"Down by the Banks" is a hand-clapping circle game…

Down by the Banks of the Hankity-Panky - American Children's Songs - The USA - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


There are many versions of this song.

Aili wrote: "In Southern California I learned this ending: 'He missed the lily and he went ker-plop'."


Bretta Gerhard wrote, "I was looking through your U.S. songs and I noticed some differences between the ones you have and the ones I know."

Here's one of the versions Bretta sent...

Down by the Banks of the Hanky-Panky

Down by the banks of the hanky-panky,
Where the bullfrogs jump from bank to bank-y,
Saying E, I, O, U,
East Side, West Side, Ping, Pong!


Katie Nance wrote:

"In a fit of nostalgia tonight this song came back to me. Here's how I learned it in 2004 in Southern California:

(Two people link hands, then to the rhythm of the song pull their arms back and forth between them.)

Down by the banks of the hanky panky
Where the bullfrogs jump from bank to banky
And a hips, hops, soda pops
Jumped on the lily and went kerplop.

(Now it's just chanting)
I pledge allegiance to the flag
Michael Jackson makes me gag
Coca Cola has caffeine
Now we're talking jelly beans
Jelly beans are out of style
Now we're taking for a while
Charlie Brown is it (whoever the hands were closest to was "it").

Just thought I'd share! Might be interesting to have a more recent kids' version too :) "

Game Instructions

The clapping game is played in a circle, with the right hand over the top of the left hand of the person to the right of you. Your left hand is under the right of the person left of you. You start the song, and one person hits the right hand of the person on their left, and that person does the same to the next and so on until the song is over. The last person to have their hand hit is out, and the game goes on. When you have two people left, you hold right hands together (sitting face to face) and pull back and forth in a sawing motion until the end of the song. Whoever has their elbow pulled back at the end is out, and the other is the winner!

Clapping goes as follows:
Down| by| the b|anks o|f the h|ank|ity-p|anky,
Wh|ere th|e b|ullfr|ogs j|ump fr|om b|ank to b|ank-y,
W|ith the E|eps, I|pes, O|pes, O|ps,
Thr|ee alli|ga|tors wi|th a b|ig k|er-p|lop!


The version in the mp3 ends as follows:

"Slides off the lily with a big ker-plop!"


Many thanks to Heather Dixon for singing this song for Mama Lisa's World!

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Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Jacque for contributing this song and explaining the game! Thanks to Bretta Gerhard and Katie Nance for the alternate versions of this song.