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Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes

Azizi 08 Apr 09 - 09:06 AM
Azizi 08 Apr 09 - 09:09 AM
Azizi 08 Apr 09 - 09:17 AM
Azizi 08 Apr 09 - 09:20 AM
Azizi 08 Apr 09 - 09:28 AM
Bill D 08 Apr 09 - 11:44 AM
DADGBE 08 Apr 09 - 04:03 PM
Midchuck 08 Apr 09 - 04:06 PM
Azizi 08 Apr 09 - 08:02 PM
Azizi 09 Apr 09 - 05:40 PM
GUEST,arrianna 17 Aug 09 - 10:42 AM
irishenglish 17 Aug 09 - 12:28 PM
Azizi 17 Aug 09 - 12:41 PM
Midchuck 17 Aug 09 - 01:21 PM
irishenglish 17 Aug 09 - 02:39 PM
Azizi 17 Aug 09 - 03:26 PM
Azizi 17 Aug 09 - 03:40 PM
Joe_F 17 Aug 09 - 08:04 PM
Gibb Sahib 18 Aug 09 - 01:01 AM
Azizi 18 Aug 09 - 09:58 AM
Azizi 18 Aug 09 - 10:10 AM
Gibb Sahib 18 Aug 09 - 10:59 AM
Azizi 18 Aug 09 - 12:21 PM
Gibb Sahib 18 Aug 09 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,mg 18 Aug 09 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,mg 18 Aug 09 - 01:39 PM
Azizi 18 Aug 09 - 02:11 PM
GUEST,mg 18 Aug 09 - 02:28 PM
Uly 18 Aug 09 - 02:53 PM
Azizi 18 Aug 09 - 03:03 PM
Joe_F 18 Aug 09 - 09:17 PM
Azizi 19 Aug 09 - 08:14 AM
Azizi 19 Aug 09 - 08:57 AM
Azizi 19 Aug 09 - 09:08 AM
Azizi 19 Aug 09 - 09:14 AM
Azizi 19 Aug 09 - 09:35 AM
GUEST,Neil D 19 Aug 09 - 10:01 AM
GUEST,Neil D 19 Aug 09 - 10:15 AM
Rapparee 19 Aug 09 - 11:59 AM
Azizi 19 Aug 09 - 06:44 PM
Azizi 19 Aug 09 - 07:08 PM
Joe_F 19 Aug 09 - 09:21 PM
Azizi 19 Aug 09 - 10:09 PM
GUEST 18 Feb 10 - 09:29 AM
GUEST 10 Feb 11 - 03:13 PM
GUEST 22 May 12 - 02:00 PM
catspaw49 22 May 12 - 02:17 PM
GUEST,steveo 14 Jan 13 - 07:36 PM
Mark Ross 15 Jan 13 - 11:01 AM
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Bobert 16 Jan 13 - 10:13 AM
Nigel Parsons 16 Jan 13 - 10:50 AM
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Subject: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Apr 09 - 09:06 AM

All of that recent talk about in this current BS thread about the MOAB thread got me to thinking about why there's a Mother of all BS threads and not one named after dear ole dad.

And that got me thinking about "Yo Mama" insults that are such a core feature of the African American insult tradition called "the dozens".

And that got me wondering how many songs or children's playground rhymes there are that include Yo Mama type insults.

You will note that I'm not starting this thread around Mother's Day (though every day could be considered Mother's Day). And needless to say, I mean no disrespect toward mothers in general or anybody's mama in particular. I'm interested in this topic because I'm just interested in this topic.

So, in the fine Mudcat tradition of what I call "category threads", in my next posts I'll share some examples of songs or rhymes that include such insults.

I hope you'll add some too.

Thanks in advance for your participation in this thread.


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Apr 09 - 09:09 AM

SAY MAN

(Ellas McDaniel aka Bo Diddley) 1959

(Alternate lines spoken by Bo Diddley and Jerome Green):

Say man,
What's that boy?
I want to tell you 'bout your girlfriend,
What about my girl?
Well, you don't look strong enough to take the message,
I'm strong enough,
I might hurt your feelings,
My feelings are already hurt by being here with you,
Well, I was walking down the street with your girl the other day,
Ah-ha,
And the wind was blowin' real hard,
Is that right?
And the wind blew her hair into my face,
Ah-ha,
You know what else happened?
What happened?
The wind blew her hair into her face,
Yeh?
And we went a little further; you wanna hear the rest of it?
I might as well,
The wind blew her hair into the street!
Ok; since you told me about my girl, I'm gonna tell you about yours. I was walking down the street with your girl,
Yes?
I took her home, for a drink, you know,
Took her home?
Yeh, jus' for a drink,
Oh,
But that chick looked so ugly, she had to sneak up on the glass to get a drink of water!
You've got the nerve to call somebody ugly; why you so ugly the stork that brought you in the world oughta be arrested!
That's alright; my momma didn't have to put a sheet on my head so sleep could slip up on me!
Look-a here!
What's that?
Where are you from?
South America,
What's that?
South America,
You don't look like no South American to me,
I'm still from South America,
What part?
South Texas!
Where are your workin' boots at?
I've got 'em on,
Those aren't no boots you got on; those broguettes!
Hey, look-a here!
What's that?
I've bin tryin' to figure out what you is,
I already figured out what YOU is!
What's that?
You that thing I throw peanuts at!
Look-a here!
What's that?
You should be ashamed of yourself,
Why?
Calling people ugly,
I didn't call you ugly,
What you say?
I said you was ruined, that's all!
You know somethin'?
What?
You look like you've bin whooped with a ugly-stick!
Hey! I ain't got nothin' to do with it, but I beat the fellah right...!


http://www.musicsonglyrics.com/B/bodiddleylyrics/bodiddleysaymanlyrics.htm


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Apr 09 - 09:17 AM

U-G-L-Y
(Cheerleader cheer)


U-G-L-Y
You ain''t got no alibi.
You ugly
Hey Hey
You ugly.

