Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
Skip to My Lou
(American Circle Game)
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"Lou" means "sweetheart" in the south. It seems to come from the Scottish word "Loo" which means love.

There is a game that goes with this song. The people playing the game choose which verses they sing, or they can make up new ones. The game instructions are below the song.

Skip to My Lou
Circle Game

(Chorus)
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip to my Lou, my darling.

Lost my partner, what'll I do?
Lost my partner, what'll I do?
Lost my partner, what'll I do?
Skip to my Lou, my darling.

(Chorus)

I'll get another one, prettier than you,
I'll get another one, prettier than you,
I'll get another one, prettier than you,
Skip to my Lou, my darling.

(Chorus)

Little red wagon painted blue,
Little red wagon painted blue,
Little red wagon painted blue,
Skip to my Lou, my darling.

(Chorus)

Can't get a red bird, jay bird'll do,
Can't get a red bird, jay bird'll do,
Can't get a red bird, jay bird'll do,
Skip to my Lou, my darling.

(Chorus)

Fly's in the buttermilk, shoo, fly, shoo,
Fly's in the buttermilk, shoo, fly, shoo,
Fly's in the buttermilk, shoo, fly, shoo,
Skip to my Lou, my darling.

(Chorus)

Fly's in the sugar bowl, shoo, shoo, shoo,
Fly's in the sugar bowl, shoo, shoo, shoo,
Fly's in the sugar bowl, shoo, shoo, shoo,
Skip to my Lou, my darling.

(Chorus)

Cow's in the barnyard, moo, moo, moo,
Cow's in the barnyard, moo, moo, moo,
Cow's in the barnyard, moo, moo, moo,
Skip to my Lou, my darling.

(Chorus)

Cat's in the cream jar, ooh, ooh, ooh,
Cat's in the cream jar, ooh, ooh, ooh,
Cat's in the cream jar, ooh, ooh, ooh,
Skip to my Lou, my darling.

(Chorus)

Off to Texas, two by two,
Off to Texas, two by two,
Off to Texas, two by two,
Skip to my Lou, my darling.

(Chorus)
 
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Notes

Alternate chorus for Skip to My Lou:

Lou, Lou, skip to my Lou,
Lou, Lou, skip to my Lou,
Lou, Lou, skip to my Lou,
Skip to my Lou, my darling.

Game Instructions

Couples choose their partners and stand in a circle. One boy should have no partner and go in the center of the circle. He starts the game by skipping around the inside of the circle and stealing someone's partner. The new couple then skip around the circle, while the one whose partner was stolen skips after them. If he catches them by the time they reach the spot he was in with his partner originally, he can take his partner back. If he doesn't catch them in time, he has to stand in the middle of the circle.

The boy on the next round who has no partner then steals another girl. The person without the partner is the one who chooses which verse everyone will sing on his turn.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Thank you very much!

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Lyrics & Recordings Needed!

Email us a traditional song or rhyme from your country.

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