Friday, October 28, 2016

Changing Attitudes Among African Americans About Natural Hair & About The Word "Nappy"- Part I

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part I of a four part series about current (as of October 2016) attitudes among African Americans about the word "nappy".

Part I highlight a 2015 vlog (video blog) about a second apology that African American comedian Sheryl Underwood made on a CBS talk show where she is co-host about comments that she had made on that show in 2012 disparaging "nappy" hair. Selected comments from that video's discussion thread are also included in this post.

Part II provides information about the natural hair care movement in the United States and elsewhere. Part II also includes information about the hair type classification system that appears to be widely used by African American natural hair care professionals and African Americans with natural hair styles.

Part III highlights the Hip Hop group Nappy Roots and their 2002 hit song "Po' Folks"'. Selected comments from the discussion thread of a video of that song are included in that post.

Part IV showcases several "how to" videos about natural hairstyles in the United States and in two African nations. A bonus video of singer Donnie performing his song Cloud Nine (The Colored Section) that celebrates Black people's natural hair is also showcased in that post.

The content of this post is presented for cultural and sociological purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to the publisher of this embedded video.

In February 2013 I published this pancocojams post about "Good Hair & Bad Hair (Black Attitudes About Our Hair) I shared my memories about that subject from my childhood and teenage years in New Jersey in the 1950s and 1960s. I also commented in that post that few children and teenagers in my adopted hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania wore their hair in natural hairstyles.

That observation has definitely changed in late October 2016. Instead, certain natural hairstyles have become the norm for a considerable number of African American females - particularly girls ages about six years old to probably under fifty years of age - not just in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania but apparently throughout the United States. Many of these styles are made by adding braids or twists made from synthetic hair to females's own hair. Dreadlocks (locs) and certain other natural hairstyles have also become relatively common for African American males (particularly teens and young adults). As noted by those different age ranges, it seems to me that natural hairstyles (including "natural extensions") are worn more often by African American females than by African American males.

My interest in natural hairstyles in general and in the African American meaning of the word "nappy" was revived in October 2016 when I published a post on the latest Hip Hop dance craze "Juju On The Beat" In that record, the rapper talks about how he "Walked in this party/And these girls lookin' at me/Skinny jeans on and you know my hair nappy".

Those lyrics motivated me to find out when and how did nappy hair become a part of Black young folk's urban swag. I therefore thank the singers/composers of "Juju On The Beat" Zay Hilfiger and Zayion McCall for inspiring this four part pancocojams post.

SHOWCASE VIDEO: Sheryl Underwood goes natural & Apologizes For Calling Natural Hair "Nasty"

lovelyti2002 Published on Sep 20, 2015

On Monday’s premiere episode of the new season of The Talk, comedian Sheryl Underwood revealed her natural hair and apologized for disparaging comments she made regarding kinky hair.
I'm highlighting this vlog because of the discussion about Black people's hair that it prompted and not to focus on the 2012 statements that Sheryl Underwood is apologizing for. However, to briefly summarize those statements, during a show featuring celebrity Heidi Klum as a guest, Ms. Klum (a White women who has adopted two mixed racial children who have some Black ancestry) shared that when she cut her children's hair for the first time, she saved their hair as mementos. Sheryl Underwood made disparaging comments about nappy hair, negatively comparing those hair textures with naturally straight hair.

As a correction that was made by several commenters, The Talk series on which Sheyrl Underwood is a co-host is on CBS and not ABC as the vlogger stated.

These videos are given in chronological order based on their publishing date with the oldest comments by year given first, except for replies. However, these comments may not be in consecutive order.

I've assigned numbers to these comments for referencing purposes only. Brief explanatory comments are included after some of these quoted comments.

As per my policy on this blog, profanity (except for the word "damn") is given in amended form only.

1. AshleyMorgan
"Some of these people forget the way they felt about their hair before they accepted their self whole heartedly. I know how much ignorant statements I made about black hair before I fell in love with it. So don't forget how you once were. Good for her!"
"Some of these people" refers to those who are critical of the statements that Sheryl Underwood made about (most) Black people's natural hair. In the statement "Good for her!", "her" refers to Sheryl Underwood for apologizing and deciding to wear her hair natural (Note that Ms. Underwood indicated that she would also wear wigs because she likes to "change up" how she wears her hair.)

2. TheGanation
"right! a lot of us weren't raised to love our natural hair."

3. ronniemonnie
"Not me! I always loved black natural hair."

4. AshleyMorgan
"+ronniemonnie You are one in a million. Thats awesome that it was like that for you but for many we were taught to use a perm because our hair isn't manageable. It was a process for many but fortunately for me it was a quick one when I began to see the acceptance. I will tell you this, going through the phases like the big chop and watching your hair grow, taking the time out to treat it, style it, and rock it, it helps you build your confidence and also makes you appreciate and love your hair. I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeee my hair now and you can not tell me anything about it especially when the fro is picked out!!!!! MANNNNNNN LISTEN LMAOO"
"Big chop"- "Big chop is the process of cutting off the relaxed or permed ends of one's hair when [a female] is transitioning from chemically processed hair to natural hair."

5. Chanda Chansa
Am African and I don't understand some things: Why is black hair a sensitive topic for black Americans?"

6. Chanda Chansa
"+Tiffany Williams
A lot of African women wear weaves as-well but black hair is not an issue there. Thanks for your explanation."
Given the comments that I've read in various online YouTube (and other) discussion threads about the changing attitudes about natural hair in various African nations, I'm not sure that I agree with the blogger that
"black [people's natural] hair is not an issue" for "a lot of African women". I wish that the blogger had given the nation she was referring to.

"Weaves" = females wearing usually synthetic hair extensions that are attached to their hair through weaving or other processes.

7. AshleyMorgan, 2016
"+Chanda Chansa I feel it is such a sensitive topic not only because of the history but in modern day america we are told on a daily basis that out hair is not professional, it looks unkept, it looks nappy, etc. There are some companies and people that will not hire you solely based on your hair. We have been told that in order to fit in we have to conform to their standard of beauty because that is the only standard. Now many of us have taken measures to embrace and whole heartedly love ourself for who we are but then you have others who still haven't fully embraced who they are. …because …not all of us grew up being told that our hair is beautiful. Many of us don't even remember having our natural hair as children. It's deeper then this but If I try to explain it we will be here all day! lol I hope you are having a great day though!"
This comment included the ...'s.

8. coolingwinds, 2016
"I agree with pretty much everything you said. Back when the natural hair movement was just getting started, I was hanging on to my relaxer with both hands and all my might! Now I am happy to report that I've been natural since roughly 2007. It took me a long time to embrace it in myself let alone others because I came from that generation of relaxing, weaving, wig wearing black women. I recognize myself in her, and it's all good now that she's gone through her transition. People have to remember that's how many of us came up. As far as I'm concerned, all is forgiven. I'm just so glad that she now loves what God gave us, and she is beautiful!
"going through her transition" = changing from wearing one's hair chemically treated or straightened (also known as "relaxed"; "permed", "done") with heat (a hot comb placed in fire or an electric iron) to wearing one's hair naturally.

9. Nita Carter
"Omg this make me want to cry, cause I struggle with a lot with my hair. All my life my hair was always short, I'm not ashamed of my beautiful nappy natural hair, It's just I'm a big fan of weave so much that I forgot how beautiful natural nappy black hair is. I was never a girl who say disrespectful things about my race hair, I actually love seeing black woman wearing and showing their hair out no matter how it is or look, I love my race hair, cause we can do soooooo much with it. (And for the people that think black woman hair don't grow or say disrespectful things is crazy and f&&king* stupid cause it does grow and we actually have beautiful hair it's different), my hair today is near my neck and I love it, the other day I was thinking about taking my weave out but seeing this video got me like what m'I doing. If we see more videos like this, it will courage more black woman as myself to appreciate a lot of things about black beauty. By the way we shouldn't get defended if people say our hair is nappy because we have beautiful nappy hair that's just how our hair is and I love it. so f&&k* thoses who think nappy hair is a disgrace."
* These words were fully spelled out in this comment.

10. Jada Lee, 2016
"yes! ppl dont understand why im proud to say i have nappy hair. "nappy" is only as insulting as you make it. stay strong girl!"

11. shortmonee 312
"Unfortunately, most (over 50%) of black American women hate their hair. I've noticed lately though a lot of sistas are going natural, and I hope the trend continues"

12. imshrrj
"+shortmonee 312 This is true, but we're taught to hate our hair...By guess who??? grandma and aunties.. The things my family use to say about hair..just terrible"
This is an excerpt of that comment.

13. O-Ren Ishii
...[screen name of person this comment was written in response to] "everybody can't rock every natural hairstyle but I think everybody can pull off at least one of them. Everybody can't pull off the natural baby bush like Sheryl."
"Bush" is a term that I remember being used in the mid 1960s (in Atlantic city, N.J) for short round shaped afros that Black male and Black females had. Since at least the 1990s, a much more widely used referent for a short afro ('fro) is "TWA" ("teeny weeny afro"). Women who do the "big chop" (read above) usually end up with a TWA. A number of women who have their chemically/heat permed hair chopped off, "rock" (wear) wigs until their natural hair grows a little longer than "twa" or until they learn to do different hairstyles with their short natural.

