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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Examples Of "Show Me Your Motion" Documentary Produced by Ian Strachan, Part Ii

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part II of a two part pancocojams series on text (word only) examples of contemporary Bahamian rings plays (children's singing games and children's hand clap rhymes) that are featured in the 2006 documentary "Show Me Your Motion: The Ringplay Games of The Bahamas". The YouTube video of that documentary is also included in these posts.

The ring play examples that are included in this post are divided into two pancocojams posts in order of their appearances in that documentary.

Part II of this series features examples from 57:40 to the last ring play example that is given in that documentary. A few of these examples are from St. Lucia and Trinidad.

Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2017/07/examples-of-show-me-your-motion.html for Part I of this series.

Part I of this series features examples of ring plays from 18:38 to 57:37 of that YouTube video. Prior to 18:38 no examples of ring plays were given.

Part I of this posts also includes my editorial comments about how I happened upon this documentary of Bahamian ring plays" and what I believe is the considerable African American influence on many of these Bahamian ring plays. Although many of these ring plays are of African American origin, it's my position that the Bahamian children and teenagers' creative word and movement adaptations make these ring plays Bahamian.

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, and recreational purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the unknown composers of these examples. Thanks also to all those who are featured in this documentary and thanks Ian Strachan, the producer of this documentary and publishers of this video.. Thanks also to all those who were involved in this documentary's production.

WARNING: The showcased documentary video features some scenes of children performing seductive dances and chanting sexualized rhymes that some people may consider to be unsuitable for children.

I added this warning because I'm hoping that this series is used as a supplemental educational resource in the United States, and my experience with United States public educational system informs me that a number of teachers and administrators in that system would have concerns about scenes of children and teenagers performing some of these singing games and rhymes.

****
SHOWCASE VIDEO: Show Me Your Motion: The Ringplay Games of The Bahamas



Ian Strachan, Published on Apr 20, 2017

Show Me Your Motion explores issues of gender, national identity, globalization, class and race in The Bahamas, a prosperous Caribbean nation renowned for its tourism. Producer and Director Ian Strachan addresses these issues through candid, often humorous interviews and live recordings of the ribald children’s songs and dances that are a part of “Ringplay.” ...
-snip-
A trailer to this documentary video was published on YouTube in 2006 by Ward Minnis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pZssdkl6GE.

****
PART II
Pancocojams Editor's Note:
The words to these ring plays are either from sub-titles that are found in that documentary or from my transcriptions. Additions and corrections are welcome for my transcriptions.

Time stamps that indicate when those examples appear in that YouTube video are included with these examples. These examples also include my brief performance descriptions about these ring plays.

No written performance descriptions and very little narration about performance descriptions beyond comments about the wining [pronounced to rhyme with the English word "line"] (gyrating hip movements and pelvic thrusts) dance movements were included in this documentary.

My comments after the text (words) for these rhymes largely consists of performance descriptions and comparisons between the specific rhyme and African American/other American rhymes. My apologies as Describing game song/ hand clap performances isn't something I do well. Additions and corrections are welcome.

I've assigned numbers to these examples for references purposes only. These numbers continue from Part I.

These time stamps from that video documentary aren't hyperlinked.

EXAMPLES
22.
57:40 – 57:52ena [no words on screen] – two girls doing hand clap routine

Eenie veena tumbaleena [said fast]
Acca pacca soda pack I love you
????
How do you know
I peeked through the window
Nosy
Wash the dishes
nasty...
-snip-
This is my attempt to transcribe these words as no sub-titles were given. I'm not sure about the spelling and couldn't decipher one line.

This "Eenie Meenie" rhyme is performed in this clip by two girls as a fast paced hand clap rhyme with imitative motions. At least two other girls stand nearby ready to help the girls remember the motions and words for this rhyme. After the words "I love you", the performance activity changes to imitative motions with finger wagging representing a girl being chided because she didn't do the dishes etc. The two girls mess up the clapping routine and the chanting and the rhyme abruptly ends in that documentary clip.

This rhyme, called Eenie Meenie Sisaleenie" and other similar sounding title, is rather well known in the United States as a stand alone hand clap rhyme or as verses that are incorporated into other rhymes. Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/12/eeny-meany-sisaleenie-rhymes-that.html for examples of this rhyme.

****
23. 58:43
woman [Nicolette Bethel, Director of Culture] commenting about the words commenting regarding the words "Achie paloochie":

"Palocha Machie
Conga got no vote

Chances are that the words started out as something that made sense in some African language. But we don’t know what it is and transmitted from person to person we’ve lost
sense of it so we’re only approximating the sound of it"...
-snip-
This is my attempt to transcribe this quote. No information is given regarding the "Congo got no vote" rhyme, but my assumption is that "Congo" here refers to Black people in the Bahamas and not people from the two African nations known as the Congo.

Given that this clip was presented after the "eenie meenie" hand clap rhyme that is given as #22 above] and an "Eenie Meenie" rhyme that is given as #___ below, I assume that Ms. Bethel is suggesting that the nonsense sounding words in those Bahamian ring plays (if not in other Bahamian ring plays) are from some African language. I disagree with that conclusion, but that is discussion for another blog post.

****
24.
58:56-
This is a brief clip of two girls showing how a hand clap routine is done:
"it’s slide push clap
slide push clap"

****
25.
59:03
I met a guy
ah risco
He’s so sweet
Ah risco
Like my cherry tree
Ah risco
I can drink coffee
I can drink ....tea.
I can meet the boy...
-snip-
This is my transcription of this example. One girl is chanting this hand clap rhyme while standing in the middle of a small circle formed by other girls. No hand clapping is performed.

This example appears to be an adaptation of the African American "Nabisco" rhyme combined with the African American rhyme "I Love Coffee, I Love Tea".

In this documentary clip. when the girl in the middle says "I can drink" she forgets the word, and someone else says "Tea". When she says "I can meet the boy", someone else says a line that ends with the word "baby". At the end of this clip, the girl looks somewhat shocked by something indecipherable that someone else said. I wonder if it was the "come on, baby let's go to bed" ending for the African American rhyme "I Love Coffee, I Love Tea".

****
26.
59:22 -59:42
Slide push clap
Slide push clap
[Said faster] Eena meena Josephina
Oh ah tambourrina
Akalaka booshalaka
Baby I love you; yes I do

Saw you with your boyfriend last night
How did you know
I peeked through the window; Nosey.
Go wash dem dishes; Lazy
Gimme some candy: Greedy
Jump through the window; Crazy.
What do you eat?
Pig feet.
What did you drink?
Red ink.
-snip-
These words were given as sub-titles. Two girls are shown doing a fast hand clap routine, but only one girl chants the words.

Read my comments for #23 given above. There is an African American hand clap game called "Slide", but I don't believe that the words "slide, push, clap" are chanted during that hand clap game or during any other American hand clap game that I've found to date.

****
1:00:46 1:01:13 I went to the Chinese bakery- words on screen [girls standing in two lines facing each other [hand clap with some imitative movements- for instance hold both hands to their chest for the word “my”]
I went to the Chinese Bakery
to buy a loaf of bread, bread, bread

I went to the Chinese Bakery
And this is what they said said said
My name is King Kong Corey
I can do karate [imitating the same leaning back karate stance]
Punch em in the belly [acting like they are punching the person standing in front of them- I while maintaining space in between each other]
oops I;m sorry [holding their eyes down with one finger on each eye- imitating crying?]
Chinese, Japanese [keeps hands near their eyes, stretching the eyes?
Criss cross [rhythmically slap right hip with left hand left hip with right hand ]
Applesauce
Do me a favor and get lost [does the rolling, lean back a little, and hold hand out in talk to the hand AA street stances]



The verse that begins "what do you eat?/ pig feet" is a stand alone African American rhyming saying that is associated with the "What's your name/ Puddin Tane" rhyming sayings. Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2014/11/early-examples-of-childrens-rhyme-whats.html for a pancocojams post on those rhyming sayings.

