Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Shimmy, Shimmy Ko-Ko-Bop


The subconscious mind is a marvelous mystery. Why? is the question I most often ask myself when that entity serves up yet another riddle. This morning it was the song Shimmy, Shimmy Ko-Ko-Bop going round and round - which I was remembering as Shimmy, shimmy, cocoa pop. Thank goodness for Google which gave me the correct title so I could then look up the lyrics, but couldn't answer my real question which was "Why that song, this day?"
Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko-Ko-Bop was a hit song by Little Anthony and the Imperials released in November, 1959 when I was a junior in high school. I even went back in my diary and found the date when it had been "Tonight's Song" - Thursday, February 11, 1960 - thinking maybe there was something significant about that date which I needed reminding of. Nope. Nada. Pink, *date line, Dear Diary only informed me that I was working on my make-up lessons after being out of school for a week with either scarlatina or strep throat (which I had at least once a year as a youngster). 
You can find the lyrics for Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko-Ko-Bop here. It was one of those fun doo-wop songs. I much preferred their first hit song, Tears On My Pillow.


I'll never know why that song was in my head this morning. Maybe it was just so I would learn this bit of information: When I googled Shimmy, shimmy, cocoa pop - the way I was remembering the song - what I found was that it was based on a child's hand-clapping game, Down Down Baby.

The lyrics cited here are the essential lyrics of the rhyme, and are the lyrics that were featured in a 1980s segment of the US version of Sesame Street.

Down, down, baby
Down, down the roller coaster (accompanied by the hand making a horizontal wave motion)
Sweet, sweet, baby (accompanied by both arms crossing the chest)
I'll never let you go

Shimmy, Shimmy cocoa pop
Shimmy, Shimmy pow
Shimmy, Shimmy cocoa pop
Shimmy, Shimmy pow

Grandma, grandma sick in bed
She called the doctor and the doctor said
Let's get the rhythm of the head, ding dong (rock the head to each side once in time with "ding-dong")
Let's get the rhythm of the head, ding dong (rock the head to each side once in time with "ding-dong")

Let's get the rhythm of the hands (followed by two hand claps)
Let's get the rhythm of the hands (followed by two hand claps)

Let's get the rhythm of the feet (stomp the right foot, then the left)
Let's get the rhythm of the feet (stomp the right foot, then the left)

Let's get the rhythm of the hot dog (place hands on hips and twirl)
Let's get the rhythm of the hot dog (place hands on hips and twirl)

Put it all together and what do you get?
Ding dong (accompanied by head rock), (followed by two claps), (followed by two stomps), hotdog (accompanied by hip twirl)
Put it all backwards and what do you get?
Hotdog (accompanied by hip twirl), (followed by two stomps), (followed by two claps), ding dong (accompanied by head rock)

I never played hand-clapping games as a child, though I think they look like they would have been fun. Just yesterday Bud and I were once again talking about how, whenever we wonder about something, we just look it up and I remarked, "Think how dumb we'd be without the internet." Yep, it can tell me anything except why I was asking the question in the first place.

Shimmy, shimmy, ko-ko bop, shimmy, shimmy bop. Sittin' in a native hut, all alone and blue. Sittin' in a native hut, wonderin' what to do........


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