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Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Simpsons Handclap Rhyme (examples & comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides text and videos of the handclap rhyme entitled "The Simpsons". My comments about these rhymes are also included in this post.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

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INFORMATION ABOUT "THE SIMPSONS" SHOW
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Simpsons
"The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture, society, television, and many aspects of the human condition.

The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a solicitation for a series of animated shorts with the producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime time show and was an early hit for Fox, becoming the network's first series to land in the Top 30 ratings in a season (1989–1990).

Since its debut on December 17, 1989, the show has broadcast 530 episodes and the twenty-fourth season ended on May 19, 2013. The Simpsons is the longest-running American sitcom, the longest-running American animated program, and in 2009 it surpassed Gunsmoke as the longest-running American primetime, scripted television series. The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 26 and July 27, 2007, and grossed over $527 million.

The Simpsons is widely considered to be one of the greatest television series of all time."...

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FEATURED VIDEOS
Example #1: Hand Games



Paisley Horton, Uploaded on Apr 25, 2009 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJ9PPA7MaJk&feature=grec_index

Alecia and Arianna doing hand games..Eliott in the back ground annoyed..lol
-snip-
These two handclap rhymes were transcribed by Azizi Powell on September 5, 2010. Corrections & additions are welcome.

The first rhyme is a version of "There's A Place On Mars". Visit this page of my cocojams.com website to find my transcription of that rhyme: http://www.cocojams.com/content/handclap-jump-rope-and-elastics-rhymes-2 [hereafter given as cocojams handclap rhymes#2]

The second rhyme beginning at .025 is a version of "The Simpsons".
Here's my transcription of that rhyme:
THE SIMPSONS (Version #1)*
Sin Sin Sin
We do twist (tricks?)
And I do twist (tricks?)
And Maggie Maggie Maggie twist (tricks?)
And Mart is double trouble
Mart is double trouble
Criss cross
The apple sauce
Pump up the volume
Pump up the volume
Pump up the volume
Now freeze 1 time
Pump up the volume
Pump up the volume
Pump up the volume
Now freeze
-Alecia and Arianna; 2009, YouTube video

NOTES ABOUT MY TRANSCRIPTION OF THIS RHYME
*I assigned numbers to these examples featured in this post because they have the same titles. The numbers are given in the order of their presentation in this post.

"?" means I'm not sure about the words that were recited.

"sin sin sin"" - an introductory phrase that is probably a folk etymology version of "shame shame shame". The introductory phrase "shame shame shame" is frequently found in African American orginated children's rhyme. Click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=br9fAi7HdDk for a video of two African American girls performing a handclap routine while reciting a version of the handclap rhyme "Brickwall Waterfall". That video's title is "Shame Shame Shame" and the rhyme begins with that introductory phrase.

""Mart" is undoubtedly "Bart Simpson".

Read my other comments about "The Simpsons" playground rhyme in the section about this rhyme which follows two other examples of that rhyme.

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Example #2:
[Note: My apologies for the very poor quality of this video. I'm including it because, in spite of the poor visual and audio quality of the video, it still gives an example of how "The Simpsons" rhyme is performed as a group handclap/movement rhyme.]


The Simpsons hand game


renjs, Uploaded on Aug 27, 2008

Ren, Eric, Alex, Renee doing what Renee wants to do... again
-snip-
Description of this video:
One Black man, two young Black boys and one young Black girls form a circle and clap each others hands in the beginning portion of this rhyme. The participants then perform body motions which correspond to the words that are said. For instance, on the words "criss cross", the participants cross their arms on their chest. And on the word "Freeze!", the participants "freeze in place" (make a funny or dramatic pose and remain perfectly still for a very short amount of time.)

I'm not able to transcribe all of this rhyme. However, I believe that the words that the participants recited are similar to the words given in Example #2 below.
-snip-
I also found this video entitled "The Simpsons hand game":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Jkne6UHrYM.

In that video two young girls perform a handclap routine while reciting a rhyme in what I believe is Spanish.

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MORE TEXT EXAMPLES

THE SIMPSONS (Version #2)
Bart Simpson
Lisa Simpson
Homer and Marge
That’s not all-
Bart’s in double trouble

Bart Simpson
Lisa Simpson
Homer and Marge
That’s not all-
Bart’s in double trouble

Criss Cross
Apple sauce
Pump up the volume
Pump up the volume
Pump up the volume
Pump up the volume
Pump up the volume
Freeze!
Pump up the volume
Pump up the volume
Pump up the volume
Pump up the volume
For the last time
Freeze!
- Tamia; 12 year old African American girl, Maryland) Oct 29. 2005; collected by Marimba for Azizi Powell

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THE SIMPSONS (Version #3)
clap
lisa simpson, bart simpson, homer simpson, bart
B-A-R-T B-A-R-T B-A-R-T BART
i said a deep da deep da deep trouble
i said a deep da deep da deep trouble
-Anietie; http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=2204285338&topic=2724&post=25803#t; October 7, 2006

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RHYME ANALYSIS
"The Simpsons" refer to the family who are featured in the very oopular American animated series with that name.
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Simpsons
"The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture, society, television, and many aspects of the human condition.

...Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name...

The Simpsons is widely considered to be one of the greatest television series of all time"...
-snip-
To my knowledge, "The Simpsons" rhyme wasn't created by anyone associated with "The Simpsons" productions (television series and movie). Although it might have been any episode or any number of episodes that inspired the anonymous creation of "The Simpsons" rhyme, I wonder if the episode in which Bart sells his soul [ewas the inspiration for the rhyme which indicates that Bart is in double trouble (in a lot of trouble). I happened upon information about that episode in the Wikipedia page about the children's rhyme "Miss Susie"[had a steamboat] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miss_Susie. Here's a quote from that page:
"In The Simpsons episode Bart Sells His Soul, Sherri and Terri chant, "Bart sold his soul, and that's just swell / Now he's going straight to / Hello operator / give me number nine" in Bart's nightmare. And in "Fat Man and Little Boy," Lisa and her friend Janey recite this rhyme. An eavesdropping Homer gasps whenever he expects profanity and lets out sighs of relief when they turn out to be innocuous."

Here's more information about the "Bart Sells His Soul" episode:
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bart_Sells_His_Soul
"Bart Sells His Soul" is the fourth episode of The Simpsons' seventh season. It first aired in the United States on the Fox network, on October 8, 1995. In the episode, while being punished for playing a prank at church, Bart declares that there is no such thing as a soul and to prove it he sells his to Milhouse for $5 in the form of a piece of paper with "Bart Simpson's soul" written on it. Lisa warns Bart he will regret this decision, and Bart soon witnesses odd changes in his life. Believing he really has lost his soul, he becomes desperate to get it back. Lisa eventually acquires it and returns it to a relieved Bart."

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WHAT "PUMP UP" MEANS IN CHILDREN'S CHEERLEADER CHEER & AND WHERE THIS PHRASE MIGHT HAVE COME FROM [Revised June 18, 2016]
"Pump up the volume" literally means to "turn up the sound". In the context of its use in cheerleader cheers, "pump up" means "to raise the energy", "to get more excited about what you are doing". The closely related phrase "Pump it up" which is also found in children's (mostly girls) cheerleader cheers means "to give something more air such as when air is pumped into a car tire or a balloon).

During competitive athletic games the exhortations to "pump it up" and "pump up the volume" are directed to the athletic team as well as to its fans. "Pump up the volume" is closely related to the exhortation "pump it up" which is also found in several children's cheerleader cheers.

My guess is that the record that most likely influenced the use of the phrase "pump up the volume" in cheerleader cheers was the 1987 Pop record "Pump Up The Volume" by the British recording act M|A|R|R|S. That record included a number of samples. In the context of the "pump it up"/ "pump up the volume" children's cheerleading cheers, these record samples were probably the most significant (given in chronological order of record release and not in any particular order of influence):

Trouble Funk, "Pump Me Up" in Drop the Bomb, 1982 (LP): Vocal sample ("Pump-pump me up")

Original Concept, "Pump That Bass" in Bite'n My Stylee, 1986 (12"): Vocal sample ("Pump that bass")

Eric B. & Rakim, "I Know You Got Soul (a cappella version)" in I Know You Got Soul, 1987 (12"):
Vocal sample ("Pump up the volume, dance")
Click https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pump_Up_the_Volume_(song) for more information about the record "Pump Up The Volume".
-snip-
In addition, the use of "Pump up the volume" in cheerleader cheers may have also been influenced by the title of the 1990s American movie "Pump Up The Volume".. Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pump_Up_the_Volume_(film) for information about that comedy/drama.
-snip-
I believe that the song "Pump Me Up" was the main influence for the cheerleader cheer "Pump It Up". That influence is shown in those cheers' repetition of the word "pump" (i.e. "pump pump pump it up") and the tune and tempo that those cheers (that I've directly observed and observed via YouTube videos) use. An upcoming pancocojams post on children's "Pump It Up" cheers will be published soon and that link will be included here.

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WHAT "DOUBLE TROUBLE MEANS"
"Double trouble" means "a lot of trouble". As a matter of interest, that rhyming phrase can be found in a song that is included in the 1922 book Negro Folk Rhymes: Wise And Otherwise by Thomas W. Talley.
From the rhyme entitled "Gooseberry Wine" [http://www.gutenberg.org/files/27195/27195-h/27195-h.htm, p.41]
Oh walk chalk, Ginger Blue!
Git over double trouble.
You needn' min' de wedder
So's de win' don't blow you double.

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WHAT "CRISS CROSS APPLESAUCE" MEANS
"criss cross applesauce" is a rhyming phrase that is found in several contemporary American English children's rhymes. Click
cocojams handclap rhymes#2 for examples of "Say Say My Playmate" that includes the longer phrase "Criss cross applesauce/ Do me a favor and get lost".

In the context of children's rhymes "criss cross" means to cross your legs or your arms. The phrase "criss cross applesauce" is also used in some American day care centers and kindergarten classrooms to serve as a command for children to sit on the floor with their legs crossed.

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Thanks to all those who contributed to this post. Thanks also to those who are shown in these featured videos, and thanks to the publishers of those videos.

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