Skip to My Lou

“Skip to My Lou” is a singing-game and dance, famous since the 1840s.
Searching for the origins of this partner-stealing game, musician Stephen Frederick Starr recalls its resemblance to the African-American dance “Lolotte Pov’piti Lolotte”. The meaning of the word Lou, however, comes from the Scottish word for love, loo.

Skip to My Loo Singing Game

How to play

The game associated with this dance is a classic partner-stealing game. Everyone who plays (should be an odd number) must form couples and then the couples form a circle, or a square dance. The person who remains unaccompanied goes in the middle.

While singing or listening to the song the couples will skip hand in hand around in a ring. After the verse “Lost my partner, what’ll I do?” the middle person will choose a partner from the existing couples, when they have their hands free, saying “I’ll get another one just like you” or “better than you”. If they cannot catch one they will try for another round. The person left without a partner will continue the game in the same manner.

“Skip to My Lou” Lyrics

Chorus
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip to my Lou, my darling.

Lost my partner, what’ll I do?
Lost my partner, what’ll I do?
Lost my partner, what’ll I do?
Skip to my Lou, my darling.
Chorus

I’ll get another one, prettier than you,
I’ll get another one, prettier than you,
I’ll get another one, prettier than you,
Skip to my Lou, my darling
Chorus

Little red wagon painted blue,
Little red wagon painted blue,
Little red wagon painted blue,
Skip to my Lou, my darling.
Chorus

Can’t get a red bird, jay bird’ll do,
Can’t get a red bird, jay bird’ll do,
Can’t get a red bird, jay bird’ll do,
Skip to my Lou, my darling.
Chorus

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 darling.
Chorus

Fly’s in the sugar bowl, shoo, shoo, shoo,
Fly’s in the sugar bowl, shoo, shoo, shoo,
Fly’s in the sugar bowl, shoo, shoo, shoo,
Skip to my Lou, my darling.
Chorus

Cow’s in the barnyard, moo, moo, moo,
Cow’s in the barnyard, moo, moo, moo,
Cow’s in the barnyard, moo, moo, moo,
Skip to my Lou, my darling.
Chorus

Cat’s in the cream jar, ooh, ooh, ooh,
Cat’s in the cream jar, ooh, ooh, ooh,
Cat’s in the cream jar, ooh, ooh, ooh,
Skip to my Lou, my darling.
Chorus

Off to Texas, two by two,
Off to Texas, two by two,
Off to Texas, two by two,
Skip to my Lou, my darling.
Chorus

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