“Looby Lou”


"Here we go Looby Lou, Here we go Looby Lou, Here we go Looby Lou, Lou, Lou, All on a Saturday night." "I put my right hand in, I put my right hand out, I give my right hand shakey-shake-shake And I turn myself about."

Supplemental text

Looby Lou
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

I Put My Little Hand In

From Eloise Hubbard Linscott, Folk Songs of Old New England, pp. 23-26.
Apparently from the children of Dr. and Mrs. Frank Allen Hubbard.

I put my little hand in,
I put my little hand out,
I give my little hand a shake, shake, shake
And I turn myself about.

Here we go looby loo,
Here we go looby la,
Here we go looby loo,
All on a Saturday night,
All on a Saturday night.

(7 additional stanzas)


This would seem to be the ancestor of the infamous Hokey-Pokey, perhaps urban America's only surviving singing game. But I don't know if the song was rewritten along the way.

Linscott reports the "Looby Loo" title as "a corruption of lupin,' the word for 'leaping,' for the game takes the form of animal antics."

Courlander, if I understand him correctly, explains it as a bathing game. Wonder how they recorded the motions in that case. - RBW


  • Children of Lilly's Chapel School, "Loop de Loo (Loobie Loo)" (on NFMAla6, RingGames1)
  • Pete Seeger, "Here We Go Looby-Loo" (on PeteSeeger21)


  1. Flanders/Brown, pp. 192-193, "Looby Low" (1 text)
  2. Linscott, pp. 23-26, "I Put My Little Hand In" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Randolph 554, "Loupy Lou" (2 texts, 1 tune)
  4. Courlander-NFM, p. 157, "(Loop de Loo)" (1 text)
  5. Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #637, p. 252, "(Now we dance looby, looby, looby)"
  6. Silber-FSWB, p. 387, "Her We Go Looby Loo" (1 text)
  7. ST R554 (Partial)
  8. Roud #5032
  9. BI, R554


Alternate titles: “Here We Go Looby Lou”; “Ugly Mug”; “Lubin”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1930 (Flanders/Brown)
Keywords: dancing playparty
Found in: Britain(England) US(Ap,NE,SE,So)