The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #73808   Message #1283942
Posted By: Azizi
29-Sep-04 - 08:34 AM
Thread Name: Jody's children - kids' rhymes from military chant
Subject: RE: Jody's children - kids' rhymes from military c
Thanks Joe.

When I read this chant, I sing-songed it to the Hambone beat which I guess makes sense given Bo Diddley's use of the traditional Hambone {pattin Juba} beat.

Yesterday I went to an ice cream party that my daughter held for her 2nd grade class. After we had eaten, I asked the children did they know any cheers or rhymes. Some girls in the class responded by doing cheerleader cheers and some of the boys showed off their dancing ability}. Then I asked the class if they knew specific rhymes. One of the rhymes that I asked about was "Mama,Mama Can't You See". Two girls {7 & 8 years old) performed a semi-competitive handclap rhyme while they chanted these words in unison:
The girls then did a fast hand slapping routine. The girl who did the routine with the wrong motion, or moved her hand back {presumably because the slap hurt) was "out" and the other one "won", although the girls didn't say "Winner!" or "Gotcha!".

In the two other versions that I had collected of "Mama Mama Can't you see", the girls said "Barney got killed by GI Joe". But, at least with these two girls, that line was changed to "your mama.." I asked them to slowly repeat the words so I could make sure that I had gotten them right". As you know, "ya mama" insults are a central part of The Dozens.., but here they were just part of the chant, and not used to test someone's cool.

I still would love to know if "Mama Mama can't you see" is {or was}part of the US army's Jody military chants.

On another note, I remember singing this song as a child in Atlantic City, New Jersey:

Does this sound familiar to anyone? Is it from an army chant?