Edited by Azizi Powell
This pancocojams post presents some information about pop star Michael Jackson and presents information about and some examples of the children's hand clap rhyme "Michael Jackson Went To Town" (also found as "Michael Jackson Came To Town".
The Addendum to this post presents two examples of "Michael Jordan Went To Town" rhymes.
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.
Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2019/11/information-about-some-examples-of-hand.html for the closely related pancocojams post entitled "Information About & Some Examples Of The Hand Clap Rhymes "Coca Cola Went To Town"
Also, click the "children's rhyme" tag and other tags below for more pancocojams posts about hand clap rhymes and other children's recreational rhymes.
PANCOCOJAMS EDITOR'S NOTE
By "children's rhymes" I mean recreational rhymes that are may or may not have been composed by children, but are documented as being chanted by children while playing hand clap games, jumping rope, or recited as taunting rhymes or parodies, or used as counting out strategies.
Most of the examples that are included in this post contain no information about how the rhyme is performed. However, my guess is that all of these examples are hand clap rhymes.
INFORMATION ABOUT MICHAEL JACKSON
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the "King of Pop", he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest entertainers. Jackson's contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.
The eighth child of the Jackson family, Michael made his professional debut in 1964 with his elder brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon as a member of the Jackson 5. He began his solo career in 1971 while at Motown Records, and in the early 1980s, became a dominant figure in popular music. His music videos, including those for "Beat It", "Billie Jean", and "Thriller" from his 1982 album Thriller, are credited with breaking racial barriers and transforming the medium into an art form and promotional tool. Their popularity helped bring the television channel MTV to fame. Bad (1987) was the first album to produce five US Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles."...
INFORMATION ABOUT THE HAND CLAP RHYMES "COCA COLA CAME TO TOWN" & "MICHAEL JACKSON WENT TO TOWN"
"Coca Cola Went To Town" and its variant form "Michael Jackson Went To Town" are composed using a similar format to what I call "trading rhymes". (Probably the most well known example of a "trading rhyme" is "Hush Little Baby")*. In trading rhymes one item is found to be somehow defective and is traded for another item which itself is found to be defective, and this pattern continues again and again.
In the two rhymes that are the focus of this post, one beverage comes into town only to be beaten up by another beverage. Another beverage either beats up that second beverage or other circumstances cause it to be replaced by yet another beverage. This pattern continues again and again (usually) until the first beverage again becomes the beverage of choice.
"Coca Cola Went To Town" and "Michael Jackson Went To Town" obliquely refer to people's experiences with or perceptions about what has been called "the cola wars" in the United States. Here's information about "the cola wars" from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cola_wars
"The long-time rival soft drink producers The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo have engaged mutually-targeted marketing campaigns for the direct competition between each company's product lines, especially their flagship colas, Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Beginning in the late 1970s and into the 1980s, the intensity of these campaigns have led to them, and the competition in general, being known as the cola wars.
During the peak of the cola wars, as Coca-Cola saw its flagship product losing market share to Pepsi, as well as to Diet Coke and competitors' products, the company considered a change to the beverage's formula and flavor. In April 1985, The Coca-Cola Company introduced its new formula for Coca-Cola, which became popularly known as "New Coke". Consumer backlash to the change led to the company making a strategic retreat on July 11, 1985, announcing its plans to bring back the previous formula under the name "Coca-Cola Classic"."...
Some examples of "Coca Cola Went To Town" feature other cola products such as "Diet Pepsi" as the lead cola in that rhyme. Read #5 given below as an example of this.
My guess is that examples of "Coca Cola Went To Town" rhymes may have been first chanted in the early 1980s. It's likely that a number of versions of "Coca Cola Went To Town" were composed shortly after 1984 as they obliquely refer to Michael Jackson and his song "Billy Jean". In 1984 pop star Micheal Jackson's hair caught on fire when a fire works exploded while he filmed a Pepsi commercial singing a re-worked version of his hit song "Billy Jean".
