What Is the Hokey-Cokey Really All About?

Post 559

The hokey-cokey. Also known in some parts of the world as the hokey-pokey. I’m pretty sure we’re all familiar with this children’s song. It’s essentially a song giving you instructions for the titular dance. And it’s a song I absolutely hate. I’m sorry, but I do. It sure made me miserable when they forced us to sing and dance the hokey-cokey in school. What does dance have to do with school? For God’s sake, dancing is not an important life skill!

‘You put your right arm in, your right arm out. In, out, in out, you shake it all about. You do the hokey-cokey and you turn around, that’s what it’s all about.’ There’s a chorus plus a few more verses. Left arm, left leg, right leg, whole self… blah, blah, blah. It’s so stupid. Kids shouldn’t be made to do this. From the moment they start school, they should instead be taught things that actually matter and nothing else. Mathematics, English, environmentalism, taxes, bills, individuality and that alcohol in moderation makes everything wonderful. Something they should be told will come in quite handy when they hit 13 and their lives will fall apart and never reassemble. What? Too much? I’d rather teach them that than the bloody hokey-cokey…

The son of the original author, Jimmy Kennedy, stated the movements were derived from observations of Canadian soldiers at a London nightclub, all consumed with jolly merriment. The lyrics were then written to match said movements. It’s said that the ‘cokey’ in the title was either Canadian slang for ‘crazy’ or taken directly from ‘cocaine’, taken by Canadian prospectors to cheer themselves up in the harsh Canadian environment. Kennedy’s son went on to say that this song was created to celebrate living, to cheer people up, to make them feel better during the war and to inspire people to express themselves physically.

Jimmy Kennedy, incidentally, was also responsible for the song ‘Teddy Bears’ Picnic’. This monster just sounds worse and worse the more you hear about him, doesn’t he?

What is the hokey-cokey really all about? Some would say that it’s skin-deep. ‘That’s what it’s all about’ is so blunt and final. It suggests an instruction to dance and nothing more. But I think Kennedy meant more than that. Just look at why he said it was originally created. It’s a song and dance of expression. Freedom. Inspiration. Happiness. Joy. A song born from the darkest hours this country has ever faced. That, readers, is what the hokey-cokey is really all about.

Well, that and ruining my childhood…

Ciao :)(:

Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other two blogs:

The Indelible Life of Me
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Hark Around the Words
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