Edited by Azizi Powell
Latest revision July 22, 2017
This post presents six video examples of the rhyme "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky" (or similarly sounding first line/title) and selected examples of that rhyme from those videos' viewer comment threads.
This post is presented for folkloric and recreational purposes.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
Thanks to those featured in these videos, and thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post.
DISCLAIMER: This post is not meant to be considered a compilation of all the examples of this rhyme that are available online or offline.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF "DOWN BY THE BANKS OF THE HANKY PANKY RHYMES"
"Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky" is a huge family of recreational rhymes which originated in the United States. Examples of "Down By The Banks..." appear to be known by some Americans of all races and ethnicities. Other first lines/titles of this rhyme include- but aren't limited to-"Down By The Bank With The Hanky Panks", "Down By The Bay Of The Hanky Panky", "Down By The River Of Hanky Panky", and "BullFrogs". The word "hanky panky" in these examples have nothing to do with that term's colloquial meanings of sexual activity or wrongdoing.
Lines that are included in "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky" rhyme date from the late 19th century. For instance:
Norfolk, The Marine Metropolis Of Virginia_ by G. Nowitsky, 1888, includes
"He came to the banks
Of the Pasquotank,
Where the bull-frogs jump
From bank to bank...."
quoted with other examples from the very early 20th century by Guest,Joseph Scott*
Date: 11 Feb 15 - 05:37 PM ,http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=63097&messages=154#3702464
*On another Mudcat Folk Music forum discussion thread (that one about folklorist Alan Lomaxs) Joseph Scott indicated that he is a blues researcher. (http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=156824&messages=25#3702075 Alan Lomax: Racist stereotypes&all/NPR
There are short forms and long forms of "Down By The Banks" of the Hanky Panky. The short form is composed of five lines. Here's a version of the short form of this rhyme:
Down by the banks of the hanky panky
Where the bull frogs jump from bank to banky
With an eeps opps soda pop
He missed the lily pad.
And went Ker-Plop.
The long form usually has those lines along with the addition of one or more stand alone (independent) children's recreational rhymes. "Long form" examples are found below. And new examples of these rhymes are created daily in the United States, and probably elsewhere, thanks to the Internet and thanks to Americans who have traveled outside the United States and taught this rhyme to others.
There are a number of song "sources" that significantly influenced the development of contemporary "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky rhymes. I showcase videos of those songs in a pancocojams post whose link is given above. Among those sources is Pete Seeger's "Foolish Frog" book and song. However, the lyrics and tune for that song are completely different from the lyrics and tune of the contemporary short forms of "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky" rhymes whose words are given above. That tune is the same as that of "The Three Little Fishies" song (which includes the word "Down in the meadow... ... And they swam and they swam right over the dam.)
Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NksJ32bjFd4 for a video of Pete Seeger's Foolish Frog". A summary of a video of this song that was posted by Pete's sister Peggy Seeger notes that "The song is from a 1910 recording, 'May Irwin's Frog Song'. My father, Charles Seeger, composed the story to go with it, for the entertainment of his sons Charles, John and Pete. I learned the whole thing from Pete in 1955 but I tell it in my own way." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7utzhNPQhH8.
I believe that the most significant contributions to the text of many versions of the long form of "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky" were the early 1980s Coke and Pepsi "soda wars" and Pop singer Michael Jackson's hair burning accident while singing his hit song "Billy Jean" during the filming of a soda television commercial.
I should clarify that I've never heard the long form of "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky" chanted. While lots of examples of this form of "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky" can be found posted by bloggers on comment threads of YouTube videos, those videos showcase the short form of that rhyme. And while I've heard the short form chanted in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where I live, I've never heard the long form chanted . Nor have I collected any examples of the long form other than online.
The short form of "Down By The Banks" appears to most often be played as a partner hand clap game. Like other hand clap games, usually it is girls under 12 years who play this game. The long form of "Down By The Banks" appears to most often be played as a lightly competitive group hand slapping game. There are a considerable number of YouTube videos that show females only or combined groups of females and males either standing in a circle or sitting in a circle and playing this hand slap game as a stress reducer or just for fun.
