We received this version of X Marks the Spot from Sarah Jean Meyer with the note... "I learned that song on the bus, but, it was different, I would say more gruesome. One kid would do it on another kid's back."


Barbara MacFarland wrote in April 2006: "I visited your site tonight because I was trying to piece together a rhyme I remembered in part from my childhood. What you have on your site is similar to what we did in western Pennsylvania in the 1970s and was enough for me to recall the entire thing. We did it on someone else's back to try to give them goose bumps. The rhyme as I remember it:


Here's an X (make an X on the other person's back)
That marks the spot (gently poke them in the lower center of the back)
With a dot, dot, dot (make three pokes horizontally across the upper back above the shoulder blades)
And a dash, dash, dash (draw three short lines down the center of the back with your index finger)
And a great big question mark (draw a question mark on the back, complete with the dot at the bottom)

Crack an egg (tap them on the top of their head with one closed-fisted hand)
Let it fall (open hand at the top of the head and lightly drag your fingers down the back of their head and the center of their back)
Chills go up (lightly drag your fingers up the center of their back)
Chills go down (lightly drag your fingers down the center of their back)
Chills go all around (lightly move your fingers all around their back)

Feel the breeze (say the words then gently blow air on the back of their neck)
Let it squeeze (lightly squeeze the back of their neck)

I did it to my 14 year old tonight and she had goose bumps by the end of the dot, dot, dot line. I think the secret is having a fairly light touch.


(Now in New Jersey)


Here's another version I received in 2005 from Michelle:

X marks the spot
With a dot-dot-dot
And a dash-dash-dash
And a bi-i-i-i-g question mark

Squiggley up
Squiggley down
Squiggley a-a-a-l-l-l-l around

A pinch to grow an inch
And a tight-tight sqeeze
and a cool mountain breeze

This is the way I learned it 30 years ago.

-Michelle (Fischer) Holbrook

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Sarah Jean Meyer for contributing the first version of this song, to Barbara McFarland for contributing the second version, and to Michelle (Fischer) Holbrook for the third version.

Thanks so much!