Edited by Azizi Powell
Update: January 3, 2017]
This post showcases an episode of the Bill Cosby Show in which twin girls perform a hand clap routine of the rhyme "I Met My Boyfriend At The Candy Store". The words to that version of this rhyme is also included in this post.
The content of this post is presented for folkloric, entertainment, recreational purposes.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
SHOWCASE VIDEO: Season 1 Episode 22 - Slumber Party #2
cosbyshow, Uploaded on Jan 2, 2008
When Rudy complains she has no one to play with, Cliff allows her to have a friend or two sleep over. But the modest gathering soon turns into a rollicking slumber party for eight.
Unfortunately, this video is no longer available. Other videos of this episode such as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VB88RdqEZc8 don't include the scene where the twins perform the hand clap rhyme "I Met My Boyfriend At The Candy Store".
Singer Alicia Keys with very short hair appears is in this episode as one of the girls at Rudy’s slumber party.
Here are the words to that version of "I Met My Boyfriend At The Candy Store":
Uno, dos, siesta*
I said a-east, a-west
I met my boyfriend at the candy store
He bought me ice cream, he bought me cake
He brought me home with a belly ache
Mama mama, I'm so sick
Call the doctor quick quick quick
Doctor, doctor will I die?
Count to five and you'll be alive
I said, a-one, a-two, a-three, a-four, a-five
-Kyle Bryant & Dana Bryant ; (performing hand clap game on Season 1, Episode 22 of The Cosby Show; 1984; The Slumber Party, transcription from http://www.tv.com/the-cosby-show/slumber-party/episode/6816/summary.html
*"Uno, dos, siesta" is a folk etymology form of "uno dos tres" (Spanish for "one, two, three". "Siesta" is a Spanish word that means "nap" in English). "Folk etymology" occurs another word or phrase is substituted for another word or phrase because of misremembering, misunderstanding, or as an attempt to make sense out of an unfamiliar word or phrase.
I've heard girls in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania say "I'm alive/and on channel 5" (although there is no actual channel 5 Pittsburgh television station.) Another relatively common ending for this rhyme that I've seen online is "6,7,8,9, 10/ I'm dead again".
Click this page of my cocojams.com cultural blog for more examples of "I Met My Boyfriend At The Candy Store": http://www.cocojams.com/content/handclap-jump-rope-and-elastics-rhymes
Note that this e was also performed as a jump rope rhyme. It seems to me that by at least the late 1960s in the United States most jump rope rhymes had converted to hand clap rhymes. I think part of the reason for this is that people stopped hanging clothes outside to dry. Girls used portions of those clothes lines for jumping rope (individual or group jumping), and with the increased use of clothes dryers, there were fewer jump ropes. In contrast, no equipment is needed to play hand clap games, and they can be played anywhere.
I disagree with those who think that this rhyme means or implies that the girl was pregnant. Instead, I believe that the girl stomach hurt because she ate too much candy and other sweets.
Here's a video of girls from Liberia, West Africa in a Ghanaian refugee camp performing "I Met My Boyfriend At The Candy Store":
Three African Clapping Games from Liberia - Africa Heartwood Project
HeartwoodAfrica, Uploaded on Aug 9, 2011
Here is a collection of three Liberian clapping games performed by the children we support in our Refugee Orphan Home at Buduburam in Ghana, West Africa. Try them for yourself! The children are speaking traditional Liberian Pidgin-English which they commonly refer to as Coloqwa (KOH-loh-kwah).
Here's comments about this rhyme from the video's uploader:
Clapping Game #2 (1:02-1:28):
Title: Oh Mama
Performed by: Felicia & Victoria; Promise & Jackerline; Temoh & Princess)
(We are going "cera", in "cera", in "cera" - used to establish the rhythm)
Oh Mama, Mama!
Oh Papa, the war!
The war has make in the Burkina Faso.
I say East, the West.
I met my boyfriend in the ice cream shop.
He bought me ice cream on my wedding day.
Mama, Mama. I'm so sick.
Take me to the doctor, shall be quick quick quick.
Shall be quick quick quick.
Doctor, doctor. Will I die?
No my dear, you will live forever more.
I'm assuming that staff or volunteers from the USA taught this rhyme to these children. Americans visiting, volunteering, or working in other nations is one way that playground rhymes are spread throughout the world. However, notice how the beginning portion of this rhyme is changed to reflect the children's circumstances. It's interesting that the West African nation of Burkina Faso is mentioned and not Liberia. I wonder if there are refugees from that nation in that camp as well as refugees from Liberia.
ADDENDUM #2 ADDED January 3. 2017
Hand Jives at English Camp
poppywheeler, Uploaded on Nov 4, 2008
To the East, the West. I met my boyfriend at the candy store....
Here are the only comments to date from the YouTube discussion thread for this video:
"lol...the girls used to do this clapping thingy back when i was a kid in the 80s"
President Edo. 2012
"to the east,the west , i met my booyfriend at the candy shop. he brought me ice cream, he brought me cake, he brought me home way the balliat , momma momma , im so sick , call the doctor , quick,quick,quick doctor , doctor will i die, count to 5 and i be alive 1 2 3 4 5 im alive!! this is from the cosby show xD"
Thanks to all those who are featured in these videos. Thanks also to all those who transcribed these rhymes.
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