Hokey-Cokey (Hinkumbooby)

TITLE: Hokey-Cokey
AUTHOR: unknown
CATEGORY: traditional, public domain
KEYWORDS:  playparty, children’s song
EARLIEST DATE: Robert Chambers,  Popular Rhymes, Fireside Stories, & Amusements of Scotland (1842)

Hokey-PokeyThere’s a traditional children’s song called I Put My Little Hands In, (based on an old English/Scots folk dance called Hinkim-Booby), the lyrics to which go like this:

“I put my both hands in,
I put my both hands out,
I give my both hands a shake shake shake
And turn myself about.” (repeat for other body parts) 

The leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland has said that this song sung at kids party has “disturbing origins”.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien claims the Hokey Cokey, considered a traditional song in English-speaking countries, is a song designed to mock priests.

Senior Catholics claim the tune was composed by Puritans during the 18th century. It copies the actions and language of priests leading Latin mass, and they claim it has derisive overtones. Some politicians have urged police to arrest anyone using the song, especially at soccer games, to “taunt” Catholics under legislation designed to prevent incitement to religious hatred.

Peter Kearney, a spokesman for Cardinal O’Brien, leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland said: “This song does have quite disturbing origins. It was devised as an attack on, and a parody of, the Catholic mass.

“If there are moves to restore its more malevolent meaning then consideration should perhaps be given to its wider use.”

Murdo Fraser, deputy leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, said: “I can’t believe Scottish children performing the ‘Hokey Cokey’ are doing so in pursuit of any sort of anti-Catholic agenda.” (The Scotsman Newspaper)

The song Hokey-Pokey, although extremely similar to the Hokey-Cokey, is copyrighted in the United States and the copyright in now owned by the Sony Corporation.

RECORDINGS:

YOUTUBE VIDEO: 

YOUTUBE AUDIO: download
LYRIC & CHORD PRO CHART: download
PPT LYRICS FOR THE CLASSROOM: download
BONUS YOUTUBE VIDEO: KidsMusicShop1

Hokey-Cokey

You put your left arm in, your left arm out
In, out, in, out, You shake it all about.
You do the Hokey Cokey and you turn around
That’s what it’s all about…

Woah, the hokey cokey, Woah, the hokey cokey,
Woah, the hokey cokey, Knees bent, arms stretched, ra ra ra!

You put your right arm in, your right arm out
In, out, in, out, You shake it all about.
You do the Hokey Cokey and you turn around
That’s what it’s all about…

Woah, the hokey cokey, Woah, the hokey cokey,
Woah, the hokey cokey, Knees bent, arms stretched, ra ra ra!

You put your left leg in, your left leg out
In, out, in, out, You shake it all about.
You do the Hokey Cokey and you turn around
That’s what it’s all about…

Woah, the hokey cokey, Woah, the hokey cokey,
Woah, the hokey cokey, Knees bent, arms stretched, ra ra ra!

You put your right leg in, your right leg out
In, out, in, out, You shake it all about.
You do the Hokey Cokey and you turn around
That’s what it’s all about…

All together now
Woah, the hokey cokey, Woah, the hokey cokey,
Woah, the hokey cokey, Knees bent, arms stretched, ra ra ra!

You put your whole self in, your whole self out
In, out, in, out, You shake it all about.
You do the Hokey Cokey and you turn around
That’s what it’s all about…

Wait for it
Woah, the hokey cokey, Woah, the hokey cokey,
Woah, the hokey cokey, Knees bent, arms stretched, ra ra ra!

Woah, the hokey cokey, Woah, the hokey cokey,
Woah, the hokey cokey, Knees bent, arms stretched, ra ra ra!

And that’s that.

SOURCES:

  • Folk Song Index: A Comprehensive Guide to the Florence E. Brunnings Collection, Florence E. Brunnings, Garland Publishing, Inc., New York and London 1981—Amazon Books

NOTICE: I’m not the best guitar player or vocalist, but no one loves these songs more than I do. The tune and lyrics are in the public domain unless otherwise noted. The recording © copyright 2013 by Stephen Griffith and may be used by permission of the copyright holder. The variation of the song I’m posting is the version I perform and is not exactly replicating the sources cited, but is always in the same song family. If anyone has more details about this song, or believes I’ve stated something in error, please let me know. I’m also open to suggestions to improve the site. Thanks. sgg

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