Monday, May 30, 2016

Examples Of "Hollywood Goes Swingin" Cheers (1976 - 2000s)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post is a compilation of examples of "Hollywood Swingin'" ("Hollywood Goes Swingin") or similarly titled cheers/rhymes that I have heard or found online as of this date. [Note: Additional examples have been added since this post was first published. Those examples are at the bottom of this post, regardless of their collection date.]

There's no doubt that these "Hollywood Goes Swingin" cheers/rhymes were inspired by Kool & The Gang's 1974 hit R&B/funk hit record "Hollywood Swingin'. Click for information about that record.

The notes for the vinyl record Old Mother Hippletoe: Rural and Urban Children’s Songs (New World NW 291) documents that within two years of the release of Kool & The Gang's "Hollywood Swinging" record, African American school girls in Washington, D.C." were performing a cheer entitled "Hollywood Now Swingin'".

All of the examples of "Hollywood Swingin" that I've found to date which include demographic notations are from African American females. However, it's very possible that females who aren't African American have chanted or chant these rhymes.

I've found examples of "Hollywood Goes Swingin'" cheers/rhymes from Washington, D.C., Houston, Texas, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Chicago, Illinois, and Birmingham, Alabama.* Other examples are found without notations of the city that the examples come from. However, it seems likely that this cheer and certain other cheers (such as "Hula Hula" and "Fly Girl") were known to African American girls throughout much of the United States. Notice how similar many of these examples are, particularly those examples from the 1980s and on.

I can't say whether "Hollywood Goes Swingin'" and those other cheers/rhymes are still chanted or performed the same way or at all. I'd love to hear from any readers who know or knew these examples (hopefully with demographic information included-particularly city and year that the example was chanted and how it was performed.)

*This is an updated geographical list as of June 7, 2016.

Click for an overview of foot stomping cheers.

EXAMPLES OF "HOLLYWOOD GOES SWINGIN" CHEERS [with available notes & citations]
Examples are given in relative chronological order by year or decade, if known. Numbers are assigned for referencing purposes only.

From Old Mother Hippletoe: Rural and Urban Children’s Songs
(New World NW 291), Band 3

Barbara Borum and other Washington, D.C., schoolgirls, vocals.
Recorded 1976 in Washington, D.C., by Kate Rinzler.
"Unlike the more communal games, neighborhood cheerleading as performed by girls in Washington, D.C., requires rehearsal and is often dominated by a single dynamic girl who solicits recruits and kicks out slackers. Girls practice by themselves, best friends cheer together, groups proliferate, and everyone who wants to gets into the act."...

Hollywood now swingin'! (4 times)
CALL: Name is Nita.
RESPONSE: Hollywood now swingin'!
I know how to swing.
Every time I swing,
Stevie come around.
CALL: He popped me once.
He popped me twice!
All I felt was—dynomite!
RESPONSE: Dynomite, dynoinite!
CALL: Here she is.
Foxy Brown!
You mess with me,
I'll shoot you down!
Down, down,
To the ground, Up, up,
CALL: Just out of luck!
RESPONSE: Dynomite, dynomite!

From Barbara Michels, Bettye White, editors, Apples On A Stick, The Folklore of Black Children; (Coward-McCann, Inc, 1983, p.14)

Hollywood rock swinging
Hollywood rock swinging

My name is Aniesha
I'm number one
My reputation is having fun
So if you see my just step aside
'Cause mighty Aniesha don't take no jive

Hollywood rock swinging
Hollywood rock swinging

My name is Katrina
I'm number two
My reputation is me and you
So if you see me just step on back
'Cause mighty Katrina don't take no slack

Hollywood rock swinging
Hollywood rock swinging

My name is Natasha
I'm number twelve
My reputation is ringing that bell
So if you see me just step aside
'Cause mighty Natasha don't take no jive
The preface to this book indicated that the examples were collected from Black school children in Houston, Texas. No rhyme categories or performance descriptions are given for any of those examples.