M-O-M-M-A
That is how you got that way.
Yo Momma
Hey Hey
Yo Mama


-snip-

This cheer was featured in the 1986 Wildcats movie starring Goldie Hawn. However, an African American woman in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania informed me that teenagers were saying that cheer in that city before that movie came out.

In this Mudcat thread, I speculated that this cheer might have been composed as a take-off of the Ugly Baby song (which are alternative lyrics to the song "Pretty Baby".


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Apr 09 - 09:20 AM

I meant to include another verse to that U-G-L-Y cheer that my Pittsburgh "informant" had shared with me (which I have since also received from other people outside of Pennsylvania):

D-A-DD-Y
You don't even know that guy
Your daddy
hey hey
Your daddy.


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Apr 09 - 09:28 AM

Here are two examples of a very popular children's hand clap rhyme that includes "yo mama" lines:

Brick Wall Water Fall (Example #1)
Brick wall waterfall boy/girl you think you no it all you dont i do so shh whith that Additude Your Mama your daddy your balled headed granny she 99 she thinks shes fine she going out whith frankinstine shes hip shes fat she needs a tic-tac not a tic not a tac but the hole six pack im sorry to be mean but she needs some listrine not a sip not a swallow but the hole bottle
-Timothy, 2/2/2006; http://www.cocojams.com/taunting_rhymes.htm

**

Brick Wall Water Fall (Example #2)
A...B...C...Hit It That's the way ah-uhh-uhh i like it uh-huh ah huh that's the way ah-huh-ah-huh i like it ah-huh-ah-huh You have your way i have mine peace punch captain crunch brickwall waterfall boy you think you know it all You don't i do So POOF with the attitude no wait... come back i think you need a tic-tac not one,not two but the whole six pack yo mamma yo daddy yo bald headed granny she's 99 she thinks she fine She's goin out with Frankenstein so go, go granny go, go granny (repeat go go granny until feel like stopping)
-Katherine; 5/6/2007; http://www.cocojams.com/taunting_rhymes.htm


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Apr 09 - 11:44 AM

Although I am not personally familiar with much of this, I have heard brief variations of them over the years.....but I was startled to see on late-night TV just a few days ago, an entire program devoted to 'contests' on this theme. There seemed to be 'topics' given by the MCs for the contestants to improvise on, as well as 'free-style' insults.
   I...ummmm... didn't watch long enough to gain many useful insights. Just a piece of culture that is beyond me.


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: DADGBE
Date: 08 Apr 09 - 04:03 PM

Where I grew up in The Bronx, 'yo momma...' jokes were common as dirt. They were also likely to earn a well placed kick.

Yo momma gives Green Stamps!
Yo momma's so ugly, she's got her clothes on backward and looks better that way!


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Midchuck
Date: 08 Apr 09 - 04:06 PM

Yo' momma so fat she keeps her diaphragm in a pizza box!

Peter


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Apr 09 - 08:02 PM

This isn't a Yo Mama insult song. But it's definitely a parent insult song.

I remember my mother telling my sisters and me not to sing this song. I suppose we had heard it on the radio or maybe even on television and we really liked the tune and the chorus. And we liked to dance a kind of calypso-can can dance while we sang the chorus. But my mother said that it wasn't a nice song and it would hurt our father's feelings if he heard us singing it. It wasn't until I was older that I figured out what the words to this song really meant and why my mother didn't want us to sing it at all and especially not around our father. What song am I talking about? Here it is:

MAMA LOOK A BOO BOO

{as sung by Harry Belafonte}

I wonder why nobody don't like me
IOr is it the fact that I'm ugly?
I wonder why nobody don't like me
Or is it the fact that I'm ugly?

I leave my whole house and home
My children don't want me no more
Bad talk into the house they bring
And when I talk they start to sing

"Mama look at Boo Boo" they shout.
Their mama tell them "Shut up your mouth!"
That is your daddy.:
"Oh no, my daddy can't be ugly so."

Chorus:
shut your mouth. Go away.
Mama look at boo boo day.
shut your mouth. Go away.
Mama look at boo boo day.

-snip-

This is how I remember singing this song, and the words are almost right.

Here's a link to the YouTube video of the original Belafonte recording:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBUGtPn7eQo&feature=related


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 05:40 PM

Here's a pure deluxe insult song:


TRAMP

(Otis Redding & Carla Thomas)

Tramp
( Feat. Carla Thomas)

Tramp!

What you call me?

Tramp.

You didn't!

You don't wear continental clothes, or Stetson hats.

Well I tell you one dog-gone thing. It makes me feel good to know one thing. I know I'm a lover.

Matter of opinion.

That's all right, Mama was. Papa too. And I'm the only child. Lovin' is all I know to do.

You know what, Otis?

What?

You're country.

That's all right.

You straight from the Georgia woods.

That's good.

You know what? You wear overalls, and big old brogan shoes, and you need a haircut,

Tramp.