Michael Jackson’s superstar status and the fact that he was filming a Pepsi commercial explains why many children started chanting versions of "Coca Cola Went To Town" that used his name instead of that original title. The details about that incident also explain why the girl's name "Billie Jean" (or some folk processed version of that name such as "jelly beans") is a part of many versions of that "Michael Jackson Went To Town" rhyme.
However, the fact that most examples of that rhyme end with a line such as "now we're back to Coke" suggests that those versions of that rhyme weren't composed until 1985 when Coca Cola brought back the original formula for Coke (as per the Wikipedia article quoted above). Read the example of "Coca Cola Went To Town" that is given in the comment section for the pancocojams post about "Coca Cola Went To Town" [link iven above]. That comment mentions 1985 as the date that that commenter chanted a "Coca Cola Went To Town" rhyme that includes the name "Michael Jackson."
The "Coca Cola Went To Town" (and the "Michael Jackson Went To Town") rhyme can be chanted alone or in combination with other hand clap rhymes, for instance, as part of long versions of the hand clap rhyme "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky". Versions of "Coca Cola Went To Town" that mention Michael Jackson were very likely composed after that pop star's hair caught on fire accident.
It's doubtful that many children who recite/d "Coca Cola Went To Town" or Michael Jackson Went To Town" are/were aware of the background for the words for those rhymes. And it's probably doubtful that a child composed the original "Coca Cola Went To Town" rhyme.
EXAMPLES OF THE HAND CLAP RHYME "MICHAEL JACKSON WENT TO TOWN"
These examples are given in no particular order with their source given after the rhyme. When the "Coca Cola Went To Town" verse is combined with other verses, I'v written it in italics to highlight it. Numbers are added for referencing purposes only.
1. "Down by the river near the hankey pank
where the bullfrogs jump from bank, to bank,
and they say E I O U,
your momma stinks and so do you
so ping pong ding dong
your daddy smells like king kong.
Ask your teacher what she wears,
polka dotted underwear.
Not too big and not too small,
just the size of city hall.
Michael Jackson went to town,
coca-cola brought him down.
Coca-cola brought him up,
now he's drinking 7up.
7up with no cafiene, now he's seein' belgain (pronounced beligene).
Belgain is outta sight,
now we're talking dynamite.
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, BAM!"
-Veggie, August 21, 2006, cocojams.com [Tis website is no longer available]
2. "Down by the river
To the hanky pank
Where the bullfrog jumps
from bank to bank
saying E I O U
Your mama stinks and so do you
So ding dong ping pong
Your daddy smells like king kong.
Michael Jackson went to town
Dr. Pepper brought him down
Coca Cola brought him up
Now he's drinking 7-Up
7-Up with no caffine
Now we're talking Billy Jean
Inky Binky Bonky, Daddy had a Donkey
Inky Binky Bonkey
-Guest ,ME!,6/25/2008, http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=94034 "Origins: Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky"
3. "downon by the river side hanky panky
were the bullfrogs jump from bank
saying a-e-i-o-u bamboo
michel jakson came to town
coca cola shot hem down
dr.pepper fixed him
up now were talking 7-up
7-up has no cafene
now were talking bilajean
bilajean has no caffeine
no caffene no caffeine
1234 shut the door enless u ant to here more
-Guest, maeson A., June 27, 2008, http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=94034 "Origins: Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky"
4. "Down by the bank by the hanky pank
where the bullfrog jumped from bank to bank
singing eeeps ops ohps ooops
listen to the rythym of the ding dang dong
michael jackson went to town
pepsi cola shot him down
dr. pepper fixed him up
now we're talking 7up
7up has no caffiene
now we're billie jean
billie jean went down the street singing
dooo waaah diddy didy dum diddy dooo
-Guest; Mudcat: November 6, 2009; http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=94034 "Origins: Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky"
5. "at my school it goes like this. (some lyrics are missing, though)
Down by the river of the hanky panky
where bullfrogs jump from bank to banky
old lady said "ding dong"
Yo mama smell like king kong
michael jackson came to town
coca cola brought him down (note: him is michael jackson)
coca cola brought him up