Examples #3 & #4 [Update #5: added June 2, 2016]
These three examples of "Hollywood Swinging" chants From Commenters who participated in that 2003 discussion were members of historically Black Greek letter sororities. One commenter wrote that these examples are "inspired by the 1970s". Another commenter wrote that she and a friend who remembered a certain rhyme were 23 and 24 years (in 2003). Yet another commenter had the screen name "Honeykiss1974". The "1974" is probably the year of her birth. Given the fact that some commenters mentioned just graduating or preparing to graduate from universities, it's likely that most of these examples of cheers/rhymes were from the 1980s. That said, one example entitled "Tell it" mentions the rapper Nas who wasn't active until 1991.

3. From
Old School Chants
kisha, 03-25-2003
[no location noted]
"Hollywoods are swingin, Hollywoods are swingin
My name is Kisha and I’m cool in the gang
If you don’t like it, I’ll tell you one thang,
My sign is Aquarius and that’s alright,
Cause all ‘quarius are dynomite
Others: Uhn, she think she bad
Me: Bad enough to kick yo bleep (I used to say bleep for real back in the day)
Others: Uhn, she think she fine
Me: fine enough to blow yo mine
Others: Ah girl, stop yo lyin’ you know yo man leave you cryin
Hollywoods are swingin, Hollywoods are swingin"

4. From
Mz Destiny, 03-25-2003
Location: Philadelphia, PA
"remember this one?
Hollywood got swingers
Hollywood got swingers
Hollywood got swingers
Hollywood got swingers

My name is ______ I'm number 1
My reputation's just begun
My sign's ________ and that's alright
Cuz all ______ are dynamite!

Hush chile...I ain't lyin'!!!"

5. AKA2D '91, 03-26-2003
Originally posted by sigmadiva
Re: A 70's inspired chant
I don't remember all of it but it went something like this:

My name is __________, my number is one,
my reputation is having fun,
those who see me step aside,
mighty (Zodiac sign) don't take no jive.

My name is ______, my number is two,
my reputation is loving you,
those who see me step aside,
mighty (Zodiac sign) don't take no jive

My name is _______, my number is three,
my reputation is being free,
those who see me step aside
mighty (Zodiac sign) don't take no jive.

Each person in the group would pick a number and it would go around until you get to the number 10. I don't remember all the rhymes, but I am sure creative people can think of stuff to say.;)


Examples #6 - #7
These two examples are from's "Hood Cheers" 2006 discussion thread (remembrances of childhood cheers). Given the title of the thread, it's probable that are the participants are Black. A commenter wrote that these examples "took her back to the summer of the 80s". [08-18-2006, 11:59 AM #24
Cherica Cherry.] It's possible that the other participants in this discussion also remembered these examples from the 1980s.

08-18-2006, 10:22 AM #1
Hood Cheers
When we were kids, what were some of your favorite hood cheers? Post 'em here. Mine was "Hollywood Not Swingin'"

Hollywood not swingin', Hollywood not...swingin'
Hollywood not swingin', Hollywood not...swingin'

Well my name is Yella, my number's 1,
My reputation is havin' fun,
So if you see me just step aside,
Because this light chick don't take no jiiiiiiiiivvveeee... .

7. 08-18-2006, 10:53 AM #10

we had a similar one...

Hollywood in my swinging...hollywood in my swingin
hollywood in my swinging...hollywood in my swingin

My name is Goddess! and I'm Kool and the Gang..
and if you don't like it let me tell you one thang...
my sign is a scorpio and that's alright
cus all scorpios are dynomite!

homegirls: uh! she think she bad
me: hush honey I know I'm bad

Homegirls: uh! she think she cool
me: cool enough to steal your dude

homegirls: uh! she think she fine
me: fine enough to blow your mind

homegirls: aw girl stop that lyin
me: at least my man didn't leave me crying

(repeat until everyone gets a turn)
In another comment, Goddess! wrote that she was from Chi-town (Chicago, Illinois).

