Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Children's Singing Games & Hand Clap Games That Include The Name "Sally" (lyrics, videos, and comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides lyrics, videos, and excerpts from various pancocojams & cocojams2 posts about singing games and hand clap games that mention the name "Sally".

These African American and/or Caribbean singing games include "Little Sally Walker" (also known as "Little Sally Water/s" and "Little Sally Ann"); "Little Sally Walker (Was Walking Down The Street", "Soul Sister Number 9" and "Here We Go Zoodio" (also known as Zudie-o, Zudio, and "Zodiac).

Text examples of these singing games are included in this post along with excerpts and videos from those posts.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the creators of these singing games. Thanks also to all those who are all quoted in this post and all those who are featured in these videos.

Special thanks to former United States Attorney General Sally Yates whose testimony at a United States Senate hearing on May 8, 2017 inspired me to re-visit these "Sally" posts. Thanks also to Former Director of [USA[ National Intelligence, James Clapper who also testified at that same hearing. [No disrespect is intended by my thanking these two former government administrators in a cultural post on "Sally" singing games and hand-clap rhymes.]

(These singing games and/or hand clap games are given in no particular order)


Little Sally Walker
Sittin’ in a saucer
Cryin and weepin'
Over all she has done.
Rise up on your feet
And wipe your cheeks
Turn to the East
Oh, turn to the West.
And put your hands on your hip
And let your backbone slip.
Oh, shake it to the East
Oh, shake it to the West
And shake it to the very one
That you love the best
-(as sung by Bessie Jones)
From Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Little Sally Ann
sittin in the sand
a weepin and a cryin
for a nice young man.
Rise, Sally, rise.
Wipe your weepin eyes.
Now turn to the East
and turn to the West.
And turn to the very one
that you love best.
These same words (with the exception of the name "Little Sally Ann") are sung in the singing game "Little Sally Walker).

This is the way that I played this game in Atlantic City, New Jersey in the 1950s. When I moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1969, I was surprised to learn that this singing game was called "Little Sally Walker". I believe that the name "Little Sally Walker" name is the one that is most often used in the USA.
From Little Sally Walker (A Story. Tellin It Like It Is & Like It Was), Friday, September 16, 2011 (with an added note)


Little Sally Walker was walking down the street
[clap, clap]
She didn't know what to do so she stood in front of me
I said "Oh girl, do your thing, do your thing
Stop! [or "and switch"]
"Oh girl, do your thing, do your thing
Stop! [or "and switch"]
From: Little Sally Walker & Ride That Pony (Switching Places Games, Part 2)


Soul sister number 9
sock it to me one more time
said, un ungawa we got the power
said un ungawa we got the power
Little Sally Walker’s walking down the street
She didn’t know what to do
so she jumped in front of me
She said, “Go on girl do your thing
Do your thing do your thing
Go on girl do your thing
Do your thing do your thing. Stop!
-The School Of Rock transcript embedded in video; 2003 American movie
From Sources Of The Movie Big's Rap Shimmy Shimmy Coco Pop, Part 3, Sunday, December 11, 2011


Green Sally Up, Green Sally down.
Last one squat got to tear the ground.

Ole (Oh?} Miss Lucy dead and gone.
Left me here to weep and moan.

If you hate it fold your arms.
If you love it clap your hands.

Source: Disc 4 of Alan Lomax: Sounds of the South, A Musical Journey from the Georgia Sea Isles to the Mississippi Delta (Atlantic 787496-2; 1993).

From Five Traditional African American Game Songs, Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Here we go Zoodio, Zoodio, Zoodio
Here we go Zoodio all night long.

Oh, step back Sally Sally, Sally
Step back Sally all night long.

Walkin down the alley, alley, ally
Walkln down the alley all night long.

[repeat from the beginning]

From Here We Go Zoodio" ("Zudie-O", "Zudio","Zodiac") - Part I (Words To Various Versions) Monday, May 8, 2017

These examples in no particular order.

Example #1: Mattie Garder, Mary Gardner, Jesse Lee Pratcher - Green Sally, Up

IvchoBrasil Uploaded on Sep 13, 2009
A black children's singing game performed by a group of women in Como, Miss. Moby sampled this song for his song Flower.

Example #2: Zoodio

Lotties Flock, Uploaded on Aug 2, 2009
Here's my transcription of the singing game in this video:

"Here we go zoodio, zoodio, zoodio
Here we go zoodio all night long

Hey, step back Sally Sally Sally
Walkin' through the alley alley alley"

[Song repeats from the beginning]

Example #3: Little Sally Walker Bessie Jones

ichagall | April 20, 2010
This clip was filmed in the USA in the 1970s or early 1980s.

