Children's rhymes

Discussion in 'General Chatter' started by sirsparklepants, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. sirsparklepants

    sirsparklepants feral mom energies

    A thread for comparing clapping games, jump rope rhymes, and general kids' rhymes!

    Did anybody else have a rhyme that told you what to do to give somebody else chills? We did that a lot at summer camp when I was teeny.

    Around the world in 80 days
    X marks the spot
    Comma comma comma question mark
    Spiders crawling up your back
    Blood dripping down
    Spiders crawling up your back
    Blood dripping down
    Tight squeeze
    Cool breeze
    Now you've got the shiveries!

    And you'd do whatever it said, drawing a circle or an x and pretending your hands were spiders, etc.
    • Like x 2
  2. Marimo

    Marimo Member

    A version of that was in a klutz book for roadtrips? I have a fragmented memory of it being something like this:

    Mike is on a treasure hunt
    in a funny parking lot
    X marks the spot
    with a circle and a dot
    [needles on your neck
    and a pound on your back
    makes the blood rush down
    makes the blood rush down] x 3
    ?? something about spiders then you get bitten??
    feel the blood drip down
    now squeeze some oranges on your shoulders
    let the juice drip down
    let the juice drip down

    Then I'm pretty sure the last three lines are the same. Also, I think there was a "now guess the magic letter or I won't go on" in there somewhere and there was more joining bits somehow. Not so good for comparison since I apparently can't remember it all that well but it brought back good memories so I wanted to comment
    • Like x 1
  3. Verily

    Verily surprised Xue Yang peddler

    Oh man, we had a similar but much shorter one.

    Criss-cross, applesauce
    Spiders crawling up your back
    Tight squeeze
    Cool breeze
    Now you've got the chills.

    I loved it. Best feeling.

    ETA: criss-cross was a big x, applesauce was a big spiral moving down, spiders was skittering fingers going up, tight squeeze on shoulders, cool breeze blowing gently on back of neck, chills was a weird thing where you turned your hands sideways and moved them up and down while thumping with alternating fingers quickly sort of like you were playing a fast riff on a keyboard.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  4. Saro

    Saro Where is wizard hut

    Popular circle-clapping game at [redacted] Island Elementary School:
    Clap diddly oh-so
    Slap slap slap
    Oh san marico
    Rico rico rico
    Flora, flora, flora-flora-flora-flora
    (repeat until people screw up their clapping)

    Another clapping game rhyme, for 2 people:
    Goose drank wine
    Monkey chewed tobacco on the street car line
    Line broke
    Monkey got choke
    And they all went to heaven in a little row boat
    • Like x 1
  5. Verily

    Verily surprised Xue Yang peddler

    Favorite clapping game for two people:

    Bo bo, ski watten totten
    eh eh, say boom boom boom boom (alternately, say boys are rotten, or say girls are awesome)
    itty bitty watten totten
    bo bo, ski watten totten
    bo bo, ski watten totten BOOM
    one two three four five six seven eight

    It's unfortunately almost impossible to do the clapping bit by yourself using a convenient wall or whatever.

    If you got it right it would end satisfyingly with a snap. In high school we taught it to all our guy friends, who had not learned it in elementary school. They unanimously preferred the 'boys are rotten' variant for humor purposes. Man did we get some weird looks from teachers. The other kids seemed pretty indifferent.
    • Like x 1
  6. sirsparklepants

    sirsparklepants feral mom energies

    The most complicated clap game I remember was ET - if I tried the clap pattern now I'd probably accidentally hit my partner, because it involved switching from clapping across to the up and down claps a lot. But the rhyme itself went:

    ET, (clap clap clap), ET (clap clap clap)
    ET from outer space, he had an ugly face
    Sitting in a rocker, eating Betty crocker
    Watching the clock go
    Tick tock, tick tock sha walla walla
    A B C D E F G
    You better get your grandma off of me
    You better get your grandma off of me
    Now freeze!

    And whoever moved first lost.
    • Like x 1
  7. Re Allyssa

    Re Allyssa Sylph of Heart

    Okay there was this weird rhyme-dance thing in elementary and I have no idea what it was. (I had to look up part of it...)
    This is for two people standing and facing each other.