I suppose that it's possible that those sayings could have originated in the Caribbean.

****
27.
1:00:46 1:01:13
I went to the Chinese bakery-
I went to the Chinese Bakery
to buy a loaf of bread, bread, bread

I went to the Chinese Bakery
And this is what they said said said
My name is King Kong Corey
I can do karate
Punch em in the belly
oops I'm sorry
Chinese, Japanese
Criss cross
Applesauce
Do me a favor and get LOST
-snip-
These words are given as sub-titles. The girls stand in two line facing each other, first doing hand claps and then changing to imitative movements:

On the word "my" which is stretched out, the girls hold both hands to their chest.
On the phrase "I can do karate", the girls imitate the same karate stance
On the words "punch 'em in the belly, the girls maintain some distance but act like they are "karate" punching the person standing across from them.
On the words "oops, I'm so sorry", the girls hold their eyes down with one finger on each eye, probably in imitation of the crying
One the words, "Chinese Japanese", the girls keep their hands near their eyes, perhaps stretching their eyes*
On the word "criss cross apple sause", the girls rhythmically slap their right hip with their left hand, and their left hip with their right hand
On the word "do me a favor and get lost", the girls do the body rolling, leaning back a little, and "talk to the hand" African American street stance that means both confrontation and dismissal.

This rhyme is a version of the very well known American rhyme "I Went To The Chinese Restaurant"*. I don't think that the "King Kong Corey" referent is found in American versions of that rhyme.

*Some versions of "I Went To The Chinese Restaurant", such as the this one, have problematic anti-Asian words and actions. Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/07/anti-asian-rhymes-i-went-to-chinese.html for a pancocojams post on this rhyme.

As I noted in my comments after the example given as #11 in Part I, "borrowing" this rhyme without considering the meaning of this line, encapsulates the danger of taking everything from American culture in without a filter for the negativity that is part of that culture.

****
28.
1:01:53-1:01:59
Peas porridge hot
Peas porridge cold
Peas porridge in the pot
Nine days old.
Say what!
Some like it hot
Say what!
Some like it hot.
Some like it cold.
Cold.
Some like it in the pot.
Nine days old.
-snip-
The title "Some Like It Hot" is shown on the screen. Children are heard chanting and performing this rhyme as a hand clap. This is my transcription of the words. No sub-titles and no other visuals are shown.

****
29.
1:03:27-1:03:33
Say boom
Say apple
Say pine
Say wine
Say boom pine apple wine
$1.50 all the time.
[the rhyme begins again from the beginning]
-snip-
The words are given as sub-titles. This clip shows teenagers, women, and men standing forming a circle while one teenagers in the middle of the circle moves around to several person of the circle doing a "leg raised up" dance movement. On the words "say boom pine apple wine" the girl stands in front of the next person forming the circle and does a very seductive wining dance.

I've never come across this rhyme in my study of American children rhymes.

****
30.
1:03:47- 1:03:51
Solee ‘married
Come here lemme tell ya gal
Uh-huh!
-snip-
The words are given as sub-titles. Women and at least one man form a circle and one woman in the middle dances seductively in front of various people forming the ring.

I've never come across this rhyme in my study of American children's rhymes.

Here are quotes from two women who commented throughout this documentary:
"There was a sense of celebrating our female development". [Comment begins around 1:03:36]

"The competitiveness back then was who could be the most sexual and the most alluring. And at the time I didn’t know that was what it was all about, but now when I look back I realize that’s what it was all about”. [This comment begins at around 1:03:53]

****
31.
1:04:06-1:04:48
Jump in the car
turn the keys
Press the gas wit' no panties
She rollin like dat
She bouncin like dat
Say mmmm, like dat
Sauchiss in dere
An rock it too in ‘dere
Take dat belly sauchiss
and stick it right in dere.
You know where
right in dere
Da Devil round de corner
says stick it right in dere
Ticka ticka ticka ticka
boom dynamite
Ticka ticka ticka ticka
boom dynamite
Boom boom boom boom
boom dynamite
-snip-
The words were given as sub-titles. Girls form a large circle with one girl in the middle. That girl doesn't chant along with the others. In the beginning of the rhyme the girl performs imitative motions. On the line "mmm, like that", she moves around the circle on each line of the rhyme and performs a seductive dance in front of the people forming the circle.

This example is a combination of three stand alone rymes: "Jump In The Car", "Sauchiss In Dere", and "Boom Dynamite".

There are examples of rhymes that begin with the line "jump in the car" in the United States, but they are very different from this example. There are lots of examples of American children's cheerleader cheers and other recreational rhymes that include the line "Boom dynamite". But I've not found any examples of "sauchiss in dere". Examples of that rhyme are also given in Part I of this two part pancocojams series.

****
32.
1:16:02- 1:16:27
An examples of "Brown Girl In The Ring" [given without words on the screen or my transcription]

****
33.
1:16:38 = 1:16:53
Example of the circle game "Blue Bird through my window": [given without words or the screen or my transcription]

****
34.
1:18:03 – 1:18:20
I’m ma going to the party
going to the fair.
When I met a Cinderella with flowers in her hair
????
oh si si si si si si like its hot
si si si si si si like a top
Oh rumble to the bottom
rumble on the top
turn around and turn around until you make a stop
-snip-
This is my transcription for this example from the Caribbean nation of St. Lucia. This is played as a circle game with one person in the middle who performs imitative motions and dances.

This circle game is known as "Going TO Kentucky" in the United States and is very well known. The words "Cinderella" probably were "senorita" early on. Through foll processing, "senorita" became "Sister Rita" for some African American children in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area in the early 2000s.

****
35.
1:18-21
Chitty Chitty bang bang
sittin on the wall
tryin to make a dollar
out of fifteen cents
she missed
she missed
she missed like this.
-snip-
These words are given as sub-titles. This is another example from St. Lucia.
In this clip, women form a small circle and play a competitive hand clapping, foot crossing circle game. The same game is played among African American girls and boys (and probably other Americans). In the United States, instead of "sitting on the wall", the line is "sittin on a fence".

****
36.
1:19:08 -1:19:42
An example of "Brown Girl In The Ring" [given with partial words/description, ]:
on the verse: "Go look for your lover
tra la la la la
Go look for your lover
tra la la la la
Go look for your lover
tra la la la la
Oh she looks like a sugar in a plum"

The girl in the middle selects a boy "partner" from those forming the ring and dances with him in the middle of the ring (holding crossed hands.

****
37
1:19:43
Another example of Brown Girl In The Ring [given with partial words and description]
On the words "so hop and take your partner", the girl in the middle chooses a partner, and both of them hop on one foot holding hands".

**
38. .
1:21:28
Little Sally Walker [circle game given without words]

****
39.
1:21:01-1:22-11
Gigalo
Gig Gig alo alo
Gigalo
Gig gig alo alo
You're ready for one
You're ready for two
Put your hands in the air and go
Whoop whoop whoop!
[repeat the entire rhyme]
-snip-
This is my transcription of this rhyme. This example is from Trinidad. Girls form a large circle. Several girls stand in the middle in two lines facing each other. These girls don't chant but do imitative motions. On the words, "Whoop whoop whoop", the girls scooted down close to the ground, and while maintaining their line formation, clap the hands of the person in front of them.

