-G song — to wit, (boy’s name) is
    suckin’ his thumb
    wettin’ his pants
    doin’ the hu-la hu-la dance

    which I always found to be a very compelling image set.

    Also, FJ, a “say say oh playmate” 2nd verse variant
    (we had no enemies in our childhood – and if you believe that there’s this bridge … anyhoo):
    so sorry playmate
    I cannot play with you
    my dolly has the flu
    boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo

    slide down my rain barrel
    slide down my cellar door
    and we’ll be jolly friends
    forever more forever more

    *nostalgic sigh*
    Is there some sort of book in this? These Things All Women Know?
    (with no “should”s included?)
    :-) :-) :-)

  319. “Fudge, Fudge
    Call the Judge
    Someone’s having a baby (someone = the name of whoever is jumping rope)
    Her Papa’s going crazy”

    There’s more to the rhyme that I can’t remember. It has to do with counting off the letters of the alphabet to find the babydaddy name.

    “if the baby’s a girl, give it a twirl
    and if it’s a boy, then give it a toy
    wrap it up in tissue paper
    send it down the elevator
    first floor – STOP!
    second floor- STOP!
    third floor – you never say stop till …”

    and then you jump till you miss. Good thing we didn’t think too much about the imagery.
    :-D
    (It scares me a little that I still remember these things.)

  320. I actually remember the paranormal aspect of the Concentration game! At the end of the game, after being pushed off the Empire State building, everyone would ask you what color you saw, and the color you saw predicted… something. (As I recall, it mostly predicted that everyone would spend the next 20 minutes arguing about what “orange” meant.)

    I also have some Girl Scout camp songs that I don’t think anyone has mentioned yet. One is to the tune of “Barges”, the song that goes

    Out of my window, looking in the night,
    I can see the barges’ flickering lights
    [Something about port and starboard and red and green, which I could never remember even when I was at camp]
    I can see the barges far ahead.

    Barges, I would like to go with you,
    I would like to sail the ocean blue.
    Barges, have you treasures in your hold,
    Do you fight with pirates brave and bold?

    We would sing that at camp-sanctioned campfires, and then we would sing the DEEPLY HILARIOUS version:

    Out of my tent flap, looking in the night,
    I can see the counselors — ew! What a sight!
    Curlers in their hair, and cold cream on their face,
    They could scare a turtle to a very fast pace. [Not a lot that rhymes with "face", I guess.]

    Counselors, I would like to go with you,
    I would like to cruise through town with you.
    Counselors, do not throw me in the lake!
    I don’t wanna get bitten by a polka-dotted snake.

    (We used to change the last line to “polka-dotted hippo,” because the Official Camp Legend at the camp I attended was that there was a pink-and-purple polka-dotted hippo living in the lake. Her name was Hipper. There was even evidence: we often found her eggs, which bore a remarkable resemblance to watermelons that had been painted with polka dots.)

    There was also the song that we generally sang last-before-Taps at the last campfire,

    Mm-mm, I’d like to linger
    Mm-mm, a little longer
    Mm-mm, a little longer here with you

    Mm-mm, it’s such a perfect night
    Mm-mm, it doesn’t seem quite right
    Mm-mm, that it should be my last with you

    Mm-mm, but come September
    Mm-mm, we will remember
    Mm-mm, our happy days and friendships true

    Mm-mm, I’d like to linger
    Mm-mm, a little longer
    Mm-mm, a little longer here with you

    And my very favorite:

    Once a Girl Scout went to camp (went to camp)
    Went to camp without a lamp (without a la-a-a-amp)
    There she saw a spider in her bed,
    And this is what the Girl Scout said: (Girl Scout said)

    Spider, spider go away (go away)
    You are not allowed to stay (allowed to sta-a-a-ay)
    This is what my leader said:
    No two bodies in one bed! (in one bed)

    Once a Boy Scout went to camp (went to camp)
    Went to camp without a lamp (without a la-a-a-amp)
    There he saw a spider in his bed,
    And this is what the Boy Scout said: (Boy Scout said)

    [REALLY LOUD SCREAMING]

  321. So many memories! My mom taught me Miss Lucy and Three Little Fishies. My friend Sandy taught me the Ship Titanic, Suffocation, and one about a Chinese man named Chickaracka Chee-Chi-Cho.

    One I didn’t see on my scroll through was this one, that I learned at Girl Scout camp. It’s a call-and-response that we did with or without the hand claps:

    Fee! (Fee!)
    Fee fi! (Fee fi!)
    Aviste! (Aviste!)

