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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Children's Parodies Of "I Believe I Can Fly" (text & video examples)

Edited by Azizi Powell

Revised March 21, 2017*

This is Part II of a two part series on parody examples of R. Kelly's hit 1996 R&B song "I Believe I Can Fly". Those parodies are also entitled "All I Wanted Was A Chicken Wing". This post showcases ten text examples of this parody as well as two videos of this parody being sung.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/10/childrens-parodies-of-i-believe-i-can.html for Part I of this series. Part I provides information and comments about parody examples of R. Kelly's hit 1996 R&B song "I Believe I Can Fly", including information about the song source for those parodies.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.
-snip-
*An extraneous example of a "Mama Mama Can't You See" chant that mentions Michael Jackson was deleted from this post. I probably meant to add it to this pancocojams post http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/02/mama-mama-cant-you-see-usmc-cadence.html Mama Mama Can't You See - USMC Cadence & Children's Handclap Rhyme.

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TEXT EXAMPLES
(These examples are posted in chronological order based on their collection date or the date that they were posted online. Some examples were changed from paragraph form to a song line formation.)

Example #1:"I Believe I Can Fly"
I believe I can fly.
I got chased by the FBI. (or "I'm being chased by the FBI").
It's all because of those collards greens
that I ate with those chicken wings.
I believe I can fly.
See me running through that open door.
I believe I can fly.
I believe I can fly.
-African American boys & girls (ages 7-12), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, collected by Azizi Powell, 1999

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Example #2: [no title given]
Hand Jives I've learned as a kid living in VA. Please Post some that you know!!!

To the tune of I Believe I Can Fly)

I believe I can fly
I got shot by the F.B.I
All I wanted was some chicken wings
and a little bit of collad greens
I believe I can soar
I got a beaten at the geocery store
-GUEST,Natasha Woods, http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=102055&messages=44 "Folklore: Play Ground Hand Jives", May 30, 2007

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Example #3: [no title given]
i believe i can fly
i was shot by the fbi
all i wanted was a chicken wing
from mcdonalds or burger king
i believe i can soar
i was killed by an open door
all i needed was 20 cents
to buy a pack of junior mints!!!

there are alot of different versions but good question!!!
-Amy R, http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070526124029AA1nFbA "what is The lyrics to the funny i believe i can fly?" [hereafter given as Yahoo: I Believe I Can Fly Funny Lyrics], 2007

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Example #4: [no title given]
I believe I can fly.
I got shot by the FBI.
All I wanted was a chicken wing.
So my mom took me to Burger King.
I believe I can soar.
Take a dash through that open door.
Then my dog skippy jumped up and said yippy.

there you go
-SiiSco, Yahoo: I Believe I Can Fly Funny Lyrics, 2007
-snip-
That same year another commenter to that discussion thread wrote that the first two lines were
"i believe i can fly
i got ran over by tha icecream guy"

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Example #5: no title given
ha ha ha its funny here it is

I believe I can fly!
I got shot by the FBI.
All I wanted was a chicken wing.
From McDonalds or Burger King.
I still believe I can fly!
I got caught by the Pepsi Guy.
All I wanted was a Mountain Dew!
He shot me with his 42.
I'll always believe I can fly!
Until the day I die.
A clown hit me with a pie.
And was that one hot guy.
I believe I can soar.
I got killed by an open door.
All I needed was 20 cents!
For a package of junior mints.

HOPE THIS HELPS its the full song
-Hollie, Yahoo: I Believe I Can Fly Funny Lyrics, 2007

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Example #6: All I Wanted Was A Chicken Wing
I believe I can die (fly?)*
I got shot by the FBI
All I wanted was a chicken wing
From the burnt down Burger King

I believe I can soar
I got shot down by the superboy
I believe I can die (fly?)*
[Repeat first verse a number of times]
-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hz_pgnc4pI "All I Wanted Was A Chicken Wing", June 5, 2011
-snip-
*I'm not sure if the word sung is "fly" or "die".
This video is embedded below as Featured Example #1.

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Example #7: [no title given]
I believe i can fly
i got shot by the fbi
all i wanted was a chicken wing
french fries from burgerking
i believe i can soar
got caught robing a dollar store
all i wanted was a balloon
but they gave me some loony toons
i believe i can fly
-angiiemary, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uw06X9WZ59I [hereafter given as Video: i believe i can fly], 2010

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Example #8: I Believe I Can Die
Growing up as a little girl in the 90's I had a group of friends and during playground time at school the seven of us would sit on the playgrounds benches and sing. We enjoyed it. We used to sing a sing called
I believe I can die
I got shot by the FBI
All I wanted was some chicken wings...
-Danielle Jordan, Video: i believe i can fly, 2012
-snip-
This commenter's photograph was that of a Black woman. I included this example because it describes when & how this parody was sung. This comment also documents that the "I believe I can die" line was used in the "90s".

