The Brand New Cosmic Hokey Pokey

What if the Hokey Pokey Really is What It’s All About?

Dena and I have spirit-sized many songs over time, some of them secular and some old time gospel tunes. One of my favorites is one we’ve played with our Souls Journey collective at local kiirtan gatherings. At that time, we called it the New Thought Hokey Pokey in honor of some of the spiritual gathering places we played at.

In this case, the new version was inspired by a funny bumper sticker I had seen, “What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it’s all about?” This question seemed to raise various thought provoking ponderings on the nature of existence. Therefore, the old version of the song just seemed to be begging for revision a la’ the tool of spirit-sizing. It seemed to be a great opportunity to invite everyone’s Inner Child out to dance and sing.

Will the Real Hokey Pokey, please stand up…

According to Wikipedia, the origins of the original song start with a British folk dance, with variants attested as early as 1826. The song and accompanying dance peaked in popularity as a music hall song and novelty dance in the mid-1940s in Britain and Ireland. Also, it’s even claimed that a number of variations of the song and the dance go back to the 17th century. In 1953, Ray Anthony’s big band recording of the song turned it into a nationwide sensation.

In case you haven’t heard this song, here’s the Ray Anthony version. I think this is the same 45 record that was played in my house back in my childhood days.

Apparently, there have been copyright issues around who wrote the Hokey Pokey. According to a New York Times article, some of those issues arose in the UK during World War II between a band leader and a music publisher. Meanwhile, during the mid to late 40’s in the U.S., there was a copyright dispute between two different groups of musicians who played for resorts in different parts of the country. In this case, the lawsuit was settled out of court in a manner that granted both sets of authors shared ownership.

The Brand New Cosmic Hokey Pokey

Recently, I was preparing for an upcoming Sunday morning gig at a local Science of Mind church. I’d been informed that the topic of the day was Laughter as a Spiritual Practice. In my musical research, I was struggling with what song to choose that would bring about spontaneous laughter from the folks listening. As I sat there with our Souls Journey version of the song mentioned earlier, I contemplated that infamous bumper sticker question. And, voila, I started playing guitar and singing the first new verse. Thus, another moment of Divine inspiration had arrived with me as its recipient!

To wrap up, I call this version The Brand New Cosmic Hokey Pokey. I’ve shared it with a few friends over the phone and in person and, so far, it seems to land in that sweet spot between recognition and the metaphysical funny bone. Click below to hear a simple recording of the song.

  I’m also including the new lyrics here for your perusal. Enjoy the tune!

The Brand New Cosmic Hokey Pokey

Written by Larry LaPrise and Robert Degen/
Additional music and lyrics by Marshal & Dena McKitrick

What if the Hokey Pokey is what it’s really all about?
What if that Hokey Pokey took away all of my worries and doubt?
Could be the Cosmic punch line inspires me to wanna’ jump and shout (Hey!)
What if the Hokey Pokey turns out to be just what it’s all about?

You put your chakras in, you take your chakras out
You put your chakras in and you shake ‘em all about
Do the hokey pokey as you turn your soul around, that’s what it’s all about

You put your aura in, you take your aura out
You put your aura in and you shake it all about
Do the hokey pokey as you turn your soul around, that’s what it’s all about

What if the Hokey Pokey is what it’s really all about?
What if that Hokey Pokey brought the light shining right out of the clouds?
Could be the greatest secret living in the ever present now
What if the Hokey Pokey turns out to be the sacred Holy Cow?

You put your past lives in, you take your past lives out
You put your past lives in and you shake ‘em all about
Do the hokey pokey as you turn your soul around, that’s what it’s all about

You put your Inner Critic in, you take your Inner Critic out
You put your Inner Critic in and you shake it all about
Do the hokey pokey as you turn your soul around, that’s what it’s all about

You do the brand new Cosmic Hokey Pokey, do the brand new Cosmic Hokey Pokey
Do the brand new Hokey Pokey, that’s what it’s all about…

[Note: Extra words for choruses: True Self/ karma/ dogma/ shadows, etc. – also, invite audience suggestions]

One Response to The Brand New Cosmic Hokey Pokey

  • Hi Marshal,

    I enJOYed listening to your “Brand New” > Cosmic blatantly & unnecessarily redundant my friend — unless, of course, Holy Cows aren’t necessarily sacred … then I’ll just take my “Inner Critic” with me and depart post haste!

    Seriously, thanks for sharing ! And glad “Rule 62” is so clearly evident in the McKitrick household !!

    Have a great & wonderful Memorial Day weekend!
    Mister Hokey Pokey

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