Click these links to find additional examples of "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky":
http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/05/song-sources-for-down-by-banks-of-hanky.html "Song Sources For Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky"
http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2014/04/folk-etymology-forms-of-references-to.html "Forms Of The Name "Billie Jean" In "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky" Rhymes
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=94034 "Origin of Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky"
WARNING: Some examples on that Mudcat thread and the second example after the first video contain the socially offensive word "fag". I've included that example here to illustrate how that word is/was either purposely changed or changed through the folk process.
FEATURED VIDEOS AND EXAMPLES
These videos are presented in chronological order based on their posting dates on YouTube, with the oldest video (and the oldest examples from that particular video's comment thread) given first. For space purposes, I've left these text examples in paragraph form as they were found instead of converting the examples to poetry form.
VIDEO #1: Down on the Banks of the Hanky Panky
Erin SchmidtUploaded on Sep 14, 2006
1st Hand Clapping Game we're teaching the kids
"yeah like mine when i was a kid was down by the banks of the hankey pankey where the bulfrog jumps from bank to bank singin eeps ips ooops ops jumps of a lilipad and goes kerplop"
"I learned it as "Down by the banks of the hanky pank, where the bull frogs jump from bank to bank, saying ees, ise, opps, oops. East side dally ding-dong. Pledge allegiance to the the flag, Michael Jackson is a fag [I didn't know what this word was when I was 5...]. Coca-cola burned his butt, now he's drinking 7-up. 7-up has no caffeine, now he's drinking gasoline. Gasoline has no flavor, no he's eating Life Savors."
I learned it "down by the banks of the hanky banky where the bull frog jumps from bank to bankie sayin eeps ipse ooope oops i pledge allegence to the flag michael jackson makes me gag cococola burns me up now were talking 7-up. 7-up has no caffene now were talking billy jean. billy jean is out of sight now were talking dynamite.10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
"i learned "down by the bbaks of the hanky panky where the bull frogs jump from bank to banky with an eeps opps oopsakadaily (idk wut haha but its prob like that) and a ker plop 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 mickey mouse had a house donald duck messed it up who shall pay the consequenses mouse or duck?" and then you spell out the choice and the person it lands on is outtt hah"
Samantha Mellark, 2011
"I'm 10 and I still play this game :) We do it like: Down by the banks where the hanky panks where the bullfrogs jump from bank to bank saying eeps, ieps, opes, oops your mama stinks and so do you. Ping pong soda pop. Reese's piece's butter cup. Bang! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10!"
"I learnt, down by the banks of the hanky panky where the bullfrog jumps from bank to bank with a hip-hop-a-crackle-and-a-pop with an a, e, I, o, you are out. !!!"
jaslynn sanandres, 2014
"Ours was: Down by the rivers of Hankey pank, where the bullfrogs jump from bank to bank sayin' E,I,O,U, yo mama stink and so do you, you tell your teacher what to wear...polka-dotted underwear, not too big, not too small"
This form of "Down By The Banks..." usually continues with the line "just the size of [name] Mall. For example, "Just the size of Broward Mall" or "just the size of city hall".
VIDEO #2: Down By the Banks of the Hanky Panky =P
Mickayla Royer, Uploaded on Jul 28, 2009
random game we played when we were boredddd
"mine goes : down by the bay of the hanky panky where the bullfrog jumps from bank to bank saying e, i, o, u, your moma stinks and so do you so ping pong ding dong your dady smells like king kong, tell your teacher where polka dotted underwear, not too big, not too small just the size of city hall, cokacola no caffine now were talking billie jean, billie jean is outt site now were talking dynamite, dynamite dynamite...10, 9, 8 ,7, 6, 5, 4, 3 ,2, 1!!!"
