Hambone is a Juba dance, a style of dance that involves stomping as well as slapping and patting the arms, legs, chest, and cheeks. (source)


(African American folk song)

1. Hambone, hambone, have you heard?
Papa’s gonna buy you a mocking bird.

2. If that mockingbird don’t sing,
Papa’s gonna buy you a diamond ring!

3. If that diamond ring don’t shine,
Papa’s gonna try some turpentine!

4. If that turpentine’s a mistake
Papa’s gonna throw you in the lake!

5. If that water splash on you
This whole story just ain’t true!

Recorder Notes D, E, G, A, B


See hand-clapping ideas in download below.

See also


or purchase here (printables only)

  • Song with chords in 2 keys, Lesson Ideas for Form (Call & Response), Recorder Student Copies (otes D,E,G,A,B) (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen to the song

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2 thoughts on “Hambone”

  1. Hello Beth,
    I appreciate the music you post on your Blog and have been practicing “Abiyo Abeyo” with my Pre-Kindergarten class. I see Hambone which I learned as a child. I always like to find the history about what I am teaching the children and couldn’t find anything on “Abiyo” so I wrote to two groups in Australia about it and haven’t heard back. My intention is to give cultures the greatest respect and for my children to have some history on things (cultural sensitivity). Please share what you know about the Australian song. I know there is enough material on “Hambone”. Again, thank you so much for sharing all that you do. This is one thing I love about meeting other teachers. Best wishes, Sylvia

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