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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Playground Rhymes That Include Names Of Famous People (Part I)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part I of a two part series that presents some examples of English language playground rhymes that include the name of actors, singers, or other famous people. This post features playground rhyme examples in this category whose titles begin with A-L.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/08/playground-rhymes-that-include-names-of_54.html for Part II of this series. Part II continues with playground rhymes examples whose titles begin with M-Z.

The online sources for these rhymes are given after the examples.
Information about these famous people can be found on their Wikipedia page. However, when just the first name is used for a celebrity, I've added a brief statement about that celebrity.

Examples of rhymes that include a name or names of politicians are purposely omitted from this post. Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/08/playground-rhymes-that-include_87.html for a pancocojams post that showcases examples of that category of playground rhymes that include names of famous people. Those rhymes may also include the names of other famous peoples who aren't politicians.

Although no performance activity is specified for most of these rhymes, I believe that most of these examples are either hand clap rhymes or jump rope rhymes.

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, historical, cultural, and entertainment purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those whose examples are quoted in this post.

This post isn't meant to be a comprehensive collection of English language playground rhymes that include names of famous people. In most cases, I'm only showcases one version of these rhymes. However, all of these rhymes have multiple versions.

In order of appearance in these examples*, the names of famous people that are featured in this post are Betty Boop, Charlie Chaplin, Betty Grable, Christopher Columbus, Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan, Martin Luther King Jr., Bobby Brown, Miley Cyrus,
Georgie Best, Ginuwine, Elvis Presley, Jackie Gleason, Chris Brown, James Brown, and Lizzie Borden.
-snip-
*This collection (Part I and Part II) includes more than one rhyme example for Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Betty Grable, Shirley Temple, James Brown, Bobby Brown, Sabrina, and Michael Jordan.

From my online collecting, my sense is that the celebrity whose name is mentioned the most in playground rhymes is Michael Jackson, followed by Elvis Presley. However, my guess is that Michael Jordan (and perhaps also Bobby Brown) are mentioned in the "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky rhymes because those names were mistaken for Michael Jackson.

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FEATURED EXAMPLES
Note: These examples are presented in alphabetical order based on the rhymes' titles (usually the first few words of there first line.) The titles are written in capital letters.

The famous person's name that is included in each example is given in italics.

A, B
APPLES ON A STICK
apples on a stick,ganna make me sick,ganna make my heart go 246 246, not cause im dirty,not cause im clean,not cause ya kissed a boy behind a magizine,hey girls wannah have some fun here comes justin bieber with his pants un done,close your eyes and count to 10,when your finished, you got to kiss your boy friend
-alexis, https://losemyway.wordpress.com/2008/02/06/hand-clapping-games/ Hand Clapping Games, January 8, 2012

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BETTY BOOP
Betty Boop isn't she cute?
All she can eat is vegetable soup.

Sources: Emrich & Korson (1947)
Abrahams (SFQ) 23, (1963), 198
quoted in Jump-rope Rhymes: A Dictionary by Roger D. Abrahams[Google Edition], page 16

C, D
CHARLIE CHAPLIN WENT TO FRANCE
Charlie Chaplin went to France
To teach the ladies how to dance
First he did the Rumba
Then he did the twist
Then he did the Highland Fling,
And then he did the splits.


There's also "Betty Grable went to France,/To teach the soldiers how to dance." (The rest is the same.)

Source: "An Australian version of the Charlie Chaplin Skipping Song, as sung at Salisbury Primary School in Brisbane, Australia in the mid 1950s" quoted in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skipping-rope_rhyme

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CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS
Christopher Columbus
Sailed the ocean blue
In fourteen hundred
And ninety two.

Christopher Columbus
Was a very brave man.
He sailed the ocean
In an old tin can.

