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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"Annie Had A Baby", The R&B Source Of Playground Rhyme "Pizza Pizza Daddy O"

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post is part of an ongoing series that showcases Rhythm & Blues songs which are sources of or whose lyrics are included in certain English language playground rhymes.

This post focuses on the 1954 song "Annie Had A Baby" by Hank Ballard & The Midnighters. It seems to me to be a undisputable fact that the R&B song "Annie Had A Baby" is the primary source for the children's rhyme "Pizza Pizza Daddy O".

A now deleted pancocojams post on the same subject was entitled "Mary Had A Baby" Song Sources For "Pizza Pizza Daddy O" Rhyme".

The content of this post is presented for historical, folkloric, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE "ANNIE HAD A BABY" RECORD
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annie_Had_a_Baby:
"Annie Had a Baby" is a 1954 single by The Midnighters. The single was one of many answer songs to "Work With Me, Annie", a previous hit for The Midnighters. "Annie Had a Baby" was also a number one hit on the R&B chart. A credible inspiration for this song was when a Los Angeles DJ played "Work With Me, Annie" then joked about a follow-up record titled "Annie Had a Baby" which caused King Records to receive orders for the then non-existing single. So the song was composed, recorded and released to fill the orders.
-snip-
Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_With_Me,_Annie to find information about the song "Work With Me, Annie" which was recorded by The Midnighters. Also, click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hank_Ballard to find information about Rhythm & Blues artist Hank Ballard who composed that song and who led the group The Midnighters.

In addition, click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvzSlCH9AsM for a YouTube video of "Work With Me, Annie".
-snip-
Regarding the radio dj coming up with the words "Annie Had A Baby", there is a Christmas song which I believe is of African American origin that is entitled "Mary Had A Baby". Knowledge of that song could have contributed to the dj's witty suggestion of a song entitled "Annie Had A Baby" which the Midnighter's could sing after their hit record "Work With Me Annie".

Click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsGvuRIxR4Efor a video of the religious song "Mary Had A Baby".

The irony is that a R&B song that was considered by many to be too suggestive to be played on the radio - a song which was recorded as an answer to another record that was routinely banned by radio stations because of its sexually suggestive lyrics - became the source of a socially acceptable children's playground rhyme. And that same rhyme, with adaptations here & there, has become so acceptable that some elementary public school music teachers include it as part of their classroom curriculum.

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SOUND FILE & LYRICS FOR "ANNIE HAD A BABY"

Hank Ballard & Midnighters--Annie Had A Baby



Uploaded by nipsipone on Oct 2, 2011

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ANNIE HAD A BABY
(Hank Ballard)

Annie had a baby, can't work no more
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
Annie had a baby, can't work no more
Every time she start to working
She has to stop to walk the baby 'cross the floor

She had to walk with the baby
Instead of me
Talk to the baby
Instead of me
Sing to the baby
Instead of me
Cling to the baby
Instead of me
Now I know I know Annie understood
That's what's happens when the game gets good

[chorus]
Reposted from http://www.elyrics.net/read/h/hank-ballard-&-the-midnighters-lyrics/annie-had-a-baby-lyrics.html

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TEXT & VIDEO EXAMPLES OF "PIZZA PIZZA DADDY-O"
Example #1

PIZZA PIZZA DADDY O
(children's playground rhyme, no known author)

Mary had a baby (Tanya, Sherry, etc.)
Pizza Pizza daddy-o
How you know it?
Pizza Pizza daddy-o
Cause she told me
Pizza Pizza daddy-o
What's his name
Pizza Pizza daddy-o
Jessie James
Pizza Pizza daddy-o
What's special?
Pizza Pizza daddy-o
Toilet tissue
Pizza Pizza daddy-o
Let's jerk it
Pizza Pizza daddy-o
Let's swim it
Pizza Pizza daddy-o
Let's skate it,
Pizza Pizza daddy-o
Let's freak it,
Pizza Pizza daddy-o
Let's twine it
Pizza Pizza daddy-o
Let's bat it
Pizza Pizza daddy-o
Let's fan it
Pizza Pizza daddy-o
Let's spin it
Pizza Pizza daddy-o.
-from http://www.folkstreams.net/context,201 DVD - "The Films of Bess Lomax Hawes" by Bob Eberein and Bess Lomax Hawes

Editor: The actions that are indicated in this movement rhyme are done with accompanying motions. For instance, "Let's skate it" means to act like you are skating, "Let's bat it" means to act like you are swinging a baseball bat", "Let's fan it" meaning "act like you are waving a fan", "Let's swin it" means to act like you are swiming, and "Let's spin it" means to spin your body around. "Twine", "jerk", and "freak" are specific dance moves which later became the names of specific R&B dances.
Pizza Pizza Daddy-O



John Melville Bishop, Uploaded on Dec 12, 2009
-snip-
From the DVD- The Films of Bess Lomax Hawes available from http://www.media-generation.com [Los Angeles African American girls, 1955]
-snip-
Added January 11, 2017:
From http://www.folkstreams.net/context,201

Notes and Transcription of the Singing Games

The singing games in this film are transcribed with introductory notes by Bess Lomax Hawes.

