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Friday, March 5, 2021

Examples Of The Children's Hand Clap Rhyme "I'm A Nut In A Hut", Part III



Jazz Johnson, April 7, 2014
-snip-
This video was made by a woman and her seven year old son, Jevon.

The mother and son perform a hand clap rhyme that they learned during their vacation in Michigan.

Both the mother and son are White. 


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Edited by Azizi Powell

Latest revision- March 15, 2021

This is Part III of a three part pancocojams series on the song "I'm A Nut".

Part III of this pancocojams series presents examples of the hand clap rhyme "I'm A Nut In A Hut". This rhyme may also be chanted as "I'm A Nut In A Rut".   

This post also includes my editorial notes about those rhymes. 

Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2021/03/two-sound-file-examples-of-childrens.html for Part I of this pancocojams post. That post showcases two YouTube examples of  "I'm A Nut". The first sound file that is embedded is a country music version of that song that was recorded in 1966 by (White American) singer Leroy Pullins.

The second sound file that is embedded in this post is an example of a children's (summer) camp song of "I'm A Nut".

Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2021/03/documenting-dates-for-some-lyric.html for Part II of this pancocojams series. Part II provides selected comments about the song "I'm A Nut". Some of the comments in Part II include lyrics for versions of this song/rhyme (including the lyrics that Leroy Pullin sang in his 1966 record). In addition to sharing lyrics for these examples, I'm interested in sharing comments that indicate the decade or year that the commenter first heard this song.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.

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PANCOCOJAMS EDITOR'S NOTE
Almost all of the content of this pancocojams blog focuses on African American culture, African cultures, or cultures from other people of the African Diaspora.

However, with regard to the song "I'm A Nut", I've found no information that directly or indirectly link the composition of early or later versions of that song to African Americans or to other Black people. 

Also, I've found no online comments by African Americans about the song "I'm A Little Hunk Of Tin" and I have no offline experience with this song being sung by African American children, teens, or adults. (I'm referrring here to my personal experiences, including the community programming that I did in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area from the late 1980s - 2007 in predominately Arican American schools and neighborhoods.) That said, I think it's probable that some African Americans know the song, "I'm A Nut" particularly from adult led school music classes and/or summer camps, Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts. 

However, I have found a number of examples of  the rhyme "I'm A Nut In A Hut" that were posted online by African Americans who remembered that rhyme from their childhood (from the 1980s on) as well as comments from African Americans who currently perform the "I'm A Nut In A Hut" hand game.  

Some pancocojams posts- such as this one- focus on children's recreational material (rhymes, cheers, chants, and singing games), without regard to the race or ethnicity of those who originally composed that material or without regard to who performed or performed that material.

That said, pancocojams' posts on children's recreational material often focus on versions of rhymes, cheers, and singing game that Black children compose/d, modifiy/ied, and/or perform'ed. The words and performance activities of those examples are sometimes different than the words and performance styles for the same titles of rhymes or other rhymes that are chanted by non-Black people.chanted by non-Black people.

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MY COMMENTS ABOUT THE I'M A NUT IN A HUT" RHYMES
I don't know when the rhyme "I'm a nut in a hut" was first chanted. However, it seems clear that this rhyme came from the song "I'm A Nut".  Here's a verse from Leroy Pullin's 1966 hit Country song "I'm A Nut":
"I'm a Nut, I'm a Nut,
My life don't ever get in a rut."

**
I found one comment online (given in Part II of this pancocojams series) that "I'm A Nut" was recited in 1940. In that case, the words to Pullin's song may not be the same as the original version of that song. (The original version of the "I'm  A Nut" song i s likely unknowable.) That said, a nut (acorn) being in a rut seems more likely than a nut (acorn) being in a hut. Furthermore, having a nut in a hut changes the meaning the word "nut" to that of a person who is "coo coo" (crazy).

"I'm A Nut In A Hut" rhymes follow a formulaic pattern in which the person declares that he or she does something socially unacceptable and then says "So what"? [meaning "Who cares?"]

