Sunday, March 24, 2013

"That's The Way Un Hun Un Hun I Like It " In Children's Rhymes

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases examples of playground rhymes that include the lines "That's the way, un hun un hun/I like it, un hun, un hun". These handclap rhymes are often called "Shame" because of their introductory line "Shame Shame Shame".

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

"That's the way I like it/un hun un hun" are the beginning lines of K.C. & The Sunshine Band's hit 1975 Disco record of that title and the lyrics's second line. The "un hun un hun" phrases mean "yes yes".

Those lines are often found in certain [but not every] version of the playground rhyme "Brickwall Waterfall". In every example in which those lines are found, they are repeated twice just as they are repeated in that K.C. & The Sunshine Band record. The tune used for those playground rhymes is also the same as the record's tune for those lines.

In many of those playground rhymes, the lines "that's the way I like it/un hun un hun" are found in the beginning of those rhymes after an introductory phrase such as "ABC Hit It" or "123 Hit It". ("Hit it" is a phrase that is lifted from musical jargon. In music as well as in playground rhymes the phrase "Hit it" has come to mean "Begin".)

Seven examples of playground rhymes that include the words "That's the way I like it/un hun un hun" are found below.

These rhymes are usually chanted while performing specific motions that mimic the words that are said rather than while doing handclap routines or jumping rope.

Click's_the_Way_(I_Like_It) for information about the song "That's The Way (I Like It)".

That's the way I like it K C & the Sunshine Band. on soul train MPG

daidai dai, Uploaded on Nov 18, 2011


Example #1: ABC Hit it:

uploaded by stariewitch, April 26, 2008

"These are my niece's playing one of their hand games. Arn't they cute. Ignore my son in the background. He was just being silly. I have more funny videos to check out too!"
My transcription of this rhyme is given as #3 below.
Example #2 - Shame Shame Shame (hand game)


Elizabeth Brooks, Uploaded on Aug 27, 2011

Alexis and Laysia performing hand game
My transcription of and comments about this rhyme are given as Example #7 below.


Example #1:
1, 2, 3,
that's the way
uh huh uh huh
i like it
uh huh uh huh
that's the way
uh huh uh huh
i like it
uh huh uh huh
peace. punch
captain crunch.
brick wall. waterfall.
girl you think you know it all?
you don't! i do!
so poof with the attitude.
loser loser with a twist
elbow elbow wrist wrist.
wipe a tear. blow a kiss.
kiss this.
hunnie u aint got none of this.
-k to the c, [This website is no longer active]; 6/20/2006
The word "poof" approximates the sound that is supposedly made when something suddenly disappears (as in "Poof! It disappeared in a puff of smoke".)

Here's an explanation for the phrase: "elbow elbow wrist wrist" from
"Parade Wave
A slight hand gesture used to wave for prolonged periods of time (like during a parade)or as a casual non-verbal greeting to friends. With the arm bent at the elbow, the waver turns their wrist back and forth exposing the front and then the back of the hand in a single motion."
by Hackermom Nov 2, 2005
In the context of these playground rhymes, "elbow elbow wrist wrist" emphasizes the insincere nature of the person's hand wave.

Example #2:
In the early eighties in Pensacola, FL, we sang a second part to the "Thats the Way" song. After the first part, we continued with:

My first name is (insert name);
My last is (insert last name);
My sign is (insert sign);
I got (insert boy's name) on my mind...
(and then start the first part over)
-Adriana ; 1/13/2007
Adriana may be referring to "That's the way/un hun un hun/That's the way/un hun un hun" as the first part of the "That's The Way" rhyme.

The "second part" of "That's The Way" that Adriana gave is very similar to the words for the foot stomping cheer "L.O.V.E." which I collected in the mid 1980s in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Click for two text examples of that foot stomping cheer.

If my guess is correct about what Adriana meant was the first part of this rhyme, then this would be the only playground example that I've found to date which doesn't include lines from the taunting rhyme "Brickwall Waterfall". That said, it's more likely that her "first part" included some lines from the "Brickwall Waterfall" rhyme.