    Gumalada gumalada gumalada viste
    (Gumalada gumalada gumalada viste)
    Oh no, no-no na viste
    (Oh no, no-no na viste)

    Beep biddly oatin doatin
    Bo-bo ba deetin dottin
    Widdly ottin SHHHHHHHHH!

    A version of that also showed up in a song by Guadalcanal Diary.

  322. Darn, I left out a verse! It should go

    Eeny meeny decimeeny
    Ooh walla wallameeny
    (Eeny meeny decimeeny
    Ooh walla wallameeny)

    Exameeny zollameeny
    Ooh walla wallameeny
    (Exameeny zollameeny
    Ooh walla wallameeny)

    And then the beep biddly oatin doatin etc. Serves me right for posting late at night.

  323. Wow, I remember so many of these. We had Miss Suzy and Miss Mary Mack and some of the others. We had some variations, though. Miss Suzy’s sister had an 80-meter bra. And some others:

    Down down baby
    Down by the roller coaster
    Sweet sweet baby
    I’ll never let you go
    Shimmy shimmy cocoa pop
    Shimmy shimmy roooock
    Shimmy shimmy cocoa pop
    Shimmy shimmy roooock
    I had a girlfriend (a Triscuit!)
    She said a Triscuit (a biscuit!)
    Ice cream soda with vanilla on the top!
    Ooh Shalita
    Walking down the street
    Ten times a week
    I said it, I meant it
    I stole my mama’s credit
    I’m cool, I’m hot
    Sock me in the stomach,
    Three more times, UGH! UGH! UGH!
    [with punching motions]

    The cheerleader one I remember, but we also had one like this:

    Like awesome, like wow,
    Like totally freak me out!
    I mean, for sure!
    Right on!
    Our team is number one!

    And a variation on “I’m a nut”:

    I’m a little coconut
    Sitting on my coco-butt
    Everybody steps on me
    That is why I’m cracked, you see

    I’m a nut (click click) [clicking noise with your mouth]
    I’m a nut (click click)
    I’m a nut, I’m a nut, I’m a nut (click click)

    Call myself up on the phone
    Just to see if I am home
    Ask myself out on a date
    Pick me up at half past eight

    I’m a nut (click click)
    I’m a nut (click click)
    I’m a nut, I’m a nut, I’m a nut (click click)

    Took myself to the picture show
    Sat right down in the very front row
    Wrapped my hand around my waist
    Got so fresh I slapped my face

    I’m a nut (click click)
    I’m a nut (click click)
    I’m a nut, I’m a nut, I’m a nut (click click)

    I can sing and I can dance
    I wear ruffles on my–
    Oops, boys, take another guess
    I wear ruffles on my dress

    I’m a nut (click click)
    I’m a nut (click click)
    I’m a nut, I’m a nut, I’m a nut (click click)

    And added to this one

    “Joy to the world the teacher’s dead
    We BBQ’d her head
    What happened with the body
    We flushed it down the potty
    And round and a round it goes
    and round and around it goes
    around around around it goes”

    we had

    Three weeks later,
    Floatin’ down the Delaware,
    Couldn’t find her underwear,
    Had to get another pair

    Six weeks later,
    Bitten by a polar bear
    Poor old polar bear died

    And one more variation:

    On top of Old Smoky
    All covered with sand
    I shot my poor teacher
    With a green rubber band

    I went to her funeral
    I went to her grave
    Some people threw flowers
    I threw a grenade

    Whew. That was a crazy trip down memory lane.

  324. Wow, that was a mammoth read but so much fun! I’m kind of heartened that there are so many songs here I never heard when I was a kid – we’re forever being told that TV etc is killing popular culture, that we all only know advertising jingles and so on, so it’s cool to see that that isn’t true. But I never would have guessed that Suzy would be the one song apparently known across the English-speaking world.

    I learnt my fave clapping song from my mother (it comes from my grandmother’s youth in South Wales in the 1920s and fits in the ‘rather dubious if you think about it’ category) and taught it to my class in primary school. You do a diagonal clapping thing with it which I thought was the epitomy of coolness when I was 6.

    It goes:

    My mother said
    I never should
    Play with the gypsies in the wood
    If I did, she would say
    Naughty girl to disobey
    And my father said that if I did he’d clap my head
    With the teapot lid

    My mother said
    I never should
    Play with the gypsies in the wood
    The wood was dark
    The wood was green
    By came Sally with a tamborine
    I went to sea no ship to get across
    I paid ten shillings for a blind white horse
    I upped on his back and was off in a flash
    Sally tell my mother I shall never come back!

    We always did the last line as loud and fast as possible, so we weren’t clapping so much as hitting each other’s hands really hard. Great days!

  325. Ooh, and also, does anyone else know ‘All the girls in our town?’ It was a skipping rhyme:

    All the girls in our town
    Live a happy life
    Except for [girl skipping]
    Who wants to be a wife
    A wife she shall be, along with…

    Then you shout out the names of all the horriblest boys in the school until the girl skipping is laughing too much to carry on, and the boy’s name she stops on is the one she has to marry.

    There were lots of other verses about what car they’d have etc, but I can’t remember them.

    I found this in Lark Rise to Candleford, (without the car bits, obv) so it goes back at least to the mid 19th century.

  326. I recall singing “Miss Lucy had a steamboat…” with the variation

    Behind the Iron Curtain
    there was a piece of glass
    Miss Lucy sat upon it
    and stuck it up her
    Ask me no more questions…

  327. There were lots of other verses about what car they’d have etc, but I can’t remember them.

    This makes me think of MASH. The game thing on paper, not the tv show.

    I’m vaguely tempted to do it to myself now but it’s so much less fun that way.

    …that sounded wrong.

  328. Does anybody remember the one that went to the same tune as “I’m a nut” but was about a car? All I can remember is the “rattle rattle rattle crash beep beep” that was part of the chorus.

    Also, I’m happy to report that last night some friends and I tried resurrecting some of these handclapping games while we were waiting for something. (It was the end of the last night of the Renaissance Festival where we work, and we were waiting for each person in our car to finish getting their things out of the group’s shed backstage so we could go home!) I remembered the words–because this thread had reminded me–and my friends between them remembered the motions, so we were all set on Miss Mary Mack and Say Say My Playmate. :-)

  329. Random from this weekend: six-year-0ld boys still sing the Jingle Bells, Batman Smells song. And are thrilled when adults join in. :)

  330. Just chiming in for the UK here. We have princess Pat here too :)

    “You know Princess Pat
    Lived in a tree
    And she tried to sail
    The seventh sea
    And she took with her
    Her Ricky-dan-doo? (Rikidandoo?)
    Which is golden green
    And purple too.
    A Ricky-dan-doo
    What the **** is that? (or what the hell, or what on earth?)
    It’s something made
    By Princess Pat
    And Princess Pat… etc.”

    We also had “Down down baby, down by the rollercoaster” which ended in
    “My name is K, I, double I, double I, K, I
    Please split your LEGS!” on the last line you jump so your legs apart and go round again getting wider and wider until one of you falls over.

    “My mummy is baker
    Yum-yummy (rub belly)
    fat tummy (pat belly)
    bum bum-y (pat bum)”

    There were more verses with “My father is a fireman” and ending in

    “My brother is a cowboy… Yeehah!”

    What about this, I’d love to know where it comes from or if it was orginally another language, or just sounds;

    “Om Pom pay (pompeii?)
    Padieyay
    Paddy-esky
    Om pom pay
    Padieyay.
    Akadoooory
    Safaaaaari
    Akadoooory
    PUFF PUFF!”

  331. Ah! We had SO many of these at Girl Scout camp: the cutest boy, the littlest worm, Princess Pat, the bear in the woods, the song about the Titanic, Down By The Old Mill Stream, She Sat On Hillside and played her guitar … the list goes on!!! This has been such a fun thread to read :)

  332. Ooh! I just remembered some more!

    Katia said:
    (boy classmate’s name) and (girl classmate’s name) sittin’ in a tree
    K-I-S-S-I-N-G
    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!

    Elsajenie was talking about ‘Barges’, which is a lovely song. I learned it in Girl Guides as well (aka Canadian Girl Scouts). The whole song goes:

    Out of my window, looking in the night
    I can see the barges flickering light
    Starboard shines green and port is glowing red
    I can see them flickering far ahead

    Barges
    I would like to go with you
    I would like to sail the ocean blue
    Barges
    Have you treasures in your hold?
    Do you fight with pirates brave and bold?

    Out of my window, looking in the night
    I can see the barges flickering light
    Silently flows the river to the sea
    And the barges, too, go silently

    [chorus]

    [verse entirely of humming]

    [chorus of humming]

    How my heart longs to sail away with you
    I would like to sail the ocean blue
    But I must stay beside my window dear
    As I watch you sail away from here

    [chorus]

    At least, that’s how we sang it.

    Aestas mentioned a macabre song to the tune of ‘On Top Of Old Smoky’ (or Spaghetti, depending on when and where you learned it). We had a version, too:

    The school is all bloody
    It’s all over the floor
    ‘Cause I shot my poor teacher
    With an old .44

    I went to her funeral
    I went to her grave
    Some people threw flowers
    I threw a grenade

    S/he climbed out of the coffin
    S/he wasn’t quite dead
    So I took a bazooka
    And blew off her/his head

    Her/his head started rolling
    Like a red bowling ball
    So I called in a bomb strike
    And friends, that is all.

