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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Examples Of "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay" Children's Rhymes, Part I (Clean Versions)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part I of a two part pancocojams series on children' rhymes that begin with the lyrics "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay" or include those lyrics in that rhyme, and also use the tune of the 1891 vaudeville and music hall song entitled "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay".

Part I provides information about the song "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay" and includes comments about the reasons why children chant anti-social and "rude" rhymes. Part I also showcases some examples of "clean" (not sexualized) examples of "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay" children's rhymes.

Part I provides information about the song "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay" and includes excerpts of several online articles about the reasons why children chant anti-social and "rude" rhymes/songs. Part I also showcases some examples of "clean" (not sexualized) examples of "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay" children's rhymes.

Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2017/07/examples-of-ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay_25.html for Part II of this series. Part II includes excerpts of several online articles about the reasons why children chant anti-social and "rude" rhymes/songs. Part II also showcases selected examples of "sexualized" ("dirty") examples of ""Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay" children's rhymes.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE SONG "TA RA RA BOOM DE AY"
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ta-ra-ra_Boom-de-ay
"Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay" is a vaudeville and music hall song. The song's first known public performance was in Henry J. Sayers' 1891 revue Tuxedo, which was performed in Boston, Massachusetts. The song became widely known in the version sung by Lottie Collins in London music halls in 1892.[1] The tune was later used in various contexts, including as the theme song to the television show Howdy Doody.

Background
The song's authorship was disputed for some years.[2] It was originally credited to Sayers, who was the manager of the George Thatcher Minstrels; Sayers used the song in his 1891 production Tuxedo, a minstrel farce variety show in which "Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay" was sung by Mamie Gilroy.[3][4] However, Sayers later said that he had not written the song, but had heard it performed in the 1880s by a black singer, Mama Lou, in a well-known St. Louis brothel run by "Babe" Connors.[1]

Stephen Cooney, Lottie Collins' husband, heard the song in Tuxedo and purchased from Sayers rights for Collins to perform the song in England.[2] Collins worked up a dance routine around it, and, with new words by Richard Morton and a new arrangement by Angelo A. Asher, she first sang the song at the Tivoli Music Hall on The Strand in London in 1891 to an enthusiastic reception; it became her signature tune.[5] She performed it to great acclaim in the 1892 adaptation of Edmond Audran's opérette, Miss Helyett. According to reviews at the time, Collins delivered the suggestive verses with deceptive demureness, before launching into the lusty refrain and her celebrated "kick dance", a kind of cancan in which, according to one reviewer, "she turns, twists, contorts, revolutionizes, and disports her lithe and muscular figure into a hundred different poses, all bizarre".[6]"....
-snip-
Click http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=17453&messages=31 http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=17453&messages=31 for a discussion about the origin of "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay", including possible sources for that 19th century vaudeville and music hall song.

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GENERAL DESCRIPTION ABOUT "TA RA RA BOOM DE AY" CHILDREN'S RHYMES
From http://playgroundjungle.com/2009/12/ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay.html "Ta ra ra boom de ay", by thor: Adam Selzer December 7, 2009 (with 74 comments as of July 25, 2017)
"Parodies of the 1890s tune “Ta rah ra boom de ay” come in two distinct versions: one about a dead teacher, and one about sex. If there’s one about bodily functions out there, it’d be a regular trifecta!

I don’t know the REAL “Ta ra ra boom de ay” song at all, but I do know the dead teacher version. It’s because of this that I thought sauerkraut was a type of fish for years."...
-snip-
At least two commenters shared "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay" children parodies about people farting which fits the "bodily functions" description.

In addition to those three categories, a number of "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay" children rhymes refer to people loosing their "knickers" (panties) or otherwise being naked.

I include the "dead teacher" versions, the bodily function versions, and loosing "knicker" (panties)/naked person versions of "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay" rhymes as "clean" versions of that rhyme family. The "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay" rhymes about a girl being raped by a neighborhood boy and giving birth to a baby boy are categorized as "sexualized"/"dirty" versions of that rhyme family.

Although some articles indicate that "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay" children's rhymes were "sung" while skipping, it appears that nowadays (and maybe since at least the 1970s) those rhymes are usually sung without any any accompanying movements.

The children's rhyme "We Are The __ Girls/We Wear Our Hair In Curls" is closely related rhyme to "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay" rhymes. "We Are The __ Girls" have the same tune as the "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay" [song], and has "clean" and "dirty" versions. The words to the "dirty" (sexualized) versions are very similar if not the same as the words to the "dirty" (sexualized) versions of "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay".

Click http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=123101 for a Mudcat folk music discussion thread on "We Are The __ Girls" that I started in 2009. Here's a "clean" version of "We Are The __ Girls":
We are the Barbie girls.
We wear our hair in curls.
We wear our dungarees
To hide our dirty knees.
We wear our father's shirt.
We wear our brother's tie,
And when we want a guy,
We simply wink the eye.

