The Hokey-Pokey - What's It All About?

Filed under: Weird But True

Two dancers, from the waist downEveryone knows the routine -- you put your right hand in, you put your right hand out, and so on. Pretty darn innocuous, right? Well, it seems that in England, a lot of people have gotten upset about the 50's dance craze because they believe some people use the dance to mock Catholics. It has even gotten to the point where a Scottish politician called for police action against those who danced the hokey pokey at football matches.

Now, however, the son of the song's author has come forward with the real story behind the song. Jimmy Kennedy Jr. offered his father's tale of how the song came about. It seems that, in 1942, he attended a rather boisterous party with a group of Canadian soldiers. "They were having a hilarious time," wrote the elder Kennedy, "singing and playing games, one of which they said was a Canadian children's game called The Cokey Cokey. I thought to myself, wouldn't that be fun as a dance to cheer people up! So when I got back to my hotel, I wrote a chorus based on the feet and hand movements the Canadians had used, with a few adaptations."

As for the title, well, it turns out that's a reference to the "drugs taken by the miners in Canada to cheer themselves up in the harsh environment where they were prospecting." And that, folks, is what it's all about.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.