    Millefolia said: Does anybody remember the one that went to the same tune as “I’m a nut” but was about a car? All I can remember is the “rattle rattle rattle crash beep beep” that was part of the chorus.

    Yep, I know that one! Never used it as a jump-rope or clapping song, just sang it to be annoying.

    I’m a little piece of tin
    Nobody knows where I’ve been
    Got four wheels and a running board
    I’m a Ford, oh, I’m a Ford

    Honk honk rattle rattle [tug earlobe with 'honk', wiggle furiously with 'rattle']
    Crash, beep beep [hit self on chin or head with hand on 'crash', beep nose with 'beep']
    Honk honk rattle rattle
    Crash, beep beep!

    There was also a somewhat disturbing alternate version:

    Grandad’s beard is long and grey
    It grows longer every day
    Granny eats it in her sleep
    Says it tastes like shredded wheat

    Chew chew snore snore
    Choke, wheeze wheeze!
    Chew chew snore snore
    Choke, wheeze wheeze!

    The special chorus for the alternate varied widely, and sometimes even just ‘honk honk’ etc was used.

    I also recalled a game we played in Girl Guides that went with a song, but nobody outside of my troop seems to have heard of it! Let me know if you guys have…

    My ship sailed from China
    With a cargo of tea
    All laden with gifts
    For you and for me
    They brought me a fan
    Just imagine my bliss
    As I found myself daily like this, like this, like this, like this
    [wave one hand from side to side in time with 'like this'; keep this up through the rest of the song]

    My ship sailed from China
    With a cargo of tea
    All laden with gifts
    For you and for me
    They brought me a fan
    Just imagine my bliss
    As I found myself daily like this, like this, like this, like this
    [wave other hand in time with first hand in time with 'like this'; keep this up through the rest of the song]
    [repeat with one foot, then the other so that you are balanced on your butt, then your head...]

    My ship sailed from China
    With a cargo of tea
    All laden with gifts
    For you and for me
    They brought me a fan
    I SAID “NO MORE FANS!”

    Alternatively, you repeat ‘like this, like this, like this…’ ad infinitum until people start to fall over; the last person to keep their balance ‘wins’. It can also be sung as a round, with alternating groups singing ‘like this, like this…’ through the next verse.

  333. Wow, I always said that first one “eena-dos-uh-twist” but with everything else the same. Had no idea it was trying to teach me Spanish. And I also know Miss Lucy and Miss Suzy.

    Then there’s Miss Sue:

    Miss Sue (clap, clap)
    Miss Sue (clap, clap)
    Miss Sue from Alabama
    Sitting in a rocker
    Eating Betty Crocker
    watching the clock go
    Tick-tock
    Tick-tock, bananafana
    Tick-tock
    Tick-tock, bananafana
    ABCDEFG
    …. and I forget the rest

    And also Miss Mary Mack:

    Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack
    All dressed in black, black, black
    With silver buttons, buttons buttons
    All down her back, back, back
    She asked her mother, mother, mother
    For 15 cents, cents, cents
    To see the elephant, elephant, elephant
    Jump the fence, fence fence
    He jumped so high, high, high
    He touched the sky, sky, sky
    And he didn’t come back, back, back
    Till the 4th of July, -ly, -ly

    And this one is pure nonsense, and I’m just writing it phonetically. Guessing it was originally in a foreign language and got reduced to syllables.

    Bo bo see wotten totten
    Nay, nay, I am
    boom, boom, boom
    itty bitty wotten totten
    Bo bo see wotten totten
    Bo bo see wotten totten
    BOOM

    And to the same motions:

    McDonalds serves french fries, ice cold mil shakes, cheeseburgers and apple pie.

  334. Caitlin and Ailbe both have a different version of Johnny broke a bottle from the one we used to have (in NZ, 1980s). Ours went:

    Under the bambushes, under the sea (boom boom boom)
    True love for you my darling, true love for me
    When we get married, we’ll raise a family.
    A boy for you, a girl for me
    Johnny on the ocean, Johnny on the sea
    Johnny broke a bottle and blamed it on me.
    I told ma, ma told pa
    And Johnny got a hiding with a HA HA HA.

    We had “a sailor went to sea sea sea” too, but we didn’t do a clap game to it.

    I was recently on a remote island in the pacific ocean (population: 54 – no I am not kidding) and the kids there had some of the same clap games as the kids on a passing (American) yacht! But they weren’t ones I knew.

