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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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African-American Children's Game used to determine

Engine Engine number nine
going down Chicago line
if the train should jump the track
do you want your money back? (answer y/n)
Y E S spells yes and you are out of this game.

Submitter comment: Each child must put one foot in a circle with all
toes touching together. The caller must touch each
shoe as the words to the song are sung. The last foot,
or person left in the circle is "it". Such games are
also known as "counting-out rhymes."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; children in the community

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse Game Verse

Date learned: 00-00-1960

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A ball game played by African-American children

Lins-ee , clap-sies
twirl about
to back-sies
right hand
left hand
touch your knees
and your toes
and your heels
under we go
high-sies
low-sies

Submitter comment: This game is played with a ball. The ball is thrown up
against a wall. We always played on the brick wall
homes in my neighborhood. As the ball is thrown and caught
each call is a command that must be done before the ball is
caught off of the wall. Example; Linsee is to throw the ball,
Clap-sies means to throw the ball on the wall and clap before
it is caught. Twirl about means to throw the ball on the wall
and twirl completely around before the ball is caught.
Back-sies means to turn your back and throw the ball on the wall.
This game continues on with the player performing each line
in the game. A missed catch constitutes giving the ball to
the next player. When your turn comes back around you begin
at the point you missed. Example, If you missed at left
hand, you begin the game at left hand. The first person to
get all the way through the game is the winner.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; children in the community

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse Game Verse

Date learned: 00-00-1961

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A hiding game

Last night, night before
Twenty-four robbers were at my door
I got up to let them in
Hit em on the head with a rolling pin
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
Ready or not here I come
All around my glue is it

Submitter comment: The person who is "it" must go to
a large tree (glue) cover his/her eyes
while facing the "glue" and singing the
above rhyme. While the person who is
"it" is chanting, the other children run
to find a hiding place. When the person
who is "it" is done he/she must find the
others and tag them before they can get
on "glue". "Glue" is where all players
are safe ("on glue"). Whoever is tagged before
getting safe on "glue" is "it". If no one is
tagged, then the same person must be "it"
again.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; children in the community

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Hiding Searching
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse Game Verse

Date learned: 00-00-1960

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A game played by African-American Children

Little Sally Walker sitting in a saucer
Cry Sally cry dry your weeping eyes and
put your hands on your hips and let your backbone slip.
Ah shake it to the east. Ah shake it to the west
Ah shake it to the very one you love the best.

Submitter comment: This game is played by sitting in a circle. One person
is "it" and stands in the middle. As the song is sung
the person in the middle acts out the words in the song
When the children say, shake it to the east, the person
in the middle shakes to the east. etc.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; children in the community

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse Game Verse

Date learned: 00-00-1961

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Hand clapping game played by African-American Children

There was a farmer who had a dog and BINGO was his name-o
B-i-n-g-o, B-i-n-g-o, B-i-n-g-o, and Bingo was his
name-o. There was a farmer who had a dog and BINGO was his
name-o (clap) i-n-g-o (clap) i-n-g-o (clap) i-n-g-o and BINGO
was his name-o. There was a farmer who had a dog and BINGO
was his name-o. (clap, clap) n-g-o (clap, clap) n-g-o (clap
clap) n-g-o and BINGO was his name-o. There was a farmer who
had a dog and BINGO was his name-o (clap,clap,clap) g-o (clap
clap,clap) g-o (clap,clap,clap) g-o and BINGO was his name-o.
There was a farmer who had a dog and BINGO was his name-o
(clap,clap,clap,clap) o (clap,clap,clap,clap) o (clap,clap
clap,clap) o and BINGO was his name-o. There was a farmer
who had a dog and BINGO was his name-o (clap,clap,clap,clap
(clap) (clap,clap,clap,clap,clap) (clap,clap,clap,clap,clap)
and BINGO was his name-o.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; children in the community

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse C750.52

Date learned: 00-00-1961

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Hand clapping rhyme played by African-American children

Zing Zing Zing like a washing machine
We're gonna rock in the tree top all night long
Rocking and a bobbing and a singing this song
All the little birdies on Jaybird street
love to hear the robin say eat my feet.
Mama is in the kitchen stirring that rice
Daddy is so nice like sugar and spice
Brother is in college trying to be cool
Sister is in school because she's no fool
Rocking Robin tweet tweet tweet
Rocking Robin tweet tweet tweet