14. Sharon Reid Robinson

15. MzVan21
"Wish more black women wear their natural hair...don't get wrong I like a sew in every now and then but Nothing like my hair that I was born with.yes I get tired of it sometimes,yes it takes a while to style etc but I wouldn't change it. its curly,thick, course.Black hair is DIFFERENT from any other me that's a great blessing. that we should embrace."
"a sew in" - one way to attach synthetic or real hair to your hair

16. Paris OfPhrance
"I'm on YouTube everyday it's not that different anymore lol follow naturallyshesdope on ig....very common"
This is the complete comment.

"ig" = instagram (social media)

17. Edward Lewis
"+MzVan21 Actually is getting more and more common everyday I mean literally my mom, two aunts and grandmother are natural."

18. MzVan21
"+Edward Lewis I feel like it is definitely trending which is great,just hopes it sticks"

19. NatuRealistic87 VeryKinkyCurl
"Also trending for white ppl to try to mock the afro & swear up and down that they have "black ppl hair"...but I do agree with u it is different & very unique."

20. natrulyvivacious< 2016
"I don't have kinky hair but if I did I would be proud as Jesus has the same kind of hair biblically written even though they try to portray him with straight white people hair.
"Kinky" is often used as a synonym for "nappy". However, some people in the natural hair care movement indicate that "kinky" is a different type of hair pattern than "nappy".

21. TheKendroShow
"sadly the negative attitude towards natural hair is active and has a lengthy history. it takes some people time to wake up and I'm glad she did. fro looks real nice on her. all is forgiven"

22. mashonda Knight
"As a black women I'm so tired about the whole hair debate people need to stop shaming people for how and what they do to their hair if they want to wear their natural, perm,weave, braids, fine I wish everyone would stop telling everyone what to do with their hair I say as long as it looks great so what I don't wear wigs, braids or weave and those things are nice I've seen people look nice in them and that's their choice but I do perm my hair and I like it ,I just think when it comes to hair that topic should be off limits! !"

23. AmethystUniverse
"She looks gorgeous with her TWA :) and she seems really sincere this time around and I forgive her as well! #naturalhairrocks"
Sheryl Underwood had apologized for her remarks disparaging Black natural hair in 2012 shortly after she made those remarks. This second apology was given during the nationally televised talk show where she is co-hosts with four other women.

24. Africa Love
"I agree she seems more sincere "this time""

25. Jamaican Diaspora
"I am happy to be nappy! No Korean is going to feed and cloth their children with my money from those nasty beauty supply stores in Black communities.
Throughout the USA, Koreans have monopoly on Black hair care salons.

"I'm happy to be nappy" is a rather widely used saying, particularly among "naturalistas" (natural hair adherents. That saying was coined by bell hooks in her 1999 children's book with that title.

26. patricia pritchett
"It's so crazy to me how 'my people' (not all, but many) think our hair is 'nappy', 'nasty', 'ugly', ect... I cant tell you HOW MUCH other races think that it's beautiful! Can't tell you how many times in a day they want to touch it, and compliment its beauty. I love mine!!! Hope that she is really embracing its UNIQUENESS..."

27. Morris Pitts
"When did it become" brave" for Black women to wear they're natural hair ? I think you have to be brave to wear some of these F&&ked* Up wigs and weaves I see everyday."...
*This word is fully spelled out in this post. This is an excerpt of that comment.

28. Dark Witch
"+Morris Pitts Not all wigs and weaves look f&&ked up, unless you can not afford better or your ghetto as all out doors! I wear my hair natural but I like variety too. I would prefer that all black women go natural but they do not need to be limited, especially when many jobs frown on natural hair. We have to be versatile and wear many faces in this society. But yes, underneath it all a women hair should be natural and we should feel just as comfortable wearing it that way too."
*This word was fully spelled out in that comment.

29. Summers Journey
"+Morris Pitts I have natural hair, but why must a woman keep the same hairstyle? I find that boring. Part of the reason why I like natural hair is because it's so versatile. Sometimes I like to wear my hair in a fro, at other times I prefer more defined curls, and sometime I like to wear it straight. If I'm not in the mood to do my hair, I may throw on a wig, or get braids/twists."

30. 827honey1
"She looks 100% prettier than she ever did wearing a weave or wig."

31. sharp-jagger
"+827honey1 agreed. I did not criticize her in the past for VOLUNTARILY choosing to rock wigs, but I was shocked at her comments regarding natural hair. It seemed that there was this universal agreement that natural hair was synonymous with nappy and unkept. I think it took her some time to overcome the disparaging pre-programmed mindset of natural hair. She looks comfortable now."

32. y tyler
"Thank you for uploading this video of Sheryl apologizing. As for her natural hair (the way she has it styled) looks uneven, some parts looks as if she tried twist it, some parts looks like she picked it out. This is not a TWA (teeny weeny afro), this is a mess.

Afros were in style when I (and Sheryl) was growing up and I never saw anyone at school, church, work, the supermarket or walking down the street, with an afro that wasn't perfect. Men would go to the barber shop and sit in that chair (for what seemed like an eternity) while the barber cut and snipped until the hair was in a perfect circle. Finally, he would spray the Afro Sheen on, and you knew you were ready for anything.

The girls, would plait their hair in four big plaits (or more if their hair was shorter) at night and then would take it out in the morning, tease it with a comb and then pick it out with a pick or pack it down into an even circular shape. Afro Sheen was sprayed on, and a thin layer of hair spray if needed. We looked so well-groomed. We even wore the pick in our hair so, if it got messed up, we could pick it back out to perfection. We took so much pride in our Afros, that non-black people wore their hair in afros, too.

I have never seen Sheryl wearing a wig that was cut, as uneven as her real hair is. So, she should come to the conclusion, that an even cut will make her natural hair look much better."...
This is an excerpt of that comment. The blogger continued with off topic criticism about Sheryl’s weight and how the blogger thinks she acts on air..

While I don't agree with the blogger's assessment that Sheryl Underwood's afro looks a mess, the blogger's comments about how people wore afros back in the day and plaited (braided) their hair at night etc. completely matches my memories of how African American females and males wore afros in the mid to late 1960s.

33. Deborah Atkins-Denmark
"I forgive her, wholeheartedly. For a lot of us, the natural hair decision is a process, especially for us older sisters who were, from birth, taught to hate our hair. I believe she was both sincere and courageous. We should forgive her and embrace a new naturalista!!!"

34. infinite1
"Why is everyone acting like we didn't go through hundreds of years of conditioning first? Our ancestors in this country had to adapt and conform to get us to a place today where we are alive and breathing. I never hated myself when I had a perm, it was what I knew because it was passed down from the former generations. I loved weave because it offered variety. As an older woman, it is the young who have really brought the natural hair forth and it is beautiful. Older woman like myself are still on a learning curve taking care of natural hair. Just 10 years ago, black men and women still shunned women with natural hair just like white people, so why in the hell, now that it is accepted everyone want to jumpn up and say you hate yourself for wearing your hair the only way you've known how for ages?"...
This is an excerpt of this comment. The blogger continues by writing about how Black men need to stop hating each other and stop killing each other.

35. kittenhoodie
"to be honest, a lot of African American women had the same negative views about natural hair. I can even say that I had negative views about natural hair for most of my life until about 6 years ago when I decided to transition. she was entitled to her opinion about it. I thought she was rude to Heidi Klum about her decision to hold onto her children's hair. if anything, she owed a huge apology to Heidi Klum because she was basically questioning aspects of her parenting. the women on "the talk" are very abrasive, and I wasn't interested in their views or that show way before underwood's natural hair controversy. the show is about differing views on current topics. we just aren't gonna agree with each other completely, and why would should we? some people question why it took her so long to basically come around to seeing how amazing our natural beauty is, and I think we should just appreciate that she in fact changed how she felt on the subject and move on. hell, raven-Symone says stuff on the view that it way more offensive and ignorant."

36. kai kai
"i think her apology was full of sh&t!* saying black people hair is nasty is not a joke! i think she really felt that way why do you think black women wear tons of artificial white woman hair today...grown ass black woman all ways tell they children "yo hair so nappy! go flat earn it! ya head lookin a hot ass mess" for example blue ivy! black woman are dragging blue ivy through the mud just because they think her natural beautiful hair is "nappy". also why do 98.9% of black people think if a you have long curly hair that your mixed? why do i have to be mixed in order to have long hair? this also stems to why black people think mixed or "redbone" look best. all of this stuff have a deeper meaning!
*This word was fully spelled out in this comment.

“flat earn it” = flat iron it” [iron hair= straighten [press] hair with a hot comb; a flat iron is a type of hot comb

redbone = Black people who have a reddish hue to their light brown or "medium" brown skin color, usually because of racial mixture at some point in their ancestry

37. Dark Witch
"+kai kai People need to forgive her because we all make mistakes, let's be f&&king* real! Blacks (with the exception of those who have always been natural)act as if they have always worn there hair natural knowing damn well that it is a self reflective process. Like you said, we should give our own people a chance to redeem themselves and forgive! The point is to lift our people up not tear them down ESPECIALLY if they are on the road to success. As a natural women, I can not stand when people tear down women who do wear weaves, and wigs or chemicals. We can be so unforgiving to our own people yet get made when other races are the same. That is called HYPOCRISY PEOPLE"
*This word is fully spelled out in this comment.

