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Origin: The Chicken Dance

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HOPELESSLY MIDWESTERN
STRIP POLKA
THE MAN BEHIND THE ARMOR PLATED DESK


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NancyZ 02 Apr 00 - 02:43 PM
Ed Pellow 02 Apr 00 - 02:50 PM
MMario 02 Apr 00 - 02:51 PM
NancyZ 02 Apr 00 - 03:25 PM
harpgirl 02 Apr 00 - 03:49 PM
Barky 02 Apr 00 - 03:56 PM
honestfrankie 02 Apr 00 - 09:21 PM
Jacob B 03 Apr 00 - 11:05 AM
MMario 03 Apr 00 - 11:12 AM
Spider Tom 04 Apr 00 - 03:50 AM
Joe Offer 04 Apr 00 - 04:16 AM
Liz the Squeak 04 Apr 00 - 07:22 AM
Caitrin 04 Apr 00 - 04:49 PM
alison 05 Apr 00 - 03:15 AM
Jacob B 05 Apr 00 - 10:41 AM
alison 05 Apr 00 - 10:47 AM
Snuffy 05 Apr 00 - 01:10 PM
NancyZ 05 Apr 00 - 01:35 PM
Molly Malone 05 Apr 00 - 01:44 PM
SeanM 05 Apr 00 - 01:48 PM
Molly Malone 05 Apr 00 - 01:53 PM
Jacob B 05 Apr 00 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,Dave T 07 Apr 00 - 05:41 AM
Eluned 08 Apr 00 - 01:23 AM
Liz the Squeak 09 Apr 00 - 02:44 AM
Jim Dixon 20 Jan 08 - 04:16 PM
GUEST,oogabooga 30 Jan 08 - 02:30 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Jan 08 - 03:01 PM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Jan 08 - 11:03 PM
GUEST,Bob 23 Apr 10 - 09:40 PM
DonMeixner 23 Apr 10 - 11:15 PM
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Subject: chicken dance tune?
From: NancyZ
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 02:43 PM

Hello all, I'll be teaching folk dances to kids 1st-8th grade. For the little ones I was thinking of the "chicken dance" you know, the one where you flap your arms like a chicken and wiggle your bottom? I can hear the tune in my head but don't know the actual name or where I can find the midi. Any amazing person out there that knows the tune or where I can find it? PS Don't fret, the kids will be taught other great folk dances too with wonderful jigs and reels, but I need a fun easy dance where they don't need to know their right from their left hand!


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Subject: RE: chicken dance song
From: Ed Pellow
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 02:50 PM

Nancy,

You can find the midi here

The kids may never forgive you though!

Ed


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Subject: RE: chicken dance song
From: MMario
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 02:51 PM

I do believe you will find it here:chicken dance

url=http://trillian.mit.edu/~jc/cgi/abc/TuneFind?P=chicken&find=find


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Subject: RE: chicken dance song
From: NancyZ
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 03:25 PM

"Wow that was fast!" crows Nancy. "This place never ceases to amaze me!" Thanks Ed and MMario:) Nancy


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Subject: RE: chicken dance song
From: harpgirl
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 03:49 PM

...I just listened to various renditions of the fiddle tune "Chicken Dance" on JC's tune web, and it's variant "Jenny's Chickens". JC's is in a minor mode and sounds older and almost like a "planxty" after a good meal. The Chicken Dance sounds like a polka, a later version of an older tune perhaps?? What do our scholars know? And Jeri, could you play it on hearme sometime? It's a lively and amusing tune!


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Subject: RE: chicken dance song
From: Barky
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 03:56 PM

"I don't wanna be a chicken, I don't wanna be a duck, so I shake my butt! Quack quack quack quack. I don't wanna be a chicken, I don't wanna be a duck, so I shake my butt! Quack quack quack quack." That's about it, over and over and over and over and over and over.... I think you get the point.....

~Barky


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Subject: RE: chicken dance song
From: honestfrankie
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 09:21 PM

Don't teach the children this song or a whole new generation of wedding attendees and Octoberfest celebrants will be requesting this song of the bands playing for them!!No,no....


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Subject: RE: chicken dance song
From: Jacob B
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 11:05 AM

In spite of the fact that the dance is universally known as "the chicken dance" in the U.S.A., it is NOT a chicken dance! It is a DUCK dance! The words are in French, and the title of the song is "Les Canards", which means "The Ducks."

I wish I knew where to direct you to find a copy of the French lyrics and authorship information. If I find that information, I'll post it here.

Also, I hope you're giving thought to teaching different dances to different grades. I can imagine first and second graders loving the dance, but I can't imagine seventh and eighth graders having the same reaction.


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Subject: RE: chicken dance song
From: MMario
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 11:12 AM

you haven't seen an entire auditorium of middle school students screaming for this dance, then? *rhetorical question* I have. It's not a pretty sight.


