Monday, 28 January 2008

Skinny Malinky Long-Legs, Big Banana Feet, and other priceless South African playground rhymes and skipping songs

Do you remember this classic playground chant, well-loved during the seventies and eighties?

'Skinny Malinky Long-Legs
Big banana feet
Went to the drive-in
And couldn't find a seat
Sat on a lady...
Out popped a baby
Skinny Malinky Long-Legs
Vrot banana feet'

Yes? You do? How about this one, then (sung while you stood spreadeagled against a wall, and slapped a tennis-ball-in-the-leg-of-a-pantihose on either side of your body. The words in capitals, below, correspond to the ball slapping against the wall.)

Hello, hello, hello, SIR
Won't you come to tea, SIR?
No, SIR
Why? SIR
Because I have a cold SIR
Where'd you get the cold SIR?
In the North Pole SIR
What were you doing there, SIR?
Catching polar bears, SIR.

Ok, how about this one? (Sung with lots of salutes, plus hand-, knee- and foot-slapping)

'A sailor went to the AAA
To see what he could AAA
And all that he could AAA
Was an A at the bottom of the AAA!'

(and so it carried on, through B, to C [sea, gettit?])

And then there's that lovely old selecting game (ie, choosing who's 'on', or 'It', or the 'catcher')

(Stand in a circle, and put your fists out, thumb-side up, but thumb tucked in.)

One potato, two potato, three potato, FOUR!
Five potato, six potato, seven potato, MORE!

There was also a similar selecting game that involved feet being pushed into the circle... anyone remember it? Oh, duh, have just asked my daughter. It's called 'Black Shoe, Black Shoe, Change Your Foot!'

I got to thinking about playground rhymes a few years ago when my sons, then aged about 8 and 10, came back from school with some New South African classics (sorry, I remember only fragments of them). This one was sung to the tune of our National Anthem:

'Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrica
Thabo Mbeki promised us a VCR
When we went to fetch it, all he said
Was voetsek, and never come back'

Then, how about French Skipping? Anyone remember that? Two kids, a long loop of old-fashioned broekie elastic stretched in a rectangle between two pairs of ankles? Whoever was 'on' skipped inbetween, and over, and on the long sides of the rectangle, ending with a twisting ankle motion and a release. Then the elastic was raised to knee-level, then thigh-level, and finally to waist level.

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Anonymous said...

I remember one:
Ask your mother for sixpence
to see the big giraffe
with freckles on his nose
and freckles on his
ask your mother for sixpence
to see etc.

How shocking it was back in the sixties to say 'arse'.

There were also some horrible racist ones.
Made you look, made you look
made you kiss the ******* cook.

Anonymous said...

I remember some of this
I went to kentucky I went to the fair
I met a cinderella with a flower in her hair
shake it baby shake it
shake it if you can
(You spin) round and round eyes closed and point to next person to go in the middle od circle
There are do many I wish I could remember more though...