Haircut? Woman, you foolin'...ooh...I'm a lover. Mama was. Grandmama, Papa too.
Boogaloo. All that stuff. And I'm the only son-of-a-gun this side of the Sun. Tramp!

You know what, Otis? I don't care what you say, you're still a tramp.

What?

That's right. You haven't even got a fat bankroll in your pocket. You probably haven't even got twenty-five cents.

I got six Cadillacs, five Lincolns, four Fords, six Mercuries, three T-Birds, Mustang, ooooooohhh...I'm a lover. Mama was. Papa too. I tell you one thing.

Well tell me.

I'm the only son-of-a-gun this side of the Sun.

You're a tramp, Otis.

No I'm not.

I don't care what you say, you're still a tramp.

What's wrong with that?

Look here. You ain't got no money.

I got everything.

You can't buy me all those minks and sables and all that stuff I want.

I can buy you minks, rats, frogs, squirrels, rabbits, ...anything you want, Woman.

Look, you can go out in the Georgia woods and find them, Baby.

Oh, you foolin'.

You're still a tramp.

That's all right.

You a tramp, Otis. You just a tramp.

That's all right.

You wear overalls. You need a haircut, Baby. Cut off some of that hair off your head. You think you a lover, huh?

Otis Redding & Carla Thomas - Tramp lyrics

**

Here's a link to the sound recording for this record on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTKmuICW7c8


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: GUEST,arrianna
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 10:42 AM

your mamma your daddy your bald headed granny shes 99 she think shes shes going out with frankin stine you wish youwish you just got moded your booty exploded


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: irishenglish
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 12:28 PM

Lets not forget the classic from my dad's old buddy, the E-Man, Jimmy Castor- Hey Leroy-your mama....she's calling you man..ahhh haaa haaaa!


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 12:41 PM

I had forgotten about this thread.

Thanks, gUEST,arrianna for posting that rhyme. I've read a number of examples (online) of those verses in the Brick wall Water fall handclap rhyme. If your interested, check out a ton of examples on this page of my website http://www.cocojams.com/taunting_rhymes.htm .

**
irishenglish, thanks for that addition to this thread. I loved that "Hey Leroy (you're mama callin you man) song. I heard it when I was in college in Northern New Jersey near New York City. That dance had a great Latin beat. I'm going to see if I can find it on You Tube.

Wow! I found it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K84ChqeLcq8
Jimmy Castor Bunch - Hey Leroy Your Mama's Calling You (1966)

What a blast from the past! So your father knew Jimmy Castor? Great!

**

BTW, irishenglish, if you care to share, what does the nickname
"E-man" stand for?

Thanks again!!


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Midchuck
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 01:21 PM

Brings to mind a parody I heard 40+ years ago, to the melody of "Cool Water" as sung by the Sons of the Pioneers & them...

I got no place in the human race
Because my face is ugly.
Just...Plain....Ugly.

All my friends, they live in pens,
And all my kin are ugly.
Just...Plain....Ugly.

Take my Dad, it's really sad.
He looks so bad, he's ugly.
Just...Plain....Ugly.

And my mother, she's another,
Like my brother, ugly.
Just...Plain....Ugly.

That gal of mine, she's six feet nine
Like Frankenstein, she's ugly.
Just...Plain....Ugly.


That's as much as I can remember now.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: irishenglish
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 02:39 PM

Azizi, no probem... E-man stands for Everything man, since Jimmy plays sax, percussion, sings, etc. My father briefly worked with Jimmy, sometime before Hey Leroy came out in '66. In NY circles Jimmy had a name I guess-he had written "I Promise To Remember" for Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers...was even filling in for Frankie on occasion (Frankie was said to be 30 going on 13). Jimmy is actually living in Vegas now and attempting a comeback, he has a website and a facebook page. Believe it or not, even after in his heyday hanging out with Hendrix and Elton John and people like that, 40 years later he still remembered my dad, and we've shared emails back and forth the last few years catching up. The funny thing is I knew some of his other songs like Troglodyte and the gritty It's Just Begun for years, but I had no idea it was Jimmy!


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 03:26 PM

irishenglish, please give my best regards to Jimmy Castor.

I wish him much continued success.

Perhaps you should post a hyperlink to his website.

Re: "Hey Leroy Your Mama's Calling You", that song is connected in my memory to the first time I saw anyone doing Latin dances. I was visiting the home of a girl who attended the same college as me. She lived in the Flatbush section of New York City. I remember that she had invited some of her friends over and they were playing records-this wasn't a real party or anything. Anyway, I remember that "Hey Leroy" record being played and girls and guys doing a salsa? dance. These were African Americans-like me- but I was from Southern Jersey and at that time there were very few Latinos in that area, unlike the population of New York City. Consequently, I had never seen that type of dancing before.

It looked like fun, but I was too lacking in self-confidence and nerve to try it.

So, in a way, that song reminds me of another missed opportunity. But for the most part, I like hearing it because of its high energy.


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 03:40 PM

Midchuck, thanks for sharing that parody you remember with us.

Do you think that song was a parody of that song popularized by Belafonte "Mama Look A Boo Boo?"

And do you have any idea if this song was a children's parody meaning it's likely to have been composed by children, or is it an parody some adults made up of another song? I'm leaning to the idea that adults composed this because think its unlikely that most children would call themselves or members of their family ugly (in a song or rhyme that is). But I can definitely "hear" children sayin:

You got no place in the human race
Because your face is ugly.
Just...Plain....Ugly.

