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Monday, January 21, 2013

"Brickwall Waterfall" (Examples & Analysis)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post presents general information, and text & video examples of the contemporary children's playground rhyme "Brickwall Waterfall". Also included in this post is an analysis of the meaning of certain lines from that rhyme.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

GENERAL INFORMATION & COMMENTS ABOUT "BRICKWALL WATERFALL"
"Brickwall Waterfall" is a self-bragging/taunting playground rhyme. The rhyme appears to be either chanted while performing partner handclap routines*, or chanted while standing still & acting out (doing mime-like movements) for certain recited words.

Judging from the frequency of internet postings of "Brickwall Waterfall" (including the number of examples of this rhyme that have been sent in to my Cocojams website) "Brickwall Waterfall" appears to be one of the most widely known contemporary playground rhymes in the United States since 2003.
The popularity of "Brickwall Waterfall" is probably due to that rhyme being featured two times in the 2003 American movie Dickie Roberts, Former Child Star. A clip of one of the "Brickwall Waterfall" scenes in the Dickie Roberts movie is found below.

*I use the phrase "partner handclap routines" to distinguish that form of handclap routines from the mildly competitive handclap slapping games that are peformed by a group of people standing (or sitting) in a circle. "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky" and "Stella Ella Ola" are examples of hand slap games.

A STANDARD EXAMPLE OF BRICKWALL WATERFALL (Given with the lines numbered for analysis purposes)

Example #1:
1.Brick Wall Waterfall
2.Girl, you think you got it all.
3.You don't. I do.
4.So BOOM with that attitude.
5.Peace Punch Captain Crunch.
6.I got something you can't touch.
7.Bang Bang Choo Choo Train
8.Wind me up I do my thang.
9.Reeses piece 7 Up
10.Mess with me I'll kick your butt.
11.Elbow elbow, wrist wrist.
12Shut up girl,
13You just got dissed.
-snip-
Here's a standard summary of "Brickwall Waterfall". This summary is written as though both the person speaking and the person being spoken to are females. Of course, either one or both of them could be males.

The girl speaking confronts her un-named opponent. The speaker brags about herself, and proceeds to hurl a string of insults at her opponent. The girl tells her opponent that she better quickly change her actions (or whatever else her opponent has done to annoy her) for if she doesn't, she will be in big trouble.

BRICKWALL WATERFALL AND BANG BANG CHOO CHOO TRAIN
Lines 6-13 of the standard example of "Brickwall Waterfall" that is found above are the same as those lines that are found in many versions of the also widely known handclap rhyme "Bang Bang Choo Choo Train".
What distinguishes these two rhymes from each other is that examples of "Bang Bang Choo Choo Train" don't include the first six lines of "Brickwall Waterfall".

"Bang Bang Choo Choo Train" is much older than "Brickwall Waterfall". The earliest example of the children's rhyme that I've found is from the early 1970s.

In 2006 one person who sent an example of "Brickwall Waterfall" to my Cocojams website included a comment that "Brickwall Waterfall" was part of the "Bring It On movies". I've repeated that comment on that website and elsewhere on the internet. I apologize for repeating what I now believe to be a well meaning mistake.

I think what that respondent was referring to was that the Clovers, the predominately African American cheerleading squad in the first movie of that series Bring It On (2000)chanted lines from "Bang Bang Choo Choo Train" in one of their routines. The initial verse of "Bang Bang Choo Choo Train" is often recited after "Brickwall Waterfall's "standard" lines.

BRICKWALL WATERFALL AND THE DICKIE ROBERTS MOVIE
According to http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0325258/trivia, [the character Sally Finney's] "Brick wall, waterfall" routine was something [actress] Jenna Boyd was doing on the set between takes. The filmmakers liked it and worked it into the script -- twice."
-snip-
I'm not sure where Jenna Boyd got this rhyme from or if she composed it herself. Be that as it may, I've never come across any versions of "Brickwall Waterfall" that predate the 2003 Dickie Roberts movie.

OTHER EXAMPLES OF BRICKWALL WATERFALL
"Brickwall Waterfall" may include additional lines prior to or after the end of the "standard" version given above.

Some examples of "Brickwall Waterfall don't include lines from "Bang Bang Choo Choo Train" (line 6-13 above). Here are two such examples:

Example #2:
1 , 2, 3,
HIT IT!
that's the way
uh huh uh huh
i like it
uh huh uh huh
that's the way
uh huh uh huh
i like it
uh huh uh huh
peace. punch
captain crunch.
brick wall. waterfall.
girl you think you know it all?
you don't! i do!
so poof with the attitude.
loser loser with a twist
elbow elbow wrist wrist.
wipe a tear. blow a kiss.
kiss this.
hunnie u aint got none of this.
-posted by k.c. at June 20, 2006 [from a site called Octoblog which is no longer active]
-snip-
This example begins with the introductory lines "1, 2, 3/ HIT IT". Hit it" is lifted from a musical term which basically means "to play the note just right". The "that's the way, I like it" lines are of lifted from KC & The Sunshine Band's 1975 Pop hit "That's The Way (I Like It)." Those lines show up in a number of other playground rhymes.

