Friday, August 11, 2017

Probable Sources For The Double Dutch Rhyme "Hey Concenration"

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part II of a two part pancocojams series

Part II presents lyrics for and videos of two songs that I believe are the probable sources for the Double Dutch jump rope rhyme "Hey Concentration".

Click for Part I presents various examples of the Double Dutch rhyme "Hey Concentration". An example of this rhyme which was published online as a circle game is also included in this post.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to all those who are featured in these YouTube examples and thanks to the publishers of those YouTube examples.

This is part of an ongoing pancocojams series on Double Dutch (jump rope) and jump roping rope in general, particularly as those activities relate to African American females.

Click the tags below to find other posts in this series.


"Hey concentration
Where have you been
Around the corner
And back again
Stole my money
Stole my honey
Mama's got the hiccups
Daddy's got the flu.
Now come on boys
Let's slice the ice.
Slice it 1
Slice it 2
Slice it 3 4 5
Slice it 6
Slice it 7
Slice it 8 9 10
Hey everybody
Come on and do your thing.
2 up bop, bop.
2 down bop, bop
2 up bop, bop.
2 down bop, bop
2 up"

Source: Eleanor Fulton, Pat Smith, Let’s Slice The Ice (published St. Louis, Missouri. Magnamusic-Baton, 1978, page 27)
This is the earliest version of the Double Dutch rhyme "Hey Concentration" that I've found as of this date (August 2017). However, that rhyme probably was chanted before the 1978 publication of collection of street rhymes that African American children in St. Louis, Missouri chanted.

My position is that the basic text of "Hey Concentration" Double Dutch rhymes was inspired by two previous compositions: 1) the 1967 Rock song "Concentration Baby" and 2) late 1960s American recordings of the old "Hambone" rhyme.

The 1967 rock song "Concentration Baby" recorded from the British band "David Clark Five" advised a woman to concentrate so that she could see that the singer really loves her.

Here's that song's lyrics and a video of that song:

(Hey-eh-eh-eh) Concentration baby
(Hey-eh-eh-eh) Ahh! that's what you need
(Hey-eh-eh-eh) Concentration baby
(Hey-eh-eh-eh) That's what you need

Can't you feel what I'm tryin' to do
I'm tryin' to get through to you
Won't you listen carefully
Tell me baby, whatcha here to see

(Hey-eh-eh-eh) Concentration baby
(Hey-eh-eh-eh) Got-ta got-ta got-ta see
(Hey-eh-eh-eh) Concentration baby
(Hey-eh-eh-eh) Ahh! that's what you need

Everything that I do
Never seem to get through to you
Keep your mind open, let me know
If you feel somethin' baby, mmm, let it show

(Hey-eh-eh-eh) Concentration baby
(Hey-eh-eh-eh) Ahh! that's what you need
(Hey-eh-eh-eh) Concentration baby
(Hey-eh-eh-eh) Got-ta got-ta got-ta

Really try hard, baby I know
Pretty soon it's gonna have to show
Concentration pays in the end
Then you and me, honey child, won't have to pretend, no!

(Hey-eh-eh-eh) Concentration baby
(Hey-eh-eh-eh) Ahh! that's what you need
(Hey-eh-eh-eh) Concentration baby
(Hey-eh-eh-eh) Mmm, got to, got to

I'll tell you one more time baby

(Hey-eh-eh-eh) Concentration baby
(Hey-eh-eh-eh) Ahh! that's what you need
(Hey-eh-eh-eh) Concentration baby
(Hey-eh-eh-eh) That's what you need


The Dave Clark Five - Concentration baby

Sergio Walrus Published on Nov 11, 2013

The Dave Clark Five

Everybody knows / Concentration baby

Columbia UK DB 8286 - October 1967

Here's information about The Dave Clark Five
"The Dave Clark Five (also known as "the DC5") was an English pop rock group. Their single "Glad All Over" knocked the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" off the top of the UK Singles Chart in January 1964; it peaked at number 6 in the United States in April 1964.[1] "Over And Over" was a number 1 single in the United States for the group in December 1965.