All your friends, they live in pens,
And all your kin are ugly.
Just...Plain....Ugly.

Take your Dad, it's really sad.
He looks so bad, he's ugly.
Just...Plain....Ugly.

And your mother, she's another,
Like your brother, ugly.
Just...Plain....Ugly.

That gal of yours, she's six feet nine
Like Frankenstein, she's ugly.
Just...Plain....Ugly.


-snip-


BTW, Midchuck, where did you hear this (I mean was it in the USA or the UK or elsewhere?)

Sorry for asking all these questions but they're because I've recently gotten a renewed interest in children's parodies.

Thanks again!


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Joe_F
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 08:04 PM

Coca-Cola!
Pig's asshola!
Somebody shit on my Victrola!
Piss! Shit! Corruption! Snot!
Twenty-seven assholes tied in a knot!
Yay, ---!


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 01:01 AM

Completely off the specific topic (it would fit more in a general thread about "insult songs"), but if anyone is interested in exploring a wider or cross-cultural perspective...

I just recently posted a VIDEO of a performance (staged, unfortunately) of a sort of "Yo mama" in Punjabi culture (India). Often however, the target is "your daddy". Insults with "your mama" are indeed there in the culture, but those are usually just to be nasty in a sexual way. The kind of insults here (more like disses or "dozens") tend to insult the father or other males or else people who otherwise represent the implied inferior social status of the "people" to which the insulted person belongs.

It begs the question (posed by Azizi earlier) of "why Mama?", as well as the question of why talking about someone's mom is interpreted as "fighting words" in lots of societies. What "function" does it serve (if any)? As for the Punjabi example, my video notes give an idea of the function in that context:

At weddings, the bride's family and guests, especially her father, are put in an "inferior" position to that of the groom's people. In this context, it is the "right" of women from the bride's people to cut down their superiors with mild insults in the form of these songs. The father of the groom is a particular target. It gives a way to ease some of the tension and let them blow off frustration since, after all, they're not REALLY insulting, right? -- they're just singing songs!


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 09:58 AM

Joe_F, thanks for posting that example. It "sounds" like it was at least modeled after an athletic sports cheer. Can you confirm that or post what type of rhyme this is? Thanks.

Also, Joe, what other demographics can you provide about that rhyme/cheer? By demographics I mean geographical location (such as city/state/nation if outside of the USA), date (such as late 1980s) and information about who chanted it (gender/age).


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 10:10 AM

Gibb Sahib, thanks for your contribution to this thread. I don't think your post was off-topic at all.

The information is very interesting. I intend to spend some time studying it.

As for why "mama" is the target of so many insults throughout the world, I think this is partly because who a person's father is might be questionable, but (except in cases of foster care/adoption and other similar cases) a person always knows who her or his mother is.

Also, I think that part of the reason for mothers being targeted bt insults is tied to the importance of mother in matriarchal societies.

In addition, I want to note that certain contemporary in-your-face children's playground rhymes, it's not just mothers who are targated by insults but grandmothers. Note the examples in this thread of "bald headed grannie" who goes out with Frankenstein. That line contains two insults-1. your grandmother is bald-headed and 2. your grandmother dates someone as ugly as Frankenstein. Not to mention that grandpa's not in the picture...but that's another story.

And for what it's worth, these rhymes are usually performed in the USA as two, three, or four person handclaps.


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 10:59 AM

Hi Azizi,

I think that part of the reason for mothers being targeted bt insults is tied to the importance of mother in matriarchal societies.

Interesting, I hadn't thought of it that way. I am inclined to think that most societies are patriarchal, and at the same time they use these insults heavily. Italian culture comes to mind, for instance. Seem that strict forms of patriarchy sometimes engender very strict "protection" (control) of women, which is what makes that form of insult (i.e. towards a female relative) so intense. (Incidentally, the most common insult/swear in Punjabi -- certainly not a song or folklore -- is "F**k your sister".)

Are you suggesting at all that the African-American society from which "yo mama" rhymes often come is matriarchal?

I am curious to know more (eventually, perhaps after you've collected all your data, etc) about how you might analyze these texts. What's their social function, and how are they really meant to be taken? Seems like more recently they were co-opted and now are just humorous. Do they/did they ever inspire real anger? Or is it more like just a structural format (perhaps meaning something deeper originally, but now just incidental), in which one shows his or her with and creative ability?

Keep us informed as you go! :)

Gibb


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 12:21 PM

Gibb, I think you think I'm more serious than I am.

My starting this thread wasn't for the purpose of gathering "data".

I started this particular "category" thread and other threads like it as a way of sharing songs & rhymes lyrics and titles that are part of a particular category. It's just fun and also it's a kind of test of one's recollection. You can blame my astrological Virgo rising, and Virgo mars placements for a fondness for making list.

However, in the case of children's playground rhymes, I readily admit that I also hope to elicit some examples that I might include on my website http://www.cocojams.com/
and I might include in books that I project editing.

I certainly don't have any plan to formally analyze what is posted here-other than to offer comments here or there.

And I'll offer these comments regarding African American matriarchy:

I don't think that African American society/societies is/are matriarchal, as fathers are at least ideally considered to be the head of the household.

And African Americans certainly aren't matrilineal, since lineage (ancestry) isn't traced through the mother and maternal ancestors.

