ABC Game

Context: This game was played primarily in camp settings, where two players would grip hands, as in a thumb war, and take turns extending and bending their elbows in time with the rhyme. The goal of the game was to be the one with their arm/elbow extended when the last line of the rhyme was spoken.

H.I. : Yeah, okay. So, it’s kinda like a childhood song, like a game. And I think it originally started like at summer camp? Um, but it’s just like, I guess it’s like, you know like, a hand game
P.Z. : Like lemonade? Sort of?
Kind of. Yeah, it’s like, should I do it? (singing) It’s like A, B, C, it’s easy as a 1, 2, 3, my momma’s take care of me, my daddy said do re mi, ooh, aah, I wanna piece of pie, pie too sweet, I wanna piece of meat, meat too tough, I want my money back, coming back to, wait, money back too green, I want a jelly bean, jelly bean not cooked, I wanna read a book, book not read, I wanna go to bed, bed not made, I want some lemonade, lemonade too sour, I wanna take a shower, shower too cold, I wanna piece of gold, gold too shiny, I wanna kiss my heiny, heiny too dirty, I wanna count to thirty, thirty too high, I wanna say bye, bye too sad, I wanna talk to dad, dad too dull, I wanna go to mall, mall too cheap, I wanna buy a Jeep, a Jeep is a car that goes beep beep
P.Z. : Okay, and did it normally go that fast?
H.I. : Yeah.
P.Z. : Okay and what were like the hand motions?
H.I. : It’s just, you do that (grab opposite hands of other player, making an X with left hand grabbing left, and right grabbing right)
P.Z. : Just like criss cross the whole time?
H.I. : Yeah, just like criss cross.
P.Z. : Patty cake style?
H.I. : Or, like, yes.
P.Z. : It’s just back and forth.
H.I. : Exactly.
P.Z. : Alright. And was this only done with one other person?
H.I. : Yeah, just one other person, and it was like the fastest you go is like better. Usually what you’re trying to do is the last one the jeep jeep you’re trying to like hit the person.
P.Z. : Oh, okay, but push them backwards.
H.I. : Yeah.

Thoughts: I also went to summer camps growing up, so while I had never personally heard of this game, I knew of many similar ones. The more that we discussed how the game was played and the lyrics of the song, the more similarities I was able to see between numerous other childhood songs and games from my own time as I had been growing up.