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Skip to My Lou
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A traditional song for children that was originally a popular partner-stealing dance from America's frontier period.

Lou, Lou, skip to my Lou,
Lou, Lou, skip to my Lou,
Lou, Lou, skip to my Lou,
Skip to my Lou, my darlin'

Fly’s in the buttermilk, shoo, fly, shoo!
Fly’s in the buttermilk, shoo, fly, shoo!
Fly’s in the buttermilk, shoo, fly, shoo!
Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Cows in the cornfield, what’ll I do?
Cows in the cornfield, what’ll I do?
Cows in the cornfield, what’ll I do?
Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

There’s a little red wagon, paint it blue!
There’s a little red wagon, paint it blue!
There’s a little red wagon, paint it blue!
Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Lou, Lou, skip to my Lou,
Lou, Lou, skip to my Lou,
Lou, Lou, skip to my Lou,
Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.
 (YEEHAW!)

SKIP TO MY LOU= (of Scottish origin) Dance with my love.

FLY= A very common insect that flies (see picture)

BUTTERMILK= the acidulous liquid remaining after butter has been separated from milk or cream.

SHOO= A sound we make to make an animal go away. It may also be used as a verb: "Don't shoo the sheep!".

CORNFIELD= A field of maize (see picture)

 

“Skip to My Lou” is a simple game of stealing partners (or swapping partners as in square dancing). It begins with any number of couples hand in hand, skipping around in a ring. A lone boy in the center of the moving circle of couple sings, “Lost my partner what’ll I do?” as the girls whirl past him. The young man in the center hesitates while he decides which girl to choose, singing, “I'll get another one prettier than you.” When he grasps the hand of his chosen one, her partner then takes his place in the center of the ring and the game continues. It's an ice-breaker, a good dance to get a group acquainted with one another and to get everyone in the mood for swinging around.

The “loo” in the title is the Scottish word for “love.” The spelling change from “loo” to “lou” probably happened as Anglo-Americans, and the song, became Americanized.

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