"Looby Loo": Love child of "The Hokey Pokey" and "The Farmer in the Dell"?

Having a toddler means paying attention to odd bits of cultural lore that I’d never noticed before.

Case in point: the song “Looby Loo.” I remembered the chorus:

Here we go looby loo
Here we go looby lie
Here we go looby loo
All on a Saturday night

Little did I realize, however, that the verses in the song were just variations on “The Hokey Pokey” – put your right hand in, take it out, shake it, turn yourself about.

Nor did I realize that the verses were sung to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell.”

Which leads me to my question: what’s the relationship between these three songs? Did “Looby Loo” or “Hokey Pokey” come first? Does “Farmer” borrow its tune from “Looby” or vice versa? I suspect that “Looby Loo” is a later song, but there’s not much info on it out there – typing it into Wikipedia gets a redirect to a British children’s show named Andy Pandy. (Is “Looby” the British cousin of the “Hokey Pokey”?)

Anyone know the folkloric truth? And most importantly, how do I get the Wee Sing version of “Looby Loo” out of my head?

Well, they’re not the same tune, not exactly. They’re similar, but not identical.
Unless, of course, you’ve been singing “Looby Loo” to the tune of “Farmer in the Dell” or vice versa.

Farmer in the Dell goes:

C, C, C, C, C,
E, E, E, E, E
G, G, A, G, E, C,
E, E, D, D,

Looby Loo chorus goes:

CCC, E, C,
CCC, E, C,
CCC, E, C,
GAG, F, E, D,

And the Looby Loo verse goes:

C, C, CC, CC,
E, EE, EE,
E, E, D, D,

Even if you can’t plunk it out on the piano, you can see that the patterns are slightly different. Mainly the Farmer in the Dell has that A on “heigh-ho the dairy-o”, and the Looby Loo verse has that straight G-to-C descending scale.
I feel your pain as regards toddler earworms. :smiley:

ETA: I found that the best way to get rid of Wee Sing earworms is to listen some sort of 1960s Top 40 pop. Sonny and Cher “I’ve Got You Babe” and Dionne Warwick “I Say A Little Prayer For You” worked well for me.

Mine was the weirdness that the ABC song has the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star . I think a lot of kids songs borrow from well known tunes. Heaps of them are just two or three chord songs, simplistic for both the ability of the child and tha parent playing/singing to them.

But now I’ve got a collage of Looby Dell with it’s hand in, running though my head - thanks, that’ll make work interesting today.

Don’t forget Baa, Baa Black Sheep

And “Baa, Baa Black Sheep”.

Almost. The three are slightly different the way most people sing them, but they’re all slight variations on a 1761 French melody: “Ah! Vous dirais-je, Maman”, which was actually a bawdy song. Mozart didn’t write it, trivia games’ claims notwithstanding, but he did write a dozen or so variations on it.

The big show-off! No wonder Salieri hated him so! :stuck_out_tongue:

Since this is about music (of sorts) it may be best for Cafe Society.

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Strikes me as the cure almost being worse than the disease, at least as far as Sonny and Cher go. :wink:

I just dropped to say that the thread title is a perfect example of everything I adore about the SDMB. Where else but here, people? I ask you!

I have to wonder…with today’s “every child is so special” society, do they even allow the children to sing the Farmer in the Dell? I mean, just think of the horror! The cheese stands alone? Alone? That poor child who suffers the shame of being the cheese! How will they ever cope with the stress and shame?

Yeah, it’s like one of those sci-fi movies where the crew members get, like, infected with this alien virus? And they have to, like, drink their own urine or something? In order to kill the virus? I think that guy from that WB show was in it.

No. The British version of the Hokey Pokey is in fact the Hokey-Cokey.

They may not be exact, but the “Looby Loo” verses sound more like “The Farmer in the Dell” than “My Sweet Lord” does like “He’s So Fine.” Someone owes royalties.

But really, the melody question was secondary. I’m really curious about whether the whole putting a body part in, taking that body part out, putting that body part back in, then shaking that body part all about started with “Looby Loo” or “The Hokey Pokey.” Or some common musical ancestor.

And bouv, the objections I’ve heard to “The Farmer in the Dell” also have to do with the unacceptability of farmers taking wives. It’s sexist, they tells ya.

Slight hijack: I was reading Mother Goose to the little girl I babysit; and we got to “The Old Woman Who Lives In A Shoe”.

And it said, “kissed them all soundly, and put them to bed.” Kissed them?! :eek: There is a point where all this PC stuff just get out of hand. Like how the Gingerbread Man doesn’t get eaten anymore. Bah! You kids get off my lawn! [/hijack]

Yeah, but is it closer than “Travelin’ Band” and “Good Golly, Miss Molly”?

Wait… looby?! WTF?

Anyone else that thought it was “loopty-loo” as a contraction of “loop-the-loop”? Anyone…?