you put your left leg in... your put your left leg out...  (note: i do not know the people pictured)

as i've mentioned countless times on this site, there are many subtle and sometimes mildly amusing differences between American and British things.  today's item is a old party dance usually done by preschool children and drunk adults attending cheesy leisure cruises.

known as the Hokey Pokey, the "dance" became popular in America in the 1950s (copyrighted in 1950).  according to popular legend it was created to entertain crowds at a ski resort in Sun Valley, Idaho.  Ray Anthony's big band made it an American hit in the mid-1950s (most likely because it was the B-side to the "Bunny Hop").

here in Great Britain they call this same dance the Hokey Cokey.  internet research has revealed that the Hokey Cokey peaked in popularity as a novelty dance in Britain during the mid-1940s (making it about 10 years older than the States' version).  this means that strictly speaking, the dance should be called the Hokey Cokey in the States.  there is also internet research that shows the Brits sometimes call it the Cokey Cokey (go figure).

interestingly, in Britain the "Hokey Cokey" is regarded as a traditional song, and is therefore free of the copyright restrictions that are placed on it in the States.  (Ahh, the sweet Orwelian nature of the United States.)  One might argue that the American copyright should not exist at all, as the song existed in Britain 10 years earlier than America -- and is credited to completely different authors.

ANYway, that's all for this morning.  i'll try to keep posting as the holidays pass.  surely there's a blog or two to be written about lard-based mince pies, leaving whiskey out for Father Christmas in lieu of milk and cookies and eating flaming Christmas puddings soaked in booze.

Fun fact:  in New Zealand the Hokey Pokey is called the Hokey Tokey.  I expect a lot of hippies do this dance there...