    Chinese checkers [I don't remember what we did for this part]
    I can move my body [kinda swaying your body]
    Chinese checkers
    I can do karate [knife hands and a fighting stance]
    Chinese checkers
    I can call my mommy [hand phone either ringing next to your head or by your ear]
    Oops I'm sorry [push the other person's shoulder]
    You better be sorry [cross arms, look smug]
    'Cause I'm not sorry [turn head away]
    Itty bitty bubble gum [start crisscrossing your legs]
    A boy likes you! [Whether your legs ended open or crossed said whether someone liked you. Could never remember which was which though]

    Edit: typos and clarity
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
    • Like x 1
  8. strictly quadrilateral

    strictly quadrilateral alive, alive, alive!

    around the world in 80 days
    x marks the spot
    four little circles and a red dot
    spiders crawl up and they bite you bite you
    spiders crawl up and they bite you bite you

    .....i know there was more but it's been five years or so since i last did it and my memory from back then is iffy at best. i think it ended with the same three lines you've got but i could be wrong.
  9. IndigoRiffRaff


    In Girl Scouts we chanted Herman The Worm really frequently and I was not previously aware that there were version that didn't involve Herman cannibalizing his family but apparently there are. We just happened to do the most fucked-up version :D
    • Like x 1
  10. strictly quadrilateral

    strictly quadrilateral alive, alive, alive!

    @Nik do you remember how the fuck it went, im p sure i taught it to you at one point
  11. PotteryWalrus

    PotteryWalrus halfway hideous and halfway sweet

    The nonsense-partially-possibly-urdu-influenced (I went to school in a very muslim area) rhyme we used to used to use to pick 'it' -


    Not because you're dir-ty
    Not because you're clean
    Just because you kissed a boy
    Behind the mag-a-zine!
    • Like x 1
  12. Deresto

    Deresto Foolish Mortal

    A lot of the kids rhymes we did when i was younger were pretty standard, london bridge is falling down, ring around the rosie, that sort of thing. There was one jump roping song i really liked though, it went like this:

    Cinderella, dressed in yella
    Went upstairs to kiss her fella
    Instead of a prince, she found a snake!
    How many doctors did it take?
    [Insert counting here]

    I once made it to a hundred and it was super cool
    • Like x 5
  13. Saro

    Saro Where is wizard hut

    Oh, we had a similar one, but it went "Made a mistake and kissed a snake!" instead.
    • Like x 6
  14. Deresto

    Deresto Foolish Mortal

    That was probably the original line, the girl who brought it to our school couldnt quite remember how it went.

    I think its super cool how most if not all of these are spread by word of mouth. Ring around the rosie and london bridge is falling down are both really old and based on tragic things, but you can still hear kids today singing about it, remembering these events in a way.
    • Like x 3
  15. applechime

    applechime "well, you know, a very — a very crunchy person."


    ahh when i was in competitive swimming we used to do all kinds of rhyme games that involved drawing on backs or physical stuff

    a favourite was a slightly longer variation on the criss-cross applesauce rhyme:

    criss cross, applesauce
    spiders crawling up your back
    spiders here
    spiders there
    spiders even in your hair
    tight squeeze
    cool breeze
    now you've got the shiveries!

    AND a, uh, considerably darker version of that treasure hunt rhyme:

    concentrate concentrate
    people die, babies cry
    concentrate concentrate
    people die, babies cry
    knife in the back and the blood runs down
    knife in the back and the blood runs down
    concentrate concentrate
    people die, babies cry
    concentrate concentrate
    people die, babies cry
    egg in the hair and the yolk runs down
    egg in the hair and the yolk runs down
    concentrate concentrate
    people die, babies cry
    concentrate concentrate
    people die, babies cry
    nails in the back and the blood runs down
    nails in the back and the blood runs down
    concentrate concentrate
    people die, babies cry
    concentrate concentrate
    people die, babies cry
    in retrospect that is super fucked up, but it was all about those sweet sweet tingly feelings

