Saturday, February 02, 2008

Children's songs

In the UK, the kids' song "The Hokey Pokey" is known as "The Hokey Cokey", and has some different variations on the lyrics. The Wikipedia article outlines the differences world-wide, so it's a good reference to check out.

The main difference between the version over here and the one that I grew up with is that limbs are put in and out more than once, and more quickly. So, a Hokey Pokey verse would go like:
You put your right leg in,
You put your right leg out,
You put your right leg in
And you shake it all about.
You do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around.
And that's what it's all about.
All at a pretty mellow pace.

The versions I've heard over here go:
You put your right leg in,
Your right leg out,
In, out, in, out
Shake it all about
You do the Hokey Cokey and you turn around
That's what it's all about.
That "in, out, in, out" bit makes you move faster, so if you're on one leg it would take better balance.

There's also a variation on the chorus in some parts of the UK as well that I've only seen on TV and you can read about in the Wikipedia article (see The Dance in the UK section). The article also mentions later a German parody of the song done by comedian Bill Bailey that's pretty funny (and links to a YouTube video) and it was in viewing this version and translating it back to English that I first realized that the song was different over here and then asked my friends about it.

Another kid's song that is sped up in its UK incarnation is the old "Head and shoulders, knees and toes" one. The words are the same for the first "verse", but done faster - at least twice as fast, if not three times. The last bit, which I know as "eyes, ears, mouth and nose" is changed slightly, I think there's maybe a chin mentioned instead of ears, but I'm not sure. Since the song involves bending to touch your knees and toes and is done faster, it is more exercise over here than the lazily-done Canadian one.

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