Music: "The Clapping Song," Shirley Ellis (1965)

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Such a great song.

Thanks, Jason. Even though I have this tune in my collection, it was a great wake-up call this morning.

I remember this record coming out while I was in second grade, and it was an instant classic on the playground for recess activities (jump-rope, clapping games, etc.). We DID have a teacher who was concerned that we were singing about “wine”, but of course it was a GOOSE drinking the wine, so that was okay. Although, growing up in the Midwest, it took us awhile to figure out the pronunciation of “auntie”, and determined that it must be a “New York” thing.

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My 22-month-old has already memorized the “3-6-9, the goose drank wine, the monkey chewed tobaccy on the streetcar line” bit, although out-of-context, we often get confused when she starts shouting “Tree Shix Niiiiine!!!” at us. Now we just need to teach her the dance moves.*

I’ve also always liked Tom Waits’s song Clap Hands, and I guess he used to often start out his live sets with spoken-word versions of this.

* Edit: That said, I was then curious as to what the dance described was — i.e. all the “Clap pat! clap your hand, cross it with your left arm, pat your partner left palm…” Trawling through dozens of YouTube videos, I can’t find one where anyone dances the song as described.

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This sounds like a rope-skipping song.

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