"Gigalo" is rather well known in the United States where it is usually performed as a two, four, or three person hand clap rhyme.

****
39.
1:22:18 –1:22:49
Mama Mama Can’t You See
[repeat each line]
Look what Barney has done to me.
He took away my MTV
Now I have to watch Barney
Tic Tac Toe three in a row
Barney got shot by G.I. Joe
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said
Barney should have stayed in bed
Hip Hip hooray!
Barney;s dead
Hip hip hooray
Barney's dead
-snip-
This is another example from Trinidad. This is my transcription of this example.

Girls form two long lines that face each other and clap the hands of the person standing in front of them. The first time the words "Hip Hi On the words "Hip Hip Hooray", the girls form arches that the other children go under.

I wrote the word "dead" in parenthesis because I'm not certain of this transcription.

A Bahamaian example of this rhyme with slightly different words and played a different way is given in Part I of this series.

"Mama Mama Can't You See" is a very widely known rhyme in the United States. The words to this Trini example are very similar if not the same as words to Americans versions of this rhyme, the performance activity-including repeating each line, is different from the way it is performed in the United States. That said, repeating each line is actually closer to the United States military cadence that was the source of the "Mama Mama Can't You See" hand clap line rhyme.

****
40.
1:23:19 -1:23:47
Oh what can you do Punchinella, Punchinella
What can you do Punchinella 42
Oh we can do it too Punchinella Punchinella
We can do it too
Punchinella 42
-snip-
This is another example from Trinidad. This is my transcription. I'm not sure if the number after the name "Punchinella" is correct.

The a group of girls form a circle with one person in the middle. The girls forming the circle stand in place and clap while they sing this song. On the words "What can you do?", the middle girl (or middle person) does some motion, and the people forming the circle try to do the exact same motion.

This game is very widely known in the United States. After the line "We can do it too", the next line is "Who do you choose". That may also be the next line in this example from Trinidad.

****
This concludes Part II of this two part series on Bahamian (and other Caribbean) ring games.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Examples Of "Show Me Your Motion" Documentary Produced by Ian Strachan, Part I

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part I of a two part pancocojams series on text (word only) examples of contemporary Bahamian rings plays (children's singing games and children's hand clap rhymes) that are featured in the 2006 documentary "Show Me Your Motion: The Ringplay Games of The Bahamas". The YouTube video of that documentary is also included in these posts.

The ring play examples that are included in this post are divided into two pancocojams posts in order of their appearances in that documentary.

Part I of this series features examples of ring plays from 18:38 to 57:37 of that YouTube video. Prior to 18:38 no examples of ring plays were given.

Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2017/07/examples-of-show-me-your-motion_23.html for Part II of this series.

Part II features examples from 57:40 to the last ring play example that is given in that documentary.

Part I of this posts also includes my editorial comments about how I happened upon this documentary of Bahamian ring plays" and what I believe is the considerable African American influence on many of these Bahamian ring plays. Although many of these ring plays are of African American origin, it's my position that the Bahamian children and teenagers' creative word and movement adaptations make these ring plays Bahamian.

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, and recreational purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the unknown composers of these examples. Thanks also to all those who are featured in this documentary and thanks Ian Strachan, the producer of this documentary and publishers of this video.. Thanks also to all those who were involved in this documentary's production.

WARNING: The showcased documentary video features some scenes of children performing seductive dances and chanting sexualized rhymes that some people may consider to be unsuitable for children.

I added this warning because I'm hoping that this series is used as a supplemental educational resource in the United States, and my experience with United States public educational system informs me that a number of teachers and administrators in that system would have concerns about scenes of children and teenagers performing some of these singing games and rhymes.

****
SHOWCASE VIDEO: Show Me Your Motion: The Ringplay Games of The Bahamas



Ian Strachan, Published on Apr 20, 2017

Show Me Your Motion explores issues of gender, national identity, globalization, class and race in The Bahamas, a prosperous Caribbean nation renowned for its tourism. Producer and Director Ian Strachan addresses these issues through candid, often humorous interviews and live recordings of the ribald children’s songs and dances that are a part of “Ringplay.” Along the way Bahamians of many walks of life weigh in on the issues: artists, politicians, scholars, teachers, and children too. The film, narrated by Strachan, opens with the statement, “I know what the world thinks of The Bahamas; what they see. I know what we sell. The fantasy, the dream of a vacation in Paradise. No rain, no worries . . . But who do we believe we are?”
-snip-
A trailer to this documentary video was published on YouTube in 2006 by Ward Minnis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pZssdkl6GE.

****
PANCOCOJAMS EDITOR'S NOTES ON THE PERFORMANCES OF THESE "RING PLAYS" [Revised 7/23/2017]

These notes are given in no particular order.

I found the YouTube video of the trailer for this Bahamian documentary on ring plays on July 21, 2017 after I had happened upon the Caribbean children's rhyme "Four White Horses" on July 19, 2017 by somewhat randomly "YouTube searching" for English language children's rhymes and singing songs. That "find" lead me to search for more Caribbean children's rhymes and on July 21, 2017 I found a 2013 video example of Bahamian teenagers performing the ring play "I Went Up On The Hill" (or "Rock My Cherry") and three other videos of Bahamian ring plays that were published by Kimberley Minors.

On July 19th and July 21st, I published a two part pancocojams series on "Four White Horses"* and a pancocojams post on text (word only) and video examples "I Went Up On The Hill"**. While searching for additional examples of "I Went Up On A Hill" ("Rock My Cherry"), I lucked up and first found a YouTube video of the documentary trailer and later found the YouTube video of the Bahamian documentary of ring plays that is showcased in this pancocojams series.

*Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2017/07/four-white-horses-caribbean-song-hand.html "Four White Horses" Caribbean Song & Hand Clap Rhyme, Part I: Speculative Origins & Lyric Examples" for Part I of a two part pancocojams series that I published on that singing game. The link to Part II (videos of performances of that singing game) is included in that post.

**Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2017/07/bahamian-childrens-game-songhand-clap.html Bahamian Children's Game Song/Hand Clap Rhyme "I Went Up On The Hill" ("Rock The Cherry")

Although the YouTube video "Show Me Your Motion: The Ringplay Games of The Bahamas" was published in July 2017, that documentary was actually filmed before November 2006. A trailer of this documentary was published on YouTube on November 30, 2006 by Ward Minnis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pZssdkl6GE.

I also found this September 1, 2007 online article that refers to this documentary:
"RingPlay - From 'Naughty Johnny' to American apple pie" by Erica Well, Guardian News Editor:
"Show me your motion," the sweet refrain of the classic ringplay "Brown Girl in the Ring", brings back joyous memories for the many Bahamians who played in school yards across the country and delighted in dancing, clapping and belting out the words, "There's a Brown Girl in the ring,

tra, la, la, la, la, and she look like a sugar in a plum, plum, plum.

"Show me your motion" is also the name of a documentary, produced and directed by author and playwright — now filmmaker — Ian Strachan, that uses the popular children's game to examine race, gender and class in The Bahamas.

"I try to use ringplay as a means to talk about Bahamian identity in its various facets," Strachan told Arts&Culture, referring to his film that was released on DVD this week.

"I am trying to tell the story of ringplay, the origin, how it has changed and try to look at it from different aspects, in terms of gender, who plays, what does it mean, how it helps in the formation of the identity of boys and girls."

