Edited by Azizi Powell
This is Part I of a pancocojams series that documents selected YouTube discussion thread comments about commenters perceptions of certain rhymes being chanted or performed the wrong way.
Part I of this post showcases a YouTube video of two young women performing ten "old school" playground rhymes (rhymes that they remember from their childhood or teen years). The featured comments are those which assert that a particular playground rhyme is "done wrong"* and some responses to those assertions. at th. This post also documents selected comments in which bloggers asserts that there's no one right way to say or perform a particular playground rhyme.
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/09/youtube-comments-about-wrong-way-of_25.html for Part II of this post. Part II showcases three YouTube videos of three different playground rhymes and selected comments from those videos' discussion threads about how those rhymes were said or performed. The playground rhymes that are featured in that post are "Down Down Baby", "Double Double This", and "Welcome To McDonalds".
A number of YouTube commenters write that a playground rhyme "goes" a certain way and that a person "did it wrong". In the context of a description of playground rhymes, how a rhyme "goes" means how it is said (chanted/sung) and/or how it is performed (the accompanying actions that are done while chanting the words to the rhyme). When a person said that the rhyme was "done wrong", she or he usually is referring to her or his perception that the words and/or the actions and/or the tune/tempo aren't those that she or he remembers as the "right" way of performing that playground rhyme.
In the almost fifteen years that I've been researching and collecting English language playground rhymes online I've noticed that an increasing number of commenters are moving from the position that there is only one "right" way of saying or performing any particular playground rhyme.
I believe that the very fact that multiple versions of playground rhymes are available for people to read and observe online is changing the way that children and other people think about playground rhymes. When I was growing up in the 1950s I assumed that the only way that a particular rhyme "went" (the words that were said and the way that hand game was played) was the way that I learned it. Nowadays, thanks in large part to YouTube, it appears to me that an increasing number of people are coming to the realization that there are usually multiple versions of a particular playground rhyme, and that there may not be any one "right version" (right way of doing or saying that particular rhyme).
I believe that people can attempt to find out and document the earliest version of a particular playground rhyme or early versions of that rhyme (the words, tunes, tempo of those versions and how they were performed). People can also surmise from observations and reading what were and what are the "usual" version/s of that rhyme is done (among certain populations within certain periods of time or during different periods of time). However, it's my position that variant forms of a playground rhyme (ones that are somewhat different from the "usual version/s") aren't particularly wrong. That said, a red flag about the authenticity of an online example that purport to be a child's rememberance of a playground rhyme if that version is quite different in themes, words, tune (cadence), and actions from other examples of that rhyme that I've come across.
The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, and recreational purposes.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post, thanks to those who are featured in these videos, and thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.
FEATURED VIDEO AND SELECTED COMMENTS
These comments are given in relative order based on their posting date with the oldest comments given first, except for replies. However, these comments may not be in consecutive order. I've assigned numbers to these comments for referencing purposes only.
Fun hand games
fatcat123455, Uploaded on Dec 24, 2011
old school hand games from way back.. can u remember any more??? i got like 10 of them
1.bo bo seantin tatin 2.miss mary mack
3. i dont want to go to mexico 4.tweet tweet tweet 5.my mother your mother 6. down down baby 7. little sally walker 8.double double this this 9. ini mini sicilini
10. i went to a chineese restaurant 11. ce ce my play mate
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/10/various-playground-rhymes-performed-by.html for another pancocojams post that features this video.
Text examples (the words) to some of the rhymes that are included in that video may be found on pancocojams. Insert the title of the rhyme in the pancocojams search engine to find those posts. The texts to those rhymes can be found on pancocojams pages of my cocojams2 playground rhymes blog http://cocojams2.blogspot.com/
1.Otha Day, 2012
1. "I love these! Great job!! my only complaint is to have wished you to have changed the ending of "Chinese Restaurant" so that the stereotyped Asian faces part was excluded or better yet, changed to something that was celebratory and not derogatory. Otherwise, so glad that you shared."
2. faeriefirefly917, 2012
in reply to Otha Day
"No way! Stop being so PC! Changing them would ruin them. Don't be so sensitive. This is in no way derogatory."