Most of the examples of "I'm a nut in a hut " rhymes that I've come across online have four short lines:
"I'm a nut
In a hut 
I've [insert something wrong that you did]
So what". 

I believe that the "i showed my butt in Pizza Hut" versions of this rhyme are the most recently composed examples of that rhyme (that I have found as of this date-March 2021).  

**
With regard to the "
I'm crazy" lines that are sometimes chanted in the rhyme "I'm A Nut In A Hut" or "I'm A Nut in A Rut", those lines could have also been folk processed from the "I'm A Nut" song. Here's a portion of Pullin's "I'm A Nut" song: 

 "And I ain't got the sense God gave a goose
Lord, I ain't crazy but, I'm a nut"

**
Please add to this collection of examples of "I'm A Nut in a Hut" and "I'm A Nut In A Rut" by sharing examples that you know in the comment section of this post.

For the folkloric record, please remember to add where (the geographical location) you learned the example and when (decade or year). It would be great if you also shared other demographic information such as race/ethnicity and gender, and whether you did any movement activity such as hand clapping when you recited that song/rhyme. Thanks in advance.

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SELECTED EXAMPLES OF THESE RHYMES
These online sources are given in no particular order. Numbers are added for referencing purposes only.  These comments aren't numbered on the pages that I retrieved them, or the numbering sequences are different. Italics are used for comments with dates.

Some of these examples consists only of a two line rhyming verse, with no information about whether any movements (such as hand clapping) was done while chanting that verse. 

Source #1 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x_8BbsSwJk&ab_channel=JazzJohnson
[This is my transcription of the  video that is embedded in this post. Additions and corrections are welcome.]

I’m a nut in a hut
I stole my mama’s lima beans
so what
I’m crazy
I’m coo coo wish
I’m crazy
I’m foolish
I’m crazy
I’m foolish
I’m coo coo coo.
-snip-
"Coo coo" is from the word "cuckoo". The slang meaning of "cuckoo" is "crazy"..

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Source #2
http://www.greekchat.com/gcforums/archive/index.php/t-31403.html Old School Chants

1. Afrochic,. 03-30-2003

I'm a nut

In a hut

I stole an apple off the tree so what

I'm crazy

I'm foolish

And Im cool 
-snip-
"Old school" is a usually positive informal African American referent for something or someone from the past.  


**
2. Optimistic1, 12/29/ 2000
Hand games

[...]

I'm a nut (I'm a nut [hand clapping]...in a hut [more handclapping]...I stole my mama's pantyhose so what...)

**
http://www.greekchat.com/gcforums/showthread.php?t=4123&page=2 Old School Chants

3. ZChi4Life, 2-30-2000
Location: Washington, DC

Optimistic, I used to LOVE "I'm a nut"

I'm a nut

In a hut

(we used to say) I stole an apple off the tree

so what

I'm craaaaazy

I'm fooooolish

I'm crazy, I'm foolish, I'm crazy, I'm foolish

I'm cool!

**
http://www.greekchat.com/gcforums/showthread.php?t=31403&page=3 
Old School Chants

4. Symphony08, 03-26-2003
Location: Illinois

Smile Taking me back

You all are really going there with these.  Here are some I remember:

I'm a Nut (hand game)

I'm a nut
In a hut
I stole my mama's pantyhose so what

I'm craaaaazy
I'm foooolish

I'm a nut
In a hut
I stole an apple from a tree so what

I'm craaaaazy
I'm foooolish
I'm crazy, I'm foolish, I'm crazy, I'm foolish

That's me!
-snip-
This discussion thread is made up of young African American women who are members of historically Black Greek letter sororities.

Based on their comments, my guess is that these women remember these rhymes from the early to mid 1980s.

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Source #3
https://www.lipstickalley.com/threads/remember-old-school-hand-games.122468/page-2 Remember Old school Hand Games???