But mothers are usually very highly regarded in African American cultures (I use a plural because there are multiple types of African American cultures). And many West African cultures such as the Akan (Ghana and The Ivory Coast) are traditionally matriarchal/matrilineal. I think that's partly what's "at play" with mother insults in the African American verbal "game" of the dozens. {If you want to test someone's self-control, strike where they are most sensitive and see whether they loose their cool or are still able to be quick witted).

**

With regard to the mother/granny insults in children's handclap rhymes, I think it's rare that children would get angry as a result of hearing these examples. While I categorize the examples shared on this thread as taunting rhymes, they aren't usually used to taunt but to accompany the performance of (usually) girls (about 5-12 years old) percussivehandclap routines. That said, some rhymes like these are chanted by athletic sports cheerleaders to taunt the other team and their cheerleaders & fans. But, I think, even then the beat and the accompanying rhythmical, percussive movements are more important than the words.

In other words, chanting these children's rhymes isn't the same as adults in the UK singing football (soccer) songs which may indeed result in anger and physical harm.


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 12:39 PM

Thanks, Azizi, good to hear your thoughts.


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 01:38 PM

As an outsider to this, I have been absolutely horrified with what I have heard coming out the mouths of children in this regard. It can not be healthy for the terrible nasty things that are said about mothers to be heard. I think this is something that should die a natural death and be left to certainly adults in certain contexts, but I think that the really nasty vulgar things that are said, that I think children have no business talking about in any context, are a form of child abuse and sexual harrassment of children..perhaps by other children but nevertheless..and I have heard some of this with my own ears, before I had heard of it as a folklore tradition...and I would tell kids they could not talk that way on my playground period and I hope other people do too. If adults want to do it in private, fine, but the more filthy..not just sexual but dirty and sexual....stuff should not be tolerated in a public arena, and certainly not on school property etc.

There is plenty of other fine appropriate cultural heritage for children to participate in. It is I think traumatic for children to hear their parents being talked about this way, traumatic for older people who have struggled to maintain a sence of decency and personal privacy in a debased culture etc. etc. I think this is very harmful and the filthier aspects of it where children are concerned should be stopped however. mg


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 01:39 PM

By debased culture I mean the culture at large, not subgroups. mg


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 02:11 PM

mg, I agree with you that some recorded music shouldn't be on the radio and television because their lyrics are vulgar, excessively violent, demeaning of women, and/or homophobic. Of course, the problem is that I and others might not agree with what you think is is vulgar, excessively violent, and demeaning of women, though I think most people would be able to tell which songs are homophobic and which aren't.

I'm aware that children sing some of those recorded songs that you and I don't like. And I'm also aware that they use some lines from those songs in their playground rhymes. However, I'm not sure that the younger children singing some of those lines actually know what they mean.

Where you and I part ways, mg, is that I'm not interested in joining in a crusade against children singing any of those songs or saying any of those rhyme during their own free play time. That said, I have redirected children who sang certain songs or chanted certain rhymes or said certain words (including the "n word) in my adult facilitated cultural sessions.

And, mg. I might* applaud you or anyone else who advocates for the production and promotion of other genres and subgenres of music that children might hear on the airways and see videos of on television.

* I wrote "might" because it depends on what and how you advocate.


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 02:28 PM

Well, I certainly would encourage them to learn music from many cultures..lullabies, work songs, nostalgic songs..spirituals..although that is difficult in a school setting because of religious differences..

I would clean up the words in some songs for children.

I would be very cautious about songs and chants that are hateful and a form of bullying, intimidation, insulting etc...regardless of how ingrained they are in a culture or subculture of a culture. And talking about the private parts of someone's mother in a terribly demeaning way fits the above categories.

And despite the fact that this country of USA has become more tolerant and allows way more suggestive dress, talk, actions, media etc. than before, we have many newcomers to this land with very strong traditions of modesty, strict behavior for children, etc. Their cultures too must be respected.

So it is obviously a tightrope over a churning canal of cultural, religious, behavioral, intellectual issues but one that we must face and first and foremost must be don't allow children to be harmed. There is nothing good that comes out of these nasty (and I am talking about the really filthy ones that I have heard in person) chants. The children hearing them are demeaned. The children saying them are demeaned. Society is coarsened by allowing them except among consenting adults in private...not on public transportation, not where elderly or children can overhear etc. Again, I am talking about the filthy, raunchy ones. I totally believe in folklore and multiculturism etc. ...but child protection I think trumps it. mg


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Uly
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 02:53 PM

Children are the ones coming up with the songs you think should be cleaned up for kids, though. And whatever you do, they'll find a way to experiment with language and with bad manners and all.


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 03:03 PM

mg, I appreciate your concern for children, youth, and adults. And I appreciate your contribution to this thread.

Yet, the problems still remains who gets to decide which songs and rhymes are "filthy, raunchy", how does society go about prohibiting the singing of such material, and what are the immediate consequences to children, youth, and adults who sing such songs or say such rhymes.

**

I would much prefer songs and rhymes that aren't as explicit as much of the music is today. For example, here is one of my favorite children's foot stomping cheer (Foot stomping cheers are group/consecutive soloist structured compositions that are chanted by girls around 6-12 years of age while they performed a syncopated, choreographed routine that emphasized the creation of bass sounding foot stomps alternating with [personal] hand claps, and, sometimes, body pats).

