"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.


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.

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