Hokey Pokey (II)
DESCRIPTION: "You put your right arm in, You put your right arm out, In, out, in, out, Shake it all about; You do the hokey pokey And you turn yourself around, And that's what it's all about"
EARLIEST DATE: 1903 (ewell)
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South))
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Opie-Game 110, "Okey Kokey" (1 text, 1 tune)
Newell, #68, "RIght Elbow In" (1 text)
Jack, p. 249, "The Hokey Cokey" (1 text)
cf. "Looby Lou" (text) and references there
The Cokey Cokey
NOTES: The words in the description, above, are usually associated with "Looby Lou."
"The buyers of so-called penny ices sold in the London Streets during the summer months are charged only a halfpenny; and the numerous vendors, usually Italians, need no cry... Parti-coloured Neapolitan ices, vended by unmistakeable natives of Whitechapel or the New Cut, whose curious cry of ''Okey Poke' originated no one knows how, have lately appeared in the streets. Hoke Pokey is of a firmer make and probably stiffer material than the penny ice of the Italians .... (source: Andrew W. Tuer, Old London Street Cries (London, 1885 ("Digitized by Google")), p. 58). I have seen speculation that "Hokey Pokey" derives from "hokus pokus." - BS
Although the Opies call this "Okey Kokey," I have filed it under the name which was inflicted upon us in elementary school, since presumably I wasn't the only victim. Yes, this was a REQUIRED school activity. I don't know exactly when we were first forced to play it, but it was in my elementary school, which means 1972 or earlier. Don't ask me why we were pushed into it; I can only say that I hated this thing with a passion. And I never in my life saw any child play it on the playgrounds; it was something shoved at us in gym class. Talk about ruining a tradition!
According to Jack, p. 250, "The general belief is that Charles Macak, Tafit Baker, and Larry LaPrise wrote the American version of the song, 'The Hokey Pokey," in 1949 to entertain skiers at the Sun Valley resort in Idaho, USA." He goes on to list others who had claimed rights to the source song. - RBW
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