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Friday, October 11, 2013

"I Don't Want To Go To Mexico" Rhymes (Sources & Examples)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part II of a four part series on the inclusion of the word "shame" in children's playground rhymes & sayings. This post features early versions of the rhyme that became "I Don't Want To Go To Mexico". In addition, this post also features examples of and comments about "I Don't Want To Go To Mexico" (and similarly titled rhymes) that begin with the phrase "shame shame shame" and/or ends with the word "shame".

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-word-shame-in-childrens-rhymes-part.html for Part I of this series.

In that post I suggests a Biblical origin for the saying "shame shame double shame" and provides examples & explanations for certain rhymes that include that line. In addition, this post provides examples of the adults' & children's saying "shame shame puppy [or "poppy] shame. Part I of this series also features an example of a 1920 children's rhyme that includes the line "Shame shame double shame".

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/10/video-examples-of-hand-clap-rhyme-i.html for Part III. That post presents videos of "I Don't Want To Go To Mexico" rhyme family that include the introductory line "shame shame shame" and/or end with the word "shame".

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/10/shame-shame-shame-hit-it-line-in.html for Part IV of this series. That post features other contemporary English language playground rhymes that have a "shame shame shame" line.

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

WARNING: Some websites whose links are provided in this post includes examples & comments that include profanity, explicit sexual content, homophobic references, and other content that I consider to be inappropriate for children. There is also a Hip Hop record that has a title that is the same or similar to this. I consider that record to be very inappropriate for children.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

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COMMENTS ABOUT "I DON'T WANT TO GO TO MEXICO"
"I Don't Want To Go To Mexico" is a large family of playground rhymes. The earliest version of these rhymes “I Won’t Go To Macy’s Any More, More More” was chanted as a jump rope jingle in 1938:
"I won't go to Macy's any more, more, more!
I won't go to Macy's any more, more, more!
There's a big fat policeman at the door, door, door!
He will squeeze me like a lemon.
A chalachke zol em nehmen.*
I won't go to Macy's any more, more, more!"
-http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/i_wont_go_to_macys_any_more_more_more_jump_rope_jingle_1938

*No information is given about the meaning of this line.

That post indicates that that rhyme is "also in the book Rimbles: A book of children's classic games, rhymes, songs, and sayings (1955, 1956, 1960, 1961) by Patricia Evans, pg. 30."

That post also includes this 14 April 1946, New York Times, "Jump-Rope Jingles," pg. 109 version of "I Don't Want To Go To Macys":

"I won't go to Macy's any more, more, more.
There's a big fat policeman at the door, door, door.
He takes me by the collar, and makes me pay a dollar.
So, I won't go to Macy's any more. more. more."
-snip-
That example is closer to many contemporary [1980 - to date] versions of "I Don't Want To Go To Mexico" rhyme than the 1938 version.

It's my position that the title "I Don't Want To Go To Mexico" came about because children substituted the word "Mexico" for the word "Macys" since they weren't familiar with the "Macys" store or the word “Macys”. This is an example of “folk etymology”. Folk etymology occurs when people change foreign words or unfamiliar words into familiar words or sounds that are similar to the word they don’t know.

For what it's worth, I don't think that "I Don't Want To Go To Mexico" rhyme is meant to disparage Mexicans or the nation of Mexico in any way. And just because a written or spoken composition mentions not wanting to go to Mexico, that doesn't mean that that composition is about immigration. [I've read both of these opinions online.]

Since at least the 1980s, the word "Mexico" has been replaced in some versions of this rhyme with "college" such as "I Don't Want To Go To College" in Barbara Michel's and Bettye White's 1983 book of Houston, Texas African American children's rhymes Apple On A Stick. There are other examples of this rhyme where the word "Mexico" has been replaced by the word "Hollywood" and "school". A "school" version of this rhyme were probably the inspiration for The Donna's 1997 Pop song "I Don't Wanna Go To School".

Also, since at least the 1980s, the words "big fat policeman" has been retained in some examples of "I Don't Want To Go To Mexico" (and similarly titled rhymes). However, in other examples, the policeman has been replaced with "a big fat boy" or "a big fat person name ______ " or "a big mean lady", "a big fat lizard", "a big fat gorilla", "a cute little boy", "two cute boys", "a big fat Michael Jackson" or "a skinny Michael Jackson". And I'm sure there are other characters who I didn't mention.

Furthermore, the lines "he'll grab you by the collar/make you pay a dollar" has morphed into such variants as "he'll grab you by the collar, boy you better holler", "he'll grab you by the hips/make me kiss his lips", "he'll grab you buy the pants/make you do a dance" and a number of other versions.