    Miss Mary!! there are dozens of variations but the one that i learned was:
    Miss Mary had a steamboat,
    the steamboat had a bell
    miss Mary went to heaven,
    the steamboat went to

    hello operator,
    please give me number nine,
    and if you disconnect me,
    I'll kick you in

    Behind the yellow curtain,
    there was a piece of glass
    miss Mary sat upon it,
    and broke her little

    Ask me no more questions,
    I'll tell you no more lies
    the boys are in the bathroom,
    zipping up their

    Flies are in the city,
    bees are in the park
    miss Mary and her boyfriend
    were kissing in the

    D - A - R - K

    darker than the ocean,
    darker than the sea,
    darker than the underpants
    my mommy puts on me

    my mother is Godzilla,
    my pa is king Kong,
    my sister is the stupid one
    who taught me this dumb song


    you all know my ma
    you all know my pa
    you all know my sister
    with the alligator bra

    and then there was brick wall waterfall which was a catty little clapping/hand motions game
    brick wall, waterfall
    [name] thinks they got it all
    but they don't
    and I do
    so BOOM with that attitude
    peace, punch, captain crunch
    I got something you can't touch
    bang bang choo-choo train
    wind me up I'll do my thing
    Reese's pieces, seven up,
    you mess with me,
    I'll mess you up

    and a circle clapping game! Stella Ella ola I think it was called. another one with a million variations but i knew it as:
    Stella Ella ola, clap clap clap
    sing es chigo chigo, chigo chigo chap,
    sing es alla dora, ballo, ballo,
    the toilet overflows
    say one two three four five!

    then there was a skipping game?? i can't remember all of it
    had a little sports car 248
    went around the cor-ner.......
    slammed on the brakes
    police man caught me
    put me in jail
    all i had to drink was ginger ale
    how many bottles did i get?
    1, 2, 3, etc etc

    miss Mary Mack! i think a crucial part of the rhyme got left out in the silly version i learned because it skips a certain logical step
    miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack
    all dressed in black, black, black
    with silver buttons, buttons, buttons
    all down her back, back, back
    she asked her mom, mom, mom
    for fifty cents, cents, cents
    to watch the boys, boys, boys
    jump over the fence, fence, fence
    they jumped so high, high, high
    they touched the sky, sky, sky
    and they never came back, back, back
    until July, ly, ly!

    and a mean little 'lol girly girls are stupid' rhyme
    oh! my god!
    i just got a manicure!
    the sun! the glare!
    it's messing up my pretty hair
    twenty-six, thirty-four,
    i don't know the stupid score.
    come on team! fight fight fight!
    gee i hope i look alright

    and then there are endless camp songs and cheers

    OH okay one more even though it doesn't really fit the theme because it was a big part of my childhood. my first swim team had this cheer that we did at every swim meet, as loudly as possible. it was nonsense, i THINK, although it's just as likely that it's a bastardized version of a real language. it was a back and forth cheer with one person leading. ANYWAY it was super fun:
    (oo! ole ole)
    (ole a tiki tonga)
    (o wasa wasa wasa)
    (oo, aleyah leyah wah)
    repeated at least three times with things like "A LITTLE BIT LOOUU-DER!!" and "A LITTLE BIT STRON-GER!!" and my favourite, "A LITTLE BIT FAAAS-TER!!" mixed in between rounds

    sorry for dumping this all here i just think about old rhymes and chants and games SO MUCH, children's culture is SO INTERESTING
    • Like x 7
  16. applechime

    applechime "well, you know, a very — a very crunchy person."

    OH SHIT wait i just remembered another game we played at swim meets

    it wasn't a rhyme so much as it was a...... hm, a little ritual?? i guess??

    it worked best standing. you would have one person shut their eyes and another person behind them, and they would slooooowly sway the front person back and forth and describe a scene which was usually like:
    'you're standing on the roof of the tallest building you've ever seen, blah-blah elaborate purple prose description of the colours and feelings, blah blah you look down and your stomach drops, you've never been this high up, blah blah, but your feet are so heavy, it's like you're rooted to the ground, nothing can move you, your feet are like lead'
    all in this super soothing voice, geeently swaying them back and forth and encouraging them to relax as much as possible and THEN
    'something something PUSHES YOU OFF THE ROOF'
    and they'd shove the person's shoulders roughly but keep hold of them so they didn't fall, and the point of all of it was to ask at the end, 'what colour did you see (when i caused your life to flash before your eyes)?'

