Ging Gang Goolie Goolie Goolie Goolie Watcha

327px-1st_World_Scout_Jamboree.svgIt was thought that “Ging Gang Goolie” was written by Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts. It now seems possible that he simply introduced it to the scouts at the 1st World Scout Jamboree in 1920.  Kids from 34 countries attended the event.

The song is gibberish so kids all over the world who speak different languages can sing along and not feel like the song is foreign.

Here are the lyrics along with a video of the song…

Ging Gang Goolie

Ging gang goolie goolie goolie goolie watcha,
Ging gang goo, ging gang goo.
Ging gang goolie goolie goolie goolie watcha,
Ging gang goo, ging gang goo.

Hayla, oh hayla shayla, hayla shayla, shayla, oooooooh,
Hayla, oh hayla shayla, hayla shayla, shayla, oooh.
Shally wally, shally wally, shally wally, shally wally,
Oompah, oompah, oompah, oompah.


I love the idea of a song written in gibberish so that kids all over the world can sing it and not feel like it’s foreign.

Together around the world in song!

Mama Lisa


UPDATE: It’s possible this song comes from a Swedish cabaret song that was written for New Years in 1905 with the following nonsensical lyrics:

:|: Hinkan, kolikolikolikolifejsan,
Kinkan koh, kinkan koh :|:

:|: Ava, illa shava
O, illa shava
Kolifejs! :|:
Tjolafalla, tjolafalla!

You can read more about that theory on Wikiwand.

Please comment below to share the version you sing and let us know which country you’re from. We’d also be curious to know how it’s sung in Sweden nowadays. Thanks! Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Monday, October 22nd, 2012 at 5:25 pm and is filed under Australia, Boy Scout Songs, Countries & Cultures, England, English, Languages, Movies, TV & The Internet, New Zealand, Scouting Songs, Songs by Theme, USA, YouTube. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

5 Responses to “Ging Gang Goolie Goolie Goolie Goolie Watcha”

  1. soderbo Says:

    Dear Lisa

    Sorry to say mr Baden-Powell has nothing to do with Ging Gang Goolie. He is not the writer/composer/introducer whatsoever. This “truth” is nothing but a myth established years after the 1st World Scout Jamboree in 1920.

  2. soderbo Says:

    1905 occurrence of the Ging Gang song verified; Baden-Powell not involved in its creation

    It is now proven beyond reasonable doubt that the well known gibberish song Ging Gang (Goo/Gooli/etc) was performed at a New Year´s cabaret in 1905 (the Folkteater in Gothenburg, Sweden). For that occasion it was named “Nxxxxxx Morning Song” and had “Scandinavian” spelling (e.g. “Hinkan”/”Kinkan” instead of “Ging Gang”; there have been so many different names and spellings all over the world).

    Web links (digitized documents, both provided by the National Library of Sweden):

    page 12 in a jubilee edition 1895-1920 from 1920

    download of the entire cabaret brochure from 1905 (60 MB), ref. the cover page for location and year, and page 21 in the actual brochure for the song (digitized page 25/31)

    and link to the Wikipedia Ging Gang article

    The 1905 occurrence means of course that the claim that Robert Baden-Powell (supposedly inspired by South African songs and a Mozart piece) wrote the song for the 1st World Scout Jamboree 1920 simply is not true. It also means that whatever claims on origins that post-date 1905 are untrue. And further, that claims for earlier origin than 1905 need be well documented.

    It seems very true, however, that the song is part of a family (lyrics-wise and/or tune-wise) of gibberish? songs that were documented primarily in Europe during the end of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century: some so called Anstich Lieder (drinking songs in Germany), Em Pom Pee, Hi Politi, Nicodemo, Kili-Watch, so called Wumba-songs, In Chinesien, etc.

    (The National Library of Sweden is both a library and a government agency. It collects, preserves, and provides access to everything published in Sweden – and has been doing so for 350+ years.)

  3. Lisa Says:

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. soderbo Says:

    Dear Lisa,
    What about replacing your statement, October 22nd, 2012 “”Ging Gang Goolie” was written by Robert Baden-Powell…” or you will remain the hoax.

  5. Lisa Says:

    Thanks for writing Soderbo! I’m looking into it.

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