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Example #9: I Believe I Can Die
I belive i can die
I was killed by FBI
all i wanted was chicken wings
some i stole from burger king
I belive i can die....
TheCuteRat, Video: i believe i can fly, 2012

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Example #10: [no title given]
One time, I was in middle school & I was riding the bus back from some field trip when some kids sang
"I believe I can die,
I've been shot by the F.B.I.,
all I wanted was a chicken wing,
but they shot me at Burger King."
-http://twilingstarfish.deviantart.com/art/I-believe-I-can-fly-Parody-64225265, retrieved September 28, 2013
-snip-
The commenter then shares a further development of this parody that he or she wrote as an adult.

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FEATURED VIDEOS
Example #1: All I Wanted Was A Chicken Wing



Leticia Santos, Uploaded on Jun 5, 2011

This video was uploaded from an Android phone.

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Example #2:"all I wanted was a chicken wing..."



jenmurphy2002, Uploaded on Jul 22, 2010

Give the kid a harmonica and this is what happens. I had never heard this before, so it was rather shocking when my 4 year old daughter sang it to me for the first time. hahaha.
-snip-
Here are the words that this little girl sung:
“I believe I can fly
I got shot by the FBI
All I wanted was a chicken wing”

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RELATED LINK
Click this page of my website for more text examples of children's parodies: http://cocojams.com/content/childrens-parodies-0

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This ends Part II of this series.

Thanks to all those who I quoted in this post. Thanks also to those featured in these videos & thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

Thank you for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

32 comments:

  1. i learned a version that goes, "i believe i can die, i got shot by the fbi, my momma hit me with a chicken wing, all the way to burger king." and that was it lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for that example, Rabia!

      It would be interesting to know when you learned this, if children are still saying this chant, and if it's just chanted or is said as part of a hand clap rhyme or some other movement activity.

      Delete
    2. I've always wondered at the origin of this parody, but today was the first time I thought "Hey, let's look this up on the internet!" Whenever I think back to my childhood, I think it's bizarre the type of songs we were singing--some of them were dirty and some violent. I remember we used to sing these songs on the bus to school or waiting around the bus stop. I'm guessing I first heard it during 1998-2000 because that's about when I started kindergarten. And I know it was before 2001 because I lived in Germany on an Air Force base at the time when I sang it, and when I moved to the states in 2001, no one was singing it anymore. My version was lengthier than most, though I can't remember it all. It went something like "I believe I can die, I got shot by the FBI, all I wanted was a chicken wing that they sold at Burger King, I believe I can die..." and that's all I remember exactly, but I know the rest of the verses just deteriorated into more violence. There was bleeding and maybe rushing through a hospital door? I've never actually asked any of my friends who grew up in America whether or not they've heard it/used to sing it. No one has mentioned it to me since before 2001. I thought it was tons of fun to sing and sometimes we'd change the lyrics to make it more violent (I think?). There were no hand claps or movement activities. We just belted it at the top of our lungs on the bus. I think there was a need to sing it as loud as possible and the dirtiest or most violent possible. Also, I remember thinking one of the older kids had taught it to some of the younger ones. That's all I got. I'll be back if I think of more lyrics.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous, thanks for sharing your memories of the "I Believe I Can Fly" parody. I remember that around 1997-1999 a version of that parody was really popular with school age [arouond 7-12 year old) Black boys and girls in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where I live somee. I used to do storytleling and game song s & rhymes programs for children, particularly in African American neighborhoods in the Pittsburgh area. When I asked groups what rhymes they known, one rhyme that was often enthusiastically sung was the I Believe I Can Fly parody. As you remembered, no handclapping or any other accompanying movements were performed with this rhyme. But the rhyme wasn't particularly dirty or violent -except for the person getting shot by the FBI. Maybe the kids [in multiple locations often considerably geographically separated from each other] only sung a cleaned up version of this parody to adults. But if that were the case, I think I would have heard about another or otheer more risque versions.

      Anonymous, for the folkloric record, I'd love to know where you lived in the USA when you learned that parody. And for the folkloric record, I'm curious what race/ethnicity, and gender you are. I think that "I Believe I Can Fly parodies were known to and sung by non-Black children, but I'd like to document that assumption.

      Delete
  2. Hi, same Anonymous here again. I actually learned the parody at an American Air Force base in western Germany. I am white and a woman. And I know for certain there were other non-Black children singing it as well--pretty much the whole bus knew the song.

    Also, I think we all sang the one chorus, but people would try to continue it with more violent images, not graphically violent, but akin to the "shot by the FBI" line. None of the song was dirty though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi anonymous!

      Thanks for that response. And thanks for confirming that this particular parody was [and perhaps is still] sung by non-Black people.