They were the second group of the British Invasion on The Ed Sullivan Show, appearing in March for two weeks after the Beatles appeared three straight weeks in February 1964. For some time the Dave Clark Five was more popular in the US than in their native UK, but had a renaissance in the UK between 1967 and 1970. The group disbanded in late 1970. On 10 March 2008, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."
In contrast to its use in the Rock song, in the "Hey Concentration" Double Dutch rhyme, the word "concentration" appears to be used as a person's nickname.

Besides sharing the word "concentration", I don't believe that the Double Dutch rhyme "Hey Concentration" is related in any way to the widely known hand clap rhymes "Concentration 64" or similar titles.

Click for a pancocojams post on the hand clap rhyme "Concentration 64".

Here's the text of the particular "Hambone" verses that I believe influenced the basic words of the "Hey Concentration" Double Dutch rhyme.

Hambone, hambone
Where you been?
Round the world and I’m going again


Hambone, hambone
Where’s your wife
Out to the kitchen, cooking rice (or "cooking beans and rice)

The earliest 20th century recording of the 19th century song "Hambone" and its accompanying percussive body patting which probably influenced the post 1967 - 1970s Double Dutch rhyme "Hey Concentration" was
Red Saunders' with The Hambone Kid's 1952 record entitled "Hambone". That song was re-recorded in 1963. Click for a pancocojams post on that record.

The 1964 record "Ham Bone" by Washboard Willie also probably contributed to American children's and youth's awareness of the "Hambone" song. wraised awareness in that year probably influencrarClick for a pancocojams post on that record.

Here's another sound file that probably also contributed to Americans' awareness of the old "Hambone" song in the 1960s:

Hambone (Pancho)

Bill Haley & His Comets - Topic Published on Feb 26, 2014

Provided to YouTube by The Orchard Enterprises
Information about Bill Haley & His Comets:
"Bill Haley & His Comets were an American rock and roll band that was founded in 1952 and continued until Haley's death in 1981. The band, also known by the names Bill Haley and The Comets and Bill Haley's Comets (and variations thereof), was the earliest group of white musicians to bring rock and roll to the attention of white America and the rest of the world. During the period late 1954-late 1956, the group placed nine singles into the Top 20, one of those a number one and three more in the Top Ten."
Among this group’s hit songs were: Rock Around the Clock, Shake, Rattle & Roll, Skinny Minnie, and Razzle Dazzle [among the other songs that are listed on that page].
From, Bill Haley & His Comets' record "Hambone" (Pancho) was first released in 1966.

YouTube Vide #2:
Here's a video of three sons of the well respected (if not widely known) Bluesman R.L. Burnside "hamboning" (doing "Hambone" body percussion)
R.L. Burnside's sons hambone (1978)

Alan Lomax Archive, Published on Nov 2, 2011

R.L. Burnside's sons — Duwayne, Dexter, and Michael Joe — hamboning at home in Independence, Mississippi, shot by Alan Lomax, Worth Long, and John Bishop in August, 1978.
Here's a comment from that video's discussion thread:
Rosenda Moore, 2016
"When I was growing up (mid 60's - early 70's) here in Los Angeles, a lot of boys at my school did hambone routines and they were FUNKY!! I LOOOOVED seeing that at school during recess, and the best ones would have these impromptu competitions after school, too.
As an aside from the topic of this post, "hamboning" (i.e. "doing the "hambone"; "pattin' juba") doesn't appear to be as well known in 2017 as it was in say 1967. The term "hamboning" means performing those movements to the song "Hambone" and other songs, as well as a percussive performance without any singing or chanting.

In spite of the fact that "hamboning" may not be as well known as it once was among African Americans and other American, those rhythmic, percussive body pats are sometimes included as part of steppin' routines of historically Black Greek letter fraternities and sororities.

For example, here's a video of a Phi Beta Sigma, Inc. step routine that includes "hamboning" ("pattin juba") [given without any transcriptions of the chants]

Phi Beta Sigma Old & Young Heads Stepping

Andrew DeRamus, Published on Aug 26, 2016

Phi Beta Sigma and Zeta Phi Beta Greek Picnic in the DMV. Steppers Pledging year ranging from 1980 - 2009

This concludes Part II of this two part series on the "Hey Concentration" Double Dutch rhyme.

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