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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Pre-The Dozens Girls' Foot Stomping Cheer "Hump De Danda"

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides two examples of the foot stomping cheer known as "Hump De Danda" and "Hump De Dump".

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to my daughter Tazi, and thanks to Cocojams.com visitor Tia for sharing the version of this cheer that they know with me

If you know this cheer or a cheer that is similar to it, please comment below and add demographical information (geographical location, decade you chanted this cheer, and any other information about this cheer's performance.) Thanks!

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FEATURED EXAMPLES
Example #1: HUMP DE DANDA
Group
Hump De Danda.
Hump Hump De Danda.
Hump De Danda.
Hump Hump De Danda.
Soloist #1:
(Well) My name is Tanisha*
Group:
De Danda. Hump Hump De Danda
Soloist #1:
I'm super cool.
Group:
De Danda Hump, Hump De Danda
Soloist #1:
You mess with me
Group:
De Danda Hump Hump De Danda
Soloist #1:
And you're a fool.
Group:
De Danda. Hump Hump De Danda
Soloist #1:
I'm goin down
Group:
De Danda. Hump Hump De Danda
Soloist #1:
To touch the ground.
Group: De Danda. Hump Hump De Danda
Soloist #1:
I'm comin up
Group:
De Danda. Hump Hump De Danda
Soloist #1:
To mess you up.
Entire Group:
Humpty Dumpty
Sat on ah wall
Humpty Dumpty
Had ah great fall.
Oosh**, ain't that funky*** now.
Oosh, aint that funky now.
Oosh, ain't that, Oosh ain't that,
Oosh, ain't that funky now.

[repeat from beginning with next soloist and continue until every member of the group has had one turn as the soloist; chanted while performing a routine of bass sounding foot stomps, and individual hand claps]
Source: African American girls (ages 6-12 years old; Lillian Taylor camp, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, collected by Tazi Powell, 1992 or 1993 (transcribed from audio tape by Azizi Powell, 1997)

*Substitute each soloist's name or nickname.
*The word "oosh" is an onomatopoeia word that imitates the sound the wind makes as the dancer moves in a fast motion to the side.
*** "funky" here means "very good"

Note: I initially incorrectly wrote on my cocojams.com page that "Hump De Danda" was one of the cheers that I documented from my daughter's remembrance of the foot stomping cheers that she and her friends did in the mid 1980s.

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Example #2: HUMP DE DUMP
Hump De Dump
hump de dump,
hump, hump, de dump
my name is ___,
de dump, hump, hump, de dump
and if you watch me,
de dup, hump, hump, de dump,
I'll show you you I'm cool
de dump, hump, hump, de dump.
(Then you do your dance)
-Tia; (from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's East Liberty section), sent to http://www.cocojams.com/content/foot-stomping-cheers-0 on August 25, 2005
-snip-
Here's the comment that Tia sent along with that example:
"I am a cheerleading coach in Georgia, I moved here from Pittsburgh (East Liberty) when I was about 10. We used to do all of the street cheers that you have listed back during the mid 80's, they brought back wonderful memories and that is something that I do not remember the girls from down south doing once we got here. I remember one called "Humpty de Dump" "
-snip-
My interpretation of that note is that Tia remembers "Humpty de Dump" from the 1990s along with cheers from the 1980s that I included on that cocojams.com foot stomping cheer page.

Also, given the racial composition of the East Liberty area of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during those decades (and now), my guess is that Tia is an African American female.

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GENERAL COMMENTS
To date, I've only found two text versions of this cheer- one from my daughter and her friends (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, mid 1980s) and the other from a woman residing in the state of Georgia but originally from the same East Liberty section of Pittsburgh that my daughter (and the rest of our family) resided/resides in.

Unfortunately, I haven't found any videos of these foot stomping cheers. However, the somewhat monotone, singsong/chanting delivery of the first two parts of "Humpty Danda" are similar to the way that most foot stomping cheers are sung. Click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0pnufDOxgU&feature=endscreen&NR=1 for a video example of the foot stomping cheer "Hula Hula". Text examples of "Hula Hula" are found on the cocojams.com foot stomping cheers page whose link is given above.

Information about the beat pattern for foot stomping cheers is also given on that same cocojams.com page.

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SOURCES
I've no doubt that the source of "Hump De Danda"/ "Hump De Dump" is the hit 1990 Hip Hop song "The Humpty Dance" by Digital Underground. (Both "hump de danda" and "hump de dump" are folk etymology forms of "humpty dance").

Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Humpty_Dance for information about "The Humpty Dance" record. Here's a brief excerpt from that page:
""The Humpty Dance" is a tribute to Humpty's sexual prowess despite his ridiculous appearance.[3] Humpty introduces the appearance theme with the opening line, "I'm about to ruin the image and the style that you're used to," a protest against the uniformity among successful rappers of the time.[4]

In the final verse, Humpty describes the Humpty Dance itself as a loose, easy dance, "like MC Hammer on crack ... Anyone can play this game." The contrast is with the precision dancing in MC Hammer's videos. The song ends with an invitation for people of all races to join in the dance.[5]"
-snip-
WARNING: Some of the lyrics of this song and some of the scenes of the song's official video are at least mildly sexually suggestive.