    and i guess we sort of had this implicit understanding of what colour meant what, like we all agreed red was bad. it was weird but fun
    • Like x 7
  17. PotteryWalrus

    PotteryWalrus halfway hideous and halfway sweet

    Children's spoken myths and histories have always fascinated me. It's a little bit off-topic, but the reason I started being interested in things like old ghost stories and urban legends, as well as memetic motifs in stories was because I went to primary school in both the UK and Australia. I heard the same ghost stories in both playgrounds, with only very minor differences. The kids that told me them were both speaking english, true, but neither side had relatives in common until you went right back to the first aussie colonial times, way before things like cars and haunted barbie dolls.
    • Like x 5
  18. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    Like applechime this is something I legit think about a lot, like I find it fascinating. I recognized a lot of these that people posted!

    Local variation on "now you've got the shivers"
    Round the world in 80 days,
    X marks the spot,
    Three big boulders,
    One tiny dot,
    Spiders crawl up your back
    They bite you! They bite you!
    Spiders crawl down your back
    They bite you! They bite you!
    Brain freeze, cool breeze,
    Now you've got the, now you've got the chills!

    there's a jump rope game I half remember about George Washington crossing the Delaware, I only remember the count went ONE! TWO! THREE! Independence! cause Independence Day is the Fourth of July. So you had to say Independence every multiple of four.

    Mailman, mailman, do your duty
    Here comes Miss American Beauty
    She can do the pom poms, she can do the twist
    But best of all, she can kiss kiss kiss
    K! I! S! S!

    Lemonade, crunchy ice
    Stir it once, stir it twice
    (that was it, the pattern was simple too, so it was mostly played while waiting for something)

    Hit it!
    That's the way, uh huh uh huh, I like it, uh huh uh huh
    (as above)

    There were also Concentration and Slide, which had no rhymes and very complex patterns that I don't know how to explain in text

    Bubblegum, bubblegum, in a dish, how many pieces do you wish?
    (Played in a group. The person who got landed on said a number, it was counted around the circle, and the person who was landed on was out. Usually used as a more sophisticated version of eenie meenie miney moe, for determining play order for another game)

    Tarzan, jungle man, swinging from a rubber band
    Slips and falls and and breaks his back, what color is his splat?
    (Similar to the above, except the given color was spelled out. More often played for its own sake, cause kids think violence is funny)

    The dilly dally duck goes quack quack quack
    From Sanarina, rina, rina, rina
    Four up, four up, one two three four QUACK!
    (Also played in a circle, hands laid on each other's, so you could slap each other's palms in rhythm. If you got hit on QUACK you were out

    There's also a lot of Girl Scout songs and other things but this post is already so long :0
    • Like x 5
  19. strictly quadrilateral

    strictly quadrilateral alive, alive, alive!

    The elementary school i went to had an ABC one too but it was way longer... i think it was something like

    Easy as one two three
    My mommy takes care of me
    My daddy watches MTV
    Ooh, ah, i wanna piece of pie
    Pie too sweet i wanna piece of meat
    Meat too red i wanna go to bed
    Bed not made i want some lemonade
    Lemonade too sour i wanna take a shower

    ...i think it continued like that for a while but i cant remember the other lines
    • Like x 2
  20. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    I JUST GOOGLED IT, and my "Dilly Dally Duck" is a variation on "Stella Ella Ola" - same tune and mode of play. Is one a corruption of the other, or are they just two songs with the same tune?

    Also I had variations of most of the games here - "Patty Cake" and "Miss Mary Mack," which I'd say everyone knows, "Down Down Baby," "Chinese Bakery" (for us it was "Chinese Restuarant" and it was pretty racist cause it involved pulling at the corners of your eyes in imitation of epicanthal folds. I was hesitant to put it in my first post for that reason.) and "Concentration 64" which I mentioned upthread.

    That link also has videos
    • Like x 1
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