Shirley Ellis – The Clapping Song

I walked into a pizza shop in SoHo recently to find this song playing. Coincidentally, a friend had sent it to me on Spotify just a couple of days before, so you can only imagine my pleasure at encountering by chance. The pizza shop on Thompson and Spring usually doesn’t play this kind of music, but on that particular foggy and humid day, they seemed to be doing a great job with their music selection.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this in any previous posts, but I’ve recently taken on the task of learning how to DJ, and I’ve never felt more thrilled about any decision in my life. As someone who constantly talks about music, I feel like it’s only appropriate to try and connect with listeners on the dance floor by providing the tunes. There’s something really special about a DJ with eclectic tastes who is open to catering to all tastes. Because you might show up to a party expecting to hear solely funk tunes, but the unexpected throwback classic ’90s R&B jam, or oldies doo-wop, is always more of a pleasure than a stir-up. And I think that’s the kind of feel I’d like to bring to the dance-floor: unexpected joy. We’re always going to revert to that old sound, because it’s so damn catchy and reliable. This song in particular brings me back to a time that I didn’t even exist in, but it pulsates through my veins and drops me into the thicket of a bustling teenaged dance-floor, circa 1965. A beautiful afro haired woman turns to me, gives me a shimmy and a clap, and turns away. I’m in bliss.

3, 6, 9
The goose drank wine
The monkey chew tobacco on the streetcar line
The line broke, the monkey got choked
And they all went to heaven in a little rowboat.”

Happy listening, my little dance-bears.

Shirley Ellis – The Clapping Song