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Clapping Games



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’


3.19 MB
Introduction to this collection by Warren Fahey

Introduction 2

16.7 MB

Madison, Danielle and Claudia introduce themselves.
Warren Fahey asks girls a series of questions related to the learning, performing and transition of songs.

I’m Sexy, I’m Cute (from Bring It On)


An action song taken from a film and showing the ever-increasing
influence of American hip-hop cultureI’m sexy, I’m cute
I’m popular to boot,I’m bitchin’, great hair
The boys all like to stare
I’m pretty I’m cool
I dominate the school

who am I?
just guess?
guys wanna touch my chest


Brick Wall


Action song originating from the film ‘Dickie Roberts Former Childhood Star’.

Brick wall
Dickie thinks he’s
Got it all

But he don’t, I do
So boom with that attitude
Peace, punch Captain Crunch
I’ve got something you can touch
So Bang! Bang!
Choo Choo Train,
You wind me up and I do my thing
And I know Karate and I know Kung Foo
You mess with me and I’ll mess with you.

So recess, pieces, 7 up
you mess with me, I’ll mess you up.

Mary Had a Little Lamb

A play on words, ribald clapping rhyme.

Mary had a little lamb
She also had a duck
she took him round the corner
and taught him how to
fry an eggs for breakfast
fry your eggs for tea
the more you eat
the more drink
the more you want to
Peter had a boat
the boat began to rock
out jumped jaws
and bit him on the cock
tail, ginger ale, forty cents a glass
if you don’t drink then
shove it up your
ask no questions
tell no lies
I saw two policemen
doing up their flies

are bad, mosquitoes are worse
I saw the doctor
lying on the nurse
nurse him well
if you don’t you will go to hell

If you crash you’ll fall
to the ground

A Soldier

Bawdy clapping rhyme

Arse sol, arse sol, a soldier I may be
two piss, two piss, two pistols on my knee
fuck you, fuck you, fu-curiousity
so fight for the old cunt, fight for the old cunt,
fight for the old country.

Double This, Double That

Hand clapping rhyme

Double Double
This This
Double Double
That That
Double This
Double That
Double Double This That.
Double Double
Ice Ice
Double Double Cream Cream
Double Double Ice

Double cream,
double, double ice cream.

(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
They’re such a big disgrace
They will tell you anything
to get to second base
baseball baseball
If you don’t go all the way
then you are a whore
the —- studies —
the older studies rock
All guys want from you is a
place to put their cock
roaches, beatles, butterflies and bugs
nothing makes them happier than
a giant pair of jugglers
acrobats and —–
all guys want from you is —–

Boys are cheats & Liars

Down Down Baby

1.10 MB

Body action song that originated with American cult tween film

Down, down, baby, down, down the riverbank
sweet, sweet baby
I’ll never ever let you go
shimmy shimmy
coca pops
shimmy shimmy POW!
shimmy shimmy
cocoa pops
shimmy shimmy

I met a girl friend Marissa
She says to me ‘a la vista’
Walking down the street
ten times a week
I read it, I said it
I stole my mother’s credit
I’m sweet, I’m hot
and that’s what I’ve got!

So Macca Doras

A hand clapping out rhythm aimed at slapping your partners hands with the final count out.

See See My Playmate


Clapping rhymeSee See my playmate
I cannot play with you
My sister’s on the loo
Since 1982.
roll down my rainbow
In to the corridor
and we’ll be friends for ever more more more

My Name is Elli Elli

My name is Elli
Chickili chickili
Oozy oozy
up up up
Down in the dungeon
she’s on crack
cheese on crackers
up up up

My Aunty Anna


A leg split rhyme where the participants have to jump after every verse until the first to fall over.

My Aunty anna
Plays the pia-na
twenty four hours a day

Slime Yuck

Who Broke the Window

Pronouced wind-a
Hand clap rhyme

Who broke the window
You’ll break the window
You broke the window
You’ll break the window

We are the Can Can Girls

We are the Can Can girls
We wear our hair in curls
We don’t smoke or drink
(or that’s what our parent’s think)
we don’t play with toys
we just kiss with boys
We are the Can Can girls
– Of 2005!

Ooh Ahh, I lost my bra

Ooh Ahh, I lost my bra
I lost it in my boyfriend’s car
Why did you leave it there
For I needed some fresh air.


Girls are sexy made out of Pepsi
Boys are rotten, made out of cotten
Girls go to Mars to get more bras
Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider

My Boyfriend Gave me an Apple


My boyfriend gave me an apple
my boyfriend gave me a pair
My boyfriend gave me a kiss on the lips
and I threw him down the stairs
I threw him over London
I threw him over France
I threw him over the Harbour Bridge
and he lost his underpants

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?
tell me – who ain’t saying that it’s Ryan
Tell me – who ain’t saying that it’s Howie
Tell me – I never want to hear you say
Which Backstreet Boy is gay?

Now you can see him,
He’s in women’s clothes
The dog is cheating on me
We are on fire
His back perspires
Which one is that way
Which Backstreet Boy is gay?

Tell me who ain’t saying that it’s Ryan
Tell me who ain’t saying that it’s Howie
Tell me I never want to hear you say
Which Backstreet Boy is gay?
I never want to hear you say
Which backstreet Boy is gay/
– all right – we’re all gay!

Boom Boom Bang Bang

Dick Flop

Action song with insult end