Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hand Jive

When I was a child, I was intrigued by 'clapping games' or, as The King refers to it, 'Hand Jive.' It wasn't very popular here in Utah, possibly because it seems to be strongly associated with the African American community, which wasn't prominent in my neighborhood as a child. I would catch glimpses of these games on TV and thought it looked like fun, but aside from eventually learning "Say Say Oh Playmate" that was it. When I went to girls camp at about the age of 13, I learned 'Down By The Banks', but alas, my hand jive education came to an end.

Recently I've been thinking that it might be fun to teach The Princess some of these games. I've seen 4 and 5 year olds become quite skilled at these games, some with very intricate hand moves, so she should be able to learn them. I've started looking on the internet for more chants, but it's difficult to find ones that have instructions for the movement. Perhaps that's a part of the beauty of 'hand jive'... making up your own actions! I am not good at this. Maybe The Princess' African American's heritage will lend her this talent? One can always hope.

Something else I never realized is how ribald some of this material is. I'm looking for the clean stuff, but I have to admit that this version of 'Mary Had A Little Lamb' had The King and I laughing hysterically. You can view a video of it here.

Mary had a little lamb
She also had a duck
she took him round the corner
and taught him how to
fry an eggs for breakfast
fry your eggs for tea
the more you eat
the more drink
the more you want to
Peter had a boat
the boat began to rock
out jumped jaws
and bit him on the
cocktail, ginger ale, forty cents a glass
if you don't drink then
shove it up your
ask no questions
tell no lies
I saw two policemen
doing up their
flies are bad, mosquitoes are worse
I saw the doctor
lying on the nurse
nurse him well
if you don't you will go to
helicopter, helicopter turn around,
If you crash you'll fall to the ground!

Were there any clapping songs you learned as a kid that I can teach my 7-year old daughter and ensure that she won't be getting kicked out of school for? :)

So far my 'clean' collection includes 'Miss Mary Mack', 'Double Double This That', and 'My Aunty Anna'. I would love to find a longer version of 'Down, Down, Baby' - the first part is fine, but then it always gets a little ribald.

By the way, the word of the day is ribald.

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Blogger Lint Monkey said...

Hm... hand games... I remember playing those. Vaguely. I played Miss Mary Mack and Down By the Banks. I also played one called There's A Place On Mars. If it helps any, the rhyme is:

There's a place on Mars
Where the women smoke cigars
And the men wear bikinis
And the children drink martinis
And every breath they take
They could easily kill a snake
And when the snake is dead
They put mustard in its head
And when the mustard dries
They put diamonds in its eyes
And when the diamonds break
The king snake says

As far as hand movements... it's been a while, so I might be getting this wrong. But I think it's
High-five right hands
High-five left hands
Pat your legs (both hands)
Touch your shoulders (arms crossed)

So the rhythm is

There's a place (clap, right hands) on (clap, left hands) Mars (clap, pat legs)
Where (clap) the (shoulders) wo- (clap) men (right hands) smoke (clap) ci- (left hands) gars (clap, pat legs)
And (clap) the (shoulders)...

When you get to the end, it's
Please (clap, right hands)
Don't (clap, left hands)
BLINK! (clap right in front of the other person's face--not close enough to hit them or anything, just enough to make them blink)

And so on. Wow. That's hard to explain. I hope it made some sense. The instructions, I mean. Not the rhyme. The rhyme isn't really supposed to make sense.

9:08 AM  
Blogger slouching mom said...

Miss Lucy 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 too
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 so on...

11:33 AM  
Blogger Gail said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Gail said...

dumb thing cut off my link. Trying again. :)

This might help :D

12:14 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

Sometimes I am absolutely appalled by the rhymes my 6 year old daughter comes home saying!

I remember doing My little playmate:

My little playmate, come out and play with me
And bring your dollews three
Climb up my apple tree
Slide down my rainbow into my cellar door
And we'll be jolly friends, forevermore

My little playmate, I cannot play with you
My dollies have the flu, boo hoo boo hoo boo hoo
I have no rainbow, I have no cellar door, but we'll be jolly friends forever more more shut the door.

The motions are clap, right hands, clap, left hands, clap, clap, backs of hands, fronts of hands repeat.

Hope that makes any sense!! :)

1:35 PM  
Blogger dubby said...

When I taught the one about Mary and her duck to my little brother and my parents found out, I got spanked.

Sigh. Those were the good old days.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Oh, The Joys said...

I used to do a good Mrs. Mary Mack...

5:37 PM  

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