38. LuvJezula
"I forgive her, I think she's sincere. I see a lot of black women nowadays are embracing their natural hair or buying afro kinky textured weave. I hope that trend continues. yeah you are right when it comes to apologies. black people are quick to forgive white people when they say or do something racist but will be quick call a black person an uncle tom or coon, not forgive them and hold a grudge. personally I believe she hadn't made those comments and went natural anyways people would've made fun of her natural hair and say she looks like a slave, then these same black people would get mad at a non black person for trying to mimick natural hair and scream appropriation"

39. Morgan :)
"didn't know she even said something bad about Natural hair and I forgive her. I do find it surprising because her Sorors and other ladies of the NPHC are natural so it was pretty shocking when she said that but as I digress I forgive her, she's my favorite comedian πŸ’‹πŸ’‹ #TeamNatural #3YearsStrong"
Sorors = a term used by members of historically Black Greek lettered sororities to mean "a sorority sister; a member of your sorority; members of other [historically Black Greek lettered] sororities; Note this term isn't used by historically predominately White sororities

NPHC= National Pan Hellenic Council - the governing body for the nine historically Black Greek lettered fraternities and sororities which are colloquially known as "the divine nine".

40. honey bebe
"I don't understand why people are trippin over the fact that it took her two years to apologize. Do they not understand that most people don't fall in love with their natural hair as soon as they do the 'big chop'? My mother went natural seven years ago. For the first four years she wore wigs. It took her a long time to accept her hair. After learning how to care for and style it, she came to ADORE it! Appreciate the fact that she was big enough to apologize in public. Most wouldn't even do it in private -let alone at all."
"trippin" = African American Vernacular English term meaning "getting upset about", "going crazy about"

41. Kay-Marie
"Why is it cool when some of us wearing natural but it's not cool when we wear relaxed or weaved hair?"

42. Shon Hubble
"Some people are too narrow-minded and think that weaves and relaxers contribute to some identity crisis or self esteem issue. Weaves are beautiful, natural is beautiful, everything! As long as you have love for yourself, you will always be real no matter what is altered or added on.

43. Kay-Marie
"+Shon Hubble Well Said! I relax my hair and I love being black."

44. AWizardMummyandMartian ImUnique
"It's funny because black girls are buying afro texture hair now too. I thought of it but it feels so rough."

45. AWizardMummyandMartian ImUnique
"Please stopl calling them European textured wigs, most hair comes from Asians or Native American women."

46. PanamericanistaM0R3Na
"There is nothing wrong with the way our hair curls and coils.
Embrace it."

This concludes Part I of this four part series.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

What Do "Juju On That Beat" And "TZ Anthem" Mean? (information, comments, videos)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides information about the latest viral Hip Hop dance record "Juju On The Beat" (also known as TZ Anthem), with special emphasis on what the term "juju on the beat" means.

The content of this post is presented for etymological, cultural, and entertainment purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Zay Hilfiger and Zayion McCall, the creators of the song "Juju On The Beat". Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post, and those who are featured in these embedded videos. Thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

"Juju On That Beat" (TZ Anthem) is the currently viral Hip Hop dance routine (from August 2016 to date). Like "Hit The Quan", dancers pantomime what the rapper says and perform certain Hip Hop dance moves that the rapper calls out. (In this post, I refer to these dance moves as "calls"). For example, when the rapper says "walked in this party", the dancers imitate walking and when the rapper says "you know my hair nappy", the dancers gesture to their hair -regardless of whether their hair is nappy or not.* Also, for example, the dancers do their version of the old school (1986/1987) Hip Hop dance "The Running Man" when the rapper calls out that dance in that record.
*The lyrics "you know my hair nappy" are part of the rapper's "getting his swag on" (bragging about how good he looks) at a party. That comment inspired me to do some online research about African Americans 9and other Black people's) changing attitudes about the word "nappy". Click for Part I of a four part pancocojams post about this subject. The other links to those posts will be included in each post in that series.

I believe that in the context of this Hip Hop record, there are three possible definitions for "juju on the beat":

1. "Juju on the beat" is a general term that means "to dance". All of the dance moves and pantomime that the rapper calls in that record can be said to be "jujuing" on the beat, if "juju" is a synonym for "dance".

2. "Juju on the beat" means to do a certain Hip Hop dance move (or do certain Hip Hop dance moves) on the beat (to the record's beat)

I'm not sure whether there's any firm agreement on what dance move or moves are called "the juju" (or "juju on the beat").

Just as there's a specific dance that is done when the rapper says "Do the Running Man" - there may be a specific dance move or series of dance moves that dancers are supposed to do when the rapper says "juju on the beat".

3. Juju on the beat means to "be or act "turnt up" (i.e. to really give something all you’ve got, to go “all in”, to really go all out, to really get down, to "go wild" with just a few or with no inhibitions.

Definition #2
I believe that definition #2 is the definition for "juju on the beat" that is most often meant now.

From watching a number of those videos and from reading many of the comments in those video's discussion threads, it seems to me that many of the dancers who post challenge dance videos for "Juju On The Beat (TZ Anthem) base their dance moves on those performed by the Fresh The Clown duo*. But those dancers and others still tend to substitute their own pantomime and dance moves for some of those that the Fresh The Clown duo perform. appears to me from watching , a number of challenge dance videos show children and adults imitating the moves that the Fresh The Clown duo performed. In the beginning of the routine for that particular "juju on the beat" call, the duo leaned forward and then leaned back while moving their shoulders up and down to the beat.

Read Zay Hilfiger's comment in Excerpt #3 that he "started saying “JuJu” in 2014. Also read my transcription Zay Hilfiger's response to television host Kelly Ripa's question "What does Juju On The Beat mean?". Zay said that ["juju on the beat" is] "my arch ego. It’s like I’m the height... turned up...I don’t care." That transcription is found after the video given as Example #5.

I believe those comments support the third definition that is given in this post for the term "juju on the beat". But I think that this is an earlier meaning that Zay Hilfiger had for "juju" and not most often used definition for that word in the context of that Hip Hop record.

*If Fresh The Clown's video actually is the prototype for "juju on the beat" routines, this is in spite of the fact that Zay Hilfiger, the primary creator of this record, posted a video on August 15, 2016 that shows him and a female friend performing a dance routine to his record. Since I'm lousy at describing dance moves, I hope that others will add their descriptions of the dance movements that Fresh The Clown and that Zay Hilfiger and his female friend do when the record says "juju on the beat" and otherwise.

Definition #3
Here are two definitions for the African American Vernacular English term "turnt up" ("turned up):

WARNING: pages often include profanity, sexually explicit content, forms of the n word, and racist content.

"Turnt Up
1. A state of euphoria brought about by having an extremely good time
2. the act of dancing excitedly to popular music
3. an energetic feeling brought on by upbeat music, highly felt emotions, or positive events

When Young Thug's new song came on, the crowd became turnt up!
by Writeordiechick May 07, 2016

"turnt up
phrase coined by Juicy J and Wiz Khalifa that basically means to go HAM at a party, usually while intoxicated.
Brian: "What's up? Did you go to Dave's party last night?"

Zack: "Hell yeah, man I was so turnt up!"

#turnt #up #turn #party #go #ham"

by mr1o3 June 23, 2013
Note that there are other-much older meanings- for the word "juju". Here's a brief excerpt of that Wikipedia article:
"JΓΉjΓΊ is a style of Nigerian popular music, derived from traditional Yoruba percussion. The name comes from a Yoruba word "juju" or "jiju" meaning "throwing" or "something being thrown." Juju music did not derive its name from juju, which "is a form of magic and the use of magic objects or witchcraft common in West Africa, Haiti, Cuba and other South American nations."....
It's possible that Zay Hilfiger came up with the term "juju" to refer to being "turnt on" or having a heighten sense of himself from the definition that "juju" means a fetish, or an amulet for magic.

*Read the transcription for the portion of the video of Zay and Zayion on the American television show Live With Kelly (given as Example #5 below).

My guess is that "TZ Anthem" means two Z's ("Zay Hilfiger and Zayion McCall)'s anthem. Or "t" might stand for "the" Z's (Zay and Zayion) anthem.

These two excerpts are given in no particular order. The excerpts are numbered for referencing purposes only.
Excerpt #1:
" "Juju on that Beat (TZ Anthem)" (also known simply as "Juju on that Beat",[1] "Juju on the Beat"[2] and "Juju on dat Beat"[3]) is a song by American rappers Zay Hilfigerrr and Zayion McCall. The song and the music video on McCall's YouTube channel* went viral and has attracted more than 17 million views and resulted in a number of fan-made versions of the music video.[2][3] The song is a freestyle over the beat of the song "Knuck If You Buck" by American hip hop group Crime Mob featuring Lil' Scrappy.[4]

The single charted on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 11.[5]

The duo appeared on Live with Kelly on October 19, 2016, performing the song and giving an instruction of its dance moves.[2]...

