DESCRIPTION: "Here we go Looby Lou, Here we go Looby Lou, Here we go Looby Lou, Lou, Lou, All on a Saturday night." "I put my right hand in, I put my right hand out, I give my right hand shakey-shake-shake And I turn myself about."
EARLIEST DATE: 1870 (Chambers)
KEYWORDS: dancing playparty
FOUND IN: Britain(England,Scotland(High)) US(Ap,MW,NE,SE,So) Ireland New Zealand
REFERENCES (14 citations):
Flanders/Brown-VermontFolkSongsAndBallads, pp. 192-193, "Looby Low" (1 text)
Linscott-FolkSongsOfOldNewEngland, pp. 23-26, "I Put My Little Hand In" (1 text, 1 tune)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5, p. 538, "Looby Loo" (1 short text, 1 tune)
Randolph 554, "Loupy Lou" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Courlander-NegroFolkMusic, p. 157, "(Loop de Loo)" (1 text)
Opie/Opie-TheSingingGame pp. 392-395, ("Here We Dance Lubin Loo") (1 text)
Morris-FolksongsOfFlorida, #135, "Lubin" (1 text, 1 tune)
Spurgeon-WaltzTheHall-AmericanPlayParty, pp. 135-136, "Looby Loo" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sutton-Smith-NZ-GamesOfNewZealandChilden/FolkgamesOfChildren, pp. 20-21, "Baloo baloo balight" (1 text)
Baring-Gould-AnnotatedMotherGoose #637, p. 252, "(Now we dance looby, looby, looby)"
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 387, "Her We Go Looby Loo" (1 text)
JournalOfAmericanFolklore, Leah Rachel Clara Yoffie, "Three Generations of Children's Singing Games in St. Louis," Vol. LX, No. 235 (Jan 1947), #51 p. 43 ("Here we go Looby Lou") (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Robert Chambers, The Popular Rhymes of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1870 ("Digitized by Google")), pp. 137-139, "Hinkumbooby"
Edward W.B. Nicholson, editor, Golspie: Contributions to its Folklore (London, 1897 ("Digitized by Google")), pp. 176-184,206, "Hilli Ballu" (15 texts, 1 tune)
ST R554 (Partial)
Children of Lilly's Chapel School, "Loop de Loo (Loobie Loo)" (on NFMAla6, RingGames1)
Pete Seeger, "Here We Go Looby-Loo" (on PeteSeeger21)
cf. "Okey Kokey" (text)
Here We Go Looby Lou
Here We Dance Lubin, Lubin
NOTES [204 words]: This would seem to be the ancestor of the infamous Hokey-Pokey, perhaps urban America's only surviving singing game. But I don't know if the song was rewritten along the way.
Linscott-FolkSongsOfOldNewEngland reports the "Looby Loo" title as "a corruption of lupin,' the word for 'leaping,' for the game takes the form of animal antics."
Richard Greene, editor, A Selection of English Carols, Clarendon Medieval and Tudor Series, Oxford/Clarendon Press, 1962, pp. 49-50, regards this as a survival of the traditional carols. I guess it's easier to take it seriously when one wasn't forced to play the game in elementary school.
Courlander, if I understand him correctly, explains it as a bathing game. Wonder how they recorded the motions in that case. - RBW
Opie/Opie-TheSingingGame: ."..the dance was known at least as early as 1745, when it was used as the basis of a political song."
Opie/Opie-TheSingingGame discusses the floating pattern of "action object 'in', action object 'out', "shake"/"wriggle," "turn" with "Here We Dance Lubin, Lubin," "(We come here to be merry)," "(Up with Ailie, Ailie)," "(Turn your toes in, turn your toes out)" and "One Tool In, The Other Tool Out, And So They Dance Looby Round About" - BS
Last updated in version 5.3
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2022 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.