Strachan interviewed a wide variety of Bahamian and West Indian academics, artists and people who simply performed ringplay as children, and children who continue to carry on the tradition, for the 88 minute documentary.

He also went straight to the source. Strachan visited schools in New Providence, Andros and Grand Bahama, and he was also able to get footage of ringplay in St. Lucia and Trinidad.

And what he found out was very interesting, but not entirely surprising."....
-snip-
The story stops there and there's a link to the full story. I tried but couldn't retrieve this full story on 7/21/2017.

It seems to me that central among the themes that permeate this documentary is the need to document and celebrate the creativity of Bahamian culture in specific and Caribbean culture in general coupled with concerns that Bahamian/Caribbean cultures are being "taken over" by American (United States) culture/s. Here's one quote from that documentary that speaks to that concern:
Chanti Seymour, Linguistic Professor, College of the Bahamas (at 45:13 in the video):
"The same thing that teenagers were doing in the 50s and 60s, teenagers are doing now. Yet for some reason people are all afraid. They listened to American music. And what they wore was what was being worn in America. They list... um they watched American tv shows. The watched American movies. And I think it’s because we’re a little bit more open. The boundaries are more fluid so people are more afraid that maybe the young people today are taking too much from the American culture.

I still don’t see it as being a problem because it’s not the only way that young Bahamians tend to express themselves.

I don’t even think it’s a preferred way for most young Bahamians."
-end of quote-

Based on my experiences as an African American female, and my decades of observing, collecting, and studying contemporary English language children's rhymes (particularly from African Americans) offline and online [from the mid 1980s to date], it appears to me that one distinct difference in the formation used by Bahamian children (and, perhaps other Caribbean children) and African American children and other American (United States) children while performing hand clap games* is that a group of (mostly) girls perform hand clap rhymes while standing in two horizontal lines facing each other. While this type of formation was used by African American girls in the past*, it's rarely if ever found in the present (perhaps since at least the 1970s.)

Instead of that formation, African American (and other American) children -and teens and adults- who perform hand clap games almost always either perform them as partner games with other partners standing separately, or as a four person unit (made up of two sets of partners). I've noticed this same formation in the showcased Bahamian documentary. In addition, hand clap games are sometimes performed in the United States with three people standing in a triangle formation. That formation wasn't included in the Bahamian documentary, but that doesn't necessarily mean it isn't found in the Bahamas.

*Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2YodFqZ7nQ for a 1967 video of African American girls performing singing games that include the two horizontal lines formation. That video also includes the one person in the middle circle game formation and the criss cross sawing motion that is performed for the (Caribbean originated?) singing game "Here We Go Valerie".

*I differentiate hand clap games from hand slap games which are competitive games that are played by more than four people. People playing these games are either standing or sitting down on the ground. The game participants chant a particular rhyme in unison and -starting with a designated person-one at a time, each participants slaps the hand of the person to her or his right with each word or syllable of words to the rhyme. The person whose hand is slapped at the end of that iteration of the rhyme is out and the rhyme and the hand slapping actions begins from the beginning. This continues until there is only two people remaining in the game. At that point, a two person hand slap activity or some other method is used to determine the winner of the game.

Examples of hand slapping games are found throughout this featured Bahamian ring play documentary. Probably, the most familiar hand slapping game in the United States is "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky", although versions of that singing game are also played as hand clap games. Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aas7bwcjmsi for a video of that hand slap game. Another relatively well known hand slap game is "Stella Ella Ola" (or similarly worded titles). Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYw8wqFK8CY for a video of that hand slap game.

****
It appears that the ring games are usually considered girl games in the Bahamas (and in other parts of the Caribbean, the same way that they are considered in the United States. That said, sometimes boys and adult males perform those games -in both the Bahamas and in the United States. {Note the Bahamian example found
at 57:37 of this video and click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUvzIiGuKb4 for a video of the singing game "(Here We Go) Zoodio" that includes African American men.

****
The circle (singing game) formation in which one person is in the middle of the circle appears to be the most often used circle formation in the Bahamas and in the United States. "Going To Kentucky" is a well known example of this singing game formation in the United States. From the documentary, it appears that Bahamian children also use the same method of selecting the next person to be the middle person- the middle person closes her (his) eyes while stretching out her (his) hands and turning around pointing at the people forming the ring. The person who is pointed to becomes the new middle person. This method of choosing the middle person wasn't always the way that that person was chosen in the United States* and it probably wasn't the way that the middle person was chosen in the past in the Caribbean.

*Click https://cocojams2.blogspot.com/2014/11/switching-places-ring-games-part-1.html Switching Places Ring Games (Part 1-Description & Other Comments), for information about methods for choosing the middle person.

****
From my experiences and observations (both from directly performing some of these singing games/rhymes, from in person observations, and from watching YouTube videos), I believe that African American girls dancing while performing circle games don't "wine" and do pelvic thrusts nearly as much as Bahamian girls. That said, I believe that both populations of girls have the same intent- to show off how well they can dance, and to be "sexy" while doing so.

****
The games "Little Sally Walker (Was Walking Down The Street)" and "(Here We Go{ Ride That Pony" are contemporary examples of a circle singing games that are played in the United States in which a middle person dances in front of a person who then becomes the new middle person. I'm not sure if those games came first from the Caribbean or not. Click https://cocojams2.blogspot.com/2014/11/little-sally-walker-ride-that-pony_9.html for examples of those games.

****
While watching the "Show Me Your Motion" documentary, it occurred to me that many of the imitative portion of the hand clap games and singing games featured girls standing in place with one hand on their hip while wagging their pointer finger at the person standing in front of them. These assertive and taunting arms akimbo/finger wagging gestures are closely and (I believe) stereotypically associated with Black females. However, I don't think that these gestures are performed by African American girls during imitative recreational play as much as they are performed by Bahamian (and perhaps other Caribbean) girls.

****
Although some of the commenters in this documentary discussed their concerns about the globalization of Bahamian culture and some commenters mentioned that they believed that Bahamians may be particularly influenced by the culture of Southern African Americans, this documentary doesn't note how Bahamaian people and other Caribbean people extensively borrowed and adapted African American children's rhymes and singing games. I note this in a lot of my commments, although I don't suggest how this borrowing occurred. However, thanks to YouTube, my guess is that since this documentary was released in 2006 even more Bahamian and other Caribbean ring plays have been influenced by or have their source in African American rhymes and singing games.

****
PART I- BAHAMIAN RING PLAYS FROM
Pancocojams Editor's Note:
The words to these ring plays are either from sub-titles that are found in that documentary or from my transcriptions. Additions and corrections are welcome for my transcriptions.

Time stamps that indicate when those examples appear in that YouTube video are included with these examples. These examples also include my brief performance descriptions about these ring plays.

No written performance descriptions and very little narration about performance descriptions beyond comments about the wining [pronounced to rhyme with the English word "line"] (gyrating hip movements and pelvic thrusts) dance movements were included in this documentary.

My comments after the text (words) for these rhymes largely consists of performance descriptions and comparisons between the specific rhyme and African American/other American rhymes. My apologies as Describing game song/ hand clap performances isn't something I do well. Additions and corrections are welcome.

I've assigned numbers to these examples for references purposes only. These time stamps from that video documentary aren't hyperlinked.

EXAMPLES
1. 18:38- 19:08
Oh dis a way a bellebee
Bell bell a bellebee
All night long
So step back sassy
Step back sallassy
Step back sassy
All night long
So walkin t’rough di alley
Walkin t’rough di alley
Walkin t’rough di alley
All night long
I betcha five dollars he is big and bold
To the front to the back
to the si- si- side
To the front to the back
to the si- si- side
-snip-
This hand clapping/imitative movement games was performed by girls and boys in two horizontal lines. The singing was accompanied with drum accompaniment. The words to this rhyme were given as sub-titles in this video.