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Subject: RE: chicken dance song
From: Spider Tom
Date: 04 Apr 00 - 03:50 AM

Here are my brand new set of words for the chicken dance
The lyrics are multi functional,they also provide the answer to the age old quastion;"Why did the chicken cross the road?"
The reply is, of course,"To get into a stew."

SPIDER TOMS'CHICKEN DANCE

Little chicken did a dance
Little chicken took a chance
Just to get across the road
Didn't look before he go'ed
First he danced across a car
And it knocked him very far
But what really made him cuss
He was flattened by a bus
Now he's stew, he's tasty duck-stew
Someone, scraped him off the street
Duck, when tenderised, by tyres
Is a hasty, tasty, treat.


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Subject: RE: chicken dance song
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Apr 00 - 04:16 AM

OK, there's gotta be a good story behind this song, and I wanna hear it. Where's it come from? I've always assumed it's German, despite Jacob's allegations to the contrary. I'm surprised that I didn't learn this as a kid in Milwaukee - I learned it at a parents' dance at a Catholic school in California.
-Joe Offer-

Alison, Click here for an exciting Chicken Dance video


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Subject: RE: chicken dance song
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 04 Apr 00 - 07:22 AM

Sounds great - better let the SO learn it so he can teach it to his barn dance band!!

Ever thought of following it up with other chicken related tunes, like Chicken in the Straw?

Could this spawn a whole link of poultry related tunes? Please??

LTS


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Subject: RE: chicken dance song
From: Caitrin
Date: 04 Apr 00 - 04:49 PM

The Chicken Dance...lots of fun, as long as you're willing to look a bit silly. : ) Have a good time with your teaching!


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Subject: RE: chicken dance song
From: alison
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 03:15 AM

when it was released in the UK it was under the title of "The Birdie Song"....

strange thing is .. when you played it in the UK it cleared the dance floors.. when you play it in Oz... they all rush out onto the floor to dance.....

thanks for the site Joe.....

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: chicken dance song
From: Jacob B
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 10:41 AM

Did "The Birdie Song" version have any lyrics? The only version I've heard with lyrics is "Les Canards". I've been told that's the original version (of both the song and the dance), but if there really is more than one version of the song, then it should be possible to compare publication dates on them.


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Subject: RE: chicken dance song
From: alison
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 10:47 AM

I don't remember "the birdie song" having any lyrics... apart from drunks doing " na na na na" during the middle bit.... we sing

with a little bit of this
and a little bit of that
and shake your bum

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: chicken dance song
From: Snuffy
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 01:10 PM

with a little bit of this
and a little bit of that
and shake your bum
bum bum bum bum

repeat ad nauseam

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: chicken dance song
From: NancyZ
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 01:35 PM

Hello, Great responses! Actually, was told it was a German dance and the tune is a Polka. But I'm certain it traveled all over Europe and across the Atlantic to America in all its glory!

I'll be teaching this dance to the little ones, but I'm in California and when I learned this dance we had no problem getting adults out on the floor to "groove" to this one:) We just have no inhibitions or regard for our pride here in Northern California! Thanks for all the responses and I'll keep an eye out for "Les Canards." Cheers,Nancy


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Subject: RE: chicken dance song
From: Molly Malone
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 01:44 PM

I lived in Spain growing up and I learned it as The Bird Dance.


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Subject: RE: chicken dance song
From: SeanM
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 01:48 PM

Coming from an attendee of many, many "Oktoberfests" (in quotes, 'cause the one thing they AREN'T is a real Octoberfest), The Chicken Dance falls under the 5-7 Beer range.

Simply stated, it's a scale that we all have on how many beers it takes to (willingly, without coercion either financial or physical) either dance the dance or sing the song. By comparison, "The Unicorn" is normally about a 3-4 beer, The Mexican Hat Dance is usually a 3-4 shot (using Tequila in deference to gringoized tradition), and "Stairway to Heaven" is about 30-50 beers, with a call made to the ER for admission for alcohol poisoning.

Not that I suggest teaching the kids this part... they'll discover it themselves all too soon...

M


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Subject: RE: chicken dance song
From: Molly Malone
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 01:53 PM

This (click) you gotta see! midi included.


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Subject: RE: chicken dance song
From: Jacob B
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 01:59 PM

Molly Malone's comment about learning the dance while growing up in Spain makes me wonder how old it is. I don't think I heard it before I visited France in 1985. Does anyone remember having heard it earlier than that?


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Subject: Add: My Aunt Came Back
From: GUEST,Dave T
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 05:41 AM

I have sung the chicken dance for many dances and I just don't get why people like it.
It does fill up 5 minutes at the end of the night which is no bad thing for a band that is feeling a bit tired.