Single by Zay Hilfigerrr and Zayion McCall from the album Why So Serious? Released September 30, 2016"...
The "Juju on the Beat" sound file was posted to Zayion McCall's YouTube channel on August 11, 2016 That sound file has 21,203,173 total views as of 10/25/2016 at 2:41 PM.

Excerpt #2:
"Everything You Need to Know About the TZ Anthem Challenge and the 15-Year-Old Who Created the Viral Dance That Took Over the Teenage Internet" by Madison Malone Kircher, September 12, 2016 6:31 p.m.
"Zay Hilfiger....[is the] 15-year-old .... behind the #TZAnthemChallenge, in which participants undertake the entire sequence of dance moves performed by Hilfiger in the official video. Dance challenges are the frequent and popular subject of YouTube videos, but TZ Anthem seems to have some particularly limber legs: It’s currently taking over living rooms, cafeterias, locker rooms, high-school parking lots — which means it’s also taken over Vine, Snapchat, and Twitter. Just ask the nearest teenager you can find.”...

Hilfiger’s song has taken off online over the past month, but the Detroit teen explains the song’s origins date back a few years. “I made the song during summer 2014, but it wasn’t even a real song then,” Hilfiger told me. “I was just with my friends playing around, you know. This is when dances like the Nae Nae and the Whip were hot, so we just started saying ‘juju,’” (The Juju is one of several moves in the corresponding dance to “TZ Anthem.”) “As the summer [2016] went over, I came up and was like, I want to make this a real song,” Hilfiger said. “I didn’t really expect it to do what it did.”

He posted the track to SoundCloud, but says since he didn’t promote the song, he wasn’t anticipating a wide audience. “I just made it, put it out there, and it was alright,” Hilfiger explained. “People would say, This is a good song, and take it to their friends.” But when a performing group he belongs to, called Fresh the Clowns, shared a choreographed dance to the song to their over 100,000 Instagram followers, the viral lift began.”....
Italics are added here to highlight this sentence.

Excerpt #3:
From verified Commentary by Zay Hilfiger and Zayion McCall
"About Juju On That Beat - Created by WriteNProppa September 2016

A breakout hit for Detroit rappers Zay Hilfigerrr and Zayion McCall, “TZ Anthem” is a viral song in the same vein of previous tracks like “Hit The Quan,” with lyrics centering around various dance moves.

Zay and Zayion rap over the beat to Crime Mob’s 2004 classic “Knuck If You Buck,” and interpolate a portion of that record.

“TZ Anthem,” or “JuJu on That Beat,” went viral after the dance troupe Fresh the Clowns posted their #TZAnthemChallenge video. That led others to make their own clips, and the dance craze blew up.

Why is this song popular?

The success of “TZ Anthem” is largely a product of social media. Dance videos synced to the song were virally shared on Twitter, causing the song to sky-rocket in popularity.

What inspired them to make the song

It actually started when I came to Zayion’s house and I was just playing around. I kind of made the song in 2014, I started saying “JuJu” in 2014. I didn’t have no lyrics, it was just a thing.

And then I just wanted to do it and I went to Zayion house and told him to turn on the “Knuck If You Buck” beat and I just freestyled.

All of this was random.”…
How did the #TZAnthemChallenge take off?

The Co-CEO of Fresh the Clowns called me like “Zay your track hot, I saw the dance and I want to start a trend.”

At the moment the song wasn’t poppin’, but we shot a video and the next day it blew up. It had like 18,000 views in one day and then it hit 100,000 and it was on all these dance pages. After a week it was popular.

As far as the #TZAnthemChallenge that came from everybody doing it, Fresh the Clowns, little kids.

The main three people were Fresh the Clowns, Hannah and then this 9-year-old little caucasian girl.

Then we started seeing cheerleaders doing it, then IG celebrities and then actors. After LeBron’s son did it, we knew we had something."
"Hannah" may be the young woman who is dancing with Zay Hilfiger in the video given as Example #2 below.

"The 9 year old Caucasian girl" may be the girl that is dancing in the video given as Example #3 below.

These videos are given in chronological order based on their publishing date on YouTube, with the oldest dated video given first.

Example #1: Fresh the clowns tzanthem πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

DAEDAY Fresh Published on Aug 7, 2016
Follow our ig pages @freshboyira

@daedayfresh_ @zayhilfigerrr
The flames icon means that the video publisher considers this video to be "fire" ("on fire", "hot", "very very good".)
Here's the portion of this record's lyrics that is usually used for the dance challenges:
"[Verse 1: Zay Hilfiger]
Walked in this party
And these girls lookin' at me
Skinny jeans on and you know my hair nappy
Hey, hey, hey
Okay, okay
I want y'all do it, do this dance now

[Hook: Zay Hilfiger]
JuJu on the beat
JuJu on that beat
JuJu on that, JuJu on that, JuJu on that beat
Now slide, drop
Hit dem folks, don't stop, aye
Don't stop, aye
Don't stop, aye
Running man on that beat, aye
Running man on that beat, aye
Running man on that beat, aye
Running man on that beat
Now do your dance, do your dance, do your dance, aye
You ugly
You your daddy's son"...

Source: Zay Hilfigerrr, Featuring Zayion McCall, Produced By Lil Jay (Crime Mob), Album Why So Serious?

Example #2: The Creator : JuJu On Dat Beat : #TZAnthemChallenge ( Official Dance Video ) @ZayHillfigerrr

Zay Hilfiger, Published on Aug 15, 2016

Download JuJu On That Beat -
Stream JuJu On That Beat -

Example #3: little white Girl dances on juju on that beat song, black dance moves :D

3896841, views Published on Aug 23, 2016

Example #4: Juju On That Beat Dance Challenge [TZ Athem] #jujuonthatbeat #tzathem

One Challenge, Published on Sep 24, 2016

Juju On That Beat Dance Challenge [TZ Athem] #jujuonthatbeat #tzathem #tzathemchallenge

Best, dubsmash, instagram and flipagram Juju On That Beat Dance Challenge Compilation or TZ Athem, urban dance, hip hop dance and lit dance.

Example #5: "Juju on That Beat" Dance Lesson

LIVE with Kelly Published on Oct 19, 2016

Hip hop duo Zay teach Kelly and Ciara how to do the "Juju on The Beat" dance.
Here's the transcription when Kelly asks Zay Hilfiger what "juju on the beat" means: (.045-.054 of this video)
Kelly- “What does it mean? Is it dirty? Are we…[Zay interrupts her and she says] okay…
Zay- No Juju is like me.
Kelly – Okay
Zay -It’s’s my arch ego. It’s like I’m the height (said while repeatedly mimicking lifting something up with both hands], turned up...I don’t care...
Kelly – Oh okay.
Zay – That’s the type. It’s like my beads. That’s me.
I wrote these words in italic font to indicated that I’m not sure of this transcription. “It’s like my beads” refers to the fact that Zay is wearing his short natural hair in a hairstyle that isn’t worn by other males – i.e. braids with pink beads at the end. This hairstyle signifies (represents) his uniqueness.

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Visitor comments are welcome.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

In Search Of The Sources For "Stella Ella Ola"/"Quack Dilly Oso" Rhymes

Edited by Azizi Powell

(Update: October 10/23/2016 2:25 PM).

This is Part II of a two part pancocojams series that traces the lightly competitive hand clapping game "Stella Ella Ola" (also known as "Quack Dilly Oso" and other titles) to folk processed forms of the chorus of the 1945 American novelty song "Chickery Chick".

Part II provides information, lyrics, and a video example of the 1945 hit novelty song "Chickery Chick". Part II also provides information, text examples, and one video each of "Stella Ella Ola" and "Quack Dilly Oso". Oso").

Click for Part I of this series. Part I provides source information, text examples, and video examples of "In China There Lived A Great Man" (and other titles).

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural purposes, entertainment, and recreational purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of the videos that are included in this post.

I became aware of what I now call the "Stella Ella Ola"/"Quack Dilly Oso" family of children's hand clap rhymes in the 1990s and 2000s as a result of observing the recreational play of African American girls (sometimes joined by boys) around 7 - 12 years old years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In the Pittsburgh neighborhood of East Liberty/Garfield where I live and where my daughter grew up and became an elementary school teacher, "Stella Ella Ola" rhymes were known as "Slap Billie Ola" or "Strolla Ola Ola". And "Quack Dilly Oso" was known as "Quack Diddley Oso".

In 2001, I launched my (now no longer active) cultural website. That website was consistently online until October 2014. Most of the examples of children's recreational rhymes that were featured on that website were either submitted by visitors or gleaned from my online searchers. As a result, I realized that "Stella Ella Ola" or "Quack Dilly Oso" were the names that most people used to refer to a host of rhymes with similar structures and lyrics and which were chanted while playing lightly competitive group hand slapping games.

