Mudcat Café message #3316442 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #100807   Message #3316442
Posted By: Azizi
02-Mar-12 - 10:29 PM
Thread Name: Gigalo & other children's rhymes &cheers
Subject: RE: Gigalo & other children's rhymes &cheers
Here's a clarification about the performance activity that I observed in the mid 1980s (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) for "Gigalo":

I wrote that I recalled my daughter and her friends performing "Gigalo" as a foot stomping cheer. After further consultation with her, I retract that description and amend it by indicating that what she recalls performing is the same circle or semi-circle game movement activity that is found in the camp videos published here.

My apologies for that mistatement.

That said, it should be noted that even if the performance activity for Gigalo wasn't the alternating steppin' and individual handclap or body pat that is done for foot stomping cheers, the textual structure of the rhyme (the way the words are structured) fits my definition for "foot stomping cheers".

Gigalo has a group/consecutive soloists structure. By "group/consecutive soloists" which is the signature structure for foot stomping cheers. By "group/consecutive soloist" I mean that the group's voice is heard first, and then a soloist's voice. This continues until the end of the cheer which is usually a slightly longer "soloist" portion. At the "end" of that rendition of the cheer, it immediately starts again from the beginning with a new soloist. (The order of soloist having been selected before the cheer activity begins.) That pattern of consecutive soloists continues until everyone in the group has had one turn as the soloist.

Perhaps Gigalo is a movement rhyme that marks the earliest form of foot stomping cheers - a playground movement rhyme that is performed without the consistent stepping routine of later foot stomping cheers.

Foot stomping cheers and the movement rhymes shown in the videos of Gigalo on this page can be considered as updated versions of "show me your motion" circle games (ring games). In "show me your motion" circle games, one person standing in the center (the middle) of the circle does an arbitrary motion when commanded to do so by the rest of the game participants. After the middle person demonstrates her or his chosen motion, the remainder of the players perform the exact same movement along with the middle person. After this, traditionally the middle person purposely or arbitrarily (by spinning around in the middle with her or his eyes closed, and pointing)choses a new middle person, and then rejoins the rest of the group.

This is how my daughter recalls playing Gigalo and how that "game" is still played in several online videos that I have found.

Click for a selected sample of those videos as well as other comments about this rhyme.