I like My Aunt Came Back Better

Oh my Aunt came back from Tokyo Japan and she brought with her a waving fan.
( Start waving your hand)
Oh my Aunt came back from old Algiers and she brought with her some clipping shears.
(Start clipping your hand too)
Oh my Aunt came back from Timbuktu and she brought with her a wooden shoe.
(Start lifting your shoe too)
Oh my Aunt came back from salt lake Eyre and she brought with her a rocking chair.
(Start rocking back and forward too)
Oh my Aunt came back from Guadalope and she brought with her a hoola hoop.
(Start circling your hips as well)
Oh my Aunt came back from Taronga Zoo and she brought with her some monkeys like you
(Point at all the people moving strangely)

It works with kids, it can't be too bad.


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Subject: RE: chicken dance song
From: Eluned
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 01:23 AM

This song, then, is a fowl canard!!

(Hee-hee! Sorry folks, I couldn't resist!! ...besides, after that animated chicken dance Molly Malone found, who could complain!! [but I like the hamsterdance better])


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Subject: RE: chicken dance song
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 02:44 AM

Hey, if you liked the hamster dance, you'll love http://users.arn.net/~bdedek/nutsac/ - have fun!!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Chicken Dance
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 04:16 PM

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_Dance.
    The "Chicken Dance" is an oom-pah song composed by Swiss accordion (Handharmonika) player Werner Thomas from Davos, Switzerland in the 1950s and the corresponding fad dance.

    This is not the same dance as "The Chicken" popular in American rhythm and blues in the 1950s, in which the dancers flapped their arms and kicked back their feet in an imitation of a chicken.

    History

    The name of the original Swiss song was "Der Vogerltanz" (The Bird Dance). Since 1963 Werner Thomas had played it in restaurants and hotels. During one of Thomas' performances, Belgian producer Louis van Rijmenant heard the song. Van Rijmenant had some lyrics created and in 1970 released it to the public, without much success. In 1980, Dutch local band "De Electronica's" released an instrumental version, which became a hit, and started the international success of the song. On some recorded releases of the music Werner Thomas is listed as the composer, while on others other authors are listed, e.g., as "Thomas/Rendall/Hose", probably including the authors of the particular arrangement. Since then the song has become known under numerous other "birdie" names, including "Vogerltanz" (Bird Dance), "Danse des Canards", "Chicken Dance" and "Dance Little Bird". Over 140 versions of it are recorded worldwide, including Walt Disney Records, together making over 40,000,000 records.

    The dance was introduced in the United States in 1981 during the Tulsa, Oklahoma, Oktoberfest by the Heilbronn Band from Germany. They wanted to demonstrate the dance in costume, but there were no duck costumes available anywhere near Tulsa. At a local television station, however, a chicken costume was available which was donated for use at the festival, giving the "Chicken Dance" its name.[citation needed]

    In 1981 a version of the "Chicken Dance" was released in Britain as an instrumental novelty tune "The Birdie Song" by The Tweets. Adapted (per some accounts) by Mike Rae, an Aberdeen-based bass player, it reached number two in the singles chart in October 1981.[1][2] In 2000, this version was voted as "the most annoying song of all time" in a poll commissioned for the website dotmusic.[2]

    In 1982 it was introduced to the USA on Nationwide TV's PM Magazine Show (produced by Group W Productions of San Francisco) by Wisconsin Orchestra leader Norm Edlebeck as the "Chicken Dance". Despite other claims as to the name "Chicken Dance", the name had come about because an Austrian tour guide translated "Bird Dance / Dance Little Bird" and other similar names, from German to English by calling it "The Chicken Dance" when Norm Edlebeck's Band appeared in Austria in the fall of 1981[citation needed]. Edlebeck recorded it on the "End of The Trail" record label and used his nickname "Whoopee" as the artist. Group W Productions repeated it again nationwide on August 9th, 1983 and included Edlebeck's picture in their weekly ad slick sent to every station in their network for publication in TV Guide. Group W titled the segment the "World's Stupidest Dance".[citation needed]

    The most popular version[citation needed] was recorded by the Emeralds and released on K-Tel records in 1981. The LP "Bird Dance" sold millions of copies in the first year. It has become a standard request at weddings and family gatherings.

    Contrary to some misconceptions, it is not an Austrian folk dance, although it was presented as one in the Austrian film Das Fest des Huhnes.

    In the United States, the publishing rights for the song were acquired by a New York publisher Stanley Mills.[citation needed]

    In Denmark, a version of this song is used by the brewery Tuborg in their commercials for their "Easter Brew" ("Pĺskebryg" in Danish).[citation needed]

    In 1970 Willie Henderson and The Soul Explosions released an LP called Funky Chicken in which Willie is seen doing the chicken dance on the psychedelic cover.[citation needed]

    In 1995 the Brave Combo recorded a rock/ska version.

