Observed Playground Poem
annotated by Jeffrey Sward

The following poem was observed in 1992. The poem was being repeatedly chanted by band of pre-adolescent girls at a public park in Irvine, California. The following items are of note:

  • Three lines of observation followed by one line of gamesmanship.
  • Reference to cultural stereotypes
  • Creative rhyming of "brains" with "game"
  • The need to cheer for no explicable reason
  • The only rhythm present in each line is the quarter-eight "got the" and "won the" occurring at the end of the first measure.
Boys got the muscles
Teacher got the brains
Girls got the sexy legs
We won the game
The poem was chanted to a 6/8 rhythm, where:
q = quarter note
e = eight note
dq = dotted quarter note
r = eight rest
Allegro giusto dq = 140
dq-q-e | e-e-r-r-r-r |
q-e-q-e | dq-r-r-r |
dq-q-e | q-e-dq |
dq-q-e | dq-r-r-r |
{dq}-r-r-r | r-r-r |
repeat 97 times

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