In 2004, I joined the online Mudcat folkloric music discussion forum, and was a very active member of that forum until 2009. My special interest in that forum were children's recreational rhymes and 19th African American religious and non-religious songs. In addition to presenting multiple examples of specific songs and rhymes, Mudcatters were (and still are) interested in determining or at least attempting to determine the source/s for those songs and rhymes. And some Mudcatters, like me, were (and probably still are) also interested in documenting how songs and rhymes remain the same or change during the same time and during different times among different populations.

All of this serves as background to my reactions in 2007 to a long running Mudcat discussion thread on the 19th century or older song "In China There Lived A Great Man". That song is the focus of Part I of this pancocojams series. Prior to reading song examples in that discussion thread, I had reached the tentative conclusion that some Spanish song or rhyme was the source of "Stella Ella Ola"/"Quack Dilly Oso" rhymes. I reached that conclusion because many of those rhymes contained the Spanish words such as "chica", "chico", "rico", "senorita" or some folk processed forms of those words. But I questioned that conclusion after reading song examples (and particularly the choruses of the songs) that were posted on that Mudcat discussion forum discussion thread of "In China There Lived A Great Man".

Here's my first comment on that discussion thread: (That comment was written in response to the example of "In China There Lived A Great Man" that had been posted right before it, and which included this chorus)
Ekel-tekel. Injured man!
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Once in China there lived a great man...
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 11:04 PM

"Chingery-rico-rico-day" ??!

Could "Once in China there lived a great man" be the source [or "a" source] for the children's handclap rhyme "Stella Ella Ola"?

If so, there goes my theory about "Stella Ella Ola's Spanish origin...

Here's an example of "Stella Ella Ola" for those who aren't familiar with it:

Subject: RE: Kids chant Stella Ola Ola / Stella Ella Ola
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 01:17 AM

wow, i'm surprised i found this...we used to sing it like this in the early 90s

Stella ella ola
clap clap clap
singin' es chico chico
chico chico cracker jack
es chico chico
falo falo
i gotta blow my nose
so, 1,2,3,4,5!"

Here's the only response to my comment in that discussion thread- (The comment is from a participant in that discussion thread who went by the name of Q :
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Once in China there lived a great man...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 11:48 PM

"I doubt a relationship. Chingery Chan was changed around by Louisa May Alcott; I think "Under The Lilacs," where she used it, (1878) is on line (also see the post by Joe up above.
There seem to be a number of these songs- children and the writers for them are inventive!

On the other hand-"
I re-posted the same comment in that Mudcat "Stella Ella Ola" discussion thread which I started (see above link). However, I received no responses to that comment there either.
Click for a Project Gutenberg edition of Louisa May Alcott's 1878. The "In China There Lived A Great Man" example is given in Chapter 21.
As somewhat of an aside, *Q (Frank Staplin) was the one who had informed me about that Mudcat folk music forum via an email that he sent to my website in 2004. Q also was the first person who included this information in that "In China There Lived A Great Man discussion thread about the 1945 American novelty song "Chickery Chick". If I'm not mistaken, there's only one other mention (to date) in that discussion thread about that "Chickery Chick" song.

But it wasn't until now (October 21, 2016) that my interest in determining the source or sources for "Stella Ella Ola"/"Quack Diddley Oso" songs was revived*. I'm sharing my conclusions in this post that the main sources for "Stella Ella Ola"/"Quack Diddley Oso" rhymes are "Chickery Chick" and folk processed forms of "Chickery Chick"'s source song "In China There Lived A Great Man".
My interest in determining the source or sources for Stella Ella Ola was revived because I happened to visit Mudcat (as I sometimes do) and saw that a new comment was posted to that rhyme's discussion thread that I started in 2005. Here's that comment:

"Subject: RE: Kids chant Stella Ola Ola / Stella Ella Ola
From: GUEST,Anon2
Date: 20 Oct 16 - 09:59 PM

I grew up in the greater Vancouver BC area, the version I learned was

Stella Stella Ola
Clap Clap Clap
Singing ess chiga chiga
Chiga chiga chap
Singing ess chiga chiga
Valo valo valo valo valo fire
1 2 3 4 5!

It's funny how it's so close but not identical to Anon's from Aug 2012.. though my version's nearly 20 years older than hers.

Anyone know the origin of this song/game?"
Initially, I thought that "Stella Ella Ola" rhymes had a Spanish language origin. But I haven't found any examples of Spanish versions of these rhymes that originated in a Spanish language country/community (as opposed to being introduced to those populations.).

I believe that the source for the large family of "Stella Ella Ola"/ "Quack Dilly Oso" rhymes (and other titles) is the chorus to the 1945 American novelty song "Chickery Chick" plus a great deal of folk processing (folk etymology; oral tradition).

"Chickery Chick" appears to me to be a re-working of the nonsense word filled choruses the 19th century or earlier racist (anti-Chinese) ridicule song "Chingery Chang" (also known as "Once In China There Lived A Great Man".) So "Chingery Chan" can also be said to be a source of the non-racist, nonsense word filled "Stella Ella Ola"/ "Quack Dilly Oso" rhymes.

"Sylvia Dee (born Josephine Moore Proffitt, October 22, 1914 – June 12, 1967) was an American lyricist and novelist best known for writing the lyrics to "Too Young", a hit for Nat King Cole, "The End of the World", a hit for Skeeter Davis and "Bring Me Sunshine". She also wrote songs for Elvis Presley in the films Blue Hawaii and Speedway. She was born in Little Rock, Arkansas.

She co-wrote "I Taught Him Everything He Knows" with Arthur Kent; this song was recorded by Ella Fitzgerald on her 1968 Capitol release Misty Blue. She was the lyricist for the 1947 Broadway musical Barefoot Boy with Cheek.

Dee wrote the words to a nonsense song that went to number 1 in 1945 called "Chickery Chick". The music was written by Sidney Lippman and it was played by Sammy Kaye's orchestra. Its nonsense lyrics included "Chickery chick, cha-la, cha-la"."...

(Sylvia Dee and Sid Lippman)

Once there lived a chicken who would say "chick-chick"
"Chick-chick" all day
Soon that chick got sick and tired of just "chick-chick"
So, one morning he started to say:

"Chickery-chick, cha-la, cha-la
Check-a-la romey in a bananika
Bollika, wollika, can't you see
Chickery chick is me?"

Every time you're sick and tired of just the same old thing
Sayin' just the same old words all day
Be just like the chicken who found something new to sing
Open up your mouth and start to say


After reading the examples of "In China There Lived A Great Man" (and other titles) as found on the Mudcat discussion thread whose link is given above and as found elsewhere, I strongly believe that the chorus of the 1945 novelty hit song "Chickery Chick" is a re-working of the choruses of "In China There Lived A Great Man" without their problematic racial references.

I'm less certain about whether these two songs and the rhymes share the same or similar tunes. I'll leave that decision to someone who has a better musical ear than I do.

"CHICKERY CHICK" VIDEO: Chickery Chick by Sammy Kaye

beninski707, Uploaded on Jan 10, 2010

Here's an old 78 single that apparently topped the charts sometime in the 1940's. Chickery Chick by Sammy Kaye was the song. The wear on the record is evident as you hear it being played on an old console stereo with a Dual turntable. To all you people out there who know this and those who don't, enjoy!!
Here are four comments from this sound file's discussion thread:
Peggy Dover, 2012
"Does anyone know if this song was also popular in the UK? My mom used to call my dad "Chickery" as a pet name. She sang this song."

Neil Murray, 2012
"Yes Peggy, this song was popular in Britain. It was the top selling song on sheet music from early March to late May in 1946 - with a one-week gap when Cruising Down the River was top for one week !"

pedonbio, 2013
"This song was the Billboard #1 for three separate weeks in November and December, 1945." 

illiputlittle, 2016
"My mother always sang this song to me along with Mairzy Doats, Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. I think her love of silly word songs fostered my love of words in general."

"Stella Ella Ola" (and other titles such as "Quack Dilly Oso", "Strolla Ola Ola", and "Slap Billie Ola") is a hand slapping game that is played by a group of people standing (or, less often, sitting) in a circle. A designated starter slaps the hand of the person on her or his right while the group says the first word. That person slaps the hand of the person to her or his right while the group chants the next syllable. This continues with each syllable (or one syllable word) until the last syllable is chanted. The person whose hand is slapped on that last syllable is out. This continues until there are only two people remaining. Those two face each other and take turns slapping each other's hand while chanting the rhyme. The person whose hand is slapped at the end is "out" and the other person is the "winner".

A VIDEO OF "STELLA ELLA OLA" (with examples from that video's comment section)
Stella ella ola clap clap clap say yes chico chico

wadafera, Uploaded on Jul 20, 2008
I learned from participating in this video's discussion thread that the adults in this video were volunteering in Mexico and taught this rhyme to the children.

