The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #81350   Message #1503339
Posted By: Azizi
17-Jun-05 - 08:15 PM
Thread Name: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
"Slap Billyola" is a group elimination handclap game that I first heard about from my daughter and her friends in Pittsburgh, PA in the 1980s. However, I believe from reading Internet websites on games that this game and similar group handclap games -Strolla Ola Ola" and "Stella Ola Ola" are widely known.

Here are the words:

Slap Billyola
slap, slap, slap. [these words are said]
Sandarico, rico, rico, rico *
With ah 1-2-3-4-5!


Performance instructions:

The group forms a wide circle. Before beginning, the group [or one strong personality in the group] decides which number to end the rhyme with {for instance, "#5" in the example above}. Actually though if the group is used to ending this rhyme with the number '5", there is seldom any discussion about which number is going to be the end number.

All children stand in place. In clockwise order, on the beat, one child at a time lightly slaps the hand of the child standing to his right. The person whose hand is slapped on the end number is "Out". Of course, some children try to move their hand out the way, so it won't be hit for that end number, but there is really no way to avoid it. When there are two children remaining, they each take turns slapping the others hand which each word. The person whose hand is slapped on the last number "Loses" and the remaining person is "The Winner".

* I wonder if "sandarico" is folk etymology for the unfamiliar Spanish word "senorita".


STROLLA OLA OLA is played ** the same way. Here are the words to that game:
Strolla ola ola
Slap, slap, slap.
With ah "s" cheeka cheeka
cheeka cheeka flap jack.
Fah lay, fah lay
Fahlay, fahlay , fahlay
With ah 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 *


BTW, these elimination handclap games are "played" by both girls and boys together. I've never seen boys play them separatedly,but I've seen girls do so.

** Children usually don't say that they 'play' these games. They say that they 'do' these games. They usually just refer to the words to the songs by their specific names {for example, they say "Let's do "Stola Ola Ola" and not "Let's do a handclap game"}. If children use any other group referent for the words, it is 'song' or cheer' and not 'rhyme'.

And another thing-when I was growing up I NEVER heard these rhymes or their handclap activity called 'handjive'. No African American child or youth who I have ever interviewed or met with in after-school programming ever used the term "handjive". And no African American adult who I interviewed about their play experience EVER indicated that they used this term.

Of course, I've only interviewed about 200 or so African Americans in Pittsburgh and about that number elsewhere, and I wouldn't hesitate to state without any hesitation that we don't use the term 'handjive" to descrive either the rhymes or their performance.

But it's no biggie what you call it. Doing it is what's fun...


Click HERE for a Mudcat thread on Strolla Ola Ola/Stella Ola Ola.

Azizi Powell