Example #3
Hit it!
Thats the way uh huh uh huh
i like it uh huh uh huh
Thats the way uh huh uh huh
i like it uh huh uh huh
peace puch captain crunch
break a wall waterfalls,girl you think you know it all
you dont i do so, poof with the attitude
wait, come back, you need a tic tac
not a tic not a tac but the whole six pack
yo mamma, yo daddy, your bald headed granny
she 99 she thinks shes fine,
she going out with frankenstein
go granny go go, go granny wooooo
-stariewitch; ; April 26, 2008.
This is my transcription of the rhyme that is recited in the video which is given as Example #1 on this page.

Notice the line "break a wall" instead of the standard phrase "brickwall". The word "yo" in "yo mama" etc. means "your".
This is a different meaning for African American vernacular English word than when it's found in the beginning of the greeting sentence such as "Yo, what's up, man?" ["Hey, what's going on, man?]"

Note: Additional examples of this rhyme are posted on that video's viewer comment thread.

Example #4:
There are hand motions that go with this ryhme, although I'm not sure I can explain them well, but I'll try, they're at the end}

That's the way uh huh uh huh
I like it uh huh uh huh
That's the way uh huh uh huh
I like it uh huh uh huh
Peace punch, Captain crunch
Brick wall, waterfall,
girl you think you got it all,
you dont. I do.
So poof with the attitude,
As if- Whatever- Good bye- Forever...
-Erin Sarah; 3/22/2008
Visit for Erin Sarah's performance instructions for this rhyme (given as example #50 out of 62 examples of rhymes on that page which are presented under the name "Brickwall Waterfall". There are actually other examples from that huge family of rhymes on that page and on other Cocojams rhyme pages such as August 27, 2011 [video embedded above as Example #2],
The rhyme that Alexis and Laysia recited is composed of five different parts:
1. Introductory lines: "shame shame shame"* and "Hit It"
2. "That's the way I like it [2x]
3Brickwall Waterfall (given here as "rainfall waterfal") lines
4. Welcome to McDonalds lines
5. See My Pinkie rhyme

Most English language playground rhymes combine multiple rhymes like this.

*[Update October 6, 2013]
Since at least the early 2000s, "Shame" is another title for the handclap rhyme "I Don't Want to Go To Mexico" (or other similar lines like "I Don't Want To Go To Hollywood" or "I Don't Want To Go To School".) That "Shame" title comes from the "Shame shame shame" introductory line that those versions of those rhymes have, as well as the fact that many of those same rhymes end with the word "Shame". However, it's important to note that other children's rhymes begin with "Shame shame shame" and may also end with "Shame" (or alternatively with "Shut the door). Among those examples is the one given above in the video which is a part of the huge family of "Brickwall Waterfall" playground rhymes.

My guess is that the beginning phrase "shame shame shame" came from a question like "Aren't you ashamed [or what you did or of what you are doing]. However, my sense is that this phrase doesn't have any literal meaning to the children who recite it at the beginning of their rhymes. It should also be noted that the movment activity for the "shame shame shame" introductory line is almost always different from the movement routine for the rest of the rhyme. From examples that I have directly observed and from video examples, partners usually hold each other pinky fingers and sway their partner's hands back and forth while chanting that line.

The ending word "Shame" (or alternately, the command "Shut the door") act as signals for some action from the handclap partners- either both dramatically "freezing" in place, or attempting to be the first one to tap the other on the forehead, or both pushing each other etc.

(Examples of "I Don't Want to Go To Mexico" rhymes can be found on this page of my cultural website:

Click for examples of five other playground rhymes or cheers that were inspired by popular records.

Links to other categories of playground rhymes and cheers are also found on my Cocojams website.

Thanks to the composers of the song "That's The Way (I Like It)". Thanks also to the unknown composers of the playground rhymes that include words to that song. Thanks also to K.C. & The Sunshine Band for their musical legacy, and thanks to all those whose playground rhymes are featured in this post. My thanks also to the publishers of these videos.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment