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Thursday, April 1, 2021

Two Haitian Children's Circle Games (YouTube videos, play instructions, & English lyrics)


joylin clark, April 6, 2010

Haiti-Trouin kids from St. Anne...schoolyard song & dance #1

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Edited by Azizi Powell

Latest revision: April 4, 2021

This pancocojams post showcases two YouTube video of Haitain children's singing games and provides some information about what these singing games are about.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are featured in these videos and thanks to the Joylin Clark, the publisher of these videos on YouTube. Thanks also to Lesly and margine louis who shared information online about these singing games.
-snip-
Although I refer to these games as children's singing games, the videos show that 
women and men played both of these Haitian singing games along with children of multiple ages. . 

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PANCOCOJAMS EDITOR'S NOTE
In August 2013 I published a pancocojams post about these singing games. That post was entitled "What Are The Names Of These Singing Games".[I deleted that post so that there wouldn't be any confusion between that post and this one that has updated information,]

Here's what I wrote in 2013:
"I'm hoping that someone recognizes these games and can post their names & their words in English. (Unfortunately, I only speak & read English, but I can use Google translate if you write in French.)

Thanks in advance!"

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UPDATE: September 9, 2013
A big THANKS to Lesly, one of the men participating in these video taped games for sending the words to these games to the videographer Joylin Clark. THANKS also to Joylin for sharing them with us!! 
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UPDATE: April 1, 2021
I wasn't aware that in 2019 margine louis wrote this response to this request that I had written in 2013 in that YouTube video's discussion thread:

Azizi Powell, 2014
"Hi joylin Clark! I posted three years ago and haven't yet found any information about this song. I REALLY like this song and wish I knew what they are singing. I showcased this video and another one that you shared on a post on my cultural blog. Google Pancocojams What Are The Names Of These Haitian Singing Games? Doesn't anyone recognize these games?

Reply
margine louis, 2019
"talking about, "you have a beautiful friend, (name), advance, advance" "give her a little kiss" "take hold her by the hand?"." -snip- Thanks margine louis! **** PERFORMANCE INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SINGING GAME THAT IS FEATURED IN THE FIRST EMBEDDED VIDEO (from my observations of this video:

People form a large circle (ring), stand in the circle without holding hands, and sing & clap their own hands in accompaniment. Persons forming the circle may also move rhythmically or dance to the beat while they are singing and clapping their hands.

A center person moves around the inside of the circle. At a certain part of the song, the center person walks up to a person (of the other gender) forming the ring and escorts that person into the center of the ring.

The two center people dance. Center person #1 then rubs center person #2 head, gives that person a kiss on the cheek, then leaves the center and rejoins the others forming the circle. The game then immediately begins from the beginning.
-snip-
I particularly like this song. It's very catchy. I really wish I knew what they are singing.

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SHOW US YOUR FRIEND*
(words and performance information for this song from Lesly)

"Show us your friend-


Show us your friend

Show us your friend He is there He is there

Pass your hand over his head Give him a kiss. (By example: i am inner the circle,i will show them my friend.everybody sing together

"Lesly,show us your friend Lesly,show us you friend.

She is there She is there" (while we sing this part" she is there,she is there".i am taking my my friend in the circle dance with her, pass my hand over his heard,give her a kiss).

Then i let her inside the circle and go to show his friend. Until everyone passes through inside the circle."
-snip-
*In response to my questions about the words to this song (and a second Haitian singing game that is found below), Joylin Clark  wrote "I have sent questions to one of the children in video---he knows english as I have sent him to Haitian/American Instutute the past 2 years. I think he will respond. I believe that Lesly was that student. Lesly didn't write down the title for this game. However, given its words, it seems to me that a good title for this game would be "Show Us Your Friend".
Thanks, Lesly! **** VIDEO #2

joylin clark, April 6, 2010

The Foot Dance..Sponsor child, Lesly plays the bongo...

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PERFORMANCE INSTRUCTIONS 
(from 
my observations of the video)

People form a large circle (ring), stand in the circle without holding hands, and sing & clap their own hands in accompaniment. Persons forming the circle may also move rhythmically or dance to the beat while they are singing and clapping their hands.

Two people (hereafter known as "the center people") move around the inside of the circle. One moves clockwise and the other moves counterclockwise.

At a certain part of the song, each of the center people stand in front of two people forming the ring. Each of the center people move their feet between the legs of their designated person. Those persons then do the same to their center person, and then change places with the center persons. The game then begins again from the beginning.

This game reminds me of "Little Sally Walker (Walking Down The Street), a contemporary version of "Little Sally Walker". As is the case in that Haitian "foot dance" singing game, in "Little Sally Walker (was walking down the streett)", a person in the center of the circle (the ring) moves around the ring, then picks a person standing in the ring and then does some motion in front of that person. That person then does the same motion, and then the two people exchange places. That person becomes the new center person and the game  immediately begins from the beginning.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2011/09/little-sally-walker.html for a video of that game.

UPDATE: September 7, 2013
Here are the words & performance instructions to this song from Lesly, a Haitian male who participated in this videoed game. Thanks Lesly!! Also, thanks to Joylin Clark for sending me these words from Lesly via iPhone.

"Ya so- Ya so,ya so oo oo oo

Ya so,ya so oo oo oo

Ya so,ya so. I would look at you

I would yas,i 'd yas

I would look at you

I woud yas,i' d yas

(you see the video,there is a circle,inside the circle there is someone. The inner circle will choose someone he wants to dance with her feet while everyone is singing together"

Ya so,ya so oo oo oo

Ya so,ya so oo oo oo

Ya so,ya so" (here, he will stand before his anointed.

" i would look at you

I would yas,i'd yas

I would look at you

I would yas,i'd yas"

(As we sing this part, the inner circle will hit His left foot from the right foot of the others three times,right to the left foot in others three times. Subsequently quitting inside the circle for the people he selected.

Until everyone passes trough the circle.

Lesly"
-snip-
*Lesly didn't write down the name of this game. However, given its words and performance activity, it seems to me that a good title for this game would be "Ya So" (The foot dance).

In a March 2021 pancocojams post entitled "
A Children's Circle Game From Ghana, West Africa Whose Movements Are Similar To Two African American Circle Games: "Ride The Pony " & "Little Sally Walker Was Walking Down The Street" https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2021/03/a-childrens-circle-game-from-ghana-west.html I noted that, along with the singing games that are the focus of that post, this Haitian children's singing game is an example of a sub-set of show me your motion children's games that I call "stand in front of" games.   

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