Back in 1942, an Irish songwriter, Jimmy Kennedy, created a dance and a song to go with it, which was called the “Hokey Cokey.” It was written to entertain Canadian troops which were stationed in London.
At the same time, Al Tabor also wrote a dance song in wartime London in 1942. It was called the “Hokey Pokey.” According to him, the name of the song comes from ice cream vendors from his youth in London, called the Hokey Pokey Men. The dance was quite similar to Kennedy’s.
There are many other stories of the origination of this song. Many others claim it comes from “hocus pocus,” which is a term used by magicians.
Whatever the origin is, this children’s song has been around since a long time. It is a participation dance song which is fun and catchy and loved by children and adults alike. It talks about a dance that goes along with it where all of the participants dance in a circle or a ring by putting their arms or foot in and out and shaking it around as the song suggests. The song words are quite simple but makes a person sing along with the catchy tune. It is generally considered a happy song. The song goes like this:
“You put your right hand in,
You put your right hand out,
You put your right hand in,
And you shake it all about.
You do the Hokey Pokey,
And you turn around.
That what it’s all about!”
The singer just keeps on changing the song words from right hand to left hand, then each foot, head, butt and finally your whole self.