THE PLAY-PARTY IN INDIANA - online book

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

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The Play-Party in Indiana.
17
The camp-meetings of the "Holiness Church" continue for about six weeks in the late summer and draw their crowds from twenty miles around. The religious revival meeting in the woods furnishes a picnic place and becomes the real social center for the young people. While it lasts no play-parties are planned.
The macadamized roads, which connect all of the towns of any importance, have in the last few years afforded easy access to neighboring communities. The former isolation exists no longer, and the great number of automobiles, owned by the farmers, tends to convert the country districts into suburbs of the nearest large town. The amusements of the town, then, can easily be those of the young people of rural communities.
The sanction of the play-party by most of the early settlers we have mentioned. While certain of these games were regarded somewhat critically by parents two generations ago, many of the fathers and mothers now favor them as being a check to the grow­ing popularity of what they call the "vulgar modern dance." The young people, howTever, do not wish to see the distinction.
The attitude which the players have toward these games, is criticized by the ministers, who, with few exceptions, preach that both the play-party and the dance are on the same plane with card-playing, and must not be countenanced by church members. What the outcome will be cannot be foretold, but the immediate effect, in this one community, has been to revive the play-party. Around the towns of Versailles, Holton and Dillsboro, it has been popular during the last five years.
The high-school training, which the young people must get from the town, does not seem to have lessened their enjoyment of this rural amusement. In fact, many of those who play the games and give the parties are college people.
This particular kind of dance-game is not, however, limited to the play-party proper. The rugged hills and beautiful valleys are very inviting and give a special attraction to all out-of-door sports. On moon-light summer evenings, the young people of Versailles, each with a few ears of sugar-corn, a sack of eggs, or a chicken, climb down the steep hill to the creek and there kindle a bonfire and have what is called a "roast." An out-of-town guest is usually the occasion of this kind of merrymaking. But the roasting of corn, eggs and chickens is not the only, nor even the principal amusement. No matter of what social rank the visitor may be, he is always delighted with the Indian war dances around the great bonfire, and most of all, with the play-party games as
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III