Source: Abrahams (1969)
http://mudcat.org/jumprope/jumprope_display_all.cfm

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DOWN BY THE BANKS OF THE HANKY PANKY (Example #1)
My friends play it like this:

Down by the bank by the hanky panky
where the bullfrogs jumps from bank to bank
We're sayin ep op ep op op
skiddle diddle kernal pop!
I pledge alligence to the flag
Micheal Jackson makes me gag
Coca Cola messed him up
now we're drinking 7up
7up has no caffine
now we're drinking gassoline
Gassoline not good for you
now we're drinking Mt. Dew
Mt. Dew fell off the Mt.
now we're drinking from a fountain
The fountain broke
and now we're back to drinking coke
-Guest, http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=94034, Origins: Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky, [hereafter given as Mudcat: Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky], 17 Mar 08
-snip-
There are LOTS of examples of (what I refer to as) the "Michael Jackson versions" of "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky". Those examples often include another word that rhymes with "gag", including the offensive word "fag". Some other examples are "Michael Jackson stinks so bad", "Michael Jackson sings so bad", "Michael Jackson is a drag", "Michael Jackson dances rad", and even "Michael Jackson is my dad". Read the comment after Example #7 about the use of the word "fag" in these rhymes.

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DOWN BY THE BANKS OF THE HANKY PANKY (Example #2)
Down by the river
To the hanky pank
Where the bullfrog jumps
from bank to bank
saying E I O U
Your mama stinks and so do you
So ding dong ping pong
Your daddy smells like king kong.
Michael Jackson went to town
Dr. Pepper brought him down
Coca Cola brought him up
Now he's drinking 7-Up
7-Up with no caffine
Now we're talking Billy Jean
Inky Binky Bonky, Daddy had a Donkey
Donkey died
Daddy cried
Inky Binky Bonkey
-Guest ,ME!,Mudcat: Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky, 6/25/2008

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DOWN BY THE BANKS OF THE HANKY PANKY (Example #3)
Here is the one
I know:

Down by the banks of the hanky Panky
where the bullfrogs jump from bank to bank
with an a e i o u
Michael jordan went to town
coca cola shot him down
Mountain dew shot him up
now were talkin 7 up
7 up has no cafene
now were talkin billie jean
billie jean went down the street singin
doo a dilly dilly dum dilly do
singin do a dilly dily dum dilly do
-Guest,Jenny, Mudcat: Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky, 08 Apr 09

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DOWN BY THE BANKS OF THE HANKY PANKY (Example #4)
That is the version that I know...

Down by the banks of the hanky panky
where the bullfrogs jump from bank to bank
with an a, e, i, o, u. bang bang
micheal jordan went to town
coca cola shot him down
now were talkin 7up
7up with no caffein
now were talking billy jean
billy jean went down the street singin
do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do
singin do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do

<3 -Guest,SaeraLove, Mudcat: Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky, 03 Nov 09 -snip- Although this example is almost the same as the one above it, I'm including it in this collection for the folkloric record because, to date, I've only found those two examples of this rhyme that mentions Michael Jordan. **** DOWN BY THE BANKS Of The HANKY PANKY (Example #5) in Rochester, NY it goes like this down by the bank of the hanky pank; where the bullfrogs jump from bank to bank; saying E-I-O-U; yo momma stank and so do you; so ping pong donkey kong martin luther king jr;
mickey mouse bought a house;
donald duck messed it up;
he couldn't pay the rent;
so he got kicked out;
O-U-T;
out

we would do process of elimination by eliminating whoever got to the letter -T they we would start over the song until we got to the last person
-Guest, Guest , May 6, 2011

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DOWN BY THE BANKS Of The HANKY PANKY (Example #6)
I learned it like this:

Down by the banks of the hanky panky
where the bullfrog jumps from bank to bank
saying e, i, o, u, chilly willy ding dong
lets play a game of ping pong,
i pledge alligence to the flag
Michael Jackson dances rad,
coca cola bust it up,
now were talking 7 up,
7 up has no caffiene,
now were talking billie jean,
billie jean ran out of sight,
now were talking bobby brown
had a big frown
-marymuch, http://www.youtube.com/all_comments?v=ZC8INeM0w5A, November 2011

