Jury out on sectarian Hokey Cokey?

After the controversy over Rangers fans singing The Famine Song, this week saw an odder story of complaints over the Hokey Cokey that has now joined the list of songs on the sectarian repertoire. We are supposed to believe some soccer fans are educated in lyrical history and are using mockery of transubstantiation and priestcraft to get at Catholic supporters. This is meant to be based on the supposed origins of the song in bastardising the phrase ‘Hoc est enim Corpus meum’ from the Latin mass.

Me, I’m a cynic and don’t buy it.

I reckon they are alluding to a much more recent bastardisation of the song (YouTube video not work safe):

(H/T Flemy@IR.net)

  • Paul O’Toole

    People seem to be making a carreer out of taking offence these days. I was unfortunate enough to be at the 4-2 old firm game 🙁 and when I eventually realised what the rangers fans were singing I laughed.

    I quite agree with the idea that Rangers fans singing about being up to their knees in fenian blood is objectionable, but let’s be honest one or two Celtic fans may have sang the odd song with an offensive line or two in it, and probably the most well known of all Celtic songs,”Fields of Athenry” is about…… the famine. If we make it an issue, how can we expect everyone else to never mention it?

    Yes people should try and avoid insults and deliberate offence, but likewise, people should avoid finding offence wherever possible.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Anything derogatory regarding the word Fenian I wouldn’t even bother with as we all know what a Fenian is (modern day Republican terrorist). However wordage which refers to taig in the same manner is quite simply sectarian.

  • “it was devised as an attack on, and a parody of, the Catholic Mass”.

    The version you’ve posted Mark doesn’t appear to be an attack or paroy of the Catholic Mass.

    I think you and the tribal witchdoctors are singing from a different hymn-sheet.

  • Mark McGregor

    Paul,

    I thought it very strange first time I heard it – why the feck would anyone assume the Hokey Cokey was being used as an exercise in mocking priests, a belief in transubstansiation and catholics in the modern world – no chance, football fans just aren’t that nuanced.

    However, when you find out that immediately after the banning of a clearly sectarian song, The Famine Song, another starts to appear that has been adapted well before the controversy, a song that hasn’t been on the terraces before – it does make me think the instigators may not be being historical, or children’s partying but just plain trying to by-pass the ban by using a tune that has clearly been adapted by some as a hate tune over a period of time (see the vid).

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]by using a tune that has clearly been adapted by some as a hate tune over a period of time (see the vid).”[/i]

    Mark McGregor, “a hate tune”??? come-on, how low can you go?

  • a song that hasn’t been on the terraces before –

  • Mark McGregor

    oneill,

    Some claim the original words are a mockery of Catholicism, the priesthood and a belief in transubstansiation.

    I’m suggesting the sudden appearance of the song, after the banning of ‘The Famine Song’, may have more to do with the sectarian version that has been around for a while.

    I’m suggesting they aren’t mocking the Latin Mass, or Catholicism, or pretending its a kid’s birthday, I’m suggesting they are trying to circumvent the ban on sectarian songs by singing a children’s song of utter irrelevance to football that has been adapted into a seriously and horrible piece of secterian bile – as they well know.

    Are you and the big chief in the Scottish Conservatives seriously suggesting they just decided to start singing a children’s song out of the blue?

  • Mark,

    I’m telling you that I’ve heard it sung all over England, in many different versions in my time, actually, physically, in the person, watching, live, real games- with zero sectarian implications whatsover.

    What’s happening it that there’s now people higher up within the Rangers’ fans’ hierarchy working their ticket with it to prove a point (and I really think it’s got f-all to do with your version) that there’s an agenda being played out in the media and the wider establishment against their club. Attempting to enforce sanctions against the Hun for singing a song which is heard the length and breadth of the UK during every wedding/birthday piss-up, how ridiculous can you get?

    For once, they’re employing a bit of guile…

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]I’m suggesting they aren’t mocking the Latin Mass, or Catholicism, or pretending its a kid’s birthday, I’m suggesting they are trying to circumvent the ban on sectarian songs by singing a children’s song of utter irrelevance to football that has been adapted into a seriously and horrible piece of secterian bile – as they well know.”[/i]

    it all comes down to the words used. Fenian or taig.

    Ian Paisley, the Pope’s chief Jesuit, made fun of Roman Catholicism’s transubstansiation, he was never arrested. Probably because the Latin law isn’t currently in place, but imagine if it did?

  • To prove my point, check the various reactions here here:
    >blockquote>But Labour MSP Frank McAveety – himself a Catholic – said: “I remember doing the Hokey Cokey at family parties.
    “We must all have been offending each other without realising.

    “I have visions of Alex Salmond’s barmy army kicking down doors to get into kids’ parties and dragging everyone off to jail.”
    Mission accomplished.

  • Mark McGregor

    o’neill,

    If I’m wrong, I’m wrong. Beauty of Slugger is the corrective. As you note I’m a terrace man – but I do ocassionally watch a bit of soccer. Can’t recall this fondness for the Hokey Cokey at any soccer game I’ve ever watched.