"I love how everyone comments how theirs is different. :D Cause mine iss.... down by the banks of the hanky panky where the bullfrog jumps from bank to banky with a heeps hops soda pops hey mr. willy & he went kerplop! hahhaa :D"
"mine is: down by the banks of the hanky-pank where the bullfrogs jump from bank to bank saying eeps oops opps opps eeps oops opps opps one fell in and went ker-PLOP."
Caitlin Jones, 2010
"Mine is Down by the banks of hanky panky where the bullfrogs jump from bank to banky with a hip hop snap crackle pop boom shaka laka laka full stop."
Larry Hart, 2013
"mine is down by the bank of they hanky panky where the bullfrogs jump to bank to bank saying ep op skitlepoppop i pledge aligence to the flag micheal jackson make me gag now im drinking coca cola coca cola burning up now im drinking 7 up 7 up got they flew now im drinking moutain dew mountain dew fell of the mountain now im drinking from the fountain foutain broke now im drinking plain old diet coke"
VIDEO #3: Down By The Banks of The Hanky Panky
hanzie99, Uploaded on Oct 2, 2010
Down by the banks of the hanky panky, Tucson version,
Here's my transcription of the version ;f "Down By The Banks" that this is girl recites:
Down by the banks of the hanky panky
Where the bull frogs jump from bank to banky
Singing eeps opps
I wanna piece of pie
Pie too sweet
I want a piece of meat
Piece of meat too tough
I wanna ride a bus
Bus too full
I wanna ride a bull
Bull too black
I want my money back
Money back too green
I want a jelly bean
Jelly bean not cooked
I want to read a book
Book to red
I wanna go to bed
Bed not made I want some lemonade
Lemonade too sour
I got some Percy [?]* power
*If "Percy" is correct, my guess is that this is the name of an area school.
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/06/abc-its-easy-as-1-2-3-playground-rhyme.html for some other examples of rhymes that include the "I wanna piece of pie" line. I call these examples "trading rhymes" because the person chanting continually trades on item for something else.
Lucy Dragneel, 2011
"it's down by the bank were the hanky panky and the bull frogs jump from bank to bank singing eeps ipps opps see that house on top of the hill thats were me and my boyfriend chill smells like chicken smells like rice baby common and shot some dice"
"down by the banks of the hanky panky where the bullfrogs jump from bank to back singing eeps ipes opes listen to the beat play i pledge allegiance to the flag michael jackson makes me gag pepsi cola burned em up now we're singing 7 up 7up has no caffeine now we're singin billie jean billie jean went out of style now we're singin buck dial buck dial went out of style now we're singin mc ham-MER! I have no idea who "Buck Dial" is or why we sang about soft drinks and musicians... I'm just repeatin."
Sarah Williams, 2013
"aww i grew up with" Down by the banks
of the hanky panky
where the bull frogs jump
from bank to banky
with an eeps iipes oupss uppss
and an uflop a dilly and a uunflop flop
pepsi cola ginger ale
ginger ale ginger ginger ale ginger ale
pepsi cola ginger ale 7-up 7-up -up
"That was cut[e] but for me sge went to a whole other different song. For me the second song was " Abc its easy as a 123 my mama take care of me my daddy watches mtv ohh ha I want a piece of pie pie to sweet I want a pice if meat meat to red I wanna go to bed bed not made I want some lemonade lemonade to sour I want to take a shower shower to cold I wanna piece of gold gold to shiny I want to kick some hiny hiny to fat now thats the end of that now close your eyes and count to ten who ever messes up has to start again 12345678910 so we didn't mess up and we start again" pretty long"
I included this example to illustrate that there are also numerous versions of "that second song".
"Me and my friends do it like " down by the banks of the hanky panky where the bullfrog jumps from bank to bank with a hip hop dolly Wally dilly ding dong. Mickey Mouse built a house Donald Duck messed it up who will pay the consequences Y-O-U spells you! "
Example #4: "Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky" Game at the Roslin Orphanage
m00pabEEp, Published on Aug 2, 2012
Fun clapping game that we taught to orphans in Indonesia without having to know the local language!