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DOWN BY THE BANKS Of The HANKY PANKY (Example #7)
Down by the banks of the hanky panky
Where the bullfrogs jump from bank to banky
Singing Eeep Op Eeep Op
Skiddle diddle eep op op
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
I pledge allegiance to the flag
Miley Cyrus makes me gag
Miley Cyrus came to town, Coca Cola shot her down
Dr. Pepper drink it up, now we're drinking 7-Up
7-Up has no caffeine, now we're drinking gasoline
Gasoline ran out of fuel, now we're drinking Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew fell off the Mountain, now we're drinking from the fountain
Fountain broke, now we're drinking PLAIN-OLD-DIET-COKE
-Guest, Mudcat: Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky, March 20, 2012
-snip-
Most of the "I Pledge Allegiance To The Flag" mention Michael Jackson. However, since that Pop artist's sudden death in June 2009, I've found a few other examples of this rhyme that substitute another celebrity's name for Michael Jackson. It appears to me that the celebrity who is named in this insult rhyme is usually someone who is disliked by fans of a particular music genre. Here's a comment from a blogger in that "Origins: Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky" Mudcat thread about the substitution of another celebrity's name for Michael Jackson's name:
"Sadly we really did and still do sing the line about Michael Jackson being a fag. In elementary and middle school we also had a similar rhyme ("I pledge allegiance to the flag and Michael Jackson is a fag. He used to play with little toys but now he plays with little boys.") and I can remember saying it at a very young age, before I had any idea what a 'fag' was. It was meant to be innocent and not offensive to anybody. Also, since Michael Jackson's death (may he R.I.P.) many people have substituted Lady Gaga or Miley Cyrus for Michael Jackson or changed that line to "Michael Jackson makes me gag". My particular group of friends has done both ("Lady Gaga makes me gag") and I think it's kind of a nice modern version of the song." Guest,guest-Mandi, age 14
Date: 24 Dec 10 - 12:08 AM

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DOWN BY THE BANKS Of The HANKY PANKY (Example #8)
Down by the banks of the hanky panky.
Where the bullfrog jumps from bank to bank. Say As Es Is Os ees I did it.
Bing Bong your daddy smells like King Kong.
I pledge allegiance to the flag
Michael Jackson makes me gag.
Coca-cola burnt him up
Now we're talkin 7 up
7 up has no caffeine
Now we're talking Billy Jean
Billy jean went out of style.
Now we're talking Bobby Brown.
B-o-b-b-y B-r-o-w-n went out of town
GUEST,amy in Kentucky,Mudcat: Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky, 01 May 14

E, F
[Added September 23, 2015. Thanks, ramblerla!]

EENIE MEENIE GYPSY QUEENIE

Eenie meenie gypsy queenie
Ooh ah allimeenie
Atchie Caughtchie Liberace
I love you. [pause]
Saw your boyfriend the other day
What's his name?
John Wayne.
How did you know?
Peekin' through the keyhole.
Nosy!
Hate to do the dishes.
Lazy!
Jumpin' through the window.
Crazy!
Eenie meenie gypsy queenie
Ooh ah allimeenie
Atchie Caughtchie Liberace
I love you!

-ramblerla, White female, mid-1970s in Yreka, California

In the mid-70s in Yreka, California

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G, H
GEORGIE BEST
Georgie Best
Superstar
Walks like a woman
And he wears a bra
The bra's too big
He wears a wig
And that's why they call him
A sexy pig.
-http://www.odps.org/glossword/index.php?a=term&d=3&t=360 Seedy Songs and Rotten Rhymes - the poetry of the playground

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HOLLYWOOD GOES SWINGING
Both girls: Hollywood.
Hollywood.
Hollywood goes swingin.
Hollywood goes
Swingin.
Swingin for the good times.
Swingin for the bad times.
Soloist #1: My name is Teneisha
and I’m number 9.
I’m kickin it with Ginuwine.
If you ever see me on the street,
you better speak.
“Long time, no see.”
Sexy as I wanna be.
Some hittin me high.
Some hittin me low.
Some hittin me in my-
Don’t ask what.
Other girl: What?
Soloist #1: My b u t t b u t t butt.
That’s what.
-Teneisha (10 years) and Antoinette (11 years), African American girls, East Hills section of Pittsburgh, PA; 1998; collected by Azizi Powell, 1998
-snip-
"Ginuwine" is the stage name of one of R&B's top artists during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

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HEAD AND SHOULDERS, BABY ONE TWO THREE
Remember this one?

