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Looby Light

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Performer: Children
Place Collected: Stow-on-the-Wold
Date collected: 1909 (29 Jul)
Collector: Sharp, Cecil
Roud Number: 5032

Everyone knows The Hokey Cokey (“Okey Pokey” in the USA), the best known singing game adopted to adult parties. However, the current version did not appear before 1941, recorded by the Irish composer Jimmy Kennedy.  Looby Light is the older version of the same singing game. Ring dances of this type with “right foot in” etc date back many years under varying titles. A Scottish game song of 1828 has the line:

“Ane fyt in an ane fyt out Linkum learie round about,”

This singing game has rejoiced in a variety of names, including Lubin Loo, The Dipsycola and Hinkumbooby and is equally well-known on both sides of the Atlantic.

Notes by Gwilym Davies 6 May 2015