    Dance steps

    The "Chicken Dance" song is accompanied by a dance requiring a group of people, and it goes as follows:
    • At the start of the music, shape a chicken beak with your hands. Open and close it four times, during the first four beats of the music.
    • Make chicken wings with your arms. Flap your wings four times, during the next four beats of the music.
    • Make a chicken's tail feathers with your arms and hands. Wiggle downwards during the next four beats of the music.
    • Clap four times during the next four beats of the music.
    • Repeat this process four times.
    • At the bridge, hold your arms straight, in imitation of an aeroplane. All dancers spin around the room in "flight" until the bridge ends.
    • (Alternately: At the bridge, link arms with the nearest person, turn right eight steps, switch arms and turn left eight steps, then repeat until the bridge ends)
    • The dance repeats, progressively getting faster and faster, until the music stops.

    This song in other languages
    • Bulgarian: Патешкият танц
    • Czech: Ptačí tanec (kuřátka)
    • Dutch: De Vogeltjesdans
    • Estonian: Tibutants
    • Finnish: Tiputanssi
    • French: La danse des canards
    • German: Vogerltanz, Ententanz
    Gestern Abend im Verein, (Last night at the club,)
    Gestern Abend im Verein, (Last night at the club,)
    Trank ich zuviel roten Wein... (I drank too much red wine.)
    • Greek: Ta papakya stee seera (Gr. Τα παπάκια στη σειρά - the little ducks are in a row)
    • Hebrew: ריקוד הציפורים (Rikud Ha'Tsiporim) - The Bird Dance
    • Hungarian: Kacsatánc (Release after the Spanish version)
    • Icelandic: Fugladansinn
    • Italian: Il ballo del qua qua
    • Japanese: Okashi Tori (The Crazy Bird)
    • Korean: 모두가 천사라면 (Moduga cheonsaramyeon - If Everybody Were Angels)
    • Lithuanian: Ančiukų ?okis (Duckling Dance)
    • Norwegian: Fugledansen
    • Portuguese: Passarinho quer dançar
    • Polish: Kaczuszki (Duckies)
    • Romanian: Gaina (The hen)
    • Russian: Танец маленьких утят
    • Slovene: Račke (Ducks)
    • Spanish: Pajaritos a bailar / El baile de los pajaritos / Pajaritos a volar
    Y el mundo a bailar. (And the whole world dancing.)

    • Swedish: Fĺgeldansen ("The Bird Dance", although sometimes called "Kycklingdansen" - "The Chicken Dance". The English title "Chicken Dance" is also sometimes used.)
    • In 1981 in the UK, known as "The Birdie Dance", performed to a song called "The Birdie Song", performed by "The Tweets".
    • The tune for the birdie song can be heard as the first theme in the third movement of William Alwyn's Concerto Grosso No.1 in B flat major of 1943.
    Notable performances

    At the Cincinnati Oktoberfest on September 20, 2004, rock musician Vince Neil served as the Grand Marshall of the World's Largest Chicken Dance. The U.S. cable television channel VH1, in its compilation of the 40 Least Metal Moments panned this performance as the single least metal moment in Heavy Metal history.[3]

    The Chicken Dance is featured in Judson Laipply's Evolution of Dance.

    Parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic played the accordion at the world's largest Chicken Dance in history. He later used the Chicken Dance to begin his 2006 polka medley, "Polkarama!" from his album Straight Outta Lynwood, and uses the song as the concert opener on the tour promoting Lynwood. Also, the choreography is seen in the video for "Smells Like Nirvana", performed by the cheerleaders.


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Chicken Dance
From: GUEST,oogabooga
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 02:30 PM

wheres the lyrics


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Chicken Dance
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 03:01 PM

No lyrics originally.

See (ugh!!) on Lawrence Welk show: Chickens

A more upbeat rendering here!
chicken dance


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Chicken Dance
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 11:03 PM

My brother used to tune pianos for a piano and organ dealer in Milwaukee named Bob Kames. Bob Kames used to say that he wrote The Chicken Dance.

His claim seems to be substantiated by this page:

http://www.rhapsody.com/bobkames/250450_thechickendance


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Chicken Dance
From: GUEST,Bob
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 09:40 PM

The best recording is on Satril SA 1006 titled:
Dance Little Bird (Birdie Song) (W. Thomas F. Randall)
The Tweets Produced by Henry Hadaway for Satril/Alymatt Music
The Tweets were four musicians represented on the record sleve as Tubby Tweet, Twicky Tweet and I forget the other two. They were in bird costume of different colors. Bob sends...:-)


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Chicken Dance
From: DonMeixner
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 11:15 PM

The Chicken Dance originated in the mind of a deviant and a criminal.

D


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