For some reason, the comments that I wrote (I believe in 2010) aren't included in that discussion thread, but a commenter who replied to one of those comments specifically mentioned my name.
Examples of "Stella Ella Ola" from that video's discussion thread:
1. Lydia Dunn, 2010
"lol mines is
Stella Ella Ola Quack Quack Quack s chica chica chica chica slap jack falay falay falay falay falay with a 1, 2, 3...
lol mines is all wrong but this is what most of us say in Pittsburgh lol"

2. Colleen, 2010
"woah we did it such a different way at camp a few years back
Stella ella ola clap clap clap
sing it yes chiga, chiga, chiga chiga, chat chat
yes chiga chiga love love, love, love love 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
weird lol"

3. Caroline Burg, 2012
"Mine is Stella elle ola teega teega shack shack singing cola cola cola cola cola"

4. kkboo nyslome,2012
"mine was
Quack didly o so quack quack quack
from San toritsa ur momma smells like pizza so give it to ur teacher fah lo fah lo fah lo fah lo fah lo 123456789 ...10!"
Notice that this example of "Quack Didly Oso" is in the discussion thread for a "Stella Ella Ola" video.

5. Jacqueline romans, 2013
"mine is stella ella ola clap clap clap sey it ess chico chico, blow blow, the toilet overflows say it 12345678910"

6. RaeKayz, 2013
"Ha, we do it differently!
Stella Ella Ola Quack Quack Quack
Say yes chico, chico, chico, chico, chat
Say yes chico, chico, below, below
The toilet overflows
So, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10!"
The "Quack Quack Quack" in this example may explain the first word in the "Quack Didley Oso" rhymes. Notice also "chat" in that example. "Quack Quack Quack" is also given "Clap Clap Clap", "Shack Shack Shack", "Chat Chat Chat" etc. in some other examples from this rhyme family. But where did the words (names?) "Stella Ella Ola" come from?

7. Singing turtle forever
"stella ella ola chap chap chap singing s chico chico, chico chico cracker jacker s chico chico bologna bologna with cheese and macaroni fire 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10: thats how we sing it and on 10 you have to pull your hands away"

8. Beerwoman!, 2016
"Stella stella ola clap clap clap, singing es cheego cheego, cheega cheega chap, singing ess cheega chee-ga, val-o, val-o, say 1, 2, 3, 4, 5! - 90's, Vancouver BC"

Beerwoman!, 2016
"+Beerwoman! And it always ended on 5! That's the loser, five."

9. Ava Fountain, 2016
"The one I do is stella ola ola clap clap clap singing s Chica chica chica chica chap s chica chica blow blow blow your nose and 12345"

10. missmelodies52, 2016
"Stella ella ola clap clap clap singing es chico chico, chico chico chap, singing es chico chico aloa, aloa, aloa, loa loa 1 2 3 4 5!"

A VIDEO OF "QUACK DIDDLEY OSO" (with examples from that video's comment section)

Quack Diddly O' So

TiDoSTAR, Uploaded on Feb 10, 2007

Greese cast party
This video documents the use (since at least the early 2000s) by teens and young adults of certain types of formerly children's (and mostly girls only) hand clap rhymes for fun and as stress reducers. Rhymes such as "Quack Diddley Oso" (also known as "Quack Dilly Oso", "Stella Ella Ola", and other names) and "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky" (and similar titles) are chanted by groups while playing lightly competitive hand slap games.

Here are some examples of this rhyme from this video's discussion thread (given in chronological order with the oldest year given first; numbers are assigned for referencing purposes only:
1. Matthew Austin, 2007
"Quack Diddy oh so
Quack quack quack
Santa Rita
Rita rita rita
Fill-o Fill-o
Fill-o fill-o fill-o

2. Delaney Pierson, 2010
"quack diddly oso
quack quack quack
singing sam a rico rico rico rico
flora flora flora flora flora

3. Divine, 2013
"Quack a Didly o'so
Quack quack quack
Senorita your mama smells like pizza
Delora Delora i'll kick you out the door-a
Say 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10"

4. AmethystSoldier, 2013
"I love all of these variations!!! At my school, it was Quack dilly esta quack quack quack boom senorita rita rita rita Lavora Lavora Vora Vora 1234."

5. Tepimatsu-san-matsuno, 2013
"quack diddly o so
quack quack quack
from santa rico
rico rico rico
flordia flordia
florida florida florida

6. MakeupForever Kay, 2015
"Quack delioso quack quack quack hit it senorita your mother smell like pizza felloa felloa felloa lloa lloa hit it 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 !"

7. schumache101, 2016
"Quack diddly oso quack, quack, quack, singing San Marico Rico, Rico, Rico Rico, flora, flora, flora flora flora, 1 2 3 4"

Click" for more examples of "Stella Ella Ola"/Quack Didley Oso" rhymes. Also, click the tags given below for more examples of "Stella Ella Ola" and "Quack Diddley Oso" rhymes on pancocojams.

This concludes Part II of this two part series.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

"Once In China There Lived A Great Man" (Sources, Text Examples, & Video Example)

Edited by Azizi Powell

Update: 10/23/2016 10:34 P.M.

This is Part I of a two part pancocojams series that traces the lightly competitive hand clapping game "Stella Ella Ola" (also known as "Quack Dilly Oso" and other titles) to the 1945 American novelty song "Chickery Chick" and that song's source - the 19th century or earlier song "Once In China There Lived A Great Man" (and other titles).

Part I provides source information, text examples, and video examples of "In China There Lived A Great Man" (and other titles).

Click for Part II of this series. Part II provides information, lyrics, and a video example of the 1945 hit novelty song "Chickery Chick". Part II also provides information, a few text examples, and two video examples of "Stella Ella Ola" and "Quack Dilly Oso".

The content of this post is presented for folkloric and cultural purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of the video that is included in this post.
I'm publishing this post on this blog because of my interest in English language folk songs. Pancocojams usually highlights music, dance, vernacular terms, and other cultural aspects of African Americans and other Black people around the world. Publishing this post here doesn't mean that "Once In China There Lived A Great Man" has anything directly to do with Black cultures.

It's my position (and the position of some other people) that, in spite of the nostalgic appeal that it has for many people, "Once In China There Lived A Great Man" (also known as "Chingery Chan" and other titles) is an example of many 19th century English language songs that ridicule Chinese people. For example, an early title for this song was "The China Man With His Monkey Nose". Furthermore, the nonsense words in the chorus and other lyrics in many versions of that song ridicule the way some non-Chinese people thought that Chinese talked. Also, knowingly or unknowingly, some versions of "Once In China There Lived A Great Man" conflate the native land of a Chinese man with Japan, thus reinforcing the view that all Asians are the same.

These quoted comments given below are from a discussion thread on the Mudcat folk music forum entitled "Lyrics requested ... Once in China There Lived A Great Man" That discussion thread began in 1998, but all but one of its comments are from 2005 to 2015. (as of the date & time of this post). Some of those comments trace this song to 19th century or earlier England. Note that this is just one of several Mudcat discussion threads on this song.

It should also be noted that these selected comments are just a small portion of the examples of "Once In China There Lived A Great Man" which knowingly or unknowingly contain racist references that were posted to that Mudcat discussion thread by that forum's members and guests.

Part II of this series focuses in part on the 1945 American hit novelty song "Chickery Chick" and in part on the hand clap (hand slap) rhyme "Stella Ella Ola"/"Quack Dilly Oso". I believe that "Chickery Chick" is a re-worked version of the 19th century or earlier anti-Chinese song "Chingery Chang" (also known as "Once In China There Lived A Great Man".) Not only does the title of "Chickery Chick" begin with the same letters as "Chingery Chan", but its chorus filled with nonsense words mimics the choruses of most versions of that 19th century song that I have read.

"Chingery Chan"/"Once In China There Lived A Great Man" and "Chickery Chick"(along with a great deal of folk processing) also appear to me to be sources of "Stella Ella Ola"/ "Quack Dilly Oso" hand clap rhymes.

A video rendition of "Once In China There Lived A Great Man" is given in this post and video examples of "Chickery Chick" and "Stella Ella Ola"/"Quack Diddley Oso" are given in Part II of this series. Hopefully those people who have a better ear for music than me can share if they detect any similarities between these the tunes for these songs/rhymes.

Pancocojams Editor:
All of these quotes are from "Lyr Req: 'Once in China there lived a great man..." There are a total of 261 posts (comments) to date in that discussion thread.

I've selected comments that present the purported original version of "Chingery Chan" ("Once In China There Lived A Great Man" and early versions of this song. I've also selected comments that present more recent (20th century) examples of this song. And I have included comments -including a comment that I wrote on this discussion thread in 2009 -that address the anti-Chinese nature of these songs.

These comments are given in chronological order based on their publishing dates in that particular Mudcat forum's discussion thread.

I've assigned numbers to these comments/examples for referencing purposes only, I've also added a few brief comments after the "snip" (end of quote) notation.

1. Subject: RE: Lyrics requested ... Once in China
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 03:13 PM

"I'm guessing it's one of those songs from the late 19th century that made fun of Chinese immigrants to the U.S. You'll find a number of songs like that if you use our Filter and look for "china" (set the age back) - or click here*

I did find this on a Google search: [hyperlinked site no longer active]
once long ago, there lived a funny man.
his name was icka rocka icka rocka ran.
his legs were long as his feet were small.
and he couldn't walk at all.