  335. B.S.A.G.! I heard that same call and response thing with “Beep biddly oten doten ooh walla walla meenie,” but I never learned it and was jealous of the girls who did.

    Grew up in the sixties and early seventies.

    I knew the shimmy shimmy coco bop to skip rope to, and the teddy bear song. There was also some rope skipping rhyme with a toucan in it, but I’ve never seen it anywhere else.

    The little playmate song went with the hand claps. Clap in this order (starting at “play” in “playmate”):

    thighs
    both your own hands together
    your right hand and friend’s right hand
    both your own hands together
    your left hand and friend’s left hand
    both your own hands together
    your left hand and friend’s right hand, and your right hand and friend’s left hand
    cross your arms in front of your chest and pat your shoulders

    repeat

    It was “climb down my rain spout” in our version. And we had the sad/mean version with enemies.

    Next selection, to the tune of “H A double R I G A N spells Harrigan” from My Fair Lady:

    L O double L I P O P spells lollipop, lollipop
    It’s the only decent kind of candy, candy
    Guy that made it musta been a dandy, dandy
    L O double L I P O P you see
    Just a lick on a stick guaranteed to make you sick
    It’s lollipop for me.

    C A S T O R O I L spells castor oil castor oil
    It’s the only decent kind of medicine, medicine
    Guy that made it musta been an Edison, Edison
    C A S T O R O I L you see
    Just a lick on a spoon, guaranteed to kill you soon,
    It’s Castor oil for me.

    D A V E N P O R T spells davenport davenport
    It’s the only decent kinda love seat, love seat
    Guy that made it musta been a heart beat, heart beat
    D A V E N P O R T you see
    Just a ???

    don’t remember the rest.

    Then there’s the recitation:

    Peanut stood on a railroad track
    His heart was all aflutter
    Along came engine 99
    WOO WOO peanut butter

    And our rendition of the Battle Hymn of the Republic:

    Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
    He was riding down the highway in a 57 ford
    With one hand on the throttle and the other on the bottle
    His truth is marching on

    Glory glory hallelujah
    Teacher hit me with a ruler
    Hit her on the bean with a rotten tangerine
    Her eyes went rolling out

    ————-

    Then, these dainty alternate lyrics to the tune of “how dry i am”

    How dry I am
    How wet I’ll be
    If I can’t find
    The bathroom key

    It’s too late now
    It’s on the floor
    I’ll lick it up
    And do some more, more, more mah more.

    ——–

    And our version of “My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean”:

    My father lies over the ocean
    My mother lies over the sea
    My father lies over my mother
    And that is how I came to be

    —-

    And our lyrics to the Popeye theme song:

    I’m popeye the sailor man
    I lives in a garbage can
    I eats all the spinach
    That wimmins throws innich
    I’m popeye the sailor man
    POOP POOP!

    (alternate “I loves to go swimmin’ with bowlegged women”)

    ———–

    To the tune of the second section of the “National Emblem” march: “Oh the monkey wrapped his tail around the flagpole…” I still can’t listen to that tune without snickering a little.

    Also we made one up about a substitute teacher, “Mrs Haaaaynes. Gives us paaaains. In our braaaaains.” We were apparently already little zombies in 1967.

  336. I can only remember bits of our ones! We did the Hanky Panky one, and part of the ‘sweet sweet baby, I won’t a-letcha go’ one, but I think it was appended to some other, longer piece. But there are a couple I haven’t seen here, but I can’t remember all of the words:

    (before this bit there’s some bit about sex happening ;-P)
    Herbert! What have you done to me?
    Herbert! We’re gonna have a baby!
    Herbert! We’ll call him Sherbert!
    And it be Herbert, and Sherbert and me!
    What a crazy family!

    And then there’s one which I think originated in another language (not unlikely, in the inner suburbs of Melbourne!) and in which I can’t tell if the ‘English’ words really are, or if that’s just how I’ve reconstructed them:

    Somebody es mardi eeeey-o,
    mardi ey-o ey-o dim dim dim
    ey-o ey-o dim dim dim
    one! two! three!

    We used that as a slapping game for sorting out who was it. Any other Melburnians remember anything like that?

  337. Late to the party, but I loved reading this thread. A couple friends and I were discussing this stuff a year or two ago, and it was cool to read all your versions.

    For my part, and this would have been Jacksonville, Fla., from 1985-1989, roughly (I moved to greater Orlando the summer before fifth grade, and have no recollection of handclap games being played at my new school) …

    Miss Susie was Susie, she had a steamboat, and a *little* “Ask me.” I think she ended at D-A-R-K dark as well.

    Girls went to Mars to get candy bars.

