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Known as the "hokey cokey" or "okey cokey" (also "hokey pokey" in Ireland), the song and accompanying dance peaked in popularity as a music hall song and novelty dance in the mid-1940s in Britain and Ireland.
There is a claim of authorship by the British/Irish songwriter Jimmy Kennedy, responsible for the lyrics to popular songs such as the wartime "We're Going to Hang out the Washing on the Siegfried Line" and the children's song "Teddy Bears' Picnic".
The hokey cokey (United Kingdom), hokey pokey (United States, Ireland, Canada, Australia, the Caribbean, Israel), or hokey tokey (New Zealand), is a participation dance with a distinctive accompanying tune and lyric structure. It originates in a British folk dance, with variants attested as early as 1826. An Anglican cleric, Canon Matthew Damon, Provost of Wakefield Cathedral, West Yorkshire, has claimed that the dance as well comes from the traditional Catholic Latin Mass.
The song and accompanying dance peaked in popularity as a music hall song and novelty dance in the mid-1940s in the British Isles. The first hit was by The Snowmen, which peaked at UK No. found similar dances and lyrics dating back to the 17th century. Up until the reforms of Vatican II, the priest would perform his movements with his back to the congregation, who could not hear well the words, nor understand the Latin, nor clearly see his movements.
The inspiration for the song's title that resulted, "The Hokey Pokey", supposedly came from an ice cream vendor whom Tabor had heard as a boy, calling out, "Hokey pokey penny a lump. A well known lyricist/songwriter/music publisher of the time, Jimmy Kennedy, reneged on a financial agreement to promote and publish it, and finally Tabor settled out of court, giving up all rights to the number.
According to one such account, in 1940, during the Blitz in London, a Canadian officer suggested to Al Tabor, a British bandleader of the 1920s-1940s, that he write a party song with actions similar to "Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree".
One of the earlier variants, with a very similar dance to the modern one, is found in Robert Chambers' Popular Rhymes of Scotland from 1826; the words there are given as: there is a song with music on page 163 entitled "Turn The Right Hand In". This theory led Scottish politician Michael Matheson in 2008 to urge police action "against individuals who use it to taunt Catholics".
It has 9 verses, which run thus: "Turn the right hand in, turn the right hand out, give your hands a very good shake, and turn your body around." Additional verses include v2. This claim by Matheson was deemed ridiculous by fans from both sides of the Old Firm (the Glasgow football teams Celtic and Rangers) and calls were put out on fans' forums for both sides to join together to sing the song on 27 December 2008 at Ibrox Stadium.
Either the upper or lower limbs may start first, and either left or right, depending on local tradition, or by random choice on the night. " they either clap in time or raise arms above their heads and push upwards in time.
Ida Barr is performed by a British comedian Christopher Green.
Known as the "hokey pokey", it became popular in the US in the 1950s.
Its originator in the US is debatable: In 1953, Ray Anthony's big band recording of the song turned it into a nationwide sensation.
The distinctive vocal was by singer Jo Ann Greer, who simultaneously sang with the Les Brown band and dubbed the singing voices for such film stars as Rita Hayworth, Kim Novak, June Allyson, and Esther Williams.
On the penultimate line they bend knees then stretch arms, as indicated, and on "Rah! Sometimes each subsequent verse and chorus is a little faster and louder, with the ultimate aim of making people chaotically run into each other in gleeful abandon.