Ging Gang Goolie

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"Ging Gang Gooli (-e)" or "Ging Gang Goo" (below “Ging Gang”) is a gibberish scouting song, widely spread around the world. It is popular among Boy Scouts and Girl Guides.



A Family of Gibberish Songs[edit]

“Ging Gang” belongs to a family of “musical cousins” (lyrics and melody in common) for example: “Kinkan”, ”Hi Politi Politaska”, ”Em Pom Pi”, “Oh Nicodemo” aka ”Qui Qua(-e)”, ”Killiwatch”. These songs are nowadays performed mainly around campfires and children´s playgrounds.

The Earliest Documented “Ging Gang” Occurrences[edit]

  • The earliest occurrence was a “Ging Gang” type performed in a new year´s show in Gothenburg, Sweden, 1905.[dubious ]
  • The earliest “Ging Gang” type in the scouting world was an entry in a Danish scout song book (lyrics only) in 1919.
  • The earliest occurrence in UK was the cousin “Killi Watch” in 1926 (lyrics and score, “ump-pah”- sound included).[3] It made the World Jamboree song documentation 1929.[4]
  • The earliest occurrence of the “Ging Gang” type in scout song books in the English language took place in 1952 [5] (lyrics only - see below) and 1957 [6] (both score and lyrics) with the title "Ging Gang Goo". The song was sung in UK at least in the late 1940-ies.[7]


“Ging Gang” in various forms (and its close cousins) has been recorded by a number of artists and become hits during nearly a century in various parts of the world, many in UK. Several are available on the internet. The very first recording was made in New York, USA: “Kinkan” (1926) with two Swedish-American men´s choirs, Lyran and Svenska Gleeklubben. Other examples are “Nick-O-Deemo” in USA (1948) with ex-City Slicker Red Ingle, “Kiliwatch” (1960) with The Cousins from Belgium, “Shin Gan Goo” (1961) with Karl Denver, The Scaffold (1969), a reggae (1969) with The Megatons aka The Rudies, The Tremeloes(1977) and "Dirk and Stig" (1978) (Eric Idle and Rikki Fataar, assuming their identities from The Rutles). Further, a reggae mix (1993) with German Inner Kneipe and “Ding Dong Golly” (around 2006?) with Philippine star actresses Kim Chiu and Sandara Park. The song has also been used in movies and TV shows; for example sung by Eric Rapton & B.O.D.G. in the animated TV series 'Victor and Hugo - Bunglers in Crime' episode 'Scout's Dishonour'(1991), included in the animated movie, 'Asterix Conquers America' (1994) and in the episode 'Ging Gang Goolie' of 'Boardwalk Empire' (2012).


Many variant forms have sprung up over the years depending on local spelling of the gibberish sounds and of changes/additions due to natural evolution. Different arrangements (rounds, alternating song, etc.) and choreographies have evolved, e.g. the story "The Great Grey Ghost Elephant",[8] which is a public domain[9][non-primary source needed] dramatization[10] of the song.


  1. ^ This section "Origin" is mainly based on the article "Hottentotternas morgonbön" in the Noterat, 2012 (paper edition in Swedish only). Other sources for this section are referred to explicitly item by item.
  2. ^ Ingemar Jönsson; Lars Jönsson; Pehr-Erik Nyman (2012). "Hottentotternas morgonbön". Noterat (in Swedish) (Svenskt visarkiv, the Centre for Swedish Folk Music and Jazz.) 20: 109–117. 
  3. ^ Nicholson, Sydney H (1926). Songs for Scouts Second Series No 2. Commissioner for Music BSA. 
  4. ^ Sixteen Popular Songs. BSA, Great Britain. 1929. p. song No 7. 
  5. ^ Compiled by P R Greenfield (1952). The Scout Song Book. BSA Great Britain. p. 32. 
  6. ^ John Thurman; Rex Hazlewood (1957). The Gilwell Camp Fire Book: Songs and yells from fifty years of Scouting. BSA Great Britain. p. 37. 
  7. ^ Grenda Walton (2011). The House on the Hill-Lake District Revisited: Liverpool Orphanage 1944-1952. AuthorHouse. p. 140. ISBN 978-1-4634-4028-2. 
  8. ^ Dorothy Unterschutz, a Canadian Scout Leader from Edmonton, wrote the story "The Great Grey Ghost Elephant", which was published in Scouts Canada's "The Leader" magazine in 1991 (June–July issue, Page 7)
  9. ^ "We (= Scouts Canada) approach the story of the "Great Grey Ghost Elephant" as a free resource in the public domain and invite members of the public to disseminate or utilize it freely." Reference: John Petitti, Executive Director, Marketing and Communications, Scouts Canada, 2015-05-21
  10. ^ Great Grey Ghost Elephant "a true-to-original variant" Check |url= scheme (help). Scouting Resources UK. Retrieved 2015-05-23. 

External links[edit]