Two Way Pass Away

All: Two way pass away. Two way pass away.
Two way pass away. Two way pass away.
Soloist #1: (Well) My name is Tasha.
Group without soloist: Two way pass away.
Soloist #1: And if you don't like it.
Group without soloist: Two way pass away.
Soloist #1: You can kiss what I twist.
And I don't mean my lips.
-African American girls, Braddock, Pennsylvania; collectedin 1985 by Azizi Powell

[The cheer starts from the beginning with the next soloist. That pattern continues until everyone in the group has had one turn as soloist]

Unfortunately, I have not found anyone in that Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area or anywhere else thus far who remembers this cheer. I'm curious if anyone in cyberspace knows it.

I've come to think that the "two way pass away" refrain is from the "tu-way-pa-ka-way." chant of the New Orleans, Louisiana area Mardi Gras Indians.


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Joe_F
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 09:17 PM

Azizi: Yes, the Coca-Cola anti-cheer was surely modeled on sports cheers. I first heard it at Putney School, Putney, VT, in the early 1950s. It was also current at Caltech, Pasadena, CA, in the somewhat later 1950s. I suspect that it was well known all over the US in those days.

While I was living on Long Island in the 1960s, there was always a traffic jam around Mineola on the Long Island Expressway. While waiting in it, I used to amuse myself by shouting that chant with "Mineola" for "Coca-Cola" and "Yay, Nassau County!" at the end.

In grade school (Beverly Hills, CA, 1940s) I heard

2, 4, 6, 8!
Who do we hate?
---!

(The nice version had "Who do we appreciate?".)

Harvey Pekar, in his comic book _American Splendor_ (#3), records, under the heading "The boys kid good-natured Leon in the locker room after practice":

Le-on, Le-on,
Is our cry.
V-I-C-T-O-R-Y.
Are we with 'im --
We are not.
Le-on, Le-on,
Eats the snot.

That must be from his highschool days in Cleveland in the 1950s.

Not directed at an individual, but (presumably) at a rival school, is the song (TTTO "The Stars & Stripes Forever")

Three cheers for --- Junior High.
It's the best junior high in Toledo.
Our colors are brown, brown, and brown.
It's the best junior high in town.

I heard it at Caltech, but I suppose it came from Ohio.


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 08:14 AM

And whatever you do, [children]find a way to experiment with language and with bad manners and all.
-Uly

Uly thanks for your 18 Aug 09 - 02:53 PM. I agree that experimenting with language and testing society's boundaries for "proper behavior" are two of the reasons why children and youth make up insult rhymes and songs, and repeat those that they have heard others say, or have read. But I suppose that part of the problem is that in Western societies such as the USA, society's boundaries for acceptable speech are already wide. And those boundaries already contain what many (or some) consider to be unacceptable language, unacceptable attitudes, and unacceptable ideas. So for that portion of the population (and sometimes I'm one of them), has problems with those particular children's rhymes & songs.

For instance, because of their excessive violence, and sexual references, in my opinion, most of the examples on this Mudcat thread Barney Song - I Love You (bawdy parodies) are waaay too far over my line of what should be acceptable insult rhymes for children and teens-and for adults. Because most of these examples were submitted by guests who didn't give their ages, there's no telling whether they were submitted by children or by adults. But I'm betting that at least some of the ones that I really really don't like were posted by children and are chanted by children in schoolyards and other places-probably outside of adults presence.

My point is that I follow my line of acceptablity where and when I can. I don't post examples like that on my website. The examples of rhymes that are submitted to my site meet my standards of approval for what I think are suitable for children.

However, Mudcat Discussion Forum isn't my website. So although I don't approve of most of the examples on that thread, I don't feel strongly enough about this topic to complain to the owner and moderators of this forum about those posts [beyond what I'm doing now].


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 08:57 AM

FYI, I received one written complaint about this page on my website that I call Teacher Taunts.

Here's one example from that page of teacher taunts:

Joy To The World (Version #4)
"Another song we sang: Joy to the world The school burnt down And all the teachers died They're looking for the principle Who's hanging from the flag pole With a rope around his neck With a rope around his neck With a rope, a rope around his neck"
-D. Jones; 3/30/2006

-snip-

Here's another example & comment from that same page:

Glory Glory Hallelujah (Version #8)
We are gathered here today to see the burning of the school. We have tortured every teacher, we have broken every rule. We have shot the secretary, and we hanged the principal. Our truth goes marching on. Glory Glory hallelujah. Teacher hit me with a ruler. So I met her at the bank, in a Sherman Army tank or I hid behind the door with a loaded .44 or I blew her up to heaven with an AK-47. And she doesn't teach no more.

Early Eighties Rural New Mexico (30 minutes North of Albuquerque); Of course now that I have achieved the ability to perform a little bit of critical thought, I wonder how we thought is was possible to have killed a forty foot wide woman with a green (or red) rubber band. I think that after incidents like Columbine and VT, this sort of thing carries more weight, but I don't believe that I or any of my friends ever had any intent to do harm to our teachers. We just memorized the things that older siblings and upper classman (5th and sixth graders) sang and then passed them on once we were older. I don't remember these songs ever progressing beyond my elementary school days. They certainly were not present in high school or college, where apparently, violent children's rhymes metamorphose from musical fantasy into horrible reality.
-Ethan ; 5/5/2007

-snip-

Here's the complaint about teacher taunts that I received on Cocojams.com along with part of my response:

Comments About Teacher Taunts
I've read through a few pages of your site, and as a teacher and a white woman, I find it highly offensive. I have taught for 36 years, and I never heard any children coming up with the nasty teacher taunts you have posted. You say you are against violence, yet you clearly post violent materials. You say these violent chants are done by whites and that is simply not true. It is no wonder there is trouble between the races when people like you promote hatred against whites AND education.
-Linda S; 4/3/2007

Editor:
Linda, I appreciate your comment. However, I vehemently deny that I am "promoting hatred against whites AND Education". Some of my best friends are White and/or work in education fields. Fwiw, I invite you to read my comments that preface this Cocojams' page. I fully admit that I rewrote part of those comments to better ensure that folks would understand my interest in this subgenre of rhymes, and my speculation that these rhymes appear to me to be better known among White folks than Black folks. I should mention that I collected a considerable number of these rhymes from two Internet discussion forums that I belong to and, with the exception of guest posters to those forums who did not indicate their race, I am aware of the race {and gender} of those people who shared these types of rhymes with me."...