(Opie and Opie The Singing Game, 1985: 478)
-snip-
This example was posted in the above mentioned Mudcat discussion thread by Jim Dixon, 07 Sep 09 - 08:56 PM. It has been traced to the 1970s [United Kingdom].

[Added July 26/1017]

Here's an example of "We wear our hair in curls" that mentions mini-skirts and>/i> includes the "toys/boys" line:

we're scoil mhuire girls!
we wear our hair in curls
we wear our dungarees above our sexy knees!
sha la la boom sha la sha la la boom sha la
we're scoil mhuire girls!
we wear our hair in curls
we wear our daddy's shirts over our mini-skirts!
sha la la boom sha la sha la la boom sha la
we're the scoil mhuire girls! we wear our hair in curls
and when it comes to toys
we'd rather play with boys!
sha la la boom sha la sha la la boom sha la
we're scoil mhuire girls!
we wear our hair in curls we don't smoke or drink
that's what our teachers think!
sha la la boom sha la sha la la boom sha la
-snip-
This example is from a website that is no longer available. On August 26, 2017 I quoted this rhyme in the "We Wear Our Hair In Curls" Mudcat discussion thread whose link is given above.

The "sha la la boom sha la" words are a form of "Ta ra ra boom de ay".

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COMMENTS ABOUT WHY CHILDREN CHANT TAUNTING AND/OR ANTI-SOCIAL PARODIES OF SONGS/RHYMES
These two excerpts are given in no particular order
Excerpt #1:
From https://www.bl.uk/playtimes/articles/an-introduction-to-childrens-jokes-and-rude-rhymes
"An introduction to children's jokes and rude rhymes" by Michael Rosen, 26 Oct 2016
"Humour is an important component of children’s play, and nowhere is this more apparent than in their verbal play.

Humour serves a wide range of purposes, allowing children to challenge, undermine and disarm adult power and seriousness, to explore taboo topics as various as sex or toilets, and to experiment with dazzling displays of verbal dexterity. Many funny rhymes are ones which accompany specific games, activities, such as counting out, clapping or skipping. Rude variations of ‘Popeye the Sailor Man’, for example, accompanied clapping games in the mid-20th century. Others are simply performed and passed along for fun. Their humour, their cheek, their rhyme and rhythm, imagery, play on words and frequent parodic trades are all reasons why they appeal to children and why they’re memorable.

An important class of verbal humour is parody. The history of children’s language play abounds in parodic versions of different genres, Christmas carols, pop songs, advertising jingles, Valentine’s Day rhymes, Happy Birthday, football chants, musicals, TV theme songs. The wide variety of genres involved demonstrates a real mixing bowl of popular cultural references, where everything is up for grabs, nothing is sacred and the punch line is all. The sources are equally diverse, other children, adults, comics, books, television, films and the internet."...

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Excerpt #2
From http://english.ohmynews.com/articleview/article_view.asp?no=381283&rel_no=1
Children Revel in Rude Rhymes: Democracy underpinned by the ability to question and mock authority
by Peter Hinchliffe (Hinchy), Published 2007-12-23
...."Judging by their playground chants and rhymes, children are possessed of a rebellious sense of humor. So it has been down the centuries...

While playing skipping and other games children chant rhymes that break taboos by poking fun at the adult world....

Children who challenge authority with a subversive, and often vulgar, rhyme grow up to be ever wary of authority.

And the ability to question, and sometimes, mock those who would run our lives for us is the firm foundation upon which democracy is built."...

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EXAMPLES OF "TA RA RA BOOM DE AY" CHILDREN'S RHYMES (CLEAN VERSIONS)
These examples are given in no particular order and are numbered for referencing purposes only.

DISCLAIMER: This is not meant to be a comprehensive compilation of these rhymes.
1.
Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay!
My knickers flew away
They came back yesterday
From a little holiday
-http://english.ohmynews.com/articleview/article_view.asp?no=381283&rel_no=1
Children Revel in Rude Rhymes: Democracy underpinned by the ability to question and mock authority
by Peter Hinchliffe (Hinchy), Published 2007-12-23
-snip-
This example is described as a "skipping rhyme that have echoed round many a playground during recent decades"

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2.
Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay,
There is no school today!
The teacher passed away
Because of tooth decay.
We threw her in the bay;
She scared the sharks away.
-http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=2795
Subject: RE: Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, I Bit the Teacher's Toe!, Jerry Friedman, 13 Sep 97,
-snip-
This rhyme is describes as "possibly from San Francisco"

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3.
Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay! My Knickers Flew Away
Jump Rope Rhyme
Ta ra ra boom de ay
My knickers flew away
I found them yesterday
On the M6 motorway.
-http://www.mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=5199, Paul

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4. Ta ra ra boom de ay
we had no school today
our teacher passed away
we threw her in the bay
she scared the fish away
she won’t come out
she smells like sauerkraut
ta ra ra boom de ay.