References: Hawes and Jones, "Pizza Pizza Mighty Moe"
..."PIZZA PIZZA DADDY-0
This was by all odds the current favorite during my period of visits to the playground; during the morning's filming, the children played Pizza Pizza four times to every once for the other games. I have seen it in other Los Angeles schools and it has been reported as a "new" game sweeping through Georgia and South Carolina. During the first run-through on the film, the "new" child is leading in the center of the circle; since she is unfamiliar with the repertoire in general, another player standing in the ring begins to call out the steps. The first line of the song varies with the name of the child in the central position; the last eight lines refer to popular social dance steps."
-snip-
Another clip of this film https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2YodFqZ7nQ
That clip's summary statement indicates that "Pizza Pizza Daddy-O" is "A 1967 film by Bob Eberlein and Bess Lomax Hawes that looks at continuity and change in girls' playground games at a Los Angeles school".
"The Jerk" and "Twine" are names of 1960s R&B dances.

That video is an even shorter segment of "Pizza Pizza Daddy-O" [1967 film] as well as other singing games.
-snip-
Notice that the lyrics of the Midnighters' song "Annie Had A Baby" include the action words "walk", "talk", "sing", and "cling". It wasn't difficult for some creative person or persons to change those verbs to dance or movement words. There's no telling why the refrain "Pizza pizza Daddy O" was used for this rhyme. But those words certainly add a nice rhythmic effect.

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Example #2: Robertson Pizza Pizza Daddy O.MP4



LincolnMusic185 | June 04, 2010

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PIZZA PIZZA DADDY O
Annie has a boyfriend. [Participants stand in circle without holding hands]
Pizza Pizza Daddy-o [On the words "Pizza Pizza Daddy-O:, participants do a "scissors jump"-jump crossing their feet in front.]
How you know it?
Pizza Pizza Daddy-o
Cause she told me.
Pizza Pizza Daddy-o
Let's swim it [make swimming motions]
Pizza Pizza Daddy-o
Let's rope it [Imitate twirling a rope above their head]
Pizza Pizza Daddy-o
Let's duck it. [hold their nose and duck down like they are jumping underwater]
Pizza Pizza Daddy-o
Let's end it. [turn around in a circle with their arms raised over their head]
Pizza Pizza Daddy-o
-African American girls & boys (ages 8 & 9 years, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2010)

I observed children performing this movement song at a pizza party in their classroom on their last day of school. The same words (with slightly different motions) were sung by students in another elementary school classroom also in the USA (That video is reposted below). The fact that students from different schools performed the same version of "Pizza Pizza Daddy-O" implies that some standard version of that movement song is being circulated among elementary school music teachers who then teach that version to their students. Unfortunately, what appears to have been lost in this process is the notion that the words to this song - and the words to other playground rhymes/movement songs - aren't fixed but can be updated and otherwise changed by the group.

Instead of the words "Anne Had A Baby", some examples of "Pizza Pizza Daddy O" 'clean up' those lyrics by saying "Anne (or some other female name) Had A Boyfriend". I have also found other versions of "Pizza Pizza Daddy O" that 'clean up' the original "suggestive" lyrics by starting with the words "Jimmy" (or some other male or female name) Had A Party".

I also have collected one version of this song with the title & beginning words "Pizza Pizza Mighty Moe" (from Bessie Jones' & Bess Lomax Hawes' 1972 book Step It Down. That last example appears to be a result of folk etymology, when words are misheard or misremembered or similarly sounding words are substituted for unfamiliar words. However, children or adults may have also purposely substituted socially acceptable words for words that are considered to be risque. Because of the Puritan influenced mores of the United States, the administration and teachers of many public schools would have frowned upon teachers singing the words "Anne Had A Baby". But the words "___ Had A Party" or even "___ Had A Boyfriend (or, in the case of a boy being the first one in the center of the circle "___ Had A Girlfriend") would be much more socially acceptable.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT & THANKS
Thanks to Hank Ballard for composing & The Midnighters for their recording of "Annie Had A Baby". Thanks to the unknown composers of the children's playground rhyme/song "Pizza Pizza Daddy O". My thanks also to the uploaders of these featured videos.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Viewer comments are welcome.

3 comments:

  1. Great article- I think the missing piece is that the KOLDAY early music education method takes American folk songs and uses them intentionally to teach certain rhythm and pitch skills- Pizza Pizza is one of the songs taught in this method. This might be where elementary educators get it...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I should have said that Kolday collects folk songs of many cultures

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks, Anonymous for your comments.

    ReplyDelete