Another significant development that has occurred with versions of this rhyme is the inclusion of the beginning introductory phrase "shame shame shame" and/or the ending word "shame". Introductory phrases are a common feature of some African Americans playground rhymes. In addition to "shame shame shame", other African American derived introductory phrases for playground rhymes are "Zing Zing Zing And The Deep Blue Sea", "Zing Zing Zing" At The Bottom Of The Sea", "1 2 3 Hit It" and "ABC Hit It". The introductory phrase "Uno Dos Siesta: and similar phrases" can also be considered in this category although it is a folk etymology form of the Spanish numbers Uno Dos Tres" (1, 2, 3).

I believe that the introductory line "Shame Shame Shame" is found so often in African American versions of "I Don't Want To Go To Mexico" rhymes that that rhyme is commonly known in that population by the title "Shame". However, some other African American derived playground rhymes also include this "shame shame shame" introductory line. Part IV of this series features examples of those rhymes.

The ending word "shame" or its alternative end line "Shut the door!" serve a similar lightly competitive function as the ending word "Freeze!" which appears in many hand clap rhymes. However, instead of "freezing in place" as is done when the word "Freeze!" is chanted, the partners compete to be the first person to say the end word "Shame!" or the end line "Shut the door!". While chanting that line the hand clap partners attempt to be the first one to poke or push their partner. Or, instead of that action, the partners may just compete to be the first one to say that word or line with the person saying it first being considered the "winner".

The earliest date that I've found thus far for an example of "I Don't Want To Go To Mexico" which begins with the words "shame shame shame" is from the mid 1980s (North Carolina). That rhyme is given below as Example #1. Note that the "I Don't Want To Go To College" example from the 1983 book Apple On A Stick which I previously referred has no introductory line and no ending word/s such as "Shame" or "Shut the door".

My guess is that the use of the words "shame shame shame" as an introductory phrase was inspired by the title of the 1974/1975 R&B record "Shame Shame Shame" by Shirley & Company. In turn, the "shame shame shame" title & that phrase -but not other parts of that song's lyrics- might have been influenced by the "shame shamee double shame" line in the playground rhyme "Water Water Wallflower". That rhyme is featured in part I of this series.

Click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZwisYKgKRw for a video of that "Shame, Shame, Shame" song. Also, click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shame,_Shame,_Shame_(Shirley_%26_Company_song) for information about that song & its singers.

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TEXT EXAMPLES OF "I DON'T WANT TO GO TO MEXICO" (AND SIMILAR TITLES)
that include the "shame shame shame" introductory phrase and/or the "shame" or "shut the door" ending

Example #1:
Shame, shame, shame
I don't wanna go to Mexico no more, more, more
There's a big fat lizard at the door, door, door
(I forget the rest)
-Metroid Baby (North Carolina, mid-80s.), http://ask.metafilter.com/122487/Teddy-Bear-Teddy-Bear-turn-aroundand-then-what, May 19, 2009

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Example #2: I DON'T WANT TO GO TO MEXICO
Shame Shame Shame.
I don’t want to go to Mexico
no more, more, more.
There’s a big fat policeman
at door, door, door.
He’ll grab you by the collar
and make you pay a dollar.
I don’t want to go to Mexico
no more, more, more.
Shame.
-school age African American girls and boys from various Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area neighborhoods, collected by Azizi Powell, 1998

Like almost all hand clap rhymes, this rhyme was recited in unison.

I have also collected a version of this rhyme from a seven year old African American girl [Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania] which is exactly the same as that give above except the introductory words are "shine shine shine". I don't recall if that example ended with "shine" or "shame". And I've seen the words "sin sin sin" also used as introductory rhyme without that word or "shame" given at the end. My sense is that both "shine" & "sin" are examples of folk etymology.

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Example #3:
I don't want to go to Mexico no more more more
There's a big fat policeman at the door door door
He will catch you by the collar
Make you pay a dollar
I don't want to go to Mexico no more more more
Shame!
-Afrochic,http://www.greekchat.com/gcforums/archive/index.php/t-31403.html, March 30, 2003
-snip-
The participants in this discussion are members of historically Black Greek lettered sororities. From their comments, I believe that their memories of "old school" chants from their childhood are from the late 1980s and 1990s.

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Example #4:
Shame,shame,shame,
I dont wanna go to mexico,
no more more more,theres
a big fat policeman,
at the door door door,if you
grab him by the collar boy you better
hollar if you grab him by the pants,
boy you betta dance,i dont wanna go to mexico
no more more more shut the door

Im 13 and i still play that
-Guest Brittany, http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=63097
"Folklore: Do kids still do clapping rhymes?"