Another commenter wrote this about "Hollywood Not Swingin'" cheers:
8-18-2006, 12:08 PM #26
..."And Hollywood not swingin. It was only fun if you could make up your own ending. The older we got, the nastier they got lol."

Examples #8 - #11 were collected by me in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (from African American pre-teenage girls). Click for more notes on these examples.

[Both girls] Hollywood.
Hollywood goes swingin.
Hollywood goes SWINGIN.
Swingin for the good times.
Swingin for the bad times.
[One girl]: My name is Teneisha
and I’m number 9.
I’m kickin it with Ginuwine.*
If you ever see me on the street,
you better speak.
“Long time, no see.”
Sexy as I wanna be.
Some hittin me high.
Some hittin me low.
Some hittin me in my-
Don’t ask what.
My b u t t b u t t butt.
That’s what.
-Teneisha (10 years) and Antoinette (11 years) (African American females, East Hills section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1998; collected by Azizi Powell, 1998
Kickin it" means "relaxing with", "hangin" with (socializing with).

*"Ginuwine" is a popular young African R&B singer. Three other late 1990s variations of this line that I have heard are “Kickin it with Busta Rhymes (the name of a popular male Hip-Hop star) “Kickin it with Scooby Doo": "Scooby Doo" is the name of a canine cartoon figure) and “Kickin it with Winnie the Poo”- the name of a fictitious bear in children's stories.

This was performed as a two person hand clap rhyme. I was surprised to see this as I had always saw it performed as a foot stomping cheer, or at least that's my memory of this rhyme. I've asked my daughter about this (as she was a child of the 1980s). But she can't remember whether "Hollywood Swingin'" was performed as a cheer or as a hand clap rhyme." I documented that my daughter who was with me when I collected this rhyme showed Teneisha and Antoinette the movements for foot stomping cheers. They indicated that they'd never seen "Hollywood" "done" like that. They only knew it as a hand clap rhyme.

However, consider that hand clap rhymes are usually chanted in unison. That the hand clap partners take turns chanting lines in this (and in other) "Hollywood" rhymes seems to me to suggest that this rhyme did indeed start out as a foot stomping cheer. Also, notice other "Hollywood Swinging" examples on this page that were called "cheers". Hmmm.

Hollywood goes swingin
Hollywood goes __ swingin
Swingin for Northside.
Swingin for the Eastside.
My name is Rita.
I'm Number 9
Going down Chicago line.
If you see me on the street
You better speak [uncertain about the next words]
Hey hey, you think you cool.
Hey hey, cool enough to rule your school.
Hey hey, you think you bad.
Bad enough to [didn't remember the rest of the words to this rhyme]
-African American girls and boys; Northview Heights Buddy Program, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, August 19, 1999; collected by Azizi Powell
This rhyme was performed as a hand clap routine. The girls who shared this rhyme said that the line might be "Hollywood keeps swingin". The dash means to pause one beat.
The girls said that another version is "swingin for the good times /swingin for the bad times/ swingin every time.

Hollywood (clap clap clap)
Hollywood (clap clap clap)
Hollywood goes swingin.
My name is Shanika.
I'll bust it out.
I'll party to the left
I'll party to the right.
I'll party all night.
I'll party all day.
My name is Sandra.
I'm number one [don't remember the rest]
I'm busting all day.
I'm busting all night.
She's busting to the left.
She's busting to the right.
-Shanika and Sandra (African American females, under 11 years old) ; Garfied section of Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania; November 1, 2000; collected by Azizi Powell, November 1, 2000

Both girls:
Hollywood, Hollywood
Hollywood goes swingin
Partner #1:
My name is Raya and I'm number 2
Kickin it with Scooby Doo
Hit me high
Hit me low
Hit me where you wanna go.
Repeat the entire rhyme with the partner #1 saying the lines that partner #1 said, but substitute her name or nickname and (preferably) change the number rhyme. (Each number has one or more rhymes that can be memorized and chanted according to the girl's preference. Number rhymes can also be made up. However, if "Hollywood Swingin" was a foot stomping cheer, the girl who actually was the second soloist, probably would have chanted "I'm number 2" and the soloist who was number 9, probably would have chanted "I'm number 9".).
-ConRaya E. (11 years); Sha'Ona K. (11 years), African American girls; Pittsburgh, PA; 6/12/2008
I collected this rhyme during these girls' school lunch period (when I was a substitute teacher at that school) My recollection is that these two girls basically recited the rhyme and didn't do any movements. Although I didn't write down anything about how this rhyme was performed, the fact that I wrote "partner" suggests that the girls said it was a hand clap rhyme.

