"The Clapping Song" is an American song, written by Lincoln Chase, originally arranged by Charles Calello and recorded by Shirley Ellis in 1965.[citation needed]

The single sold over a million copies, and peaked at number eight in the United States[1] and number six in the UK.[2]

Background Edit

The song was released shortly after Ellis had released "The Name Game". "The Clapping Song" incorporates lyrics from the song "Little Rubber Dolly" (which does not contain the ‘three six nine’ part),[3][failed verification] a 1930s song recorded by the Light Crust Doughboys, and also features instructions for a clapping game.

Chart performance Edit

Chart (1965) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 6
US Billboard Hot 100 8
US Billboard Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles[4] 16

Cover versions Edit

  • Gary Glitter did a cover version of "The Clapping Song" in 1972, on his debut album Glitter.
  • The song returned to the charts when The Belle Stars covered the song in 1982, on their self-titled LP.[5] This version charted at number 11 in the UK,[2] and number 4 in Australia. It was the 33rd biggest selling single in Australia in 1983.[6]
  • Pia Zadora's cover of the song entered the top 40 in 1983, when it peaked at number 36 on the Hot 100.[7]
  • Queen drummer Roger Taylor covered the song on his 2021 album Outsider. He released it as a single on 16 September 2021.

In media Edit

"The Clapping Song" has been featured in the soundtracks of the movies Scratch, Because of Winn-Dixie, Private Life, Stuber, Poms, All Together Now, and Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

In Flatliners, the song is sung by children on the playground.

On television, it was featured in Round Six of the 2009 season of Dancing With the Stars.

References Edit

  1. ^ "Shirley Ellis The Clapping Song (Clap Pat Clap Slap) Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b "The Clapping Song Full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  3. ^ "Shirley Ellis's The Clapping Song". WhoSampled.com. Retrieved 23 May 2012. ("Little Rubber Dolly" available at YouTube)
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 186.
  5. ^ "www.allmusic.com". allmusic.com. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  6. ^ "Kent Music Report – National Top 100 Singles for 1983". Kent Music Report. Retrieved 22 January 2023 – via Imgur.com.
  7. ^ "Pia Zadora The Clapping Song Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 8 February 2018.

The Clapping Song Lyrics