The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #119441   Message #2591017
Posted By: Azizi
17-Mar-09 - 10:55 AM
Thread Name: Homophobia in Playground Rhymes
Subject: RE: Homophobia in Playground Rhymes
Emma and Nigel, were those "Whoops, I'm a fairy" parodies sung by children without any accompanying body motions like hand clapping or jumping rope (skipping rope)?

Btw, at least the short form of the "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky" rhyme (those examples without the Michael Jackson verses) appear to be part of a category of hand clap rhymes that are played by boys & girls together.

Here's one example of the short form of these rhymes:

Down by the banks of the hanky-panky
where the bullfrogs jump from bank to banky
With the heaps, hops, soda pops,
Jumped on a lillypad and went kerplop!
At "Kerplop" the object of the game is to be the first to smack the other person's forehead.
- diana, 11/2/2005; ; "Schoolyard Games"

Here's one long form example of this rhyme that isn't insulting, and doesn't include any Michael Jackson verses:

down by the banks of the hanky panky
wear the bull frogs jump form bakn to bany
where hip hops soda pops
hey mr. willy and he went kerplop
here comes noah walking in the dark
he stepped on a hammer and he built an ark
animals came by two by two
a hungry hippo and a kangaroo
-socalgal89; 6/16/2005; ; "Schoolyard Games"


The short versions of this family of rhymes appear to be chanted by a wide age range of male and female children, teens, as well as adults. Imo, the mildly competitive performance activity is what makes these rhymes so appealing to such a wide age range of males & females. Males who wouldn't be caught dead playing hand clap rhymes also appear to go along with (if not initiate) other circle hand clap games which are mildly competitive such as "Stella Ella Ola" and "Quack Diddly Oso" (or similar sounding names). Here's a link to the Mudcat thread for
Kids chant Stella Ola Ola / Stella Ella Ola

In contrast, most of the longer versions of these "Hanky Panky" rhymes are non-competitive.

I believe that the longer the version of "Down By The Banks of The Hanky Panky", the less likely it will be that boys will be involved in the chanting or the performance activity. Imo, the long form versions of these rhymes are more likely to be chanted and peformed by girls (ages 7-12) while they perform partner (or three or four person) hand clap routines (games).