There are a number of similar titles for this rhyme. Among them are "Hollywood", "Hollywood Rocks Swingin", and "Hollywood Keeps Swinging". The tune for the handclap rhyme (and the foot stomping cheer with the same name) is very similar to Kool & The Gang's "Hollywood Swingin'" 1974 record. However, the tempo for examples that I've observed of the rhyme/cheer is somewhat faster.

Here's a handclap called hollywood!
(person 1) My name is (your name) im number one my reputation's just begun so turn around and touch the ground get back up and break it down

(person 2) you think you're bad

(1) b-a-d i know im bad

(2) you tink you're cool

(1) cool enough to rule the school

(2) you think your fine

(1) fine fine blow your mind mind take em up take em back give the man a heart attack

(2) you think you're hott

(1) hott anough to blow your pot!

That's it....there's clapping and all but its too hard to explain on this...good luck!
-DC, [website no longer active]
"DC" may refer to Washington, D.C. or it might be the commenter's initials.

OOA Old Head, Aug 5, 2009
...Anybody remember "Hollywood Go Swinging"?

Hollywood go swinging, Hollywood go swinging!
My name is [Z] I'm cool and hey, don't mess with me or I'll do my thang, my sign is Pisces, but that's alright, 'cause all Pisces are DY-NO-MYTE!

ALL: UM! She thinks she bad!
ME: Correction baby, I KNOW I'm bad!
ALL: Um! She thinks she cool!
ME: Cool enough to be no fool
ALL: UM! She think she fine!
ME: Fine enough to blow your mind!

Hollywood go swinging, Hollywood go swinging!
This commenter's screen "photo: is a drawing of Black woman and note that says “Hello Negro" with the “o”s in those words substituted for a drawing of a Black person.

Hand Game #4 [in that video] : Girls' title: "Hollywood" [video published in 2013]
Hollywood [clap clap].
Hollywood goes swingin.
Hollywood goes swingin
My name is [I think this name is "Kalyse", the name of one of the girls in the video.]
I’m on the phone
With my baby I’m all alone
If you see me on the street
Ooh, you better talk to me.
ooh, she thinks she’s cute.
Cute enough to steal your boo.
Ooh, she thinks she bad
B. A. D. I know I’m bad.
Ooh, he thinks he’s cute
Cute enough to be my boo.
Said Hollywood.
Zoe and Kalyse are the names of the girls in this video.

The girls may be saying “swimming" instead of "swinging".

Notice that this is a dialogue between two people. For instance, one person says "Ooh, she thinks she's cute." And the person who is being addressed says "Cute enough to steal your boo".

In the context of this rhyme, "bad" means "very good".
When girls say it "boo" can mean your boyfriend" (or, when boys say it "your girlfriend)".
Click for a pancocojams post on this video.


From Mama’s Girl by Veronica Chambers
Beverly Road go swinging
Beverly Road go swing-ing
Beverly Road go swinging
Beverly Road go swing-ing

Ooh she thinks she’s bad
Baby, I know I’m bad
Ooh, she thinks she cool
Cool enough to steal your dude

From Publisher: Riverhead Books (May 1, 1997)
"On the streets of Brooklyn in the 1970s, Veronica Chambers mastered the whirling helixes of a double-dutch jump rope."
These two excerpts preface the author's remembrances of jumping double dutch rope with her girlfriends.

