The Ballad of the Oxford Baggies

Every now and then we’ll be pulling out Swungover posts from the 132 year history of Swungover, covering its humble origins as a small New Orleans daily newspaper aimed at Marching Drummers to its current place as an online swing dancing blog. This entry is from 2001.

Ballad of the Oxford Baggies*

(or: “Baby Got Bags,” to be sung to the tune of the prestigious “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mixalot, who is apparently not knighted by the British Realm. He doesn’t even have an MBE, as far as I can see.)

by Robert White

*–Oxford Baggies: The large, wide legged trousers worn by college kids in the 1930’s. They are very popular with modern swing dancers.

I-LIKE-BIG-PANTS and I can not lie

You other partners can’t deny

That when a man walks in with a tightly belted waste

And his big kicks in your face

You get flung

Wanna swing it rough

Cause you notice that his pants were stuffed

Deep in the Bags he’s wearing

Crowd’s hooked and they can’t stop staring

Oh, Baby, I wanna flip ya

While they take our picture

So Suzy Q me, Suzy Q me, cuz you ain’t the average newbie.

So Leaders, (yeah?) Leaders, (YEAH?!?!?)

Are you tired of sweating liters? (Hell Yeah!)

Then try a pair, they’ll give you air

Even Westies have to shout

Baby got Slacks

(Come On baby let me show you my “Willie” tonight)**

I like ’em real round and big

And when I’m doing a jig [kick]

I just can’t help myself

I’m acting like an animal

And they’re even flannel

I wanna get you alone

And UH!,Triple step, UH! UH!

I ain’t talking ’bout Groove-Savoy

Cause cargo pants were made for boys [in the scouting program]

I like them real big and bouncy,

So find them and Bob’s in trouble

I’ll even pay double

For the pants that muddle [Bad footwork]

A word to the All Bal sisters

I wanna dance with ya

I won’t step on or kick ya

But I gotta be straight when I say that I wanna bal

till dawn

Your slides got it goin on.

A lot of leads won’t like this song

Cause they like to mamogram, and dancerbate,

But I’d rather let you play

Cause my socks are striped, and thought I’m white,

I’m down to get “Whitey” tonight. ***

So follows (Yeah?) Follows (Yeah?)

Has your leader got the cuff? (Hell Yeah!)

Well kick it, kick it, kick that baggy cuff

Baby got Slacks

You can wear t-shits or pumas, but please don’t loose that cuff.

(Little in the middle but he’s got a lot of slacks)

Beat fades out.


*The fashion originated in oxford in the twenties, when college kids were outlawed from wearing Knickerbockers in the formal class setting. So the kids started wearing the wide legged pants they could wear over their knickerbockers, and then remove after class. It caught on and swept America.

** At this part in the poem, the speaker mentions a desire to demonstrate his impression of the balboa dancer Willie Desitoff to his partner. The late balboa dancer is still probably known most for his sliding style.

*** Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers; perhaps the most enrgertic and creative group of Swing dancers in history.

**** Okay, so this piece was written in 2003 and used again for the Jam Cellar email a few years ago. Don’t tell anybody, though.

5 responses to “The Ballad of the Oxford Baggies”

  1. I don’t know about brilliant, but it is the nerdiest/funniest thing I’ve read all day. I think my love of big pants goes back to 90s skater style pipe jeans like JNCOs. I consider Oxford Bags to just be a slightly shielded reference thereto.

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