This game is very similar to "This A Way Valerie". "Bellebee" is probably a folk processed form of the name "Valerie" and "Step back sassy" is probably a folk processed form of the name "Sally". "Sallassy" is interesting because it's pronounced similarly to the former Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie who was/is closely associated with the Rastafarian movement that began in the Caribbean nation of Jamaica. I don't know whether there's a connection between the word "sallassy" in this example and the name "Selassie".

On the words, "step back sassy", the children step back while clapping to the beat.
On the words "walking through the alley"- people in each line quickly walked or marched to change places,and then quickly moved back to their original location by the end of the walkin through the alley lines. Instead of doing that, in the United States, people usually dance in down the aisle made between the two lines (or rows) as was popularized in the African American television dance series "Soul Train".

With the portion of this rhyme that begins with the line "I betcha five dollars he is big and bold" the children change from singing to chanting. They place one hand on their hip, and wag the pointer finger of their other hand at the person standing in front of them, while standing in place but keeping time with the beat with one leg moving up and down to the beat.

That "I betcha five dollars...." portion of this rhyme reminds me of a verses in the American singing games "Here We Go Zoodio" or "Here Comes Sally Walking Down The Alley." However, I've never come across this particular verse in American versions of those singing games.

The lines "to the front to the back" etc. are done with corresponding imitative movements. This verse is often found in African American singing games. Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/02/front-back-side-to-side-in-childrens.html for a pancocojams post on that verse.

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2.
19:12- 19:17
"Slide Buccara [?]
Eena Meena buskareena [?]
I love you
Yes I do"
-snip-
It appears that this rhyme was used for hand clapping although it was just used as background to narration with no visuals accompanying it except a young girl smiling. I transcribed the words to this short clip. I believe the rhyme given as #3 below is probably a continuation of this clip.

The question mark in brackets means that I wasn't able to decipher what was said. "the words "eenie meenie" are quite common in a lot of American children's rhymes.

****
3.
19:45: 19:57:
They made me wash the dishes
They made me sweep the floor
They made me eat the cockroach
behind the kitchen door
My mother was surprised
To see my belly rise
My father was disgusted
to see my belly button.
-snip-
This example was given the on screen title" "They made me wash the dishes". The words were given as sub-titles in this documentary. This was played as a four person hand clap game.

Versions of "They made me wash the dishes" are often found as "She [or he] made me wash the dishes" etc. in "Miss Susie Had A Steamboat" and some other American children rhymes. However, I've not come across any versions of that verse that includes any line similar to "They made me eat the cockroach" line.

The portion that begins as "my mother was surprised" are found in American children's rhymes that I refer to as "We Wear Our Hair In Curls". Click http://awe.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=123101&messages=14 for versions of and comments about this risque rhyme.

From the way these girls laughed with their head down at the conclusion of that rhyme, my guess is they recognized the sexualized content in that rhyme.

****
4.
21:26- 21:39
Down By The River
Down by the sea
Johnny break a bottle
and blame it on me
I told Ma, Ma told Pa
Johnny got a likkin
So ha ha ha.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine [that person attempts to slap the hand of the next person to their right. If she does that person is out.]
-snip-
This game was subtitled "Down By The River" in this documentary. The words to this game were given as subtitles.

"Down By The River" as given almost exactly in this example was [and may still be] relatively well known in the United States. I'm not sure where this rhyme originated. In the United States this rhyme was chanted while jumping rope or bouncing ball, but since at least the 1970s, most rhymes that were used for jumping rope have been converted to hand clap rhymes. I'm not sure if this rhyme is used for hand clap games in the United States, but I've never come across it being used as a hand slap rhyme as found in this documentary.

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5. 25:38--25:49
Boys are rotten
Made out of cotton
Grls are handy
Made out of candy
Boys go to Jupiter
Get more stupiter.
Girls go to mars to get more candy bars...
-snip-
The title for this rhyme was given in the documentary. I transcribed the words from this video. documentary.

The girls stood in a circle and performed imitative motions and a small bit of hand clapping.

On the line "get more stupider", the children circle a finger next to their ear in the gesture for "crazy".

This rhyme is very well known in the United States among American girls who usually chant it as part of a longer hand clap rhyme.

****
6.
29:41- 29:55
One leg gone up
For two leg, uh-huh!
Two leg gone up
For t’ree leg, un- hun!
T’ree leg gone up
For four leg, un-hun!
Five leg gone up
For six leg, un hun!
-snip-
The title for this game was given as "One Leg Gone Up" and its words were given as subtitles in this documentary.

I don't believe that this singing game is known in the United States, except perhaps to people from the Bahamas or other Caribbean nations.

"One leg gone up" is performed as a circle game in which the person in middle quickly moves to stand in front of another person forming the circle. I think that the middle person is supposed to do some dance in front of the person that he or she is standing in front of. The person who was stood in front of then changes places with the middle person and the singing game begins again from the beginning. This game reminds me of the American [?] game "Ride That Pony" although the dance movements in this video are much more risque than the movements that I've seen in "Ride That Pony" videos.

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7.
29:57 –30:06
Show me your motion.
tra la la la la
Show me your motion
tra la la la la
And he looks like a sugar in a plum
-snip-
The title "show me your motion" was given on the screen and the words were given as subtitles.

This is almost certainly a clip of a "Brown Girl In The Ring" circle game. The boy in the middle of the ring does what most Americans would consider to be a very sexualized dance move in front of a girl forming the ring.

The circle game "Brown Girl In The Ring" is relatively familiar in the United States, but like most non-competitive circle games, it's rarely self-initiated by girls (let along girls and boys). Usually, if these types of recreational games are played at all, they are played at an elementary music teacher's direction.

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8.
30:52 -35:36
This section is titled "Naughty Johnny"
31:01- Naughty Johnny’s composer describes the song recorded in 1976: "Johnny was one of ten songs that was recorded on this album “The Real T’ing”." Painter/composer Eddie Minnis shares how he was surprised to learn that "Naughty Johnny" was being performed as a "ring play". The ring play uses the words from his recorded song*.

The video shows a clip of girls doing hand clap while chanting “Naughty Johnny”. The hand clap rhyme is performed by a number of girls standing next to each other in two lines facing each other.

*Click http://www.metrolyrics.com/naughty-johnny-lyrics-eddie-minnis.html for the words to "Naughty Johnny". These words aren't given as subtitles in this documentary.

****
9.
36:53 - 37:16
This clip shows children counting numbers up to 40.

The title "Counting numbers" is given in this clip with no sub-tiles. This circle game is very unfamiliar to me and I don't feel confident describing the game's activity.

****
10.
42:54 =43:28
Welcome to McDonalds
May I take your order
Nick nack tia tia
order me a French fry
Icy cold milk shake
And don’t forget my apple pie.

[Repeat the entire verse that is given above two times]

Nick nack [stomp stomp] tia tia
order me a French fry [stomp stomp]
Icy cold milk shake [stomp stomp]
And don’t forget my apple pie. [stomp stomp]

Nick nack tia tia
order me a French fry
Icy cold milk shake
And don’t forget my apple pie.

[Chante gets faster]
Big Mac tia tia
order me a French fry
Icy cold milk shake
And don’t forget my apple pie.