-snip-

I continued my response by reposting [with their prior permission] comments that I had received about this subject from other people-including at least one Mudcat member. FY!, the "two Internet discussion forums that I belong to" that I referred to in that reply are Mudcat and the now defunct http://www.jonbanjo.com/forum/forum.php .

You can read those comments and other comments about this topic on this Cocojams' page:

http://www.cocojams.com/jambalaya_comments_%20questions.htm


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 09:08 AM

Joe_F, thanks for your response. I appreciate you posting those examples. I think they serve to demonstrate that mothers aren't the only people who were the focus of insult rhymes.

**

For those who may not be aware of it, here's a link to another Mudcat thread about children's insult rhymes:

I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes

Here's an example of a mother insult rhyme from my website that I reposted on that page:

Your Mama Don't Wear No Drawers

Here is an insult rhyme my sister, cousins, and I used to get into a lot of trouble repeating...but it was so much fun to say them and make up new lines. Birmingham, AL, 1980s and early 90s

Yo mama don't wear no draws (ba ba boom}*
i saw when she took them off (ba ba boom}
she put em in the washing machine {ba ba boom}
ajax couldn't get em clean {ba ba boom}
she put em on top of the house {ba ba boom}
they scared away mighty mouse {ba ba boom}
she put em up under the bed {ba ba boom}
you shoulda heard what the roaches said {ba ba boom}
she put up on top of the tracks {ba ba boom}
that train went 50 miles back {ba ba boom}
she put em in the middle of the street {ba ba boom}
those cars went beep beep beep {ba ba boom}

that's all that i can remember...but the taunt could go on forever. we would add to it every time someone thought of something new. but man, our parents hated us singing this around the house.
-Joi; 3/23/2008; http://cocojams.com/taunting_rhymes_2.htm


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 09:14 AM

In my latest thank you comment to Joe I meant to say that I appreciate you posting those examples because they serve to demonstrate that mothers and teachers/other school officials aren't the only people who were the focus of insult rhymes.

**

While I'm here, let me mention that with regard to my 19 Aug 09 - 08:14 AM post to this thread, I didn't mean to posts those ending comments in italic. That italic is the result of my posting a HTML font command the wrong way. The only word that I wanted to emphasis by posting it in italics was the first "my" in the second to the last paragraph. If a moderator can fix that error, great. If not, I'll just have to live with it.


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 09:35 AM

BTW, Joe F, or anyone else, what does TTTO mean? Is it "The tune taken of"?


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 10:01 AM

Frank Zappa had a song with the title "Yo Mama" but the insult isn't to the mother per se:
    Maybe you should stay with yo mama
    She can do your laundry 'n' cook for you
    Maybe you should stay with yo mama
    'Cause you're really kinda stupid 'n' ugly too
He also had a song called "My Guitar Wants to Kill your Mama"

Then there's this:

They say that all is fair in love and war and child believe it.
When mama stay in St Tropez she had a fall or two.
And I'm telling it to you straight

So you don't have to hear it any other way.
Oh Annie - I'm not your daddy

Oh Annie - I'm not your daddy.
They say that out of sight is out of mind and child believe it.
Your mama was in search of love but all she got was you.
And I'm telling it to your face

So you don't have to hear it any other place.
Oh Annie - I'm not your daddy

Oh Annie - I'm not your daddy

See if I was in your blood then you wouldn't be so ugly.
And I'm telling it to you straight

So you don't have to hear it any other way.
Oh Annie - I'm not your daddy

Oh Annie - I'm not your daddy.


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 10:15 AM

Sorry. "Annie I'm Not Your Daddy" is by Kid Creole and the Coconuts.


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Rapparee
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 11:59 AM

Whether or not the teachers or adults hear what the kids say, the kids still say them.

Back in the middle 1950s we "students" at a Catholic grade school in west central Illinois sang "Glory, glory, halleuia, teacher hit me with a ruler...." in several variants. We sang about the burning of the school, too.

And we insulted each other in ways such as these:

Boy: You know, I don't care for your perfume.
Girl: I'm not wearing any.
Boy: Oh.

You know, you don't sweat much for a fat boy/girl.

Your momma puts a bag over your head to kiss you goodnight.

(At lunch) Oh, you're eating a butter sandwich. Gee, I'm sorry, I was wrong...I guess it's snot.

Do you think you'll get into heaven if you keep that bag over your face? Jesus don't want ugly kids up there.

And worse...much worse. And 99% of us turned out okay.


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 06:44 PM

Hi, Neil and Rapaire!

Thanks to both of you for your contributions to this thread.

But Rapaire, as to "99% of us turning out okay", I guess that depends on what the definition of "okay is".