3. Azizi Powell, 2012
in reply to faeriefirefly917
"Actually, there are alot of derogatory words (& in this case accompanying mimicking actions) in children's rhymes. And the words to playground rhymes change all the time accidentally because of mishearing or misremembering or not recognizing a word or phrase & substituting that unfamilar word/phrase for another one. So there's nothing wrong with purposely changing a word/phrase that is offensive & hurtful. And if you were Asian, it's likely you'd fine that version offensive & hurtful."
4. Azizi Powell, 2012
in reply to Azizi Powell
"Part 2 of my comment
Just like the "eenie meenie" rhyme was changed on purpose, that Chinese Restaurant rhyme has been & can be.
That said, I congratulate the two girls who made the video for documenting the way the rhymes were when they learned them. It's one thing to document the way rhymes were for the "folkloric record" & another thing to encourage children nowadays to perform them in the exact same way you remember."
5. NubianP6, 2012
"I don't think there is a "right" or "wrong" way to do these...it's mostly a regional thing. Several of them are a bit different from what I learned growing up in Florida, but I still recognized most of them... :)"
6. Otha Day, 2012
in reply to NubianP6
"Agree - there is no right or wrong.....these are part of the folk tradition of music-making, story-telling, game-playing and dancing. As such, they change and evolve.....Growing up in Chicago, I recognize a number of them as variants on what kids used to do in the 60's and 70's. THANKS for sharing them! As a Black music educator and drum circle facilitator it is so good to see young Blacks beginning to make and share videos like this."
7. bubbles bubbles, 2012
"wow nice i remember a lot of these. But u got them but some of its a little wrong but good job"
8. lovethoseplumbs, 2013
"you did one wrong!"
“did one wrong” may mean the words that are said and/or the actions that are done while chanting the words
9. Visha Hicks, 2013
in reply to lovethoseplumbs
"she didn't do them wrong they change overtime"
10. The K-POP NERD Fatema Kamal, 2013
in reply to lovethoseplumbs
"SHE SAID THE HAND GAMES WERE OLD SCHOOL ,SO MOST OF THEM WOULD HAVE A MODERN TWIST TO THEM. LIKE "I DON'T WANT TO GO TO MEXICO". SHE DID ANOTHER VERSION, BUT I THINK MOST OF US ARE USED TO JUST THE WORDS:
I DON'T WANT TO GO TO MEXICO NO MORE MORE
THERE IS A BIG FA[T] POLICEMAN/WOMAN AT THE DOOR DOOR
IF YOU OPEN THE DOOR
HE'LL/SHE'LL PEE ON THE FLOOR
I DON'T WANT TO GO TO MEXICO NO MORE MORE
NOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND???"
11. LittleRedBug1, 2013
"some of those hand games r so wrong....learn the right way."
12. jaz lor, 2013
"thanks girls!! i was trying to remember them cuz I was teaching my 7 yr old daughter how to play. great job. she was showing me how they play now and the songs have stuff like kissing boys and says that barney is dumm."
13. Alicia Wilkins, 2013
"I remember alot of these, but the eenie meanie sicilini one, everyone has different words to it. Still, brought back a lot of memories. xD"
14. Amy Carroll , 2014
"There is no wrong, just different versions! Good for you for holding onto these and trying to keep them alive."
15. william baldwin, February 2015
"Mexico was wrong it goes like shame shame shame I don't wanna go to mexico no more more more there's a big fat policemen at the door door door if you open the door he gonna pee on your floor I don't wanna go to mexico no more more more STUPID GIRLS"
16. Try New Things :3, March 2015
"man that wrong they said it rite"
17. Brianna Winchester, June 2015
"+william baldwin Lmao that's the one I'm used to, too. But there's different variations of it obviously."
18. Faith Paul, July, 2015
"They did it right Caz people learn that song different ways"
19. Mollie Ralston, September 2015
"+william baldwin , ive never herd it that way and it seems by these comments that your way is the uncommon way so youre wrong.STUPID BOY"
20. Shelley Coleman, March 2015
"at my school we do 2 versions of shame shame shame the firt one goes ... shame shame shame i dont want to go too mexico no more more more theres a big fat policeman at my door door door he grabed me by my collar then made pay a dollar i dont want to go too mexico no more more more then the second one is .... shame shame shame i dont want to go to mexico no more more more theres a big fat policeman at my door door door he grabbed me by the hips kissed me on lips i dont want to go too mexico no more more more"
Kristinaisbored, June 2015
21. "I luved to play down down baby but I played it diffrent"
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