Big Mac tia tia [one stomp]
order me a French fry [one stomp]
Icy cold milk shake [one stomp]
And don’t forget my apple pie. [one stomp]
-snip-
The words for a portion of this rhyme are given as subtitles. The subtitles end for at time and then reappear. I've given my transcriptions for the portion of the rhyme that doesn't have subtitles. I also included some performance instructions with this example. Those performance instructions are given in brackets and aren't chanted.

In this documentary this rhyme is performed as a hand clap game by young girls facing each other in two long lines. A second clip of this rhyme is performed by women in standing in a circle (with no one in the middle of the circle).

This rhyme is known as "Welcome To McDonalds" (also known as "Big Mac Filet Of Fish" in the United States where it is very well known. "Nick nack tia tia" are folk processed forms of the words "Big Mac filet of fish" that I've never come across in the United States. Also, I've not come across any examples of this rhyme in the United States that is performed with the added foot stomps.

****
11. 45:58-46:19
Mae Sue from Alabama
Hey you, Scooby Doo
Mama’s gat the measles
Papa gat the flu
Baby gat the chicken pops
And so are you.
You better ABCDEFG
You better keep your black hands off a me.
You gotta smooth it
You gotta smooth it
You freeze with your holey panties
And you cheesie jockies
And you gat disease, so free
-snip-
The words to this hand clap game are given as subtitles on the screen. The hand clap game is performed by two long lines of mostly girls facing each other.

The word "Mae" in this rhyme is a folk processed form of the word "Miss" and "So free" is a folk processed form of "So freeze".

On the words "ABCDEFG" the game changes from hand clapping to imitative motions.

On the line "you gotta smooth it", girls press their hands down body in imitation of smoothing out clothes or in a seductive motion.

The word "You better smooth it" is found as "You gotta smooth shot" in some "Miss Sue From Alabama" rhymes. Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/11/folk-processing-childrens-rhyme-miss.html for examples of those rhymes.

The line "You betta get your black hands off of me" is said louder with a confrontational stance.

I believe that the line "get your black hands off of me" reflects negative attitudes that some Black people still have about our skin color. As such, unless this is also a problem in the Caribbean, "borrowing" this rhyme without considering the meaning of this line, encapsulates the danger of taking everything from American culture in without a filter for the negativity that is part of that culture. Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2011/10/get-your-black-hands-off-of-me.html for a pancocojams post on African American children's rhymes with the line "Get your black hands off of me".

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12.
47:29- 48:02
Mama Mama can’t you see
Look what Daddy’s done to me.
took away my MTV
Now I’m watchin Barney
Tick, tack, toe, three in a row
Mama got shot by GI Joe
Mama called the Doctor and the Doctor said
Whoop there it is
Whoop there it is
-snip-
Two lines of mostly girls facing each other performing hand claps.

There are many different versions of this rhyme in the United States. Instead of "look what Daddy's done to me", the words in the United States are "look what Barney's done to me"- "Barney" being the name of a fictional big purple dinosaur that stars in an American television series that is geared to very young children. Although I don't recall coming across any with the "Whoop there it is" ending, it's possible that there are such versions.. :Mama Mama Can't You See" has its origins in United States military cadences and the "Whoop There It Is" phrase is lifted from a 1993 Miami Bass dance song with that title and repeated lyrics.

****
13.
48:21- 48:50
Peanut Butter Reeses Cup
You mess wit me I'll mess you up.
Bye Bye choo choo train.
Let's see :::::* do her thing.
She can't.
Why not?
She can't
Why not?
Because her head is hurtin'
Her bra too tight.
Her booty shakin' from the left to the right.
To the left, to the right
to the left, right, left, right
You too skinny, you too fat
Watch that girl break her back.
Boom chicky, Boom chicky.
Boom chicky.

*girl's name or nickname
-snip-
The words to this example are given as sub-titles. Note: The line "to the left, right, left, right" and the words "Boom chicky" aren't given in the sub-titles, but the girls chant those words. The "Boom chicky" is interesting as it is very similar to "A Boom Chikaboom", a well known American "camp song" which may have its source in a foot stomping cheer.

Performance description:
The girls form a circle with one girl in the middle. The chant begins with a foot stomping cheer* movements (foot stomps alternate with individual hand claps in a stomp stomp clap pattern performed by stomping down hard on the right foot, then stomping down hard on the left foot and then clapping your hand). On the words "She can't" (at 48:29 in the video), the foot stomping portion of this ring play ends and the children begin to perform imitative motions and dancing while continuing to chant. On the words "watch out girl break her back" the girl in the middle really starts dancing hard.

This cheer/rhyme is very well known in the United States, usually with the title "Bang Bang Choo Choo Train". Notice that the children sing a folk processed form of those words: "Bye bye choo choo train".

The clip right before this example features a professor from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana who expresses her concern that Bahamian children might begin to incorporate 'something as pernicious as gangster rap" into the lyrics of their ring plays. My research indicates that "Bang Bang Choo Choo Train" doesn't have its source in gangster Rap. Instead, its sources are United States military cadences and, before that, the risque song known as "Bang Bang Lulu".
*Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/05/an-overview-of-foot-stomping-cheers.html for information about and text examples of foot stomping cheers.

****
14.
54:52-55:09
I went up on the hill
With my bucket on my head
My road fall down
with my bucket on my head
Rocka a my cherry
One two
Rocka a my cherry
three four
Rocka a my cherry
five six
Rocka a my cherry
seven eight
Rocka a my cherry
nine ten
Rocka my cherry.
That's the end.
-snip-
The words to this example are given as sub-titles in this documentary.

This ring play is performed as a girls' circle game with one person in the middle. A boy on the outskirts of the circle accompanies the girls singing on a drum that is strapped over on of his shoulders,

The girls hold both hands near their head, as a representation of holding a bucket on their head [?] . On the words "rock my cherry", the girl in the middle dances in front of someone forming the circle, but in this portion of the video the girl barely moves her hips. The other girls forming the circle sing and clap while watching the middle girl, but don't imitate her dancing.

I don't believe this ring play is known in the United States. Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2017/07/bahamian-childrens-game-songhand-clap.html for two other examples of "I Went Up On The Hill" ("Rock The Cherry").

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15.
55:33- 55:37
Sauchiss in here
An’ a walkin stick in dere
Take anudder sauchiss
An’ stick it right in dere
-snip-
These words are given as a sub-titles on the screen by a woman commenter.

****
16.
55:38 –55:49
Sauchiss in dere
So rock an twist in ‘dere
Shake dat belly sauchiss
and stick it right in dere.
You know where
right in dere
Da Devil round de corner
says stick it right in dere
-snip-
These words are given as sub-titles in this documentary.

Girls and boys perform this singing game in a circle with one girl in the middle. On each line, the middle girl moves and dances (suggestively) in front of a person forming the circle and that person stands in place but also dances along with her. On the next line of the song, the middle person moves to her right and dances in front of the next person in the circle and that person also dances with her (and so on).

This rhyme isn't known in the United States, except probably by people from the Bahamas and/or other Caribbean nations.

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17.
55:52 -56:06
Blue Hill water dry
no where to wash my clothes
I remember the Sat’day night
fry fish and Johnny cake
Man take one and satisfy [sung a little faster]
Woman take two and make a moo
Man take one and satisfy
Woman take two and make a moo
-snip-
The words to this song are given as sub-titles on the screen. A woman sings a version of this verse that is often sung with "Brown Girl In The Ring".

