Bobo Ski Waten Taten

Animation of the Clap


Bobo ski waten taten
Eh, eh, eh eh boom boom boom

Bobo ski waten taten
Eh, eh, eh eh boom boom boom

Itty bitty waten taten
Bobo ski waten taten
Bobo ski waten taten
Freeze, freeze, American cheese
Please don't show your______ to me

Recommended Grades:


About the Song

This handclap is popular on the east coast, particularly in the New York City and Long Island areas.  It's been played there for at least 30 years!  Depending on your area, as soon as you start teaching it, the kids might burst into song, leap up, and begin the handclap!  You may hear some versions that don’t repeat the “bobo ski waten taten” at the beginning.  Do whichever version you like.  Even though it's best to introduce the song in grades 4-6, because of the complexity of the hand clap, you may still find your younger students coming in to class and performing it perfectly, having learned it from their older siblings!  Clapping directions are written on the score, but you may find the pattern easier to learn from the animation.

Kids will come up with all sorts of ways to fill in "please don't show your ___" to me.  Here are some suggestions to get them going:

  • teeth: curl lips under
  • elbows: stick elbows to sides
  • knees: go to kneeling position
  • face: turn head to the side
  • ear: raise arms in the air so that the top of the arm covers the ear
  • eyes: close eyes
  • front: turn around and try the handclap behind your back.  Usually impossible but quite funny!

Skills and Concepts:

  • bobo-ski-waten-taten(Syncopa/ti-ta-ti)  The entire first half of the song (up until "itty bitty") is great for syncopa!
  • Low Sol: this note is introduced just under la, and then jumps back to it from mi.
  • Do-based pentatonic (do, re, mi, low la, low sol).

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