Down Down Baby

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"Down Down Baby" is a clapping game played by children in English-speaking countries. In the game, two or more children stand in a circle, and clap hands in tune to a rhyming song. As with most hand-clapping games, there are many variations. Modified versions of the song have appeared in Little Anthony and the Imperials's "Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko Bop",[1][2] Nelly's "Country Grammar",[3][4] Simian Mobile Disco's "Hotdog", The Drums' "Let's Go Surfing", and the film Big.[5]

Lyrics[edit]

There are many variations of this clapping game from around the world.[6] The actual lyrics that any given group of children use may vary based on region, era, and ethnicity.

Basic[edit]

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.[7]

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), hot dog (accompanied by hip twirl)
Put it all backwards and what do you get?
Hot dog (accompanied by hip twirl), (followed by two stomps), (followed by two claps), ding dong (accompanied by head rock)

Variations[edit]

Down, down, baby
Down by the riverside
Sweet, sweet tulip
No place to go.
(Heard in Nottinghamshire, England)
Down, down, baby //
Down by the rollercoaster //
Sweet, sweet cherry //
No place to go//
I caught you with your boyfriend //
Naughty naughty //
...
(Heard in Kent, England)

Down, down, baby

Down by the roller coaster

Sweet sweet baby

I'll never let you go

Gimme gimme cherry pop and gimme gimme rock

Gimme gimme cherry pop and gimme gimme rock

(Heard in Gloucestershire, England)

Holly Version[edit]

Down, down baby

Oceania Raincoat

Sweet, sweet baby

I'll Never Let You Go!

Shimmy Cocoa Puff

Pass One to me Now

Shimmy Cocoa Puff

Pass One to me Now.

[Repeat]

Western Pennsylvania Version[edit]

Down, down baby
Down, down the roller coaster
Sweet, sweet baby
I'll never let you go
Shimmy shimmy cocoa puff
Shimmy shimmy biscuit
Shimmy shimmy cocoa puff
Shimmy shimmy biscuit
I had a boyfriend
A biscuit
He was so fine
A biscuit
Rolling down the roller coaster drinking some pop
I said,
"Ooh, shee wa wa
ooh ooh, shee wa wa
ooh, shee wa wa
ooh ooh, shee wa wa"
Oh, my
I want a piece of pie
The pie's too sweet
I want a piece of meat
The meat's too hot
Let's do it again!

Southern Minnesotan Version[edit]

Down, down, baby
Down, down the roller coaster     (accompanied by the hand making a horizontal wave motion)
Sweet, sweet, baby
Mama never let you go     (accompanied by both arms crossing the chest, like one is hugging themselves)
Caught you with your boyfriend
Naughty, naughty     (accompanied by shaking one's finger in a "for shame" type manner, right hand on the first naughty, left hand on the second)
Stole a piece of candy
Greedy, greedy     (accompanied by making a hand gesture similar to "apple" in American :Sign Language on each side)
Never did your homework
Lazy, lazy     (accompanied by pressing the palms of the hands together, similar to the Añjali Mudrā, and doing the "sleeping" hand gesture on either side of the face)
Just off the Liberty
Crazy, crazy     (accompanied by making the "crazy" hand gesture, made by a circling motion of the index finger at the ear or side of the head)
Shimmy shimmy cocoa pop     (accompanied by knocking on one's own head)
Shimmy shimmy wow     (accompanied by moving one's hand through their hair from their forehead to the back of the head)
Shimmy shimmy lollipop     (accompanied by motion of licking a lollipop)
Shimmy shimmy POW!     (accompanied by clapping both hands of the partner. If there is more than two players, you do a two-handed clap with the person on your right with your right hand             while simultaneously doing the same thing with the person on your left with your left hand)
I like coffee
I like to eat
I like the boys
And the boys like me
(place hands on hips)
To the front     (accompanied by moving hips forward once)
To the back     (accompanied by moving hips backward once)
To the side side side     (accompanied by moving hips from side to side three times)
To the front     (accompanied by moving hips forward once)
To the back     (accompanied by moving hips backward once)
To the side side side     (accompanied by moving hips from side to side three times)
(take hands off hips)
Mama Mama
Sick in bed
She called the doctor
And the doctor said
"Mama Mama
You're not sick
All you need
Is a licorice stick!"

[Note: last verse can also be replaced by the "Grandma" verse]

[8]

Eastern Massachusetts Version[edit]

Ronald McDonald, a biscuit (accompanied by thumbs pointing back over the shoulders, first one, then the other)
Ronald McDonald, a biscuit

oh shu shu wa wa a biscuit ive got a girlfriend a biscuit shes so sweet a biscuit sweeter than a cherry treat a biscuit icecream soda with a cherry on top icecream soda with a cherry on top

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! (accompanied by punching the air with a fist just below chest-level)
Shimmy, Shimmy cocoa pop
Shimmy, Shimmy POW!

Southern New Hampshire version (late 70's)

Oooo shishy wah wah ta biscuit
I've got a boyfriend ta biscuit
He is the sweetest ta biscuit
Ice cream soda with a cherry on top
Ice ream soda with a cherry on bottom
Down down baby, down by the roller coaster
Sweet sweet baby I will never let you go
Just because I kissed you doesn't mean I love you
Ice cream soda with a cherry on top
Ice cream soda with a cherry on bottom

Other Versions[edit]

1[edit]

Down Down baby

Down by the roller coaster

Sweet sweet cherry

I like you

Apples on a stick

They make me sick

They make my heart beat two four six.

Boys boys are always dum

Here comes the lady with the big fat bum

She can wiggle she can waggle but she can't do the splits

Bet ya five bucks she is a witch

Now close your eyes and count to ten

If you mess it up then start again

(Do the chest across and handshake while keeping eyes closed)

We didn't mess it up so that's the end

And by the way you're still my friend

2[edit]

The train goes...

Down down baby,

Down down the rollercoaster,

Sweet sweet mama,

My hearts love.

Shimmy shimmy cola bottle,

Shimmy shimmy rock!

Shimmy shimmy cola bottle,

Shimmy shimmy rock!

I gotta best friend,

Likes some biscuits,

She gotta best friend,

Likes some biscuits,

Ice cream cone with a cherry on top,

Ice cream cone with a cherry on top,

T-O-P spells,

T-O-P spells,

T-O-P spells,

TOP TOP TOP!

(Heard in Liverpool, UK)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Little Anthony And The Imperials "Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko-Bop". "Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko Bop lyrics". Oldielyrics.com. Retrieved 2011-10-17. 
  2. ^ Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko Bop video on YouTube
  3. ^ "Country Grammar lyrics". Lyrics007.com. 2010-06-03. Retrieved 2011-10-17. 
  4. ^ Country Grammar video on YouTube
  5. ^ clip from the film Big on YouTube
  6. ^ The British Library. "Down Down Baby". Playtimes. The British Library. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  7. ^ Sesame Street clip on YouTube
  8. ^ This version has been confirmed by Carlyndra, a resident of Southern Minnesota

External links[edit]