I found this excerpt in the following Google book:
Growing Up Ethnic in America: Contemporary Fiction About Learning to Be American
By Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Jennifer Gillan

"Beverley Road" is probably a folk processed substitution for the word "Hollywood". As such, it's one of the earliest, if not the earliest examples that I've found of "Hollywood Goes Swinging".

Here's information about Beverley Road (Brooklyn)
"Beverley Road is a local station on the BMT Brighton Line of the New York City Subway. It is located over a private right-of-way at Beverly Road between Marlborough Road/East 15th Street and East 16th Street in the neighborhood of Flatbush, Brooklyn. It is served by the Q train at all times."
This pdf file also contains an excerpt of a rhyme that reads like another version of "Hollywood Goes Swinging": excerpt from Dr. Shante’s book, Believing Bigger:
A 31-Day Faith Journey
, available March 1, 2016:
“Oooh! She think she cool…Cool enough to steal your dude. Oooh! She think she fine...
Fine enough to blow his mind. Awww girl stop your lying! At least my (man) didn’t
leave me crying.”
The author, Dr. Shante, indicates that she and her friends sang this while playing jump rope when they were three and four years old.

16. Angels Go Swinging

Group: Angels go swinging
angels go swinging!
angels go swinging,
Angels go Swinging!
Solo:My name is Katy
I'm number 1
my reputation has just begun
so if you see me just step aside
'cause me and my man
don't take no jive
Group: Uh, you thank (think) you bad
Solo: Bad enough to make you mad
Group, Uh, you thank you cool
Solo: Cool enough to go to high school
Group: Uh, you thank you fine
Solo: Fine enough to MO,
fine enough to Macho (not really sure what this line means or if we were even saying it right)
fine enough to hula hoop,
fine enough to kick yo' duke
Everyone: say what, say what
say what say what say what
-Joi;(Birmingham, Alabama; 1990s),, 3/23/2008
Note that the word "thank" (in the line "Uh, You thank you bad" etc.) is probably not a typo but is a purposeful Black word/pronunciation that means “REALLY think” . Another similar example is "sang" for present tense of sing, meaning "to sing very well", especially "to sing soulfully really well".

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all who have contributed examples of this cheer/rhyme.

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Visitor comments are welcome.

1 comment:

  1. Here are some random thoughts about these examples:

    "Hollywood Swinging" are introductory cheers/rhymes that combine bragging and taunting. The girls brag about how sexy and "cool" they are. They taunt the unnamed person or persons who the cheer/rhyme is addressed to.

    As I previously mentioned in this post, most hand clap rhymes have a unison voice. The format that "Hollywood Swinging" cheers/rhymes use of having individual chanters take turns as the soloist is a better fit for what I refer to as "foot stomping cheers".

    The number rhymes that are found in most of these "Hollywood Swinging" examples are also used for certain other cheers.

    In the line "My name is ___ and I’m cool in the gang", the girls aren't saying that they are the R&B/Funk group "Kool & The Gang" although this is a play on words. Instead, the girls are saying that they are "cool" (i.e. "hip", up to date with the latest urban street culture). Saying that you were "cool and the gang" was a somewhat familiar phrase in the late 1970s-1980s. But I don't think that that saying is used much nowadays. And I also doubt that many girls chanting that saying in the 1990s even knew who the R&B group Kool & The Gang are.

    Notice the inclusion of the word "dynamite" in a number of these examples.

    Notice also the inclusion of references to astrology sun signs in a number of these examples. Sun sign astrology references were really popular in 1970s and 1980s American culture. As such, those references show up in a number of R&B and Pop songs and also in a number of African American cheers.

    In the example given as #5, regarding the line "because this light chick don't take no jiiiiiiiiivvveeee", "light chick" refers to the color of that Black girl's skin. "Jive" means something fake, worthless, crap, foolish".

    The "who thinks the bad" lines in some of these examples are lifted from the "Hula Hula" cheer (also found as "Who la Who la" or some similar sounding words.) Click for a pancocojams post that includes two examples of that cheer.