THE PLAY-PARTY IN INDIANA - online book

Folk-Songs and Games with Descriptive Introduction, Notes, Sheeet music & Lyrics

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucer Codes



Share page  Visit Us On FB


Previous Contents Next
The Play-Party in Indiana.
15
invitations, and in a short time the big wagons were rumbling on their way homeward.
But in the spare-room the dancers continued their games until the boys without "girls" had each summoned enough courage to ask his partner if he might "see her home safe", or until the head of the house, in a rough voice called out the hour. Hasty departure was a relief in that awkward moment. While the boys fetched the horses, the girls slipped on their riding skirts. In an incredibly short time each girl was mounted sidewise behind her partner, and all were riding away, some talking about the party, others singing old time ballads, and several couples enjoying a lively horse-race.
The same play-party lives still in this and a few other com­munities of Indiana. When the neighborhood contains a lively crowd of young people between the ages of thirteen and twenty-two, this form of amusement flourishes. In the summer of 1915, before the August camp-meetings began, there were about two parties a week, until practically every family had entertained the crowd.
The changed environment has given to the play-party some­thing of a new aspect. Instead of sending a messenger on horse­back to each house, announcing the party, as was done a half century ago, today one need only give the general ring on the farmers' line telephone, and at once the neighbors are listening. Practically all the inviting is done by phone.
The hay-wagon in summer and the bob-sled in the winter, when sleighing is good, are prominent features of the play-party today. The big wagon is no longer a means of conveyance, and only occasionally is a horseback rider to be seen. In place of these, there is the rubber-tired buggy or carriage, drawn by spirited driving horses, and it is not unusual to see two or three large touring cars full of young people and those of middle age unload in front of the house where the play-party is given.
In the summer the entertainers like to set the date by the alma­nac so they will have a moon-light night. Often, Japanese lanterns light the smooth, grassy lawn and make it impossible for a stranger-guest to mistake the place. A pretty picture it makes, the girls in their starched white dresses and gay ribbons, the boys in their Sunday suits and with ties in the latest fashion.
These players are not less eager to begin the games than their grandparents were. So the lively crowd of from four to fifty dancers repeat the "Old Dan Tucker" and the "Weevily Wheat",
Previous Contents Next







E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III