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Clap and rhyme

Mother and child reunion
Click for bigger picture
Clapping and rhyming
Contributed by Streetplay member LoriB

Oh little Playmate
come out and play with me
and bring your dollies three,
climb up my apple tree,
holler down my rainbarrel
slide down my cellar door
and we'll be jolly friends forever more.

No, no, no playmate, I cannot play with you
my dollies have the flu,
boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo,
ain't got no rain barrel,
ain't got no cellar door,
but we'll be jolly friends forever more.

Waiting on line at camp, sitting on the stoop, waiting to go into school, anytime we had time, we could break into a clapping rhyme. Boys had to carry a ball, but for us no equipment was required. All you needed was a friend who either knew the rhymes and moves or was willing to learn them.

Each rhyme had its own variations, where you'd pat your shoulders, hands or thighs and clap hands with your partner. One or two hands at a time, backs of hands, palms, double claps, hands up, hands down, all the little variations that made each song distinct. You'd play and play, trying to get faster both in the song and claps

Girls still play, reciting some of the same old rhymes with some new rhymes added in. Do you remember:

Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack,
All dressed in black, black, black,
With silver buttons, buttons, buttons
All down her back, back, back
She asked her mother, mother, mother,
For fifty cents, cents, cents,
To see the elephants, elephants, elephants,
Jump over the fence, fence, fence,
They went so high, high, high
They reached the sky, sky, sky
They never came back, back, back,
Till The Fourth of July, ly, ly.


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