Monday, January 13, 2020

Children's Hand Clap Rhymes & Cheers That Mention Telephones

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post documents examples of children's hand clap rhymes and cheers that mention telephones.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those whose rhyme examples are documented in this post.
Click for a related pancocojams post entitled "Hand Clap Rhymes That Mention Mp3s, Cell Phones, HDTV, & Computers".

This post documents all of the examples of rhymes and cheers in this category that I have come across, either from direct, face to face collection, or examples that were sent to my no longer active cultural website cocojams, or examples that were sent to this pancocojams blog, or examples that I read online.

The examples of cheers on this page are from the sub-category of children's cheers that I refer to as "foot stomping cheers". Foot stomping cheers are formulaic compositions that are chanted by two or more girls while they perform synchronized, choreographed foot stomping and hand clapping routines.

Click the tags below for foot stomping cheers.

Please add to this collection of hand clap rhymes and cheers for the folkloric record. Remember to include when you remember your example, how it was performed, and where [city, state, or nation if outside of the United States.

The first mention of telephone (including "cell phone" or "cell") in each example is given in italics to highlight that word.

The rhyme's category is given below the example.

Numbers are added for referencing purposes only. I also added brief editorial comments after some of these examples.

All: Cheer.
Are you ready?
Soloist #1: Shayla.
They call me Rosa.
Soloist #2: Shana.
They call me Poo.
Soloist #3: Shana.
They call me Shay.
Soloist #4: Jamie.
They call me Jay Jay.
Soloist #5: Jackie.
They call me HaJack (HighJack?).
All: Cheer.
Zodiac signs.
Soloist #1: Aquarius.
That’s a dog.
Soloist #2: Cancer.
That’s a crab.
Soloist #3: Leo.
That’s a lion.
Soloist #4:Scorpio.
That’s a spider.
Soloist #5: Scorpio.
That’s a spider.
All: Cheer.
Are you ready?
Soloist #1: 348-5110.
Group: Always busy.
Soloist #2: 348-4554.
Group: Always busy.
Soloist #3: 348-3322
Group: Always busy.
Soloist #4: 348-5679
Group: Always busy.
Soloist #5: 348-4285
Group: Always busy.
-Shayla, Shana, Shana, Jamie, and Jackie (African American females about 10 years-12 years old, Talbot Towers Housing after-school program, Braddock, PA; 1985); collected by Azizi Powell, 1985; foot stomping cheers
I collected this example before telephone numbers in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area were prefaced by area codes. This was also before telephone had the "call waiting" feature and instead had a buzzing signal that was called a "busy signal" if you were on the phone when someone called you. If your phone was "always busy" that means you were getting a lot of phone calls (i.e. you were very popular).

I changed the phone numbers to protect the girls' privacy.

Notice that a spider isn't really the insect that symbolizes the astrological sign "Scorpio". This example was collected during a time when people were supposed to know their astrological [sun] sign. Since these foot stomping cheers had to be chanted without hesitation, if a girl didn't really know her sign, she quickly said whichever sign she could think of and also quickly named whatever symbol she could think of that was associated with that sign so that the group would "stay on beat".

tele-phone, te-te-lephone
hey "bitsy"?
hey what?
your man is on the phone
girl, tell him i ain't home
he only want me for my hips, my lips, my booty and my this(and point to, well your "womanliness")

i know we were some fresh little girls
- bitsy196;; “remember when”; 6-25-2003
This discussion thread was made up of self- identified members of historically Black Greek letter sororities.

I don't know how this rhyme was performed, but the beginning of this example "sounds" to me like the hand clap rhyme "Gigalo". The last line is a comment and not part of the rhyme.

MISS SUE FROM ALABAMA (version #1 in this post)
one goes back and forth between the people playing the game; I'll just use my name (Monica):
(both)Miss Sue, Miss Sue
Miss Sue from Alabama
Her real name is Susannah
(Boom chicka boom chicka boomboomboom)
Mommy's got the measles, Daddy's got the flu
I ain't lyin', nor are you.
(other person) Hey Monica!
(me) Who's callin' my name?
(other person) Hey Monica!
(me) Stop playin' my game!
(other person) Someone's on the telephone!
(me) If it ain't my baby tell 'em I ain't home!
(both) Sittin' in her rocker, eatin' peanut butter
Watchin' the clock go
Boom ticky wah wah boom tick tock
Boom ticky wah wah clock says stop!
-getoffmyskittle; "Does anyone remember this?? (goofy kid-rhymes)" February 6th, 2006; hand clap rhyme

SOLO: My name is Naomi on the Phone with my Daisy Dukes on
if you see me on the street boy you better speak to me.
GROUP:Oo she think she bad

SOLO: At least i use a wash rag
GROUP: Oo she think she cool

SOLO: Soap and water will do

GROUP:Oo she think she fine

SOLO: Fine Fine #9 take yo man anytime, he took me out he brought me back he besta have my cadillac. he brought you 1 he brought me 2, married me and divorced you.
he taught me Karate and taught me Kung Fu. mess wit me
and i'll do it on you

GROUP:Bang Bang choo choo train
wind her up she'll do her thang

SOLO: I can't
GROUP:Why not

SOLO: I said I can't

SOLO: I said my back is aching and my bra's too tight. my
booty's shakin from the left to the right
GROUP: Left Right Left Right yo mama is a ugly sight
-Naomi; 1/17/2007;; foot stomping cheer
""Daisy Dukes" are extremely short, form-fitting, denim cut-off shorts worn by young women, particularly in the American South. They were so named after the character of Daisy Duke (portrayed by actress Catherine Bach) in the early 1980's American television series, The Dukes of Hazzard.