  • Mark McGregor

    O’Neill,

    What you need to show is it being sung at a football match in Scotland prior to the banning of the Famine Song – that’d make your argument strong, at the minute my demonstration the tune has been used for hatemongering is a bit of a trump card.

  • Okayy…only one example, this used to be sung by Celtic fans about Jorg Albertz

    “He puts his lipstick on
    His high-heels on
    Albertz is a tranny
    & he should be called Yvonne
    Albertz is a tranny
    & he’s coming out
    & that’s what it’s all about, oh!

    Whoh, Albertz is a tranny, whoh, Albertz is a tranny”

    A classic terrace (they were still in existance circa 98!) chant of previous times.

    But you’re missing the main point I made. The people who have instigated it now, I think have done it to make a point about the agenda being played out against Rangers. There was, many, many moons ago, an underlying sectarianism to the song, but in 99.9999% of the cases when it’s sung now? All the media that has passed subjective comment on the matter has said the Catholic church is being over-sensitive on the matter, not one (afaik) journalist has brought your version to light (although no doubt the Belfast Media boys, as we speak, are concocting a suitable headline).

    Rangers have had the worst of worst publicity recently, this kind of “campaign” against them can start to sow doubts in the neutral mind. I think the more strategical thinkers amongst the Rangers supporters have realised that. But, like you, I’m only working on a subjective hunch;)

  • Pete Baker

    Mark

    Personally, I think it at best ill-advised to post that video directly on Slugger. A few legal considerations on incitement come to mind.. despite the original’s categorisation as ‘humour’ – the personal motivation of the channel is clear.

    On the origins of the Hokey-Cokey, although there is some dispute about it, the Catholic Church in Scotland seem to be in no doubt.

    Peter Kearney, a spokesman for Cardinal O’Brien, leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, said: “This song does have quite disturbing origins. It was devised as an attack on, and a parody of, the Catholic mass.

    “If there are moves to restore its more malevolent meaning then consideration should perhaps be given to its wider use.”

  • GavBelfast

    Are these songs really sickeningly offensive the way, for example, songs about the Munich and Hillsborough Disasters that a hard core of Man Utd and Liverpool fans sang at each other for years were/are?

  • Harry Flashman

    Even if the song is a parody of the Catholic Mass, so what? Is it now a criminal offence to mock Catholicism? If that were the case then many posters on Slugger O’Toole would be doing time now.

  • USA

    In my view this song is highly offensive. I do not practice Catholicism but my wife did until recent years and my little children were Christened in a Catholic church.
    I find it discusting that some inbreds could record a song about kicking a Catholic until he squeals, “grab your self a taig / fenian” and “kick his heid in” etc.
    I think this song is incitement to hatred and should be treated as such by law enforcement. If it were up to me I would have the writers / performers charged in a court of law. Your society is so fucked up in this regard that you MUST challange this type of SECTARIAN HATE SPEACH every time you encounter it until people recognise that it is absolutely unacceptable behaviour.
    These Rangers fans continually show themselves to be a bunch of racist assholes.

  • USA

    PS. I don’t care about the whole Latin Mass thing, and don’t think these idiots are smart enough to think of that, boiled down to its core my position is that this is just pure sectarianism.

  • picador

    Scottish football should be banned.

  • Brian Walker

    Mark, It would be easy enough to whip up a storm with You Tube, now owned by Google about a post that’s truly repulsive and inciting. It recalls venomous, demented stuff from the 70s at the time of the worst sectarian assassinations. Can’t be helped but I groan to see it overshadowing my innocent little post about Once in Royal David’s City!

  • David

    The tale of the sectarian origins of the Hokey cokey is almost certainly guff. Let’s think about it rationally for a minute or two. The allegation is that it was invented by 17th century Puritans to mock the mass. What would that involve?

    1. The Puritans would have to put aside their famous objections to dancing to create a dance.

    2. They would have to have amazing foresight and invent a tune that sounds remarkably like an early 20th century jazz tune.

    3. They would have to show further foresight and create lyrics with such non-17th century expressions as “Thats what it’s all about” etc.

    4. Their dance supposedly to mock the mass would have to look absolutely nothing like anything that is ever done at the mass.

    The only real link with the Puritans is the fact that the dance is called the “Hokey cokey” which is the UK version of the American early 20th century original “hokey pokey”. This sounds a little like “hocus pocus” which SOME etymologists believe was an expression devised to mock the mass, though others disagree.

    This must be one of the most transparently manufactured grievances ever.

  • Comrade Stalin

    If it were up to me I would have the writers / performers charged in a court of law. Your society is so fucked up in this regard that you MUST challange this type of SECTARIAN HATE SPEACH every time you encounter it until people recognise that it is absolutely unacceptable behaviour.

    The thing is, if we were in the USA, this would all be expressly permitted by the first amendment.

  • Very interesting video and link. Thanks for attaching.