Hokey Pokey

Hokey Cokey / Hokey Pokey

The Hokey Cokey / Hokey Pokey is a popular song and dance that has long been a favourite at parties for both young and old. It is a well known bit of fun, easy to organise as it requires no equipment, and is guaranteed to raise a smile at any occasion.



Now before we start we must first address a controversy that divides party people around the world.

So lets get one issue cleared up straight away is it Hokey Cokey or Hokey Pokey?

Well..... it depends which side of the Atlantic you live on.

Hokey Pokey USA In the USA the song has stuck with probably what was the original name the Hokey Pokey. This coming from the cries of ice cream vendors who sold a type of lumpy ice cream known as Hokey Pokey.

Hokey Cokey In the United Kingdom the song was changed, possibly during World War 2 by Canadian servicemen stationed in the UK to Hokey Cokey meaning to be a little bit crackers.

We will stick with Hokey Cokey for now. If you are a Hokey Pokey person please read it your way.

Whichever way you call it The Hokey Cokey has long been a party favourite with all generations and is about as close to being a party classic as you can get.

At kids parties it is a popular way of bringing things to a close with everyone (including as many mums and dads as possible) joining in. At our parties we always use it as a fun way of wrapping things up.

Do not think however that it is just for kids. The Hokey Cokey has been going for donkey's years. It is a brilliant way of letting off a bit of steam, loosening everybody up and adding a touch of fun to any occasion. This could be at an office party, a retirement do or at your Gran's 80th birthday party - perhaps with Gran standing in the middle.

Hokey Cokey Lyrics And Actions

The Hokey Cokey should always be sung standing up in a circle.

Everyone starts off holding hands then…

You put your left leg in
Everyone puts their left leg forward
Your left leg out
Everyone puts their leg backwards
In out - In out - and shake it all about
The legs go in and out as instructed before being shaken
You do the Hokey Cokey and you turn around
To do the Hokey Cokey clasp your hands together in front of your chest and give them a slow wiggle. Then turn around on the spot
Thats what its all about!

Whoa Hokey Okey Cokey
Everyone holds hands in the circle and runs into the middle raising their arms as they go then back again
Whoa Hokey Okey Cokey
Repeat actions
Whoa Hokey Okey Cokey
Repeat actions
Knees bend, arm stretch rah rah rah!
Bend your knees, reach for the sky, clap clap clap

The next verses would start -

You put your right leg in etc

This formula stays the same with different body parts being chosen such as left and right arms, depending on how long you want things to last.

One particular recent favourite is -

You put your great big fat wobbly bottom in
Turn and present a big wobbling posterior to the group

To end -
You put your whole self in
Jump in and out in time and have a good shake during the shake it all about bit

Tip - At kids parties do not overdo it otherwise the Whoa bits start to become a bit of a bundle as the children (particularly 8 year old boys!) start to get too excited.

We recommend sticking to just 4 verses

  • Left leg
  • Right leg
  • Big fat wobbly bottom
  • Whole self

Change The Words To Fit Your Party Theme

The Hokey Cokey works fine on its own at pretty much any party. But the great thing about this song is that you can easily change a few lyrics and invent a few actions to help it match most kids party themes. Be prepared to join in to show the kids what to do.

Here are some examples:

  • Animal Party - Whoa do the Funky Gibbon
  • Fairy Party - Whoa do the Fluttering Fairy
  • Dinosaur Party - Whoa do the Stomping Stegosaurus
  • Western Party - Whoa do the Crazy Cowboy
  • Pirate Party - Whoa do the Jolly Roger

The Hokey Cokey - Helping International Development

Did you know the International Development Organisation the Fairtrade Foundation sometimes use the Hokey Cokey to reciprocate local dances performed in their honour by the communities they help.

Now that's what you call international development!

Can you imagine if every round of trade talks started with all the "Great and the Good" putting their left foot in, their left foot out…………


So there you have it The Hokey Cokey a perfect party classic. There must be some way to include it in the event you're planning.

But before you go one final thought……

What if the Hokey Cokey really is what its all about?!!!



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