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", Usher's "OMG", and the film Big.

Lyrics[edit]

There are many variations of this clapping game from around the world.[5] 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.[6]

there is a train going Down, down, baby
Down, down the roller coaster (accompanied by the hand making a horizontal wave motion)
Sweet, sweet, mama (accompanied by both arms crossing the chest)
I'll never let you go
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
I'll never let ya go
shimmy, shimmy cocoa puff
shimmy, shimmy shy
shimmy, shimmy cocoa puff
shimmy, shimmy shy
I love coffee,
i love tea
i love the little boy and he loves me.
ding dong hot dog (swirl your hips)
up down turn around
kick your boyfriend out of town
and freeze

Eastern Massachusetts Version (mid-1970s)[edit]

Ronald McDonald, a biscuit (accompanied by thumbs pointing back over the shoulders, first one, then the other)
Ronald McDonald, a biscuit
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
Ice-cream soda with a cherry on the top (accompanied by pointing one thumb down)
Ice-cream soda with a cherry on the top
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 1970s)[edit]

Oooo shishy wah wah ta biscuit
I've got a boyfriend ta biscuit
He was sorta cute ta biscuit
He is the sweetest ta biscuit
Ice cream soda with a cherry on top
Ice cream 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 Version[edit]

1[edit]

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)


Molesey Version Down Down Baby Down by the riverside Sweet sweet baby No place to go

Down down baby Down by the rollercoaster (Roller coaster movement with hands) Sweet sweet baby No place to go Caught you with your boyfriend Naughty naughty Didn't do your homework Lazy lazy Jumping out the window Crazy crazy (Said very quickly, before the other person) Stop you broke the law!

3[edit]

The train goes... (The left hand faces up and the right hand, fingers curled and the other player links their curled fingers into the other player's curled fingers, then they move their hands in a circular motion)

Down, down baby (Both hands have their left hands facing up and their right hands facing down and clap eachother's hands twice, then they have the back of their hands facing them and clap eachother's hands twice and finally clap normally twice, this is the basic repeated clapping motion throughtout the whole clapping game)

Down, down the rollercoaster (Both players lean forwards slightly on 'rollercoaster' and spin both hands around eachother)

Sweet, sweet baby, my heart is in love (Hands crossed over chests)

Shimmy, shimmy, cocoa pop, shimmy, shimmy wa! (Hands throw out to the side, diagonal to eachother)

Shimmy, shimmy, cocoa pop, shimmy, shimmy wa! (Hands throw out to the side, diagonal to eachother)

I've got a best friend, she's on a mission (One hand curled into a fist, arm bent and moved up and down twice like pulling a train horn)

I've got a best friend, she's on a mission (One hand curled into a fist, arm bent and moved up and down twice like pulling a train horn)

Ice cream sundae with a cherry on top ( On 'top' each player taps the other player's head once)

Ice cream sundae with a cherry on top ( On 'top' each player taps the other player's head once)


P-O-P spells (One player brings their right hand up and the other players grabs it with their left hand and pulls it down, this is repeated throughout the whole verse)

P-O-P spells

P-O-P spells

Pop! Pop! Pop! (On each 'pop' each player taps the opposite player on the head)

(Heard in Manchester, England)

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. ^ The British Library. "Down Down Baby". Playtimes. The British Library. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  6. ^ Sesame Street clip on YouTube

External links[edit]