Panti Asuhan Roslin: : http://www.roslinorphanage.org/
Selected comments: [all from 2014]
"i thought it was down by the river of the hanky banky where the bullfrog jumps from bank to bank say a e i o u bamboo"
"I thought it was down by the bay by the hanky play where the bullfrog jumped from bay to bay I say east i`s o's Isabella ding dong yo mama smell like king Kong all the way from long Wong pledge allegiance to the flag Michael Jackson makes me mad coca colla burn in up now I'm drinking 7up 7up has more cafeen now I'm drinking gasoline.gasoline is bad for you now I'm drinking mountain dew 1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...10 outt"
"Correction its ::: down by the banks of the hanky panky where the bullfrog jumps from bank to bank with and oops ops oops ops oops op silly and a goes ker plop!!!!!! I learned it in school actually"
"I always play "Down by the banks of the hanky panky where the bullfrogs jump from bank to banky with an ep ep bi bi bo bo bom bom jump of the lilly pad kerplunk 1..2..3..4..5.."
"I learned it as "Down by the river of hanky pank, a bulldog jumped from bank to bank. Said eese peese, inky bunny Bing bong. Momma smells like King Kong. Pledge Allegiance to the flag, Michael Jackson is my dad. Coca-Cola burn it up, now I'm talking 7-Up. 7-Up has no caffeine, now I'm talking Billy Jean. Billy Jean went out of style, Now I'm talking dynamite. Dynamite blew up the school, Now I'm talking really cool. 10, 9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1!"
Example #5: Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky - Clap Game
Jenny Rice, Published on Oct 10, 2012
Lilah & Jenny
I transcribed this video and also found the same or very similar words at this site:
"Answer by Call Me Crazy
Down by the banks of the hanky panky
Where the bullfrogs jump form bank to banky
With a heeps, hops, soda pops
Hey Mr. Willy and he went kerplops*
With a cherry on top
Here comes Noah walking in the dark
steps on a hammer and builds the ark
Here comes the animals two by two
Kaboom, on you**
Deep in the jungle where nobody knows
There's a big fat gorilla picking his nose
And he picks, picks, flicks, and it lands on you
*I think that the girls in the video said "He missed the lilly and went kerplop]
** I thought the girls said "Coach roach on you".
Selected comments: [all from 2014]
Stephanie Njeri, 2013
"me and my friends verision is like down by the banks of the hanky pank where the bullfrog jumps from bank to bank say e i o um eastside westside ding dang dong i pledge alligence to the flag michael jacson makes me glad cocoa cola burns his but mow were talking 7 up. 7 up has no caffine now were talking billy jean. billy jean is out of site now were talking dynamite dynamite blew up the scool now were talking really cool tarzan the monkey man swinging from a rubber band he slips he falls he fa"
"Where the bullfrogs jump from bank to bank saying pies ipes opes epes Listen to the rythem of the sing dang song Michael Jackson went to town Coco Cola shot him down Dr Pepper fixed him up Now we are talking seven Up Seven up has no caffeine now we are talking Billy Jean Billie Jean was walking down the street singing oh I diddly diddly doo Lincoln Lincoln I been thinking what on earth have you been drinking is it whiskey is wine oh my gosh it's turbinetine 123 9"
Christale Lissouck, 2014
"our version is down by the river of the hanky panky were the boy got shot in the anky panky i say aeiou ur mother stinkin so do u peanut butter recces cup u mess with me i beat u up 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
"I played this at a summer camp, a group of people would sit in a circle and hit each others hand in rotation until the song was over. It went like this: Down by the bank of the hanky panky where the bullbrogs jump from bank to bank and a hip hop, hippity hop, scooby dooby dooby dooby do ker-plop!"
Addition: [Example of a hand slap version of "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky"- added without song words or comments]
Example #6: Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky (videos
CJ Bomagat, Published on May 13, 2010
This was right after I lost...(oh darn it, I lost the game... :( :P ) & we were on a break at championships
oh & no one really knows who won...either Shanen or Stephanie...
& thanks to Kayla for singing for us ;D
Thanks for visiting pancocojams.
Viewer comments are welcome.