Folk Song – Westlake Village, California


(Leader goes: “This is a repeat after me song!”)


Swinging on a rubber band


Bumped into a frying pan

Ooo that hurts

Now Tarzan has a tan

And I hope he doesn’t peel

Like a banaaaaaaana


Hanging on an airplane


Crashed into a traffic lane

Ooo that hurts

Now Jane has a pain

And Tarzan has a tan

And I hope he doesn’t peel

Like a banana


Dancing on a pizza


Burned his little feetza

Now Cheetah is velveeta

And Jane has a pain

And Tarzan has a tan

And I hope he doesn’t peel

Like a banaaaana

(Singer sings name of a camper)

Fell in love with Cheetah


Nicole Ross is the camp director of First Neighborhood Day Camp in Westlake Village, CA. Over 200 kids attend camp every week, and throughout the day the counselors lead multiple song medleys. Generally, Nicole selects a counselor to come on stage with his/her group of campers and pick a song, which they will sing on stage in front of the entire camp. I attended the camp from ages 7-13, but when I arrived to work as a head counselor in the summer of 2006 I noticed that many of the songs had changed. Since the camp has been around for more than twenty years, many of the songs have been modified, and Nicole brought many new songs to the camp’s tradition. She claims to have learned “Tarzan” back when she was a camper around 1993.

At first glance, the lyrics of “Tarzan” seem very random, intended merely for entertainment purposes. Inspired by the traditional Tarzan stories, the popular song features reckless characters that reach bizarre consequences for their actions. Thus, the song’s central theme is to warn kids from performing senseless actions (such as “hanging on an airplane”) by stressing the potential risks of such activity ( as Jane “crashed into a traffic lane”). First Neighborhood Day Camp is not gated and is surrounded by public parks and residential neighborhoods; therefore, it is imperative that the campers do not wander off and act foolishly. Of course, the primary goal is for the kids to have fun, but not at the expense of their safety. The song suggests that people must take responsibility for their actions, even if they seem as harmless as “dancing on a pizza.” At the end, the song ends on a humorous note, with the song leader selecting a camper that will fall in love with Cheetah, much to the amusement of the rest of the camp.