Residence: Scottsdale, AZ
Date of Performance/Collection: February 11, 2021
Primary Language: English
beat it once beat it twice
turn around touch the ground
kick your boyfriend out of town
I think I’m gonna sneeze
The informant used to perform this song as part of clapping game in pre-school and elementary school in Arizona. She described it as an activity kids would do while lining up, such as when they were leaving the playground. She interpreted it as a distraction and time-passer, as well as something you got the joy of passing on/teaching. This was a regular activity for her and her classmates that those in her circle all knew. This was one of a few clapping games, rather than the only one they played.
This recitation seems similar to other childhood clapping games such as “patty-cake”, but with different lyrics and rhythm. This game also seems more physically active and disruptive to the line than other similar games I’ve seen, with my informant demonstrating exaggerated hand movements not restricted to clapping. Presumably, this would be counter-productive to an organized line. This seems to be an example of children’s folklore responding in a disorderly way to the order imposed by adults, which is a concept explored by Jay Mechling. Children have little power, he says, and so one of the ways they squeeze some power into their grasp is through disorder. This piece of folklore seems to manifest that principle with physical disruption and nonsensical lyrics.