Saturday, October 15, 2011

Clapping Games I Used to Play

Way back in the 20th century when I was in elementary school at good old Burnside Elementary in Norristown, PA, me and my friends would play clapping games. I remember several of them, it's hard to forget like lyrics to a song, if you start doing it, it just comes back! I thought I'd take the time to document the variants that we used at Burnside. Some of them are well-known enough that they have their own pages on Wikipedia! Some not so much, I found variants on people's personal pages or on list forums, but no official documentation.

I remember the clapping games the best, I know we used sing-song stuff for playing jumprope, London Bridge, and some sort of game using long bamboo-like sticks where we'd be kneeling with a girl at each end, holding a stick in each hand and we'd bang them on the ground and together in rhythm to whatever our song was.

Anyway, here's what I remember below. I apologize ahead of time, a couple lyrics here and there aren't that nice, but I'm being true to my memory of what we used. At the time, I was utterly clueless as to what I was saying!!

For those of you that might research folk songs and clapping games, these variations of the songs were sung in the late 1970s at Burnside Elementary, Norristown, Montgomery County, PA. The school has since been torn down, a shame, it was a beautiful red brick building. Anyway, here's the one's I remember!

Miss Mary Mack

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 mother, mother, mother
For fifteen cents, cents, cents
To see the animals, animals, animals
Jump over the fence, fence, fence.

They jumped so high, high, high
Right into the sky, sky, sky
They never came back, back, back
Poor Mary Mack Mack Mack!

Miss Susie

Miss Susie had a steamboat
The steamboat had a bell
Miss Susie went to heaven
The steamboat went to...

Hello Operator
Give me number nine
And if you disconnect me
I'll spank your...

Behind the 'frigerator
There was a piece of glass
Miss Susie sat upon it
And broke her little...

Ask me no more questions
And tell me no more lies
The boys are in the locker
Pulling down their...

Flies are in the meadow
Bees are in the park
Miss Susie's in the driveway,
Kissing in the

See See My Playmate

See, See my playmate
Come out and play with me
And bring your dollies three
Climb up my apple tree
Slide down my rainbow slide
Into my cellar door
And we'll be jolly friends
forever more - more - more!

See See My Enemy

See, See my enemy
Come out and fight with me
And bring your enemies three
Climb up my poison tree
Slide down my spider slide
Into my dungeon door
And we'll be jolly enemies
forever more - more - more!

Winston Tastes Good

Winston tastes good
Like a cigarette should
Winston tastes good
Like an ooh aih
Have a piece of pie
Pie too sweet
Have a piece of meat
Meat too tough
Ride on a bus
Bus too full
Ride on a bull
Bull too black
Want your money back
Money too green
Eat a jellybean
Bean too red
Climb in bed
Bed too hard
You're a retard
Now count to 10
And if you miss
You try again

I'm not sure what this next one is called, it seems to be a variation of a clapping game called "Rockin Robin" but our words were definitely different than the standard variety out there when I searched on the internet. And yes, looking at this now, I CANNOT BELIEVE we were running around singing this during recess!!! Obviously this is one my Mom did not want to hear me singing:

Swing swing swing
To the limbo tree, hey hey!
Rockin' and a-rollin'
All night long
Huffin' and a-puffin'
A a-singin' that song
All the little girlies
On Happy Days
Love to see the Fonzie
Goin' Hey Hey Hey
Rockin' robin tweet tweet tweet
Rockin' robin tweet tweet tweet
Momma's in the kitchen cooking rice
Daddy's in the elevator shootin' the dice
Brother's in jail
Raisin' hail
Sister's on the corner
Sellin' fruit - cock - tail
Rockin' robin tweet tweet tweet
Rockin' robin tweet tweet tweet
Momma's on the top
Daddy's down below
Baby's in the middle
Sayin' Get it Pop
Get it Pop
Get it get it get it get it get it Pop!

OMG, can you believe it! If I heard my 4th grader singing that I'd freak! lol!


  1. I remember you doing them with friends. I don't recall hearing all the lyrics otherwise would have stepped in!!

  2. Haaa! I love that your clapping game was sponsored by Winston cigarettes.