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; children in the community

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse Game Verse

Date learned: 00-00-1960

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Hand clapping rhyme played by African-American children

Zing Zing Zing like a washing machine.
Where gonna rock in the tree top all night long
Rocking and a bobbing and singing this song
All the little birdies on Jaybird street
Love to hear the robin go tweet tweet tweet
Rocking Robin, tweet tweet tweet
Rocking Robing tweet tweet tweet
Mama is in the kitchen stirring that rice,
Daddy is on the corner shooting that dice.
Brother is in jail, ringing that bell,
Sister is on the corner saying fruit cocktail.
Down by the river
Down by the sea
Johnny broke a bottle and blamed it on me
I told mama, mama told papa,
Johnny got a whipping so ha ha ha.
Rocking Robin tweet tweet tweet
Rocking Robin tweet tweet tweet.

Submitter comment: This rhyme has elaborate hand claps that
accompany the rhyme.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; children in the community

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse Game Verse

Date learned: 00-00-1989

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Hand clapping rhyme played by African-American children

Down down baby don't shake the roller coaster
Sweet sweet baby, I'll never let you go
Just because I kissed you, don't mean I love you
Shimmy shimmy co-co pop
Shimmy shimmy why
Shimmy shimmy co-co pop
Shimmy shimmy freeze. (freeze means to stop)

Submitter comment: Hand claps accompany this rhyme and rhythm is very
important. You have to be well coordinated to play
these games.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; children in the community

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse Game Verse

Date learned: 00-00-1989

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Hand clapping rhyme played by African-American children

Little Sally Walker walking down the street
Hey Hey she didn't know what to do
So, she jumped in front of me.
I said gone girl shake that thang, shake that thang
Shake that thang.
Gone girl shake that thang, shake that thang stop.

Submitter comment: Hand claps accompany this rhyme and rhythm is very
important. Each rhyme has its own tempo that must
be maintained when said and clapped.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; children in the community

James Callow Keyword(s): shake that thing

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse Game Verse

Date learned: 00-00-1989

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Hand clapping rhyme played by African-American children

Elise is having a baby tidsy tada-way
Well how do you know? tidsy tada-way
Your boyfriend told me tidsy tada-way
Well he's so nosey.
We can do the up-sies up-sies up-sies
We can do the down-sies down-sies down-sies
We can do the freak the freak the freak.

Submitter comment: Hand motions and claps accompany this rhyme
There is also a special little movement that
is done for up-sies up-sies up-sies and down-sies.
Rhythm is very important in performing this rhyme.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; children in the community

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse Game Verse

Date learned: 00-00-1989

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Hand clapping rhyme played by African-American children

Ms Suzie had a baby,
she named him Tiny Tim.
She put him in the bathtub
to see is he could swim.
He drank up all the water,
and ate up all the soap.
He tried to eat the bathtub,
but it wouldn't go down his throat.
Ms. Suzie called the doctor,
Ms. Suzie called the nurse.
Ms. Suzie called the lady with the alligator purse.
The doctor said the measles,
the nurse said the mumps.
The lady with the alligator purse said pizza.
Ms. Suzie slapped the doctor,
Ms. Suzie punched the nurse
Ms. Suzie thanked the lady with the alligator purse.

Submitter comment: Hand claps accompany this rhyme. Rhythm is a very
important part of the game.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; children in the community

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse Game Verse

Date learned: 00-00-1989

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A counting-out rhyme

Eenie, meanie, minie, moe
Catch a tiger by his toe
If he hollers let him go
Eenie, meanie, minie, moe
Out goes the cat
Out goes the rat
Out goes the lady with the see-saw hat.

Submitter comment: Children put their feet together touching
at the toe. As the above rhyme is said each
toe is touched. At the end of the rhyme someone
is eliminated. The last person left is "it".

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; children in the community

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse Game Verse

Date learned: 00-00-1961

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Old Mary Mack

Old Mary Mack Mack Mack
All dressed in black black black
With silver buttons buttons buttons
All down her back back back
She asked her mother mother mother
For fifteen cents cents cents
To see the elephant elephant elephant
Jump the fence fence fence
He jumped so high high high
He touched the sky sky sky
And he never came back back back
Till the fourth of July.

Submitter comment: This is the very first game I ever
remember playing with children in my
neighborhood. There are hand claps
that accompany this rhyme.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; children in the community

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse Game Verse

Date learned: 00-00-1960

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showing 13 items

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