The wonderful thing about children’s folklore is its vibrancy and influence. It is also very cyclical and age dependent. In 2005 I video-taped three year six students at the Paddington home of one of the girls. Two of the girls Madison Lucas and Danielle Gonda went to the same school (Sceggs, Darlinghurst, in Sydney) and Claudia Moriz to Glenmore Road Public School, Darlinghurst, Sydney. This allowed some comparison of songs and clapping and opportunities for explanation and teaching of particular songs. I have left this material in the videos to show the folklore learning process.
Being year six this is usually the last year girls participate in playground games, especially singing and clapping games, as they become self-conscious and also
preoccupied with boys. All three of the girls were told of the background to the video session, what was expected and that it was being done at home (rather than school) so there would be no censorship of the more ribald material.
The series of videos provides a look inside the world of folklore and especially the influence of popular entertainment, in particular the internet, popular music and film.
The video session was focused on clapping rhymes and action songs and did not include elastics, skipping and other action games. Being Year Six the girls referred to such activities as being ‘for the younger girls at school’
I’m Sexy, I’m Cute (from Bring It On)
who am I?
But he don’t, I do
So recess, pieces, 7 up
Mary Had a Little Lamb
A play on words, ribald clapping rhyme.
Mary had a little lamb
are bad, mosquitoes are worse
If you crash you’ll fall
Bawdy clapping rhyme
Arse sol, arse sol, a soldier I may be
Double This, Double That
Hand clapping rhyme
(Rehearsal) Boys are cheats & Liars
This segment shows the girls teaching each other the words and actions associated with the rhyme
Boys are cheats and liars
Boys are cheats & Liars
Down Down Baby
Body action song that originated with American cult tween film
Down, down, baby, down, down the riverbank
I met a girl friend Marissa
So Macca Doras
A hand clapping out rhythm aimed at slapping your partners hands with the final count out.
See See My Playmate
My Name is Elli Elli
My name is Elli
My Aunty Anna
My Aunty anna
Who Broke the Window
We are the Can Can Girls
Ooh Ahh, I lost my bra
Girls are sexy made out of Pepsi
My Boyfriend Gave me an Apple
Which Backstreet Boy is Gay
The Backstreet Boys is a popular all-boy band and this song originated on an internet comedy site,
Which Backstreet Boy is gay?
Now you can see him,
Tell me who ain’t saying that it’s Ryan
Boom Boom Bang Bang
Action song with insult end