The appearances on the television show created a nationwide craze in the United States. Young women clamored for the risqu shorts, and even after twenty years they are still associated with, and referred to by the name of, the character of Daisy Duke."
Actually, "Daisy Dukes" shorts were worn and are still worn by females of all races/ethnicities in all regions of the United States.

Soloist: My name is Shelly
Others: Check
Soloist: They call me Shell
Others: Check
My horoscope is Aquarius
Others: Aquarius
Soloist: If you don't like
Others: Check
Soloist: Without a dial*
Others: Check
Soloist: Just call my number
and check me out.
Others: Check her out
Soloist: Cause I am fine.**
My number is 222-888***
Others: Check
Soloist: That fellow is mine **
Cause I know how to skate
Others: Well alright
Well alright
-Shelly H. (African American female, Cleveland, Ohio, mid 1980s), collected by Azizi Powell, May 2007; foot stomping cheer

Directions: Repeat cheer from the beginning with the next soloist. That soloist says her name & nickname, and gives her astrological sun sign ("horoscope") and her phone number. In the " I like to ___" line, that soloist indicates what she is good at doing ("sing", "dance", "draw"). This pattern continues with the next soloist until everyone has had one turn as the soloist.

* "If you don't like without a dial" probably means "If you don't like it without a doubt"
** "Mine" and "fine" were elongated and sung-"my -i-i-n" ;"fi-i-i-n"
***This number refers to a telephone number. I changed the number for privacy purposes.

this is my version

mama mama cant you see
what the baby done to
he took away my water jug
now i cant go fill it up!!!
took away my mtv now i cant watch bet.
took away my miny skirt now i cant go out to flirt!!
took away my cell phone
now i cant go call home!!!
dont stop till your hands get hot!!!!"
- webkinzgirl18245,, 2010; hand clap rhyme
The second line in all of the versions of this widely known rhyme is "what __ done to me".

This example was written in paragraph style with very little punctuation. It is reformatted here to enhance its reading clarity.

this is how i sing it

Hollywood Hollywood
Hollywood go swinging
Hollywood go swinging
my name is (Ur name) on the my cell
with my apple bottoms on
if you see me in the club
boy you better speak to me
uh she think she bad:
B.A.D i know I'm bad
uh she think she cool:
coolest girl in (whatever one Ur in elementary, middle etc)
uh she think she:
fine fine fine #8
take your man up on a date
bring him home
bring him back
he best have my Cadillac
he bought me 1
he bought me 2
he married me
divorced you
bang bang choochoo train
come on girl lets do our thing
(other person) i cant
(you) why not
(other person) because i cant
(you) why not
(other person) because my back is ache-ing
and my bra is to tight
and my booty shaking
from the left to the right left right left right
-ID1122325703, retrieved on September 20, 2010
This example was written in paragraph style with very little punctuation. It is reformatted here to enhance its reading clarity.

I don't know how this rhyme was performed. However, it's two person speaking format is more similar to foot stomping cheers since hand clap rhymes are always chanted in unison. My guess is that this example-like all other "Hollywood Swinging" rhymes started out as a foot stomping cheer and changed to a hand clap rhyme while retaining its call and response feature.

MISS SUE FROM ALABAMA (version #2 in this post)
We sang a totally different version than anything I've seen online. This was around 05 in central GA.

"Miss Sue,
Miss Sue,
Miss Sue from Alabama,
Her real name's Suzianna.
Chicka-boom, chicka-boom,
Chicka boom-boom-boom.
Momma's got the measles,
Daddy's got the flu
I ain't lying, neither are you.
(You) 'Hey (friend's name)!'
(Friend) 'who's calling my name?'
(You) 'hey (friend)!'
(Friend) 'who's playing my game?'
(You) 'your boyfriend's on the telephone's
(Friend) 'if ain't my baby tell him I ain't home, if it is my baby tell him hooooold on'
(Both again)
Sittin in a rocker,
Eatin Betty crocker,
Watchin that clock goin
Boom chicka-wa wa,
Boom tick-tock.
Boom chicka-wa wa,
The clock says stop.
I like coffee,
I like tea,
I like the little boy who likes me
Tick tock!"

There were hand motions for each line, similar to the usual ones. At the last part (boom chicka wa wa) we crossed our hands on our laps and back over and over, when the song ended if they were parallel, you were the little boy, if they were crossed you were the girl. It was really weird now that I think about it but we never did it any of the ways I've seen on YouTube or here!
-Anonymous; January 12, 2020 at 1:28 AM; comment in the discussion thread for

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