The word "here" is hyperlinked. The link leads to a list of Mudcat discussion threads for English language songs that make fun of Chinese people"
My guess is this is a mid 20th century folk processed example of "Once In China There Lived A Great Man". The chorus in that example is very similar to a rhyme found on "Eeny meeny miney moe, eeny meeny macka racka" by Kevan Bundell, October 22, 2014. The author of that article describes "eenie meenie macka racka" as "Chinese counting" (i.e. mimicking the words or sounds that non-Chinese people thought that Chinese people made when they counted)

"Eeny meeny macka racka
Ooray dominacker
Dominacker chikaracker
Om pom push!"

2. From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 03:29 PM

"It also comes up in the writings of Louisa May Alcott, from Under the Lilacs, Chapter 21:*

Few of the children had ever seen the immortal Punch and Judy, so this was a most agreeable novelty, and before they could make out what it meant, a voice began to sing, so distinctly that every word was heard,--

"In China there lived a little man,
His name was Chingery Wangery Chan."
The title "Under The Lilacs" is given as a hyperlink. That hyperlink eventually leads to Project Gutenberg edition of Louisa May Alcott's 1878.

3. From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 10:30 PM

"Jim Dixon posted the first verse of this old Amherst song. Here is the entire song. Many versions and additions since it first appeared in the 1860's.


In China there lived a little man,
His name was Chingery-ri-chan-chan;
His feet were large and his head was small,
And this little man had no brains at all.

Ekel-tekel. Happy man!

Miss Sky-high she was short and squat;
She had money, which he had not;
To her he then resolved to go,
And play her a tune on his little banjo.


Miss Sky-high heard his notes of love;
She held his wash-bowl up above;
She poured it on the little man,
And that was the end of Chingery-chan.

Ekel-tekel. Injured man!

From the section on Songs of Amherst (E. C. Brayton), p. 178-179. No author cited.
H. R. Waite, Coll. and Ed., 1868, "Carmina Collegensia: A Complete Collection of the Songs of the American Colleges, with Piano-Forte Accompaniment. To Which Is Added a Compendium of College History." Oliver Ditson & Co. New York:-C. H. Ditson & Co."

4. From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 10:41 PM

"The song was reprinted, without change, in the enlarged "Carmina Collegensia" of 1876."

5. From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 11:38 AM

"I do hope that "The Fish Cheer & I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag" by Country Joe & the Fish has an equally long life as this politically incorrect ditty. The "Fish" song, in my opinion, has some redeeming value.

I would still hesitate to sing "Once in China there lived a man" to any general audience unless I first characterized it as an anti-Chinese song. And, yes, I can understand why it's so much fun to sing within the family but it is still a song of ethnic if not racial ridicule.

At least mull that over before passing it on to another generation.

Charley Noble"

6. From: GUEST
Date: 10 Sep 07 - 06:08 PM

"In Chinatown there lived a man
His name was Chickety-Chickety Chan
His feet were long and his toes were short
And this is the way the poor Chinamen talked

Ooooh, chickety-chee chi-ly chi-lo
chickety-rummo inna-banana-wallya
wallya chi-na-key

This chinaman had plenty of wealth and
lived in a mansion all by himself the
people got good and bought him a boat
and sent the poor china man off to float

Ooooh, chickety-chee chi-ly chi-lo
chickety-rummo inna-banana-wallya
wallya chi-na-key

This Chinaman, finely died
and in his coffin he deny
they shipped him back to old Japan
and that was the end of the poor Chinaman"

7. From: GUEST,Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 06:44 PM
This thread has been running for 3 years now and nobody has bothered to post the original. What a wonderful collection of variants though!

I'd be interested to know if they all go to the same tune. My parents sang their version to the ubiquitous first strain of 'In and out the windows'/'So early in the morning'/'Blue-tail fly' etc.
I'd say it dates at least from 1840 if not earlier as the earliest printer on broadside I have record of is John Pitts of 7 Dials London and he was in business before 1800. The usual title is 'Chinaman with a/the/his Monkey Nose'

This is the version printed by Bebbington of Manchester c1850

In China once there dwelt a great man
His name was Chick-a-chack-tan-ran-tan,
His legs were long and his feet so small
this Chinaman couldn't walk at all,
His servants used to carry him out,
Upon their backs, and the folks would shout,
O, lookee here comes!'--oh, dere he goes!
'The Chinaman with a Monkey Nose.

So Chickara-Choo-Chi-Cho-Chut-La
Chokolo roonee, ning o ping nang,
Padoger was dusta canta kee,
Gunnee po hutto pi China coo!

There are 4 more double verses

Looking at line 7 above I would guess it originated as an early solo minstrel-type song. It predates the Virginia Minstrels but there were plenty of solo blackface performers in Britain even back as far as the 18thc."
I've added italics to highlight this sentence.

8. From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Mar 08 - 08:13 AM

"Nobody has bothered to post the original"! Please, Mr. Gardham, you do us an injustice! You imply that we knew where to find the original, or that the original would have been easily found! I assure you, there is no lack of diligent searchers at Mudcat, but once in a while, we search and we fail to find.

I see now that The Bodleian Library collection of ballads has 7 versions of songs beginning "In China once there dwelt a great man" but none of them was printed by Bebbington of Manchester. Where did you find yours?

Here's the Pitts version, catalogued as Harding B 11(1415):


In China once there dwelt a great man.
His name was Chick-chack-tan-a-ran-tan.
His legs were long and his feet so small,
This China man couldn't walk at all.
His servants used to carry him out,
Upon their backs, and the folks would shout,
'O, lookee here comes'--'Oh, dere he goes!
The China man with his Monkey Nose.

So Chickara-Choo-Chi-Cho-Chut-la
Chockolo roonee, ning o ping nang,
Padoger wa dusta canta kee,
Gunnee po hottee pi China coo.'

This China man had plenty of pelf.
He liv'd in a mansion by himself,
And next door was his servant's abode.
Now was not that a singular mode?
Two men he hired to carry him out,
But they turn'd out to be robbers stout.
He paid them well, and gave them clothes,
The China man with his Monkey Nose.
So Chickara, &c.

One day this China man fell in love,
And fancied, he said, miss Telto Dove;
So one of his servants carried him quick.
The other bent forward with a stick.
On a two legg'd horse, he look'd such a gill.
They took him some miles and stopt on a hill,
Then into a ditch the robber throws
The China man with his Monkey Nose.
So Chickara, &c.

Some China ladies then from the town
Ran up the hill and roll'd him down
From top to bottom. They then began
To tickle and play with the China man.
From him they most took all his breath,
For they nearly kissed this man to death.
At any rate, they all stopp'd his woes,
The China man with his Monkey Nose.
So Chickara, &c.

These Chinese ladies, so fine and gay,
Resolv'd to carry him home next day;
So safe at his house they reach'd once more
With all the ladies, and lock'd the door.
The robbers plunder'd his house entire,
Then set the ladies and him on fire.
All in the house had a fire repose,
The China man and his Monkey Nose.
So Chickara, &c."

9. From: GUEST,Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Mar 08 - 06:58 PM

"Sorry, Jim.
Didn't mean to be rude or clever.
The Bebbington/Pearson version is In Manchester Central Library.
I didn't bother noting down the Bodl versions cos I already had lots of versions. I have records of the following printers printing it in addition to Bebbington/Pearson no386 which is also in the Baring Gould BL collection.
Sanderson, Edinburgh
Poet's Box, Glasgow.
Hodges/Ryle/Such, London probably all derived from your Pitts version
Booth, Hyde

The Roud Index probably gives more."

10. From: GUEST,Mad
Date: 08 Jun 08 - 04:05 PM

"The version I learned from my grandmother goes like this:

Once there was a Chineseman
His name was Chikka Rakka Chi Chai Cho
His feet were long and his arms were short
This Chinese man couldn't walk nor talk

Chikka Rakka Chi Chai Cho chikalera
Bungalera piggy wiggy waggle
Ogo pogo anna banna coco
Cheraby cheraby chi chai cho

This Chinese man, he had a wife
And oh, they lived a terrible life
She cut off his pigtail, it was too long
And sold it for a Chinese song

Chikka Rakka Chi Chai Cho chikalera
Bungalera piggy wiggy waggle
Ogo pogo ana bana coco
Cheraby cheraby chi chai cho

It was always accompanied by a lot of clapping. I always thought she had made it up, so I'm happy to know that there are other people out there with their own versions of it. Makes me feel less crazy somehow :)"

11. From: GUEST,Bess
Date: 18 Jul 08 - 11:54 AM

"Holy cow, I had no idea that there were so many versions of this song. I learned this from my Quaker Liberal relatives who are now embarrassed to sing it because of it's racist overtones!

Chinkety Chinkety Chan

In Chinatown there lived a man
His name was Chinkety Chinkety Chan
His feet were long and his toes were short
And this is the way the poor Chinaman talked:

Chinkety-chee Cha-lye Cha-lo
Chinkety Romeo in a banana-ga
Wallika wallika chanikee
In a bannana-ga

12. From: GUEST,Guest33
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 11:00 PM

"I'm glad I found this thread! I've had this song stuck in my head. My mom was from Hammond/Chicago, and grew up in the 1930s. She sang a lot of silly war songs (The coffee in the Army...) and ethnic ditties of a sort that is not considered funny today (Snowball). Another Guest gave us a variant that is very close to what she would sing. I remember the tune, by the way, which doesn't seem to be part of the discussion. The glaring ignorance of geography was part of the joke.

