The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #91948   Message #1753010
Posted By: Azizi
04-Jun-06 - 08:17 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Kid's rhymes: Big Mac, Coca Cola & more
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kid's rhymes: Big Mac, Coca Cola & more
Off topic comments:

Mo the caller, if I understood your post correctly, "Ram Sam Sam" is the song that you believe that every English child 2 year old and up knows or knew in your childhood, and that version of "Hey diddle diddle" that you posted after that sentence is from your sister's London childhood. Is that right?

Well, I know that first verse of version of "Hey Diddle Diddle" with the 'sport' word. But I've never heard or seen the second verse.

And I have never heard of "Ram Sam Sam" before this thread. Also, my 33 year old daugther had never heard of it before. She has taught in a large urban, almost all African American public school for 10 years. And she said that she is almost 100% sure that the students in her school don't know "Ram Sam Sam".

I also asked her did she or her students know "Ging Gang Gooli," a song that seems to be sung by kids in the same 'circles' as "Ram Sam Sam". She said that she only knows that song because I have asked her about it before.

Of course, this is totally unscientific. But my daughter and I have done cultural programs on game songs, rhymes, and cheers for almost 10 years now in the Pittsburgh, Pa area. Our focus populations are mostly Black children's groups. In addition to these one time formal presentations, we've both worked with ongoing groups of elementary school age girls & boys. These groups are also African American.
Given these activities, and other activities, we both are alert to the game songs and rhymes children around us 'sing' and 'do'.

Since an integral part of our presentations is asking the children to share what 'songs' they know, it seems likely that somewhere along the way, we would have heard these two songs if they were known to our focus population.

However, it should also be said that we have only presented our game song program at a Boy Scout and Campfire organization one time each, and we've not presented that program at any Girl Scout organization. So maybe we would have heard "Ram Sam Sam" and "Ging Gang Goolee" at those venues.

Btw, when I googled "Ging Gang Goolee" I found an example of that song on a website of a Boy Scout troup in Beaver Falls, PA. Beaver Falls is not far from Pittsburgh, and it is an integrated community. But if I were a betting woman, I'd bet that troup was made up of White boys or predominately White boys.

It's my personal opinion, and that of my school teacher daughter, that "Ram Sam Sam" and "Ging Gang Gollee" songs don't conform to Black American [if not other Black] preferences for the lyrics and accompanying movements of children's rhymes. For instance, we don't think that they either of these songs are percussive enough. Also, we felt that many African American children would quickly tire of the repetitive nonsense or unfamiliar words or sounds in both the songs.

In addition, I think that the inclusion of the word "gang" in "Ging Gang Gollee" might cause adults to view that song with suspicion.
Furthermore, the name "Shayla" is relatively common among post 1980s African American girls. One form of this name is "LaShay" {and there are countless other "la" names and "Shay" names, mostly female.
I think kids try to make sense out of non-sense words. Since "Hey la Shay la" sounds like it might be 'talkin about' a girl name "Shay" or "LaShay", I could see this song causing trouble to those who might sing it. For example I can imagine some girl sayin to another "Who you think you are callin me out of my name?" And then it might go downhill from there.

Of course, I might be wrong about some or all of these comments.

But I might not be.