Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

You put your right foot in
You put your right foot out
You put your right foot in
And you shake it all about
You do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around
That`s what it`s all about!

You put your left foot in
You put your left foot out
You put your left foot in
And you shake it all about
You do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around
That`s what it`s all about!

You put your right hand in
You put your right hand out
You put your right hand in
And you shake it all about
You do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around
That`s what it`s all about!

You put your left hand in
You put your left hand out
You put your left hand in
And you shake it all about
You do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around
That`s what it`s all about!

You put your head in
You put your head out
You put your head in
And you shake it all about
You do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around
That`s what it`s all about!

You put your whole self in
You put your whole self out
You put your whole self in
And you shake it all about
You do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around
That`s what it`s all about! 

 

Let’s start by asking the creepy question: “What are you sticking your feet in?”

Consider practical activities that resemble the range of motions described – sticking your foot in something, taking it out, and sticking it back in to wave it around senselessly.  The most near and rational parallel is fishing.  Assuming you want fish that crave human flesh.

The person to whom our narrator speaks is serving as the bait – sticking one limb after the other into the water, taking it back, sticking it into the water and waggling it around to attract marine attention.  As is often the case when fishing, it is considered wise to swap out the bait every so often, lest the prey wisen up and move on to another spot.

So it is that the poor bastard attached to the fishing line uses her or his right foot, then left, then both hands, then head, and finally her whole body in the hopes of landing something big.  Towards the end of every verse she’s asked to turn herself around – straightening the line in preparation for another round.

Somewhere in the middle, she is tasked with employing “the Hokey Pokey.”  According to the internet, this is a term that’s been around since at least 1850.  It’s a variant of “Hocus Pocus”, meaning “a little magic,” or “fake magic.”

What can they be trying to catch, that hungers for human bodies and can only be subdued by the appearance of magic?  A dragon?  A sea-monster?

No.

Consistently, our narrator refers to magic by an old disparaging phrase that includes the word “hokey,” meaning overly emotional and contrived, and “pokey,” which can imply prison as well as slowness.  It sounds rather as though the sea-creature is to be caught by a form of magical emotional manipulation. Perhaps a love-spell twisted into a full-blown romantic escapade (that may include certain things poking into certain other things.)

One sea-creature is known for being vulnerable to human seduction, drawn to the thrashing of human limbs and simulated drowning.

Our fishers are catching mermaids.

By each verse’s end, it seems the human bait is losing heart – beginning to question the morality or necessity of the operation.  The narrator, disdainful of magic and lacking sentiment toward magical people, repeats his partner’s job description back to her each time, concluding, “That’s what it’s all about.”  In other words, it’s not about right or wrong.  It’s about doing your job, no questions needed.

Case regretfully closed.