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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Information About & YouTube Examples Of The Singing Game "All Around The Kitchen"

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides information about and examples of the African American originated children's singing game "All Around The Kitchen".

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

The Addendum to this post features a picture book with the title "All Around The Kitchen". This sing along storybook is a jazz flavored adaptation of that singing game.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the unknown composer of this singing game and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to all those who are featured in these videos and thanks to all those who published these examples on YouTube.
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The two line rhyming verses (couplets) that are found in singing games such as "All Around The Kitchen" are similar to the rhyming patter of square dance callers. Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2017/05/square-dance-caller-researcher-phil.html for Part I of a two part series on the African influence on American square dance.

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INFORMATION ABOUT AND LYRICS FOR THE SINGING GAME "ALL AROUND THE KITCHEN"
This is an amended version of a comment that I wrote in 2007 on the Mudcat folk music forum in response to a query about the singing game "All Around The Kitchen". I've added some additional verses to the ones that I shared in 2007 and have also added and reformatted the performance direction comments.

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=104001 Lyr Add:: all around the kitchen cock-a-doodle [Lyr=Lyrics; Add=Additions]

"Oh!! I like that song! I sang this song with my children when they were litte, and they loved it. And I've used it as part of my repertoire of children's songs at the Alafia Children's Ensemble after-school groups that I facilitated for children 5-12 years old. In addition, I've included it in my repertoire of movement songs for children at summer camps, I encouraged the teen camp aides and adults camp counselors {leaders of specific groups whose roles are somewhat like teachers} to join in the performance of this song. And many of them enjoyed do so.

"All Around The Kitchen" is a call & response song which is improvisational and open ended, so you can use any rhyming couplets that you want which give movement directions.

Here's the words that I usually use for this singing game:

ALL AROUND THE KITCHEN

Chorus:
Leader: All around the kitchen
Everyone: Cock-a-doddle doodle do

Leader: All around the kitchen
Everyone: Cock-a-doddle doodle do

Verse 1
Leader: Now you stop right still
Everyone: Cock-a-doddle doodle do
Leader: Put your hands on your hips
Everyone: Cock-a-doodle doodle do
Leader: And let your right foot slip
Everyone: Cock-a-doodle doodle do

Chorus

Verse 2
Leader: Now you stop right still
Everyone: Cock-a-doddle doodle do
Leader: And you turn around
Everyone: Cock-a-doddle doodle do
Leader: Then you touch the ground
Everyone: Cock-a-doddle doodle do

Chorus

Verse 3:
Leader: Now you stop right still
Everyone: Cock-a-doddle doodle do
And you touch your toes
Everyone: Cock-a-doddle doodle do
Then you touch your nose
Everyone: Cock-a-doddle doodle do

Chorus

Verse 4
Leader: Now you stop right still
Everyone: Cock-a-doddle doodle do
Leader: Put your hand on your ear.
Everyone: Cock-a-doddle doodle do
Leader: And leave it right there
Everyone: Cock-a-doddle doodle do

Verse 5
Leader: Now you stop right still
Everyone: Cock-a-doddle doodle do
Leader: Put your hands in the sky
Everyone: Cock-a-doddle doodle do
Leader: And wave them up high
Everyone: Cock-a-doddle doodle do
-snip-
The leader can repeat any verse that she (or he) chooses to whenever she (or he) wants to.

DIRECTIONS:
Participants stand in a vertical line with a designated leader in front. That person leads the group in strutting in an often zig zag motion around the room or the designated play area while she (or he) and the rest of the group sings the chorus.

On the words "cock-a-doodle-do" the entire group imitates a rooster by acting like they have wings (put their right hand and their left hand in their arm pits and move them up and down to the beat).

When the leader sings "Now you stop right till", everyone stops in place.

The leader sing the rhyming command, and demonstrates how to do that command. The rest of the group then copies the leader's "motion".