Head and shoulders, baby One Two Three
Head and shoulders, baby One Two Three
Head and shoulders, Head and shoulders
Head and shoulders, Head and shoulders
Baby One Two Three

Round the world, baby One Two Three
Round the world, baby One Two Three
Round the world, Round the world,
Round the world, Round the world,
Baby One Two Three

(Then we'd do an Elvis Presley verse while pretenting to play guitar and shake hips and wobbly legs. Next was Jackie Gleason)

Then we'd do the whole ensemble

Head and Shoulders, Round the world
Elvis Presley, Jackie Gleason
Baby, One Two Three
-http://www.streetplay.com/discus/ Streetplay.com Discussion: Girl Games: Clap & rhyme / tongue twisters / word games: Clap and Rhyme: Archive through June 8, 2000

I, J
I'M A PRETTY FIRST GRADER
I am a pretty __ first grader
As pretty as can___ be be.
My boyfriend's name is__ Chris Brown
He lives in Ala__bama.
One day when I was___walking
I saw my boyfriend __ talking
To the ugliest girl in the whole wide world.
And this is what he said.
I K-I-S-S
I M-I-S-S miss you.
I L-O-V-E love you.
ABCDEFG
Get your black hands off of me.
I K-I-S-S Kiss you!
-Naijah S. (African American female, 9 years old; Hazelwood section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; January 14, 2011; Collected by Azizi Powell 1/14/2011
-snip-
The __ means to pause one beat.

I asked Naijah if the line "get your black hands off of me" meant that people weren't happy about being Black. She quickly said "I love my Black heritage".

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I DON'T WANT TO GO TO HOLLYWOOD
shame shame shame,
i don’t wanna go to hollywood no more more more,
theres a fat michale jackson
at the door door door,
he grabbed me by the hips,
kissed me on the lips,
i don’t wanna go to hollywood no more more more
-Shasta, http://losemyway.wordpress.com/2008/02/06/hand-clapping-games/ No More 3x5's Hand Clapping Games; August 12, 2010
-snip-
I've placed this example under the letter "I" because I believe that "shame shame shame" are introductory words (and perhaps also commentary about the story told in the playground rhyme) and not the title of the rhyme.

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I LOVE COFFE I LOVE TEA
I love coffe I love tea

I love Chris Brown and he loves me

I met my boyfriend at the candy store He brought me ice cream He brought me cake
He brought me home with a bellyache Momma Momma I feel sick Call the doctor quick quick quick Docter Docter will I die Count to five and you will be alive

12345 I'm alive 678910 I'm dead again
-shima, http://www.streetplay.com/discus/, March 13, 2007 - 12:32 pm

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I WENT TO A CHINESE RESTAURANT (Example #1)
My daughter, who is eight, is still doing clapping rhymes, though the ones she does are different from the ones I did in the 50s and 60s. (These, by the way, are in England). The one she seems to do mostly is:

I went to a Chinese restaurant
To buy me a loaf of bread, bread, bread.
He wrapped it up in a five pound note
And this is what he said, said, said:

My name is
Elvis Presley,
Girls are sexy
Sitting in the back seat
Drinking pepsi.

Where's your father?
Died in a fishtank..Last night
What did he die of?..Raw fish.
How did he die..Like this.

On the "Like this" they pull a strange face as of somebody dead. She says there are various versions of the rhyme. We used to do the first bit, but not the bit beginning with "Elvis Presley"
- MBSLynne [location-United Kingdom] Do kid still do clapping rhymes?’ 9/21/2003

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I WENT DOWNTOWN TO SEE JAMES BROWN
And the James Brown one:

I went downtown to see James Brown
I gave him a nickel to buy me a pickle
The pickle was sour, so he gave me a shower
The shower was cold, so he gave me a bowl
The bowl was cracked, so he gave me a snack
Now I want my money back, Jack
-bettingonalice, Octoblog (website no longer active), January 1, 2007

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K, L
LIZZIE BORDEN
Lizzie Borden took an axe
She gave her mother forty whacks
After she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one.
Lizzie Borden got away
For her crime she did not pay.

Source: quoted in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skipping-rope_rhyme

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This concludes Part I of this series.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Please share additional examples or additional versions of these examples in the comment section below.

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