1. Miss_M, March 8, 2008
"Yea, I'm a nut in a hut i stold my mama panty hose so what. LOL"

**
2. Daniel-San, March 8. 2008
":dead: There was another version then! I knew it as, "I stole an apple from a tree. So what." Omg"
-snip-
WARNING: A small amount of profanity is found in this discussion thread.
-snip-
"Dead" here means that the comment/example made the person "die laughing" (laugh a lot). 

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Source #4
http://whisper.sh/whisper/0518fbc1bd885283509079216afbb6016c1528/Im-a-nutIn-a-hutI-stole-an-apple-from-a-tree-so-whatIm-a-n

"I'm a nut
in a hut
I stole an apple from a tree
So what...
I'm a nut"

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Source #5
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-NKrzvqz_I&t=2s&ab_channel=Geneas
90’s hand games (part 2)
Geneas, March 28, 2020
-snip-
Geneas and Atiyah are two young African American women from Newark, New Jersey. The women demonstrate how to play various hand clapping games. For most of the video they are seated. This is my transcription of the handclap game that begins a
round 6:31 in the video.

1. ... I showed my butt at Pizza Hut
So what?
what ya gonna do-
Kiss my butt?
I'm craaaaazy (Each women twirls two fingers around both ears, i.e. the "crazy" gesture)
You know I'm crazy.
I'm foooolish (twirls hands (Each woman twirls hands a little bit lower down)
Take a freeze. (Each women strikes a pose) 
-snip-
Atiyah say that they can't remember the beginning of this rhyme and Geneas says "But I know y'all played this. They asks people watching this video to share the rhyme in the video's discussion thread and a number of people responded with the version of "I'm a nut in a hut" that they remember. rhymes given below are only a small sample of these rhymes that were shared in that video's discussion thread. 

I interprete the unsmiling, lean back pose that both women made at the end of this rhyme as a confident look that signifies that the women know that they look good and are "in charge".

"Butt" = "behind", "backside", "booty" etc.
However, "show my butt" doesn't necessarily mean what it says. 

A colloquial African American meaning for "I showed my butt" is "I acted a fool" ("I acted up.") 
"Kiss my butt" does indeed mean "behind", although a person saying this doesn't really mean what he or she is saying. Instead, "kiss my butt" is a clear statement of  the speaker's c
ontempt for whoever is addressed. Another way of saying this is "Go to hell."

**
2. Adrienne Merritt. 2020
"We used to say.... Im a nut, in a hut, I showed my butt at Pizza Hut so what...." 

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Reply
Official Carla Lorraine, 2021
"
Yes, the way the song started they couldn't remember was like that, "I'm a nut, in a a hut." "

**
3. 
Valentina M, 2020
"Omg these are taking me back!! 😭😭😭The one you call “I show my butt” I think we called it “So What” 🧐"

** 
4. 
Ms. Hill, 2020
"I'm a nut... In a hut... I show my butt at pizza hut so what... I'm craaaaaazy.... I'm fooooooolish.... Hey man I'm cool 😎 I'ma fool...  I'ma fool.. I'ma fool la la.... I'ma fool, I'ma fool, I'ma fool la la, I'ma fool, I'ma fool, I'ma fool la la... so freeze!"

**
5. Life Of A Gemini, 2020
"I'm a nut in a hut,I showed my butt in pizza hut so what,I'm craaaazy,I'm foooolish,I'm crazy I'm foolish I'm ooh lala I'm crazy I'm foolish I'm ooh lala so freeze😂😂😂I remember it perfectly"

**
6, 
舞Bluemoon-漫, 2020
"Aminah in a hut I stole an apple from a tree so what?"
-snip-
"Aminah" is an Arabic female name that is somewhat familar to Americans (and I think mostly African Americans). The use of "Aminah" in this rhyme is probably an example of  "folk processing" ("folk etymology") when a word or phrase is used in a song or rhyme because of misremembering or mishearing or because that word or phrase isn't known to that person,) 

****
Source #6 [added March 7, 2021]
https://www.lipstickalley.com/threads/hood-cheers.43158/ "Hood Cheers"

[WARNING- Some of the comments or rhymes in that discussion include profanity.]

1. GODDESS!, 8-18-2006 

almond nut...in a hut

i stole my momma's pantyhose, so what?

i'm crrraaazzzyyyyyyyyy

i'm foooooooooooolish

im supa dupa, supa dupa, supa dupa, cool cool cool"
-snip-
"Almond" is an example of folk processing (mishearing, or misremembering a word or phrase of a song or rhyme, or substituting a familiar word or phrase for an unfamiliar word or phrase.


One of the commenters wrote that these examples were from the early 1980s. The contributors to that discussion thread were all African Americans (based on the screen photographs of some of the contributors selected, based on the forum itself which was and is still predominately or completely frequented by African Americans, and based on the thread title "Hood Cheers", with "hood" meaning "the African American neighborhood"). 

**
2. Cocaine, 8-18-2006

"Our version was:

I'm a nut......in a hut.....
I stole a apple from the treeeee, so what?
I'm craaaaaaaazy
I'm foooooooooolish,
And I'm cool, you the fool!"

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Source #7:  http://forum.blackhairmedia.com/lil-girls-hand-games_topic128043_page6.html Lil Girls…Hand Games! [added March 15, 2021]

I'm a nut

In a hut

I stole an apple from a tree

So what

Whatcha gonna do?

Kick my butt?

I'm craaaaazy

You got that right

I'm fooooolish

You got that right

I'm super duper

I'm super duper

I'm super duper OG baby

truequeen06  (California), Apr 25 2008 
-snip-
"OG" = "Original Gangsta" 

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This concludes Part III of this pancocojams series.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

 

3 comments:

  1. Alexia BingHeath. a commenter in the discussion thread for the video given as Source #5 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-NKrzvqz_I&t=2s&ab_channel=Geneas in this pancocojams post wrote this in response in 2020 to Geneas and Atiyah's comment that they are from Newark (New Jersey)


    "I can tell y’all are from Jersey because I’m from Trenton and we did the same games"
    -snip-
    Actually, even before YouTube and the rest of the internet, I found that many African American children's rhymes and cheers are performed the same or similarly all across the United States.

    I remember compiling a list of cities and states for specific African American rhymes and I think I published it on pancocojams. I'll try to find that link and add it to this discussion thread.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't find that post (yet), but here's a link to a related pancocojam post: Conceptualizing, Collecting, & Sharing Contemporary Black Children's Rhymes https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2017/06/conceptualizing-collecting-sharing.html

      Here's a portion of that 2017 post:
      "This pancocojams post presents statements about why and how I collect, document, study, and share English language children's recreational material.

      The word "rhymes" in this post is a generic term "rhymes" that refers to multiple children's recreational compositions including jump rope rhymes, hand clap rhymes, singing games, parodies, "choosing it' rhymes, chants, children's cheerleader cheers, and the sub-set of cheerleader cheers that I call "foot stomping cheers" but which some people call "steps".

      Since I began informally collecting children's recreational rhymes in 1985, I've been most interested in Black children's rhymes -particularly contemporary (post 1960s) African American children's rhymes. I'm most interested in this sub-set of children's recreational rhymes in part because I'm African American and also because it appears to me that there has been very little collection, documentation, and sharing of those sub-sets of children's recreational material. And, if I were to drill down even farther, "foot stomping cheers" are the types of African American children's rhymes that I really most interested in."...

      Delete
  2. Here's a comment that was posted in the discussion thread for Geneas and Atiyah's first YouTube video about 90s handgames video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zEcsIfe6lU&t=3s&ab_channel=Geneas.

    Steve B, 2020
    "That's called Patty Cakes and kids primarily African American girls have been doing it for thousands of years. There's one called I'm a Nut.. A black girl back in the early 80's showed me when I was in elementary school. Wish I could show you

    ReplyDelete