Anyway, here's what our earlier Guest posted, with my mom's variant in CAPS:


and this is the way the Chinaman floats:

Chingaling chee, chi li, chi lo,
chingaling wallaga, in the bananaga,
wallaga, wallaga, CHAN OF THE SEA,

AT LENGTH Chinaman did die,
and in his coffin he did lie;
they sent him back to Old Japan,
and this is the way his epitaph ran..."

13. Azizi
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 07:50 PM

"For those who may be interested, here is an excerpt from a comment from another Mudcat thread about these types of songs:

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ching Chong Chinaman Song
From: GUEST,A proud Asian American - PM
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 08:01 PM

"Why would anyone want to continue a tradition such as this, a tradition that degrades an entire race of people? For what point and purpose? How would you feel if your people were subjected to such vile degradation, disrespect and hatred?

You really should think things through before you decide to pursue a topic.

And anyone who has ever uttered such filthy words for fun and amusement needs to do some serious soul-searching..."


I realize that singing this song is a family tradition for some people. I also realize that a number of people are nostalgic about this songs because it reminds them of their childhood and of their parents and grandparents who may be gone.

I believe that there is some merit in documenting the variants and engaging in other folkloric study of these songs. However, I'm concerned about passing on to another generation this song and other songs like it because it ridicules a race or a nationality of people.

These comments may not make any difference to those who think these songs are just fun. But I hope people think about these points before they teach these songs to their children and to other children."

14. Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Once in China there lived a great ma
From: GUEST,Chris Brierley
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 02:40 PM

"A few thoughts for Azizi

This is a song about an anonymous person. It was probably fiction at the time. I think you are an idiot berating people for recalling their memories on this forum.

The song does not "degrade an entire race of people" however I could make a few comments about those funny yellow rice munchers if you like?"

15. From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 07 Sep 10 - 11:05 AM

"My mum used to sing this playground clapping song when she was a little girl in the 30's in the playground or in the streets of Bristol when there was not much traffic and relatively safe!

In China once there lived a great man,
His name was chikerocka choo chi pan
His legs were long and his feet were small
This little Chinaman couldn't walk at all

Chickerocka chickerocka cho chiker orum
Condo romum acki paki wak
Oko koko hit him on the boko
Ikipie ikipie okoko

My mum's younger sister, although a few years younger had a slightly different version although basically the same. Funny how things alter in a few years. When I was a little girl I knew the Eenie Meenie one that is mentioned right at the top as a playground clapping song. Irish comedian Frank Carson did a version of Eenie Meenie Macarraca and it did get into the UK hit parade I think it was at the end of the 70's or early 80's."

16. From: GUEST,Interested Party
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 04:27 AM

"I thought it was a cheer. My father recited it as:

"Rah-rah chicorah, chicorah rooney.
Rooney, rooney, ping pang pooney--
Palla-walla wah,
sing Chinee Ching!"

(Not very P.C.!)

It sounds like a cheer for football games--it has a kind of rhythm, and "Rah-rah", after all."

Date: 08 Oct 10 - 06:36 PM

"My Mom's version was a little different but must be from the same original. It goes

Once in Japan there lived a man name Hiko-chiko-chickery-chan, Hiko Chiko chinaman, Wadame Kadame dusty-o willapy wallapy chineo.

One day the people of the town went up and brought the Chinaman down. Then the Chinaman he died and all the people for him cried.

And that was the end of Hiko-Chiko-Chickery-Chan, Hiko Chiko Chinaman, Wadame Kadame Dusty-o Willapy Wallapy Chineo."

18. From: GUEST,jhkinghill Reading UK
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 04:01 AM

"My Dad used to sing this--he learnt it from his mother and thinks she learnt it from her parents, so we are going back to mid-late 19thC Lancashire:
Once in China there lived a great man
and his name was Chicker-ricker-rookington
his legs were long but his feet were small
so that Chinaman couldn't walk at all
CHORUS: Soooooo--chicker-ricker-roo chy cho chucka-larum
Scandal-arum is a peg man
Cargo too-go is a giz gaz go
is a peg nay go
is a peg man
Cheero cheero chuck chucka largo is despatched in China
here he comes and here he goes
the Chinaman with a monkey's nose

Two smart men they carried him about
the people did laugh and the people did shout
they took him to the top of the hill
and rolled him down like a rolling pin (sometimes changed to 'beechams pill'by my mother, an English teacher and purist about rhyme
CHORUS repeated

I've never found anyone before outside of our family who had the remotest idea about this song, which we figured must have come into the family from trips to the old music halls--unless anyone knows of any sheet music for it?"

19. From: GUEST,canada
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 06:52 PM

"Hi, my dad who is from Lancashire and sang this song to us along with I'm a wee melody man but the way I remember is this way:

In China once there lived a man
His name was Chika-Racka-Chee-Chi-Chan
His head was big and his feet were small
And this poor Chinaman couldn't walk at all

Choo Cock-a-lorum
Cando, lorum, ninny pinny nap
Cat go, you go, etty cotty kitty ko
Ditty pie, Ditty pie, Chika-Rack-Chee-Chi

Talk about not being politically correct! But I'm in my early 60's and I remember this; that little golliwog from the jam jar lids and I had a book about ten little Ni***r boys sitting in the sun."
This comment is given as it was published in that discussion thread.

20.[added to this pancocojams post 10/23/2016 12:39 AM.]
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 12:14 PM

"What an interesting thread. I heard this song from my grandfather, though never was sure if he picked it up during the war or as a schoolboy in London.

Unfortunately he used different verses that I don't see here.
There was one about 'combed his hair with a knife and fork' or something to that effect. The first verse ended with 'couldn't walk or talk' with 'talk' rhyming perfectly with short because of his accent.

The only verse I remember, which I always thought was the best, was the last one which I don't see here:

"They took him up in an aeroplane
And told him not too bash his brain
The word was said and he fell on his head
and that was the end of the Chineseman"

As far as the concerns on the board about the racist nature of this song goes, I don't think there is any risk that teaching this song will promote racist attitudes. It's just a fun look into the attitudes that prevailed back then.
Case in point: I heard that song all the time growing up, but it didn't stop me from learning Chinese, spending time in China, having Chinese friends, and dating Chinese women. It's a fantastic culture, that I greatly admire, but that doesn't prevent me from enjoying this ridiculous song."

21. From: GUEST,patchouliaison
Date: 14 Jun 14 - 11:06 AM

"My great grandfather used to sing this song, and it's been handed down in the family. I find it entirely racist and have asked my parents to stop singing it to my baby. They, of course, we're horrified I would make this request. Basically, I'm trying to prove them wrong, that it is a quite offensive song. Any ideas on where it came from? The version we learned goes like this:

Once in China there lived a little man.
His name was Ching-a-ling-Ching-a-ling-Ching.
His legs were short and his feet were small,
And this little man couldn't walk at all.

Ride all day oh happy man.
You no fishy-go, shorty-o.
He wept and he wept in Chin-e-o.

Thanks for any tips on its origin!"

22. From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 18 Jul 14 - 06:06 AM

"patchouliaison. I quite agree. I find this song racist and offensive and I woder why anyone would want to bother singing it.

Just for the record, there is a version on CD, but no, I'm not prepared to provide any details."

23. From: GUEST,Kittymama
Date: 01 May 15 - 06:07 PM

"It's racist and offensive (for those who are collecting support for that position, patchouliason). We sing it privately, because it makes us think of our late mother, but we know better than to sing it in front of people. Which makes it sound as though we have a private little racist club, but, sigh, it is what it is. At least we've protected succeeding generations."
This is the last comment to date in that Mudcat discussion thread.


keyshop41 Published on Nov 17, 2013

I was taught this song by my Mother when I was a child, she was taught this song by her Mother when she was a child. I have no idea how her mother learn it. I have always thought it was a fun song since I was a kid. I had decided to try to find out about it recently and found that many people knew about the song and were searching for it but were asking if anyone had a complete version. Some of the missing lyrics seemed to be be those which I know from my mother's version. Many people who searched for the song knew slightly different words than that which I knew but no one had posted a complete version of the song anywhere and no one had a video or sound bit posted to hear how their version of the words went. So, using my memory as best I could I decided to put the song onto a video and made up the chords to follow the tune that I was taught as a kid. I also decided to just do the lyrics that I was taught when I was a kid. When trying to find the song I discovered that many people knew the song as Once In China. The opening line of my version is, "In China once there lived a great man..." Maybe the opening line should be, "Once in China there lived a great man...." A little bit of a difference but since I was never told what the name of the song was by Mother maybe this is true? So,since so many people seem to be searching for a song named Once In China, this is my version of "Once In China."

I don't speak any dialect of Chinese so if I'm saying something offensive I apologize. This was not meant to be against anyone, I'm just doing a song that I was taught as a kid that it sounds like many other people have searched for.
This example documents the tune (or a tune?) for the song "In China There Lives A Great Man" (or other titles).

This concludes Part I of this two part series.

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