[with apologies to former Prez Bill Clinton for that snark]

;o)


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 07:08 PM

Neil, here's a YouTube links for the songs that you shared:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fBl0fDqTxI

Frank Zappa - Yo Mama - 1981

**

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RfAmdTa4W8&feature=fvw
Dweezil Zappa-"My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama"


**

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fB22wJxlYsY&feature=related
Kid Creole and the Coconuts-"Annie, I'm Not Your Daddy"

-snip-

Thanks again!


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Joe_F
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 09:21 PM

Azizi: TTTO = to the tune of


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 10:09 PM

TTTO = to the tune of.

Of course. I should have figured that out.

Thanks, Joe.


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 09:29 AM

A...B...C...Hit It That's the way ah-uhh-uhh i like it uh-huh ah huh that's the way ah-huh-ah-huh i like it ah-huh-ah-huh you got the moves i go the moves so peace baby in your face break the wall water fall girl you think you got it all you don't i do so boom boom with that attitude
boom boom with that attitude reeses pieces 7 up you mess with me i mess you up .... see my pinky see my thumb see my fist you better run oh wait come back you need a tic tac not one not two but the whole dame pack not to be mean but u need some listrine not a sip not a swallow but the hole dame bottle :)


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 11 - 03:13 PM

Yo guys, check it out
Guess what happened to me
(Another crazy story, come on AC)
I was hanging at the court
Just playing some ball
Working on my game
(Yeah, we heard it all)
I heard the fans screaming
I thought it was for me
But then I saw a shadow
It was 12 foot 3
It was Shaquile O'Neal
(What? What did he say?)
(How 'bout some one-on-one, you wanna play?)
I told him why not, I got some time
But when I beat you real bad
Try not to cry


(Please Aaron, are you for real?)
(One-on-one with Shaquile O'Neal?)
Yeah, 34 Centre from the L.A. Lakers
(You must've been nervous)
I knew I could take him
Scared the Shaq, psyche him out
I said O'Neal, you're in my house now
Start the game the whistle blows
Pay attention close as the story goes...


It's like boom (boom)
I put it in the hoop
Like slam (slam)
I heard the crowd screaming
out jam (jam)
I swear that I'm telling you the facts
Cuz that's how I beat Shaq
X2


So check it out
I thought I had the lead
But then he started scoring more points than me
I was scoring up bricks
(Was he hitting those shots?)
I knew that there was a way that I could make it stop


I had a plan, I could change the pace
I said, Yo Shaq you didn't tie your shoelace
He looked down, I stole the ball
I'm taking him the scoon now watch me all
A 3-pointer, nothing but net
Come on Shaq, had enough yet?
Down by two, I'm catching up
I guess he's getting nervous
Cuz he already lost

Dunk after dunk
Jam after jam
Cheerleaders are cheering
Aaron's the man

Annoncers were shocked
couldn't believe it was real
(I can't believe a kid just stuffed O'Neal)
One more second, was all that remained
I put the ball up
I put him in shame
I must admit that it sounds real crazy
but the ball went in
Then he cried like a baby
Sorry Shaq, I should've let you win
You're good too
And we can still be friends


The fans went nuts
They put me on their shoulders
Then I heard a voice
And it sounded like my mother's
(Get up for school, you're gonna be late!)
Ma, can't you see that I'm playing the game?
(How could you be playing if you're still in bed?)
(Are you gettin' sick, did you hit your head?)
Aw, man it was all a dream
I guess that kinda thing could never happen to me

If it was a dream and it wasn't real

How'd I get a jersey with the name O'Neal?
Woah...

Aaron Carter - That's How I Beat Shaq


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: GUEST
Date: 22 May 12 - 02:00 PM


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 May 12 - 02:17 PM

My favorite "Dozens Classic" came through from George Carlin. It was in a bit explaining how much easier and more fun it is to assimilate "Black" rather than "White."......ie, you see 5 Irish white guys playing basketball and playing the dozens.......

Ya' wanna' play the dozens?
Well the dozens is a game.
But the way I fuck your mother
Is a gawd damn shame!



Spaw


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: GUEST,steveo
Date: 14 Jan 13 - 07:36 PM

yo mama sooo stupid she waited till the stop signe turned green


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Mark Ross
Date: 15 Jan 13 - 11:01 AM

Check out Elijah Wald's most recent book;


The Dozens, Elijah Wald


Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: GUEST,Seonaid
Date: 15 Jan 13 - 08:36 PM

Among the rude refrains sung at the old Fox Inn years ago:
"Your mother swims after troop ships."


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Jan 13 - 10:13 AM

The "dozens" is a thing of the past that I wished had been carried forward... I love the few recorded ones I have heard over the years but can't pull one up at present... Seems to me that Bo Diddly recorded one such round of the "dozens" but can't recall who it was he was doing them with???

B~


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 16 Jan 13 - 10:50 AM

Is there a chance that any of this derives from Spanish insults which start "Su madre" (your mother).
I remember reading about the phenomenon in Gordon R Dickson's "Lost Dorsai"


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: GUEST,indiana guest
Date: 16 Jan 13 - 11:57 AM

yo mama's so fat, when I take her dancing, the band skips


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: GUEST,Ritchie
Date: 16 Jan 13 - 06:27 PM

The Pharcyde - Yo Mama

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImhN6-9KLTY


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Subject: RE: Yo Mama-Insults in songs & rhymes
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 09:47 AM

refresh


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