Over 65 years ago, Roland Lawrence “Larry” LaPrise penned a simple children’s song that has become a party favorite. Roland Lawrence “Larry” LaPrise wrote the popular children’s song, “Hokey Pokey” in 1949.
It is with solemn joy that we reflect on the life of a very important man who brought so much happiness into our world through a simple little song, yet his passing went almost unnoticed. Larry LaPrise was a singer/songwriter who created the novelty song-and-dance number “The Hokey Pokey” and unwittingly creating a classic for nursery schools and roller-skating rinks.
The “Hokey Pokey’ is like a square dance, really,”
The “Hokey Pokey’ is like a square dance, really,” Mr LaPrise told The Times-News in Twin Falls, Idaho, in 1992. “You turn around. You shake it all about. Everyone is in a circle, and it gets them all involved.”
Mr LaPrise passed away peacefully on 4 April 1996 in a Boise, Idaho hospital at age 83. The most traumatic part of his passing was getting him into the coffin. They put his left leg in – and that’s when the trouble started…
A young couple was wanting to adopt a child, so they went to an adoption agency. The social worker started the interview with a basic question, “What do you do for a living?”
The husband replied, “We are circus performers. I work with the large animals and my wife does acrobatics.” “I see,” said the social worker. Then after a delayed pause she began to express her concerns. “I’m not so sure that a life in the circus is a suitable environment for a young child. Lions, tigers and elephants can become aggressive and can pose serious threats to a small child. Additionally, the constant travel and transient nature doesn’t allow a child to ‘put down roots’ that are so vital to developing stability as an adult.”
“Well, I have to disagree,” said the husband. ” Our animals are tame and very gentle, and I go to great lengths working with them. I think their is no better way for a child to learn about animals and their nature than to live right among them and observe them daily.” The wife chimed in, “And as far as the constant travel, we own a 55-foot luxury travel coach with a custom-built nursery. And I’ve hired a great nanny to tutor the child in reading, writing and arithmetic as well as a instruct them in music and a foreign language.” “And as for civics and history, there’s no better education than seeing and experiencing America’s historic sites first-hand,” added her husband.
“Well, I admit you make a compelling argument for your unconventional lifestyle, and we have several children in need of adoption. So, what age child are you wanting to consider?” the social worker asked. “It really doesn’t matter,” said the man, “as long as they fit in the cannon.”