The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #63097   Message #2499636
Posted By: Azizi
21-Nov-08 - 05:45 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: Do kids still do clapping rhymes?
Subject: RE: Folklore: Do kids still do clapping rhymes?

"Strut Miss Suzie" is also known as "This-a Way Valarie", or at least these two African American and/or Afro-Caribbean singing games are very closely related to each other.

See this YouTube video clip of the 1967 Bill Eberien and Bess Lomax Hawes film "Pizza Pizza Daddy-o" that shows African American girls performing "This-A Way Valerie" and other singing games


Here are the words to that song as captured by that film:


References: Trent-Johns p. 14-17; Abrahams p. 130; Hawes-Jones (Zudie-0). I have also heard a tape of this game being played by Negro children in Austin, Texas. The children habitually played this game all the way through: That is, until everyone, whether skilled or inexpert, had had a turn to dance down between the lines. It is also notable that the basic formation never traveled during play; occasionally, the children, while holding hands during the first verse, would side-step slightly back to their original position. This was always done spontaneously, without direction or discussion.

This-a-way, Valerie,

Valerie, Valerie,

This-a-,gay, Valerie

All day long.

Oh, strut, Miss Lizzie

Lizzie, Lizzie

Strut, Miss Lizzie

All day long.

Oh, here come another one

Just like the other one,

Here come another one

All day long".,201

{Sorry, for some reason, the Mudcat clicky feature isn't working on my computer right now}


Also, here are two other versions of that song with performance instructions:

This Way Valerie
"This game works best with a fairly large group. You will need to have the girls get a buddy and then form 2 lines with the buddies facing each other. As soon as you have them in 2 straight lines they can start singing the song:

This way Valerie, That way Valerie,
This way Valerie all the way home.

Girls join hands with their buddy and sing this part while moving arms in a sawing motion - back and forth

Strut Miss Lucy, strut Miss Lucy,
Strut Miss Lucy all the way home.

Head girl in one line passes between the 2 lines making up any movement she wishes and falls in at the foot of the opposite line

Here comes another one just like the other one.
Here comes another one all the way home.

Buddy of the previous girl copies the movements just done by her buddy as she passes between the 2 lines and then joins the foot of the opposite line.

Both lines move up a wee bit and repeat the song over and over and over again until everyone has had a turn. The girls will eventually start getting quite creative in their actions if you play this many times."


"Strut Miss Lucy (This Way Valerie)
(to the tune of "Shortnin' Bread")

Thanks very much to Jean, Barb, and Gail, who all helped me to piece together this song.

The girls line up in two lines facing each other. Each girl grabs hands with their partner and move arms alternately forward and back while singing the verse:

This way Valerie, that way Valerie,
This way Valerie, all the way home.

Take a couple of steps back and the head couple do the next two verses while everyone else sings and claps their hands. The girl on the right side struts down the line doing any action she wants. When she gets to the ends she joins the line on the left:

Strut Miss Lucy, strut Miss Lucy,
Strut Miss Lucy, all the way home.

The girl on the left copies the actions of the first girl during the next verse and when she gets to the end she joins the line on the right.

Here comes another one, just like the other one,
Here comes another one, all the way home".