Example #3:
brick wall waterfall
girl you think you got it all
you dont i do
so boom with that attitude
yo momma yo dadda
yo bald headed grandma
she 99 she think she fine
she goin out with frankinstien
shes hip shes fat
she needs a tictac
not a tic not a tac
but the whole six pack
sorry to be mean
but she needs some listerene
not a sip not a swallow
but the whole dang bottle oh!!!!!!!
-ash; Cocojams.com, 10/26/2007

Cocojams.com was the name of my cultural website. That website is no longer available, but a number of reader submitted rhymes can be found on cocojams2.

When Cocojams.com was active (until 2014), the "Brickwall Waterfall" either separately or in combination with "Bang Bang Choo Choo Train") was by far the hand clap rhyme that wase most often submitted to that site by children. preteens, and teens.

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BRICKWALL WATERFALL AND THE WALLFLOWERS SINGING GAME
The words "brickwall waterfall" are an internal rhyme that isn't supposed to have any meaning, but I wonder if there is any connection between those words an a British children's singing game called "Wallflowers" that dates from the 19th century. Here's the basic words to that game:

WALLFLOWERS
(at least five players)

Wallflowers,wallflowers, growing up so high,
We're pretty mermaids and we shall not die.
Except for Katie*, she's the only one.
Turn her around, turn her around,
So she cannot face the sun
-snip-
One person is the caller. All join hands in a circle and dance around singing rhyme. *The caller chooses someone at this point and he or she has to face outwards. Repeat until all the players are facing outwards."
[website from the UK no longer active; I posted this example in 2007 on http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=100061. Visit that discussion thread for more examples of and comments about that singing game.

TEXT ANALYSIS OF SELECTED LINES FROM BRICKWALL WATERFALL
Here's my take on the meanings of several commonly found lines in "Brickwall Waterfall" (I've used female nouns & pronouns in this analysis, although I'm aware that males may also say this rhyme.)

"so boom with that attitude" = the girl saying this line is warning the person she's talking to [her opponent] that she better get rid of her "attitude" (bad temper, negative feelings or mannerism directed to her) quick, fast, and in a hurry - or else. "Boom" is the sound that dynamite makes when it quickly explodes. This line is also given as "so poof with that attitude". "Poof" also conveys that the opponent better quickly change her attitude, that is, her opponent's bad temper better disappear quickly like things disappear in a puff of smoke in a magic trick.
-snip-
"I got something you can't touch" - the girl saying this line continues to "brag on" (brag about) herself.

The line "I've got something you can't touch" probably was inspired by M.C. Hammer's 1990 Hip-Hop song "U Can't Touch This.", but I very much doubt that many children reciting this rhyme would be aware of that. In the rap song "this" in "U Can't Touch This" probably referred to the rapper's overall being, particularly his dancing skills. It certainly didn't refer to his butt. In the context of that rap, and, I believe also in the context of the children's rhyme, "touch" in the line "U can't touch this" and "I got something you can't touch" meant "best" as in "You can't do better than me, an/or "You're not as good as me".

However, notice that the girl in the Dickie Roberts movie pats her butt while saying this line. In African American urban culture that's a shorthand way of saying that the female is more attractive and more sexually appealing than her opponent. That said, I don't think that many girls who recite this line realize the meaning of that particular gesture.
-snip-
"wind me up and I'll do my thang" = if you keep on provoking me me (getting me winded up/ edging me on), I'll do my thing (fight you, or otherwise show you I can win in any confrontation that will occur).
-snip-
peace punch Captain Crunch - this rhyming line may not mean anything, but I'm intrigued about whether "peace punch" may have anything to do with the "pinch punch/first of the mohth" tradition in the United Kingdom (where people would say this rhyme on the first day of the month and pihch someone while they said it). Click http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=110019for comments about "pinch punch".

According to http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0325258/quotes the phrase used in the Dickie Roberts movie was "peace punch" and not "pinch punch" or "peach punch".
-snip-
The line "mess with me I'll mess you up" basically means the same thing as "wind me up and I'll do my thang".
-snip-
"loser loser double loser" = the girl who is saying these lines continues to insult her opponent by calling her a "double loser".
-snip-
elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist - the instructions given to beauty pagent contestants as to the proper way to wave their hands [in the context of this taunting rhyme, this alludes to the fist "waving" that will occur if the opponent doesn't quickly get rid of her "attitude" toward the speaker.]
-snip-
kiss this - means "kiss my butt"
-snip-
you just got dissed - you just got insulted ["Diss" is a clip of the word "disrepected"]

TWO VIDEOS EXAMPLES OF "BRICKWALL WATERFALL"
Example #1: lilbiatchrhyme



gumija23, Uploaded on Nov 28, 2009

brick wall
water fall
dickie thinks he got it all,
but he dont i do
so booom with that attitude
peace punch captain crunch
i got sumthin u cant touch
bang bang chewchew train
wind me up i do my thing
no reese's pieces 7up
mess with me i' ll mess you up

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Example #2: brick wall



Posted by bodgiefahey, November 12, 2006 [Australia]

"hand clapping game and sung"

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RELATED LINKS
Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dickie_Roberts:_Former_Child_Star for information about the movie Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND THANKS
Thanks to the unknown composer/s of these rhymes. Thanks also to all those associated with these featured videos, and those whose rhyme examples are featured in this post. My thanks also to the uploaders of these featured videos.

Also, thank you for visiting pancocojams.

Viewer comments are welcome

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