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Example #5:
I have an 11-year old that LOVES to play clapping games! One of her favorites goes as follows:

Shame shame shame
I don't wanna go to Mexico
No more more more
There's a big fat policeman
At the door door door
If you grab him by the collar
Boy he's gonna holler

I don't wanna go to Mexico
No more more more!!!!
-LilyFestre, http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=63097
"Folklore: Do kids still do clapping rhymes?", September, 21, 2003

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Example #6: SHAME SHAME SHAME
Shame, shame, shame (Both people put their hand together and go back and forth)
I don't want to go to mexico no (middle, top, middle, right hand grab, left hand grab) more, more, more. (slap thigh, snap, clap right hands)
There's a cute little boy(clap back of right hands, clap, back and forth) at the door, door, door (middle, top, middle, right hand grab)
he draged me by the hips, (left hand grab, slap thigh, snap, clap right hands)
and kissed me on the lips.
(clap back of right hands, clap, back and forth)
I don't want to go to mexico no (middle, up, middle, right hand grab, left hand grab) more, more, more. (slap thigh, snap clap right hands)
SHAME! (both people point at the other's face)
-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3AClapping_game/Examples
-snip-
This is only one possible way of performing a hand clap routine for this rhyme.

As is the case with other hand clap rhymes that I've observed in person and online, the hand movements for the introductory phrase is different than the hand movements for the rest of the rhyme.

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Example #7:
here just sum random ones we do now…

then you got shame....the hand actions are too comlicated to explain
shame shame shame i dnt wanna go to mexico no more more more theres a big fat policeman at the door door door he'll grab
you by you collar make u pay a dollar i dont wanna go to mexico no more more more SHAME!(then u poke the person ur playing with)
-Written By: the11yearoldknowz [BRITTNY]
http://www.inthe00s.com/archive/inthe80s/smf/1109960765.shtml,07/17/09
-snip-
As is the case with a number of online examples of playground rhymes, this rhyme is written in paragraph form. I think that some rhymes are written that way because of the type of software a website uses. For example, even when I write rhymes in line formation on YouTube, that software converts it to a paragraph form. But on websites that have other rhymes written in a poetry format, some bloggers prefer to write in sentences because it's easier & faster to write rhymes that way.

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Example #8
Shame, shame, shame
I don't want to go to Mexico no more, more, more
There's a big fat policeman at the door door door
You can shriek and you can holler
But he'll grab you by the collar
I don't want to go to Mexico no more, more, more
SHAME!
This is Cleveland, OH.
-ubersturm, http://ask.metafilter.com/122487/Teddy-Bear-Teddy-Bear-turn-aroundand-then-what, May 19, 2009 [no date given for the decade the rhyme was recited.]

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Example #9:
i do....
shame shame shame
i dont want to go to micxo no more more more
there is a big fat grilla at the door door door
if i open the door he will pea on the floor
i dont want to go to micxo no more more more moma

see see see moma
no no no moma
see moma no moma
h to the o shame!
-Maryann Morse, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NwtVVz3PeY, 2013
-snip-
I've come across a number of "I Don't Want To Go To Mexico" rhymes online that include the lines "If I open up the door hee will pee on the floor". I think this is a relatively recent change to this rhyme.

I believe that this verse comes from the old time song "Old Shoe Boats & Leggings" (also known as "The Little Bald Headed Chinese".
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/09/racially-derogatory-variants-of-old.html for a pancocojams post about that song.

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Example #10:
shame, shame, shame
i don't wanna go to mexico no more, more, more
there's a big fat lady at the door, door, door
she will grab u by the collar
make u pay a dollar
i don't wanna go to mexico no more, more, more
-TRH, http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090115122849AAYR8pi Can you remember school-yard Clapping Games?, 2008

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UPDATE: I couldn't resist adding this example [10/12/2013]
Example #11

i got one:
i dont wanna go to mexico no more more more
theres a big black policeman at the door door door
he’ll kiss you on the lips he’ll make you do the splits
i dont wanna go to mexico no more more more

then you try to say, shame on you! before your friend (partner) does.
beth, May 19, 2013, http://losemyway.wordpress.com/2008/02/06/hand-clapping-games/

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UPDATE: October 13,2013
For the folkloric record, here's a version of "I Don't Want To Go To Mexico" from the United Kingdom that replaces "Macys" with the name of another store. This version doesn't include the "shame shame shame" introductory phrase or the "shame" ending:

"Oh I ain’t going to Woolco anymore anymore There’s a big fat policeman at the door at the door(person 2 jumps in) He’ll/She’ll grab you by the collar (perform action) And He’ll/She’ll ask you for a dollar (perform action) Oh I ain’t going to Woolco anymore (both jump out) – http://www.homeschool.co.uk/policeman-jump-rope-songs/ "Jump Rope Songs and Rhymes about Policemen", Tue May 11 2004
-snip-
This is the only example of this rhyme that I've come across to date to use a store name other than Macys, and it doesn't appear to me that examples using the name "Macys" have been commonly chanted since at least the 1980s if not before.

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Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.

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