Daddy Clanger (imc) wrote,
Daddy Clanger

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Poll* explanation

Heads and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
Heads and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
And eyes and ears and mouth and nose
Heads and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes.

From 1979 to 1983 I was in the Scouts, of which one of the delights was a compulsory two-week camp each Summer in a random field somewhere in the UK - and as if that weren't exciting enough, the middle weekend featured a big sing-song round the camp fire. This song happens to have been one of various Scouting Classics [there must surely be a CD out with that description - if not then there's a marketing opportunity for someone] which we were made to sing. Coincidentally, it's also an educational song for small children.

Believe it or not, until last month I had never heard of the version without the first `and' (although since then I've seen it in a book whose whole content is this song). For several people, this seems to be the only version they have heard. Whether it should be `head' or `heads' I really couldn't say - I seem to remember it being the latter, though this is illogical since the song only has one mouth and one nose (which only goes to show that one shouldn't think about it too much).

Line 4 was popular at scout camp, where I suspect the majority of participants didn't really have their heart in it.

Line 5, if I am not much mistaken, is the theme song (same tune) from the BBC children's classic with Derek Griffiths. Either no one remembers it or I've got it wrong in some nontrivial way.

Line 6 is another of those things we were made to do at scout camp. Singing the whole thing once through is obviously not enough; what you then have to do is sing it again but without voicing the word `heads'. And again but without voicing the word `heads' or `shoulders'. And so on and so on, ad nauseam until you have a song in which the only word is `and'. For this to work (for some value of `work') I think you do need to include the first `and' - which is were we came in.

* Poll

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