Folk Chant

Recess Taunt

U-G-L-Y, you ain’t got no alibi

You ugly, yeah yeah you ugly;

Reeses Pieces, buttercup,

Mess with me, I’ll mess you up;

Bang bang choo choo train,

Wind me up, I’ll do my thang!

Brick wall, waterfall,

Girl you think you got it all…

You don’t, I do!

So POOF with that attitude!

According to Talia, these rhymes can be sung in almost any order, and they are rarely ever intended to be insulting. They are generally sung by a big group of girls and are often accompanied with an improvised, cheerleader-style dance (or a jump-rope). The girls will take turns reciting lines, turning it into a friendly vocal competition. Talia claims that there are many more similar rhymes, and that she and her friends often try to think of new ones. On rare occasions, the lines are recited between competitive teams, and that girls can take these rhymes personally if they are intended to isolate a person or a group.
Although these rhymes are generally recited in a cheerful, spirited manner, the actual lyrics are rather demeaning. The “U-G-L-Y” lines are designed to isolate someone because of her physical appearance, suggesting that she is not attractive enough to be associated with a certain person or group. The “Reeses Pieces” rhyme is actually a direct physical threat that establishes dominance between groups or people. The remaining lines are less directly insulting, and are instead geared towards personal empowerment. The singer proclaims complete confidence in her abilities and challenges the other girl/group to test her competence. Of course, as Talia stated, the rhymes are almost never recited maliciously; yet, they do represent competitiveness, aggression, and superficiality.

An interesting parallel to these chants can be found at

Powell, Azizi. “Schoolyard Taunts.” CocoJams. 7 Mar. 2007. 8 Apr.

2007 <>.

This site is an online message board where people are able to submit their own taunts or rhymes. While many of the rhymes are very similar to those of Talia and her friends, none of them directly correlate (revealing both multiplicity and variation in the folklore).