There’s A Place On Mars—Clapping Game

Background: The informant learned the song in elementary school and middle school. The song was sung while students, mainly girls, clapped their hands with each other. It has very clear rhythms. There are many variations of the lyrics, and this piece is an example of one of the variations.

Context: The informant learned this song while playing with friends in school. When singing this song, two people will face each other, clap their hands, clap each other’s hands, and repeat. It is a common song that was sung among students like her, and she knows other variations of the same song.

Main piece:
There’s a place on mars where the women smoke cigars and the men wear bikinis and the children drink martinis every breath you take is enough to kill a snake with the snake is dead you put roses on its head when the roses die you put diamonds in his eyes when the diamonds crack you put mustard on his back when the mustard fades you call the king of spades and the king of spades calls the queen of hearts and the queen of hearts packs the jack of clubs and the Jack of clubs says this Coca-Cola went to town orange soda knocked him down Dr Pepper fixed him up now we’re drinking 7up 7up got the flu now we’re drinking Mountain Dew. Mountain Dew fell off a mountain now we’re drinking from a fountain fountain broke now we’re drinking plain old C-O-K-E coke.

The lyrics include a lot of content that is considered inappropriate for children, such as smoking, children drinking martinis, etc. The beginning of the lyrics is a bit rebellious, which is probably why children are so interested in speaking and sharing it. The rather complex lyrics and the simple melody are an interesting combination. Compared to the lyric, the song was very simple, consisting of one short melody that keeps repeating. Since the lyrics appeal to children and the melody is easy to sing, the song spread widely among children.