The leader starts moving around the room again and everyone in the line follows her (or him).

Everyone sings "cock-a-doodle do" and moves their arms up and down like a rooster.

This pattern continues until the leader ends the singing game.

Additional notes:
"Let your right foot slip" is found in versions of "Little Sally Walker"("Little Sally Waters") and some other African American originated singing games.

Here's how I taught this motion
Stand still and then (on the beat)
1.extend your right foot out in front of you & touch the ground with your right toe
2. remain facing forward but point your toe right in back of you
3. moving your right foot back to its original position next to the left foot.
-snip-
In another comment on that same discussion thread, I wrote that
"Given its call & response, improvisational, and open-ended format, I think [that "All Around The Kitchen"] is of African American origin.

The use of that "let your right foot slip" verse also leads me to believe that All Around the Kitchen is of African American origin-or we took adopted it from elsewhere and made it our own."
-snip-
I also noted in that discussion that the after school children's group that I founded and the special programming sessions where I performed (in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area) were predominately attended by African Americans. However, no one knew this song or this "let your right foot slip" movement command.
-snip-
I learned "All The Kitchen" when I was a child from Mrs. Janie Owens, a Vacation Bible School teacher who shared this singing game (and the "In The River On The Bank" movement game) with the children who attended that church summer program. Mrs. Owens said that she learned these games when she was a child in the South (if I recall correctly, I think she said that she was from Georgia.)

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Here are three other comments from that Mudcat discussion thread:

Subject: RE: Folklore: all around the kitchen cock-a-doodle
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 08:54 AM

"Hi all ... here's a little background for the song as far as I know it.

"All Around In the Kitchen" was its title when this ring game song was recorded in 1940 by John A. and Ruby T. Lomax in the countryside near York, Alabama. I believe that is its first appearance, I don't know of any earlier version.

Ruth Crawford Seeger published it in American Folk Songs for Children in 1948, and it got into a lot of school music curriculums because that book was widely circulated among educators. She dropped the word "In" from the title for whatever reason.

Pete Seeger recorded it in the early 1950s on a Folkways album for children, also as "All Around the Kitchen." This gave it even more circulation. That's where I learned it. Hooray for LP records. :)

Bob"

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Subject: RE: Folklore: all around the kitchen cock-a-doodle
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 08:58 AM

"And Azizi, I should add that the song was sung by a group of African-American children, which confirms your opinion. Bob"

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Subject: RE: Folklore: all around the kitchen cock-a-doodle
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 09:28 AM

"Bob Coltman wrote:
"Ruth Crawford Seeger published it in American Folk Songs for Children in 1948, and it got into a lot of school music curriculums because that book was widely circulated among educators."

Mike & Peggy Seeger have recorded an album (now a 2XCD set) of the songs in this book, including "All Around The Kitchen".

This is certainly one of my favourite albums - it got us through so many long-distance car journeys with our son, who now has his own band. I wonder how many of these songs will eventually crop up in punky-ska versions?

Norman"

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SHOWCASE EXAMPLES
Example #1: All Around The Kitchen



David Nicholson, Uploaded on May 2, 2009

Willow Creek Elemenatry, Centennial Colorado. 1st Graders Spring Music Program. April 30, 2009.

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Example #2 Dan Zanes and Friends- All Around the Kitchen



Dan Zanes, Uploaded on Jun 1, 2010

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Example #3: All Around the Kitchen



dpcinva, Published on Jun 10, 2014

MPTS Kindergarten Program - June 2014

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Example #4: Pete Seeger-All Around the Kitchen



UltimateSerge, Published on Mar 13, 2013

On American Folk, Game and Activity Songs for Children. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED

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ADDENDUM: All Around the Kitchen Singalong Storybook Trailer



Music Together, Published on Nov 4, 2013

Dance "All Around the Kitchen" with a singing rooster, pots and pans, potatoes and pancakes—and see peanut butter and jelly fall in love!

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