Note: The "Little Sally Walker" segment ends at 1:51.

Example #4: Little Sally Walker

itsthemama3, Uploaded on Nov 6, 2008

A game that the girls will play 4ever...and then come home and sing it in the shower!!!

Example #5: Little Sally Walker :)

AnnaGraceBananaFace, Uploaded on Feb 25, 2009

Playing little sally walker in the munchkin room at the show in Irving on the 23rd!!

(These excerpts are given in no particular order.)

Excerpt #1: Little Sally Walker (A Story. Tellin It Like It Is & Like It Was), Friday, September 16, 2011

"A Story. Tellin It Like It Is & Like It Was
(c) Azizi Powell, May 10, 2004

Little Sally Walker may not be as popular as “Miss Mary Mack” but she’s got a following all her own. And I’m one of her biggest fans.

Did you know that there once was a time that every Black child from North Carolina to New York knew Little Sally? My girl, Sally - she sure got around.

Little Sally’s got a lot of aliases. When I was growing up in Atlantic City, New Jersey in the 1950s, Sally was known as “Little Sally Ann”


Well, I never knew what Sally’s last name was. But when I moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the late 1960s, I found out that folks here said Sally’s last name was “Walker”, which I know a lot about ‘cause my sister and my cousin married some WaIkers.


And talkin ‘bout movin, now I hear tell that Sally girl done really changed up. The other day my grand babies and their friends showed me a whole new side to Sally Anne Walker. Well, maybe it’s not new to you, but it was new to me.


Here’s how they did it. My grandbabies and their friends made a circle and one girl-I guess she was “Little Sally Walker” was in the middle of the circle. So while the other children are singing that song, little Sally Walker’s walking around the circle, kinda struttin you know. And then when they sang “she stood in front of me”, Little Sally does just that. And then when the song goes “ooh girl do your thing”, little Sally does some kind of hip swingin dance. And that one Little Sally’s standin in front of starts doin the exact same dance, only she does it her way. Then when the song says “Stop!”, they both stop movin. They kinda freeze in place, you know what I mean. Then the other children playin that game start singing again, and Little Sally and the one she’s standing in front of go back to doin that same dance they were doin before. Then when the song goes “Switch!”, the old Little Sally Walker changes places with the one she was standing in front of, and the new Sally Walker starts struttin around the circle. When it comes time for her to do her dance, she does somethin different from the other Sally Walker. But whatever she does, you can see she puts her whole soul in it. Because if it’s one thing about Little Sally Walker that everybody knows, is that she’s got soul.

Which is funny in a way cause Little Sally Walker's really WHITE. No, wait a minute. I’m not kiddin. I found out her real name was Sally Waters and she was born overseas in Europe. How she got started was like this: way back when, a woman who was gettin married had to step over a saucer of water on her way to the wedding ceremony. I swear I’m not making this up. That’s how those Little Sally sittin in a saucer words came about. It was to purify the water. Ain’t that somethin? We jumped over brooms, and they stepped over saucers.

Anyway, I don't care if Sally first came from White people. We made her Black with all those shake it to the East Sally Shake it to the west Sally, let your back bone slip hip shakin motions. Not to mention that Black people are all mixed up with Black, White, Indian, Hispanic, and Asian and I don’t know what else kind of folks. That’s the way it’s been for a real long time, and that’s the way it’s probable gonna always be. Anyhow, ole Sally Walker’s all right by me. Wherever she came from, she’s one of us now. And that’s all I’m gonna say ‘bout that subject.

The end."

Excerpt #2:
From October 26, 2012
Ten Playground Rhymes Performed By Two African American Women

"Since the mid 1980s, I have been collecting, compiling, and studying the lyrics & performance activities of English language playground rhymes & cheers. Although I'm interested in most of the genres of English language playground rhymes, my main interest is in African American playground rhymes & cheers from the 1960s to date. For that reason, I was very glad that I happened upon this video while "surfing YouTube" (clicking somewhat randomly on one video after another that are found on the website.)

That said, I didn't add this video to the two hand clap rhymes pages or the children's movement rhymes of my Cocojams cultural website because one of the rhymes that the girls chanted included actions that are racially offensive & hurtful. [Note: I'm referring here to the rhyme "I Went To The Chinese Restaurant"; Also, note that I voluntarily discontinued that Cocojams website in 2014].