    We had “Slide,” and the “moonshine, moonshine, freeze!” version of “Miss Sue from Alabama.” Cinderella (dressed in yella) was the jumprope version. “Apples on Sticks” is the main one I remember, though I certainly couldn’t come up with the hand motions two decades later. As I recall, my version ended with Billy (or someone) with his pants undone as well, and though he could wiggle, wobble and do a split, “I betcha five dollars he can’t do this.” And I think “this” was just a really complicated sequence of claps, sped up until someone missed. Won’t swear to that, though. It’s foggy.

    “Concentrate on what I’m saying” was the knife-blood version. I can’t recall what the ending sensation/spooky bit was, if it was the pushed of a building/bridge or what, but that was likely it.

    The “sitting on a fence” fellow who “missed like this” is familiar, too, but I don’t think he was a “Chinaman.”

    I’m struck my how much less innocent some of your versions of these are than anything I knew in grade school, and I wonder how much of that is a function of socioeconomic factors or rural/urban location …

    Some of the other stuff is linked not to the school play yard, but to Girl Scouts and the associated camps: Wadaliacha was one, as was Princess Pat, as was “Barges” and its “Counselors” parody (gotta say, the one I learned was more well put together than the one above!) … and so on. That bobo see ottin tottin thing is familiar, too.

    There was another Girl-Scount origin song that I haven’t seen mentioned that is notable to me because a friend and I both know it, with only minor lyrical variations but to two completely different tunes (she grew up mostly in rural west central/southwest Florida and is about five years younger than me):

    The Billboard Song

    As I was walking down the street
    one dark and dreary day
    I came upon a billboard
    and much to my dismay

    the sign was torn and tatterd
    from the storm the night before
    the wind and rain had done its job
    and this is what I saw:

    “Smoke Coca-Cola chewing gum
    chew Wrigley’s Spearmint beer
    Kennel Ration dog food
    makes your complexion clear

    simonize your baby
    with a Hershey’s candy bar
    and Pepsi-Cola beauty cream
    is used by all the stars.

    “Soooooooo …. take your next vacation
    in a brand new Frigidaire
    learn to play piano
    in your winter underwear

    doctors say that babies
    should smoke until they’re three
    and people over sixty-five
    should bathe in Lipton tea.

    With floooow-throoouuugh baaaaags.”

    As for the “barges” parody:

    Out of my tent flap looking in the night
    I can see the couns’lors having a fight.

    Cold cream on their face and curlers in their hair
    they are even in their underwear

    Couns’lors, I would like to fight with you
    I would like to throw a stone or two.

    Couns’lors, have you candy[1] in your hold?
    do you fight with Girl Scouts brave and bold?

    [1] I’m not convinced that I’m remembering this line correctly.

  338. Qbert the “ottin gottin” I learned at summer camp goes this way, and involves hand claps and snaps in a rhythm:

    Flee!
    Flee fly!
    Flee fly flo!
    LA VISTA!

    Cumbala, cumbala, cumbala vista
    Oh no no not the Vista
    Eeny meeny desameenie
    Shu-wah, shu-wanna meeine
    Desameanie sallameanie
    Shu-wah, shu-wah

    (shout)

    A BEE BILLY OATEN-GOATEN BO BO SHU-WATTEN GOTTEN
    BO-BO SHU-WATTEN GOTTEN
    WATTEN GOTTEN
    SHH!

  339. We didn’t do many handclapping songs. They only ones we did were pease porridge and pat a cake. Cinderella dressed in yella was a skipping rope song.

    Pease porridge hot
    Pease porridge cold
    Pease porridge in a pot nine days old

    Some like it hot
    Some like it cold
    Some like it in a pot nine days old.

    ————

    One skipping rope song I haven’t seen here yet is:

    Not last night but the night before
    Twenty four robbers came knocking at my door
    Asked what they wanted, this is what they said
    Spanish dancers do the splits (while skipping, follow the actions of the song)
    Spanish dancers give a high kick
    Spanish dancers turn around
    Spanish dancers touch the ground
    Spanish dancers get out of this town (run out of the rope)
    Spanish dancers come back in (return to skipping)
    Spanish dancers sit on a pin

    And then at some point someone would yell Pepper and the rope would turn really fast and we’d all count until you messed up.

  340. Way late to the party, as usual.

    I have an eight year old daughter and she learned all these from her friends. They do the Miss Suzy one closer to yours, and it’s longer, but I was amazed that that has been passed down girl-to-girl all these years. The hand motions are the same as when I was a kid, 40 miles away from where my daughter is growing up, 35 years later.