now we're talkin' seven up
seven up has no caffiene
now we're talking billie jean
billie jean (is) insane at night
now we're talkin' dynamite
dynamite blew up the school
now we're talkin' really cool
and that's all I know. :)
-GUEST,hiroko, 05 Apr 09; http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=94034 "Origins: Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky"
6. "this is how it go:down by the riverside siad a hanky panky said bull frog jump frog yo mama stanky said a A-E-I-O-U BAM BOO micheal jackson went to town coke cola shot him down 7 up a doulbe these now im talkin beligue 7up a double threes i said i do i didnt didnt dong didnt do i said i do i didnt didnt dong didnt do 1,2,3 base on me
-GUEST,345; 28 Apr 09, http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=94034 "Origins: Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky"
7. "down by the banks of the Hanky Panky
where the bull frogs jump from bank to banky
With the epps
chilly willy ding dong
your mother smells like king kong
micheal jackson came to town
coke cola shot him down
docter pepper brought him up
now were talkin 7up
7up with no caffine
now were takin billie jean
bille jean is out of sight
now were takin' dinamite
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
A friend taught me that and afew
other things awhile ago...."
- GUEST,Alicia, 06 Jan 10; http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=94034 "Origins: Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky"
8. "Down by the banks of the hanky pank,
where the bullfrogs jump from bank 2 bank,
sayin eeps, ipes, opes, oops,
listen to the rhythm of the ding dang dong.
Micheal Jackson went to town,
pepsi cola shot im down
Dr Pepper fixed im up,
now were talkin 7up
7up has no caffine,
now were talkin billy jean.
billy jean was walking down the street singin,
Ooh, I diddy diddy dum diddy doo.
Lincoln, Lincoln I been thinkin.
what on earth have you been drinkin
is it whiskey is it wine
OMG its turpentine 123...9
-MufinCat123, http://www.youtube.com/all_comments?v=ZC8INeM0w5A, 2011
9. "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"
skyetf, 2013; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4_3DRn049g&feature=emb_logo; "Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky - Clap Game", Jenny Rice, Oct 10, 2012
ADDENDUM: "MICHAEL JORDAN WENT TO TOWN" RHYMES
Pancocojams Editor's Note:
I've found two examples of "[other celebrity's name] Went To Town" that use the name of basketball star Michael Jordan. I believe that these chanters confused "Michael Jordan" for Michael Jackson, as both of these celebrities have the name "Michael" and both of these last name begin with the letter "m". Also, both of these last names begin with the letter "J".
Here's a biography of Michael Jordan:
"Michael Jeffrey Jordan (born February 17, 1963), also known by his initials MJ, is an American former professional basketball player and the principal owner of the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played 15 seasons in the NBA, winning six championships with the Chicago Bulls. His biography on the official NBA website states: "By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time." He was one of the most effectively marketed athletes of his generation and was considered instrumental in popularizing the NBA around the world in the 1980s and 1990s."...
Here are those two examples that I've found as of this date:
1."Here is the one
Down by the banks of the hanky Panky
where the bullfrogs jump from bank to bank
with an a e i o u
Michael jordan went to town
coca cola shot him down
Mountain dew shot him up
now were talkin 7 up
7 up has no cafene
now were talkin billie jean
billie jean went down the street singin
doo a dilly dilly dum dilly do
singin do a dilly dily dum dilly do"
-Guest,Jenny, 08 Apr 09; http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=94034 "Origins: Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky"
2. "Down by the banks of the hanky panky
where the bullfrogs jump from bank to bank
with an a, e, i, o, u. bang bang
micheal jordan went to town
coca cola shot him down
now were talkin 7up
7up with no caffein
now were talking billy jean
billy jean went down the street singin
do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do
singin do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do
-GUEST,SaeraLove, 03 Nov 09, http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=94034 "Origins: Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky"
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