      From your comments I assume that it was American children associated with the US airforce base singing "I Believe I Can Fly". But often children in other countries are taught American playground rhymes as part of an English language lesson. People from other countries might learn an American playground rhyme because that rhyme is featured on an American television show that is shown in their country. Or people from other nations might communicate with Americans or travel to the USA and learn a rhyme and then take it back to their country.

      Of course, rhymes might be learned via reading them in a book and/or the internet. YouTube is a great source for learning rhymes and watching the way others play them. And sometimes YouTube comment threads are a good way to learn what versions of rhymes children really chant. Most rhyme book only feature one squeekly clean example of a particular rhyme,

      Again, anonymous, I appreciate your comments, and I'm glad to have your anecdotal information as part of this rhyme's folkloric documentation.

      Delete
  3. Lol I used to sing
    I believe I can fly
    I believe I can touch the sky
    I only wanted a chicken wing but I got shot in the dingling

    ReplyDelete
  4. In third grade, i heard some kids singing this...

    I believe i can die
    I just got shot by the FBI
    all i wanted was a chicken wing.
    how did i end up in burger king?
    my mom hit me with a frying pan...
    so i hit her back with 3 trashcans
    thats how she ended up in the hospital....
    and how i got this popsicle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi yourself :o)

      Thanks for sharing that example of a variant form of "I Believe I Can Fly"!

      Delete
  5. My son told me this one today from his school.

    I believe I can die
    I got shot by the FBI
    All I wanted was a chicken wing
    Then I got shot in the ding-a-ling

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Crystal Matthey for sharing your son's version of this parody.

      I wonder if children nowadays know that this jingle came from R. Kelly's late 1990's song "I Believe I Can Fly".

      Delete
    2. thats a weird song

      Delete
    3. my version goes like this: i belive i can fly i got shocked by the F.B.I all i wanted was a burger from burger king and a wing from wing stop

      Delete
  6. the ones that came up in my school were i belive i can fly i got shot by the fbi all i wanted was a bag of chips but thats all i remember it was more from 2005-2007

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing that example, Anonymous September 12, 2015 at 1:50 PM.

      The last word of that line almost certainly rhymed with "chips". I wonder if it was "hips" or "lips" or "dips"??

      Does anybody else remember a version of this rhyme like this one?

      Delete
    2. Yep, I know this is old but it was "but I got shot in the dangly bits", haha!

      Delete
  7. My niece was telling me this recently. It's simular to what I heard growing up but it's half of what the full version is, considering it was made into a full song that we used to sing on the bus.

    I believe I can fly but I got shot by the FBI all I wanted was a chicken wing from Burger King but I got kicked out of Burger King because they don't have any chicken wings.

    The rest I don't remember.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Anonymous.

      Thanks for sharing your memories about this rhyme/chant.

      It's interesting how some songs become rhymes or chants and others don't.

      Delete
  8. My version from my school was:
    "I believe I can fly,
    I got shot by the FBI,
    All I wanted was some chicken wings,
    Mashed potatoes and collard greens.
    I believe I can soar,
    See me running through that grocery store..."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, Cait.

      Thanks for sharing your example of "I Believe I Can Fly". I hadn't come across that version before. I'm curious when (what year) and where (city and state or at least which state) it's from.

      Delete
  9. Our principal circa 1993 loved i beleive i can fly and played it at all our assemblies. But, We kids used to sing

    I believe I'm a fly
    Don't squash me or I'll die...


    I can't recall the rest

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous, thanks for sharing your memory of "I Believe I Can Fly".

    For the folkloric record, what city and state was this in?

    ReplyDelete
  11. my version is like this:i belive i can fly got shocked by the F.B.I all i wanted was a burger from burger king and a wing from wing stop (the song ends there) when i sung it for the first time to my friends it got stuck in everyones head

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Anonymous 1/27/2017 for sharing your memory of this song.

      It's interesting how the words change from one community or school to another.

      Delete
  12. Chorus:
    I believe I can fly,

    Verse:
    I got shot by the FBI...
    All I wanted was a bag of chips,
    Instead I got blown to bits...

    Sing chorus. Sing verse. Sing chorus x2, while gradually fading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, thanks for sharing that version of the "I Believe I Can Fly" parody rhyme.

      I hadn't heard or read that one before.

      Delete
  13. The only one I have ever heard was "I believe I can fly I believe I can touch the sky all I wanted was a Popsicle but I ended up in the hospital I believe I can fly"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, April 16, 2017, thanks for sharing that parody version of "I Believe I Can Fly".

      That's another one I hadn't "heard" before.

      Delete
  14. this is my version: i belive i can fly i got shot by the fbi all i wanted was some some burger king but instead she gave me chicken wings

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unknown May 8, 2017, thanks for sharing that version!

      Delete