    My Miss Suzy was Miss Lucy

    Miss Lucy had a steamboat
    The steamboat had a bell
    Miss Lucy went to heaven
    And the steamboat went to
    Hello Operator
    Please give me number nine
    And if you disconnect me
    I’ll cut off your
    Behind the fridgerator
    There was a piece of glass
    Miss Lucy sat upon it
    And broke her little
    Ask me no more questions
    I’ll tell you no more lies
    The boys are in the bathroom
    Zipping up their
    Flies are in the meadow
    The bees are in the park
    The boys and girls are kissing
    In the D-A-R-K dark-dark-dark.

    And that was the end of it. My daughter’s version goes on several more lines, to the 40-acre bra.

    There was another one about pulling down your underwear that I can’t remember right now. I’ll have to ask my daughter in the morning. ;)

  341. I’m a bit late here, but one hand-clap rhyme I learned in second grade and have never forgotten was called “That Dirty Old Man From China.”

    My mother told me to answer the door
    But I didn’t want to.
    So I answered the door
    And he fell on the floor,
    That dirty old man from China.

    My mother told me to take him to the store
    But I didn’t want to.
    So I took him to the store
    And he peed on the floor,
    That dirty old man from China.

    My mother told me to take him to the movies
    But I didn’t want to.
    So I took him to the movies
    And he played with my boobies,
    That dirty old man from China.

  342. Oh, I went to the doughnut store for something to eat
    ‘Cause I was so hungry from my head to my feet
    I picked up a doughnut and I wiped off the grease
    And I handed the lady a five-cent piece
    Well, she looked at the nickel, and she looked at me
    And she said, “Hey, mister, you can plainly see
    There’s a hole in the nickel, and it goes right through”
    And I told her, “There’s a hole in the doughnut too”
    Shave and a haircut, shampoo!
    Hit by an auto, bam boom!
    But I’m not dead yet.
    When did it happen? Last night.
    How are you feeling? All right.
    Clothes on the wash line, all dried up
    You sure said a mouthful! Shut up!

    On the planet Mars
    Where the ladies smoke cigars
    Every puff they take
    Is enough to kill a snake
    When the snake is dead
    They put roses in its head
    When the roses die
    They put diamonds in its eyes
    When the diamonds shine
    It is 1989!

  343. I was always really bad at these. I know “down by the banks of the hanky-panky” and a few about Miss Suzy, but I could never do them. The only one I knew was:
    Double double this this
    double double that that
    double this, double that
    double double this that

    Whatever the fuck that means.

  344. Now here’s something else I have to feel bad about. My boobs are too big, I’m overweight, and I don’t know any of those cool clapping games all real girls know. I guess I am going to have to drown my misery and insecurity in a deep bottle of Jack Daniels. Quiet sob.

  345. Wow there were so many I forgot. Here are a few I remember.

    On top of Spaghetti
    All covered with cheese
    I lost my poor meatball
    When somebody sneezed
    It rolled off the table
    and onto the floor
    and then my poor meatball
    rolled out the front door
    it rolled through the garden
    and under a bush
    and now my poor meatball
    is nothing but mush

    As for Aggravation here are the verses I remember:
    Aggravation Rehabilitation
    aggravation this is how you play:
    First you take a bowling ball then you roll it down the hall
    Hit your dad make him mad whooooaaaa
    Aggravation Rehabilitation
    aggravation this is how you play
    First you take a rubber hose then you stick it up your nose
    turn it on then your gone whoooooaaa
    Aggravation Rehabilitation
    aggravation this is how you play
    first you take a plastic bag then you put it on your head
    go to bed then your dead whooaaa

    and I remember these two we had combined-

    Bobo skee wotten totten
    eh eh eh eh boom boom boom
    Bobo skee wotten totten
    eh eh eh eh boom boom boom
    eeny meeny sicilini
    doowop bop alini
    otchie kotchie liberace
    i love you
    take a peach take a plum take a stick of bubble gum
    no peach no plum just a stick of bubble gum
    saw you with your boyfriend
    how do you know
    lookin through the peephole noooosy
    ate a box of candy greeeeedy
    jumpin out the window now you’re really gettin crazy
    eeny meeny sicilini
    doowop bop alini
    otchie kotchie liberace
    i hate you

    And my favorite that my brothers’ boyscout troupe did as a call and response:

    The littlest worm (The littlest worm)
    I ever saw (I ever saw)
    was stuck inside (was stuck inside)
    my soda straw (my soda straw)

    (this part was sung together)The littlest worm I ever saw
    was stuck inside my soda straw.