Yet it seems to me that discussions about the words & performance activities of playground rhymes - including words & actions that are considered offensive - should also be part of the folkloric record. For that reason, I've chosen to feature that video & selected comments from that video's viewer comment thread on pancocojams instead of on my Cocojams' website where it appears that a large percentage of the visitors are children.

Focusing on a discussion (that I participated in) about the inclusion of offensive words & actions in playground rhymes is only one of the reasons why I chose to showcase this video. I also am showcasing this video to document the way that different hand clap movements (routines) are used for different rhymes and the way that imitative actions (mimes) may also be used with certain hand clap rhymes.

I have observed similar routines for each of these rhymes among African American children and teens in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area where I live (observations of rhymes from 1980s to date). And I have observed the same or similar routines for versions of the same rhymes via YouTube videos.

The belief that there are specific, agreed upon hand movements for certain hand clap rhymes is, in my opinion, an important point that should be documented and explored for the folkloric record. Note, for example, how the one woman who introduces the rhyme examples indicates that the "Tweet Tweeet Tweet" rhyme (also known as "Rockin Robin" or "Tweedleelee" or some other similar title) is performed with four people together. This conforms with my direct (in person) observations of this rhyme and also conforms with my observations of this rhyme via videos."...

Excerpt #3
From Switching Places Ring Games (Part 1-Description & Other Comments), Sunday, November 9, 2014

"Switching places" games is a term that I coined for a sub-set of ring (circle) games. These games can be considered a variant form of "show me your motion" games. In "show me your motion games" the person in the center of the ring does a brief dance or other movement and the rest of the players who form the circle try to exactly imitate that motion or simply watch that performance. However, in switching places games, as the lyrics direct her (or, less often him) to do, the center person stands in front of one person forming the circle, and does a dance or performs a movement (such as jumping jacks, or poses dramatically and then "freezes"). The center person might arbitrarily select the person who she or he stands in front of or that person (or "partner") might be selected on purpose.

After the center person does her dance/movement, her partner does the exact same dance/movement. During these performances, the rest of the people forming the ring continue to sing and clap (and in some renditions also stomp their feet) to the beat. However, they don't attempt to do the actions performed by the center person and her partner. In some renditions of those games, the game immediately begins again with the partner as the new center person. In other renditions, the center person and her partner switch places two times before that partner becomes the new center person and the game begins again."

Excerpt #4
From African American Singing Games & Movement Rhymes (A-L), Wednesday, November 5, 2014

[Regarding "Green Sally Up"]
From my experiences, my guess is that this game is rarely if ever played anymore in the United States. I attempted to teach it to children (mostly African American girls ages 5-12 years old) who participated in the Alafia Children's Ensemble game song groups that I held at two sites in the Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania area from 1998-2006. However, I ended up creating a new circle singing game "Green Color Up" that emphasized and reinforced children's color recognition. I call that game "Green Color Up". This game is loosely based on "Green Sally Up". People (hopefully of all ages) form a large circle without holding hands. A designated person randomly calls out a color, beginning with the color "green". Those who are wearing that color (based on their shirt, pants, skirt, or dress) quickly come into the center of the circle. The song tells them to "raise their hands" (They wave their hands back and forth to the rhythm). The people who aren't wearing that color are told to fold their arms (which they do. often with some Hip Hop attitude and stance). The designated person then randomly calls out another color. Unless they are also wearing that color, the people in the center quickly exit, and people forming the circle who are wearing that color quickly enter the center of the circle. This game "worked" very well every time we played it for that Alafia group or when I taught it during my game song group special performances.

Click the link given above for lyrics and play instructions for "Green Color Up" (Unfortunately, I have no videos of that game, Nor do I have any videos of the Alafia Children's Ensemble groups. :o("
This description of "Green Color Up" is briefer than the one that is given in that post.

Excerpt #5

[Regarding "Little Sally Walker" (was walking down the street)
..."my sense is that since at least the 1960s, the version of "Little Sally Walker" which contains the "put your hand on your hips/and let your backbone slip" verse isn't well known among either African American (particularly African Americans outside the South). Also, since at least the early 2000s, An updated version of this rhyme which I call "Little Sally Walker (Was Walking Down The Street)" appears to be much more popular in the United States than any other version of that game song. I believe that this updated version originated among African American children & then spread to other American children and also to teens, and young adults where it is used as a stress reducing group activity."

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