Tag Archives: show

Pre-Show Warm Up Chant


“Tarzan, swinging from a rubber band, crashed into a frying pan, ow that hurts. Now Tarzan has a tan, and I hope it doesn’t peel! (peel is said in a falsetto voice) like a banana (beat chest). Jane, flying in an aeroplane, swept up by a hurricane. Ow, that hurt. Now Jane has a pain, and Tarzan has a tan, and I hope it doesn’t peel! Like a banana!”


According to my informant, this chant is a repeat-after-me type of chant that’s used as a pre-show warm-up in school theatres. My informant says that there will be one or two leaders who will start the chant, and after every line, the rest of the cast in the theatrical production will loudly repeat after them. According to her, it’s been done before nearly every single show she’s ever been in, and is used to bring everyone’s energy levels up before the show officially starts. Alongside different inflections in the voice when one performs this chant, there are also some bodily movements done as well, including beating ones chest like a gorilla during following the like “like a banana.”

My Analysis

Being involved in theatre myself, I immediately recognized this pre-show chant when my informant brought it up in our interview. Immediately, I could remember all of the vocal inflections done in the chant, and how it really did bring everyone’s energy levels up in order to create a great show for the audience. My informant and I grew up together, but now live in very different places, and I thought it was immensely neat that theatrical productions all across the United States are utilizing this pre-show chant as a means to hype everybody up.

One For the Money…

The informant is recounting a rhyme/chant her and her cousins would recite when they were younger:
One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go!
Uh, I learned it from my cousins, It’s what we’d say right before jumping into this lake we went to every summer. Basically, it made it harder for people to chicken out when we had this whole chant thing going. What it means, I don’t really know, but that’s the context i’ve used it in.
The informant chanted this before doing something frightening and it’s purpose was to bring her group of cousins closer together.
This shows the power of folklore that, by sharing this chant, they are capable of assuaging their fears since they are all experiencing it together.


Part of this phrase was used as the title of the popular Janet Evanovitch novel One For the Money. This use plays on the audience’s familiarity with the phrase. It is used there as a play on words though since it is actually about doing one bounty hunter job literally for the money.