****
18.
56:07- 56:38
Blue Hill water dry
no where to wash my clothes
I remember the Sat’day night
We had fry fish and Johnny cake
One take one two [children stomp when say they say "two"]
One take two take three [stomp when they say "three"]
“one take three and four [stomp when they say "four"]

[The girl in center and other children forming the circle stand sideways and alternate from one side to the next with each count]

one take four and five [stomp]
one take five and six [stomp]
one take six and seven [stomp]
One take seven and eight [stomp]
One take nine and ten [stomp]
One take ten and eleven [stomp]
twelve [stomp]

[The children continue this alternating sideways foot stomp while also doing a rocking kind of dance before they stomp hard on the ground]

thirteen
fourteen
-snip-
The words to this ring play are on the screen. The "Blue Hill water run dry" verse may be known in the United States thanks to Boney M's recording and others since that group. However, I think that the "one take one" etc verse and the sideways stomp that the children perform while chanting are probably not known in the United States.

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19.
56:40 -57:11
Old lady old lady
[explains that people in former generations used to say “Oh, love me.”
Old lady, old lady
Old lady, old lady
Oh lady, old lady
kiss a lady bum.
-snip-
This is my transcription that this rhyme that Nicolette Bethel, Director of Culture recited in this documentary. Ms. Bethel noted that former generations said "Oh, love me" instead of "Old lady" and she indicated that "kiss a lady bum" is just the kind of joke that 6 years old love."

****
20.
57:13-57:32
????
Listen to the sound of Sesame street
We gonna rock, rock
Rock till nine o’clock
She made me wash the dishes
She made me sweep the floor....
-snip-
This is my attempted transcription of this hand clap rhyme girls performing a four person hand clap rhyme. The girls aren't sure of the words to the rhyme or how to perform the rhyme.

A verse from versions of the American hand clap rhyme "My mama short and fine" includes the line "beep beep beep on Sesame Street." The line in this Bahamian hand clap rhyme could be a folk processed form of that rhyme.

The last two lines of this rhyme are very similar to the words that are found in various American rhymes including "Miss Susie Had A Steamboat". Read the given as #3 above for a similar rhyme.

****
21.
57:37-57:40
????
He rock in the tree top all night long
huffin and a puffin....
[clip ends]
-snip-
I attempted to transcribe this example, but couldn't decipher the first line that the group chanted.
This clip shows two women and two men performing a version of the hand clap game "Twee Lee Lee" (also known as "Rockin Robin"). This hand clap game is of African American origin and is based on The Jackson Five's "Rockin Robin" record. The hand clap game is very well known in the United States and appears to usually performed by four people as shown in this documentary's video clip.
-snip-
Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lpzGSpd5Z8to to find an April 17, 2013 video by published by Kimberley Minors entitled "Students from the ENG 108 class of the College of The Bahamas playing Twe Lee Lee".

*****
This concludes Part I of this two part series on Examples Of Bahamian Children's Ring Plays From The "Show Me Your Motion" Documentary

Thanks for visditing pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Bahamian Children's Game Song/Hand Clap Rhyme "I Went Up On The Hill" ("Rock The Cherry")


Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post showcases the Bahamian (Caribbean) children's singing game/hand clap rhyme "I Went Up The Hill" (This singing game/rhyme may also be known as "Rock The Cherry".)

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, and recreational purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to all those who are featured in the videos that are embedded in this post. Thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.
-snip=
WARNING: The video given as Example #2 in this post features children performing seductive dances that some people may consider to be unsuitable for children.

****
RHYME WORDS
Rhyme Example #1
I WENT UP ON THE HILL
I went up on the hill
With a bucket on my head
The road so rocky
Till my bucket fall down

Rock-a-my-cherry, one two
Rock-a-my-cherry, three four.

From http://www.mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=737
"Many thanks to Josephine Justilien for contributing this song. Thanks so much!"

****
Rhyme Example #2
I went up on the hill
With a bucket on my head
The road so rocky
Till my bucket fall down
(Rock my cherry)
one and two
(Rock my cherry)
One and two
(Rock my cherry)
three and four
(Rock my cherry)
five and six
(Rock my cherry)
seven and eight
(rock my cherry)
nine and ten
(Rock my cherry)
That’s the end!


Source: This is my transcription of the rhyme that is shown in the video given below as Video Example #1. I couldn't fully decipher the first portion of the rhyme (before the first iteration of the words "Rock my cherry"). Because of that, I used the first part of the lyrics given as Example #1 above. I'm confident that the girls chanted those words (or very similar words) because of the words that I understood and because the girls imitative actions fit all of the words to the first part of that rhyme.

****
[Added July 21, 2017 11:31 AM]

Rhyme Example #3
I went up on the hill
With my bucket on my head
My road fall down
with my bucket on my head
Rocka a my cherry
One two
Rocka a my cherry
three four
Rocka a my cherry
five six
Rocka a my cherry
seven eight
Rocka a my cherry
nine ten
Rocka my cherry.
That's the end.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAGjxqjoCko Show Me Your Motion: The Ringplay Games of The Bahamas (52:53- 52:59)

The words to this example are given as sub-titles in this documentary.

This ring play is performed as a girls' circle game with one person in the middle. A boy on the outskirts of the circle accompanies the girls singing on a drum that is strapped over on of his shoulders,

The girls hold both hands near their head, as a representation of holding a bucket on their head [?] . On the words "rock my cherry", the girl in the middle dances in front of someone forming the circle, but in this portion of the video the girl barely moves her hips. The other girls forming the circle sing and clap while watching the middle girl, but don't imitate her dancing.

I don't believe this ring play is known in the United States. Click for two other examples of "I Went Up On The Hill" ("Rock The Cherry").

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SHOWCASE VIDEOS
Video Example #1: Bahamian Ringplay ("Rock My Cherry"*)



Kimberley Minors Published on Apr 18, 2013
-snip-

I'm not familiar with the "I Went Up The Hill" (Rock My Cherry" rhyme being performed in the United States. I think it originated either in the Bahamas or in another Caribbean nation.

*This is my name for this rhyme from a repeated phrase in that rhyme. I've named this video to distinguish it from two other videos published by Kimberley Minor that have the same "Bahamian Ringplay" title:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnSgPM0cqlY. That video features three girls performing a version of the African American originated rhyme "Bang Bang Choo Choo Train" and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0WGQfk-DIo.

The video whose link is given last features four girls performing a version of a singing game that is known as "This a Way Valerie" in the United States, but is called "This a Way A Bellabee" in a documentary on Bahamian game songs (at 18:37 of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAGjxqjoCko. "This A Way Valerie" ("This A Way Ballabee") may have originated either in the Caribbean or in the United States (African Americans who may or may not have been of Caribbean descent).

The only "Ringplay" video that Kimberley Minor published on YouTube that includes the title of a ring play is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lpzGSpd5Z8 "Bahamian Hand Games/Ringplay: Twe Lee Lee" "Twee Lee Lee" (or similarly spelled words) is an African American originated hand clap rhyme that is based on the Pop/R&B song "Rockin Robin". In that video that rhyme is combined with another rhyme whose words I can't fully decipher.

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According to ring play is a "US, Caribbean, African" [term] that refers to "Any of various types of games played in a circle with dance movements and singing."

In the "Bahamian RingPlay" video that is featured in this post, the term "ring play" is used as a general term for children's recreational singing games and rhymes and not just circle games that are performed by people forming a ring (circle).

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Performance Description For Video Example #1:
Pancocojams Editor's Disclaimer:
This description doesn't mean that this is the way that this ring play is always performed.

I'm not very good at describing children's recreational play. Please improve this description. Thanks!

