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arr. Paul Jennings

Now mostly a children's song, this catchy nonsense tune started its history as a "play party" creation from the 1840s. It was an icebreaker of a game that continues to be popular to this day. As some of the lyrics imply, the game involves couples rhythmically walking around a single person (originally a male) who, at a certain point, grabs a partner as they pass by, leaving a new single player. The song continues as long as you want to play. These play party tunes were devised during a period when dancing was not considered a good thing, so these allowed recreation without official dancing.

There are literally dozens of verses that have been created for this tune. Feel free to substitute favorites as you like. For our arrangement, we offer four verses: two verses singing, followed by the melody played on kazoos, then another two verses singing headed to an ending. For the intro, interludes, and countermelodies, we have a great "fiddle" duet.

We have provided an optional rhythm sticks part for the kazoo section, though you should feel free to add any percussion parts you like to your performance. An extracted PDF of the rhythm sticks part is available online, as are the two fiddle parts, in case you have your own fiddlers to play along.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.