The name "Humpty Dance" alludes to the vernacular term "humping" meaning having sex. However, I think that many children chanting those cheers presented in this post didn't understand that allusion and thought that the word "Hump de" in the cheer only referred to "Humpty Dumpty", the nursery rhyme character.

Most of the words in the "Humpty Dumpty sat one a wall" portion of "Hump De Danda" is from the Mother Goose nursery rhyme of that name.

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TEXT ANALYSIS: HUMP DE DANDA
"Hump De Danda" is an example of what I categorize as a taunting/bragging foot stomping cheer*. I've also used the term "confrontational" foot stomping cheer to refer to cheers in this category. This style of cheer is similar in "attitude" to the African American taunting/bragging game called "The Dozens".**

However, "Hump De Danda" the chanters do dance movements for while chanting some of the words (the "going down to the ground" and the "coming up to mess you up) words as well as the words in the "Hump de dumpty sat on the wall" section. For this reason, "Hump De Danda" can be considered a combination taunting/bragging cheer and a dance style cheer.

There are three distinct parts to the "Hump De Danda" cheer:
1. the beginning of the cheer to the line where
2. The line beginning with the soloist chanting "I'm goin down"
3. The line beginning with the entire group chanting Humpty Dumpty/Sat on a*** wall

Like all foot stomping cheers, the cheer begins with the group and continues with each iteration until every one has one (equal length) turn as the soloist. "Hump De Danda" is an example of a foot stomping cheer in which there is only minor changes to its cheer with each repetition i.e. the soloist's name or nickname.

The same lines or similar versions of the lines "I'm going down to the ground/I'm coming up to mess you up" can be found in other confrontational foot stomping cheers. Among those cheers is one of the earliest examples of foot stomping cheers that found -"Hollywood Now Swingin'/Dynomite", which is included in the 1978 vinyl record Old Mother Hippletoe, Rural and Urban Children's Songs http://www.newworldrecords.org/linernotes/80291.pdf
"Foxy Brown!
You mess with me,
I'll shoot you down!
Down, down,
To the ground,
Up, up,
CALL: Just out of luck!
RESPONSE: Dynomite, dynomite! (Twice)
-Barbara Borum and other Washington, D.C. schoolgirls, recorded in 1976 in Washington, D. C. by Kate Rinzler, album notes Kate Rinzler

*Click this page of my Cocojams cultural website to find information and examples of what I consider to be the different categories of foot stomping cheers: http://www.cocojams.com/content/classification-foot-stomping-cheers-examples

** Click http://www.elijahwald.com/dozens.html for information about Elijah Wald's book The Dozens: A History of Rap's Mama
I shared information and examples with that author about what I refer to as "pre-dozens" foot stomping cheers -cheers whose words and whose role playing performance of a person with a confrontational "attitude" help prepare their chanters for actual dozens contests.

* the word "a" is pronounced "ah", a pronunciation that is very common in African American vernacular English.
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TEXT ANALYSIS: HUMP DE DANDA
In contrast to "Hump De Danda", "Hump De Dump" is a dance style cheer (with no taunting, confrontational language.) The purpose of dance style cheers is to provide an opportunity to show off the groups' dancing [and/or stepping] skills.

While the contributor of this cheer didn't give this information, as is the case with "Hump De Danda", it's likely that with each repetition of "Hump De Dump" the new soloist repeats what was said before except for the addition of her name or nickname.

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ADDENDUM: HUMPTY DANDA (MOVEMENT SONG)
Here's another version of Humpty Danda that I made up. The tune is similar to the nursery rhyme "This Is The Way We Wash Our Clothes"

Group sings together. The order of the action words (verbs) that are used in this song are either pre-arranged or a leader chooses the verb as the song is sung and the rest of the group joins in.

Hump* de danda
Hump hump de danda
Hump de danda
All night long

Jump de danda
Jump jump de danda
Jump de danda
All night long.

Stomp de danda
Stomp stomp de danda
Stomp de danda
All night long.

Hop de danda
Hop hop de danda
Hop de danda
All night long.

Sing** de danda
Sing sing de danda
Sing de danda
All night long

[continue by substituting the verb with other verbs]

*Dance will singing the word "hump"
** Do the American sing language action for sing [Hold your right hand palm up and wave the palm of your left hand over it.] http://www.signingsavvy.com/sign/SING/766/1

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RELATED LINK
http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/02/four-foot-stomping-cheers-their-r.html
"Four Foot Stomping Cheers & Their R&B/Hip-Hop Sources"

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