    He said to me (He said to me)
    don’t take a sip (don’t take a sip)
    for if you do (for if you do)
    I’ll surely flip (I’ll surely flip)

    He said to me don’t take a sip
    for if you do I’ll surely flip

    I took a sip (I took a sip)
    and he went down (and he went down)
    all through my pipes (all through my pipes)
    he must have drowned (he must have drowned)

    I took a sip and he went down
    all through my pipes he must have drowned

    The littlest worm (The littlest worm)
    he was my friend (he was my friend)
    but now he’s gone (but now he’s gone)
    so that’s the end (so that’s the end)

    The littlest worm he was my friend
    but now he’s gone so that’s the end

    Wow that took me back. Now I’m trying to remember the claps for the ones up top.

  346. Mid-late nineties. Central New York.

    There was one to the tune of the kit-kat jingle (gimme a break, gimme a break), but I never learned the hand motions for it. I also knew Mary Mack, and the Miss Susie/Lucy rhymes.

    Did anyone else ever play Concentration 64?
    Throughout the whole thing, you go slap, slap, clapclapclap. It can be played with two or more people. The ryme goes:
    Concentration (clapclapclap)
    Sixty-four (clapclapclap)
    No repeats (clapclapclap)
    Or hesitation (clapclapclap)
    I go first (clapclapclap)
    You go second (clapclapclap)
    Category (clapclapclap)
    (This line you pick a category like names, cars, anything, etc.) (clapclapclap)
    Everyone playing has to say a word that fits the category. If you repeat a word, hesitate, or can’t come up with something, then you’re out, and the game starts again.

    Then here’s our version of the Miss Susie rhyme. It had motions to go with each verse, but most of them are easy to figure out.

    Miss Susie was a baby, a baby, a baby
    Miss Susie was a baby, and this is what she said
    Waah, waah
    Miss Susie was a toddler, a toddler, a toddler
    Miss Susie was a toddler, and this is what she said
    Wahh, waah, gimme a cookie
    Miss Susie was a kid, a kid, a kid
    Miss Susie was a kid, and this is what she said
    Wahh, waah, gimme a cookie, gimme a piece of bubblegum
    Miss Susie was a teenager, a teenager, a teenager
    Miss Susie was a teenager, and this is what she said
    Waah, waah, gimme a cookie, gimme a piece of bubblegum, ooh ah lost my bra left it in my boyfriend’s car (on “ooh” you cross one arm over your chest, on “ah” you cross the other)
    Miss Susie was a mom, a mom, a mom
    Miss Susie was a mom, and this is what she said
    Waah, waah, gimme a cookie, gimme a piece of bubblegum, ooh ah lost my bra left it in my boyfriend’s car, go to bed, go to bed
    Miss Susie was a grandma, a grandma, a grandma
    Miss Susie was a grandma, and this is what she said
    Waah, waah, gimme a cookie, gimme a piece of bubblegum, ooh ah lost my bra left it in my boyfriend’s car, go to bed, go to bed, oh my aching back
    Miss Susie was an angel, an angel, an angel
    Miss Susie was an angel, and this is what she said
    Waah, waah, gimme a cookie, gimme a piece of bubblegum, ooh ah lost my bra left it in my boyfriend’s car, go to bed, go to bed, oh my aching back, aaahhh(angelic choir imitation, fold hands as if praying)
    Miss Susie was a devil, a devil, a devil
    Miss Susie was a devil, and this is what she said
    Waah, waah, gimme a cookie, gimme a piece of bubblegum, ooh ah lost my bra left it in my boyfriend’s car, go to bed, go to bed, oh my aching back, aaahhh, mwahahahahah (evil laugh, give yourself devil horns)
    Miss Susie was dead, dead, dead
    Miss Susie was dead, and this is what she said
    (do nothing)

    Then I knew another version of down by the banks:

    Down by the banks of the hanky panky
    where the bullfrogs jump from bank to banky
    with an ee ee ah ah oh oh um
    down by the riverside, kerplunk! (you’re out it they hit you on kerplunk)

    And we did another song, but with the same game as down by the banks:

    On the planet Mars where the ladies smoke cigars
    every puff they make is enough to kill a snake
    when the snakes are dead they put roses in their heads
    when the roses die they put diamonds in their eyes
    when the diamonds break they say: “5, 6, 7, 8, let me see your booty shake!” (you’re out if hit on shake)

    and then there was a weird one:
    (The first half is really slow, then you try to say the second part as quick as possible)
    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
    break the wall in the waterfall
    boys think they know it all
    they don’t, we do, girlfriend!
    (there was a swinging hand grab during the that’s the way part, then you made a peace sign, a fist, saluted, and waved your hands in front of your face)

    Then we had our share of christmas song parodies.

Comments are closed.