I first heard this the same day I heard “Joy To The World The Teacher’s Dead.” They were sung in a medly by a kid who sat behind me in first grade....
- http://playgroundjungle.com/2009/12/ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay.html "Ta ra ra boom de ay", by thor: Adam Selzer December 7, 2009 (with 74 comments as of July 25, 2017), hereafter given as "playground jungle" article, 2009".

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5. Iona Opie collected this on[e] in the 70s:[United Kingdom]

Ta ra ra boom de ay
my knickers flew away
they had a holiday
they came back yesterday
-"playground jungle" article, 2009

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6. Chicago, early 90's:

Ta ra ra boom de ay
I stole your pants away
and left you standing there
In day-old underwear (or dirty underwear)
Anonymous, August 6, 2011, comment in discussion of "playground jungle" article, 2009

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7. Tra la la boom dee day my knickers flew away, they went on holiday,
They came back yesterday.

They said they had some fun,
they found another bum.
…..
My father knows the rest but wont tell me.
-Anonymous December 15, 2011, comment in discussion of "playground jungle" article, 2009

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8. Tra la la boom see ay
they took my pants away
they made me sit there
without my underwear.

St Louis 60s
- Anonymous, May 23, 2012, comment in discussion of "playground jungle" article, 2009

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9. My grandfather used to sing it Tra La La Boom De A

They took my pants away
They threw me in the air
Without any underwear.
-Jayson Cooper July 4, 2012, comment in discussion of "playground jungle" article, 2009

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10. I remember this version from the early 1970's Philadelphia area…

Tra la la boom de ay
We have no school today
Our teacher passed away
We shot her yesterday.
As for the principal
he's in the hospital,
As for the secretary
She's in the cemetery.
As for the janitor
He ran off to Canad(er)
Tra la la boom de ay
We have no school today.
- dalas66, March 8, 2013, comment in discussion of "playground jungle" article, 2009

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11. This one was from my grandma; from the 1950’s in Ontario. She came from Germany after the war….so maybe a creative Anglo version? Kids sang a song with the same tune in Europe in the 1930-40’s she said.

Ta ra ra boom de ay
Did you wash your bum today?
I washed it yesterday,
To keep the flies away
It smelled so bad you see
Nobody would sit by me
Now Ii am so happy
Etc.
-Desan November 29, 2015, comment in discussion of "playground jungle" article, 2009

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12. ...From Virginia in the ’70s”

Tah Rah Rah Boom Dee Yay
Oh what I ate today!
Gave me a tummy ache
That lasted all the day!

And the rest (there WAS a rest, I’m sure) has blown away in the sands of time.
-Jesse M. December 9, 2016, comment in discussion of "playground jungle" article, 2009

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13. Here’s .... as I learned it in Maine circa 1980…

Ta ra ra boom de ay
There is no school today
Our teacher cut a fart
It blew the school apart
-Eric March 2, 2017, comment in discussion of "playground jungle" article, 2009

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14. We sang this version on coach day trips in the UK in the 1970s.

I only recollect there being 1 verse, before we kids all dissolved into giggles at saying the “naughty” “kn…” word – LOL!

This song was sung by us kids during the long travel journeys that we were stuck on, in a coach on the motorway/road. This was during coach trips organised for the church/church choir, or maybe even the trips run for us Brownies! It was on journeys with either one or both of these childhood hobbies – I can’t remember exactly which group trip it was: I just remember the coach part! If it was the Brownies, then it would have been pretty daring for girls under 11, in those days anyway! ,-)

"Ta ra ra boom de ay
My knickers flew away
I found them yesterday
Along the motorway “
-Southern Belle May 6, 2017, comment in discussion of "playground jungle" article, 2009

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15. This may be very strange, but I remeber kids on the play ground singing
a version of Ta ra ra Boom de ay. I won't say where, but will hint at when (early to middle 1970's), in elementary school. I can't name the tune, but the lryics went something like this:

Ta Ra Ra BOOM De ay,
the took my clothes away.
Any left me standing there
In Playtex underwear.

I can't help that I grew up on an Army base in the South,
Okay??!!?!!??!? (a small hint)
-Lisa Akers, 4/6/00, https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/alt.tv.dark_shadows/nXirYD45eY0

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16.
"... I think those are the last two lines to the version I learned in elementary school:

Ta Ra Ra Boom Dee Ay
We are the CIA
While you're standing there
We'll take your underwear.
-Kate, 4/6/00, https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/alt.tv.dark_shadows/nXirYD45eY0

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17.
TA-RA-RA-BOOM-DE-AY,
I'LL TAKE YOUR PANTS AWAY,
AND WHILE YOU'RE STANDING THERE,
I'LL TAKE YOUR UNDERWEAR.

Submitter comment: SCHOOLBOY "OFFCOLOR" RHYME.
PASSED AROUND DURING GRADES 4-6.
-https://research.udmercy.edu/find/special_collections/digital/cfa/index.php?fl_id=161
The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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This concludes Part I of this two part pancocojams series on "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay" Children's Rhymes.

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