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Bahamian Ring Play "Rock The Cherry" ("I Went Up The Hill")
General description:
Two girls stand in one horizontal line facing two other girls with a little bit of space in between the two lines. The girls stand in place and perform imitative movements while chanting this rhyme.

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Actions for Specific Words & Phrases:
In the beginning of the rhyme, they hold both of their hands to the side of their head and hold their head down in sadness while slightly bouncing up and down to the beat.

When the girls start saying the counting lines, they raise their heads and begin holding up fingers to correspond with the numbers that they say. They continue to stand in place and slightly bounce up and down to the beat without rocking their hips.

After the number five, they hold up both hands and move them back and forth regardless of the numbers that they are saying. They continue to stand in place and slightly bounce back up and down to the beat.

On the line, "and that's the end", they throw both hands up in the air, smiling.

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Video Example #2: Show Me Your Motion Trailer



Ward Minnis Published on Nov 30, 2006

A Trailer for a documentary on Ring play games from the Bahamas. Directed by Ian Strachan.
-snip-
Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAGjxqjoCko for a link to this complete documentary. Unfortunately, that video has no comments to date.

WARNING: This documentary features children performing seductive dances that some people may consider to be unsuitable for children.

A pancocojams post that transcribes the words to the few hand games/singing games that are featured in this documentary will be posted ASAP and that link will be added to this post.

Here is my Video description for the "Rock the cherry" portion of this pancocojams featured video (beginning around .017):
Girls and boys form a large circle with one child in the middle. The middle child moves around the inside of the ring while the other children sing. On the words “rock my cherry”, the middle child moves directly in front someone she or he chooses and does a very seductive wining dance [hip rotating dance while moving up and down]. At the end of that rhyme, the girl she stood in front of becomes the new middle child and the singing game begins from the beginning.

Compare this game song with the African American [?] originated children's singing game "Ride The Pony" that is showcased in this post on my cocojams2 blog: https://cocojams2.blogspot.com/2014/11/little-sally-walker-ride-that-pony_9.html
-snip-
Here are three comments from that video's discussion thread:
Ms. Missi, 2010
"WoooooW! Some o'dese lil girls on here too SLACK! We wasn't slack like dat wit our ring play nah! Dey's run rite oat dread! Muddoes! Need dey hip cuttt! LoL! But, some of the clips are "clean" and show the traditional style of Ring Play. Love it. Thanx for posting!
-snip-
"Slack" = acting or being "nasty" ("dirty"), in this case, dancing sexually seductively. (noun: "slackness"). The opposite of "slack" is "clean".

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cstar88, 2011
"Ring Play the rite of passage. That was a good documentary. I recorded it a few days ago. If I had the opportunity to play Ring Play and Pawkin again, I would be there. Good job :)

I don't know what the word "pawkin" means, but a brief clip of a competitive ball throwing game for boys by that name is shown around 26:21 in the "Show Me Your Motion: The Ringplay Games of The Bahamas" documentary whose link is given above.

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Shan Russell, 2013
"Wow... No wonder we was so wamanish man! Singing dese kinda songs! SMH!!"
-snip-
"Womanish" is a term that is (also) used among African Americans (who may or may not be of Caribbean descent). "Womanish" is usually an at least mildly negative adjective that refers to girls acting like they are grown woman. "Manish" is a comparable term for boys who act like they are grown men.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Videos Of "Four White Horses" Caribbean Hand Clap Rhyme (Part II)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part Ii of a two part pancocojams series on the Caribbean folk song "Four White Horses" that is often used as a children's hand clapping rhyme.

This post showcases five videos of "Four White Horses" hand clap games. The Addendum to this post provides several suggested performance instructions for this hand clapping game.

Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2017/07/four-white-horses-caribbean-song-hand.html for Part I of this series. Part I presents selected comments from Mudcat folk music discussion thread and from other online sources about the origin of the song/rhyme "Four White Horses". Text (word only) examples of this song's lyrics are also included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, and recreational purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the unknown composers of "Four White Horses" and thanks to all those who have collected this song. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post, thanks to all those who are featured in these videos, and thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

PANCOCOJAMS EDITOR'S NOTE
Judging from its presence on the internet-including lyrics pages, questions about its origin and meaning, and YouTube videos, the song "Four White Horses" appears to be relatively familiar in the United States, at least compared to many other Caribbean songs. Although there is general agreement that "Four White Horses" is a Caribbean song, some websites give its origin as the United States Virgin Islands while others indicate that this song comes from Jamaica. Given the number and quality of the sources that say that this song is from the United States Virgin Island, I believe that origin is the correct one.

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SHOWCASE VIDEOS
These videos are given in chronological order based on their publishing date on YouTube, with the oldest dated video given first. All of these videos are from the United States.

Example #1: Four White Horses



Vincent Bates Published on Mar 23, 2011

Four white horses on a river. Ay, ay, ay, up tomorrow. Up tomorrow is a rainy day. Come on, join in our shadow play. Shadow play is a ripe banana. Ay, ay, ay, up tomorrow. Up tomorrow is a rainy day

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Example #2: Four White Horses Clapping Games



Julie Jacobsma Published on Nov 3, 2011

6th Graders create 4 or 8-beat clapping patterns to go with the Jamaican song, "Four White Horses" and perform them for the class.

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Example #3: Four White Horses clapping game



Clover Ridge Music, Published on May 19, 2014

Learn the clapping game to the Caribbean folk song, then make up your own pattern!

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Example #4: Four White Horses Clapping Game



Josh Manfroni, Published on Jun 22, 2016

Some of our 2nd grade students demonstrating the clapping game for "Four White Horses." Great job ladies!

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Example #5: 12-9-16 Fabulous Friday Winner



Ms. Flatebo Published on Dec 9, 2016

This is Mrs. Groen's fourth grade class performing "Four White Horses", which is a folk song from the Virgin Islands. This class did a great job learning this tough hand-clapping game. Some of the groups even alternated going over and under with their "high tens".

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ADDENDUM: SUGGESTED PERFORMANCE INSTRUCTIONS
These performance instructions are given in no particular order.
Quote #1:
From http://kodaly.hnu.edu/song.cfm?id=723
"Four White Horses"....

Kodály Center. The American Folk Song Collection ... Four White Horses. Analysis Share .... Collected by Floice Lindgren Lund, Virgin Islands, 1960. Informant

Directions: Two sets of partners form a square ("ones" and "twos"),
each person standing across from his or her partner.
On first 8 beats all clap hands out to the side, clapping each neighbors' palm.
For the remaining 8-beat phrases, the pattern is as follows. (One number = one beat)
1. The "ones" clap partners palms above shoulder level, the "twos" below.
2. All clap own hands together.
3. The "ones" clap partners palms below, and the "twos" above.
4. All clap own hands together.
5. The "ones" clap palms of neighbor on the right, the "twos" to the left.
6. All clap own hands together.
7. Reverse 5. (the "ones" turning to the left, etc.)
8. All clap own hands together"

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Quote #2
From http://www.mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=2200
"Four White Horses

Game Instructions

A Four Player Game

Four kids stand in a cross. Two kids face each other on one line of the cross, while the others face each other on the other line of the cross. One pair claps high in the air and the other pair claps low down. Then they switch.

Clapping Instructions:

On the First 4 Lines: Clap partner's hands, clap your hands, clap partner's hands, clap your hands.

On the 5th line: Go to the side partner - clap side partner's hands, clap your hands.

On the 6th Line: Go to the other side partner - clap side partner's hands, clap your hands."

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This concludes Part II of this series on "Four White Horses"

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