THE PLAY-PARTY IN INDIANA - online book

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

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18                         The Play-Party in Indiana.
they are danced on the blue grass meadow. In name only docs this differ from the country party.
In practically every public school of central and southern Ripley County, and especially in the town schools where there are many young people, one of the most difficult problems of the teacher is that of solving skillfully the question of the play-party game. Instead of teaching dance-games and folk-dances as is done in so many of the city schools, the effort is made to keep them out entirely. The disapproval of a few of the parents and the hostile attitude of the minister toward these games, brings to bear such a pressure upon the school-board that it cannot afford to hire a teacher who allows dancing and play-party games on the school ground. So it comes about that pupils from the sixth grade and on to the twelfth, steal away at recesses and noons to play in a secluded part of the school-yard, or in a hall-way, where the teacher is least likely to find them. The play-parties given by the older students of the Holton High School last winter and also during this last school year (1914-1915) testify to the con­tinuous popularity of this old time, yet modern form of amusement.5 These games, from all that we can see, are in this locality as at­tractive to the young people of the highest social standing as they have ever been.
It is even more interesting to note that this is a revival of interest, and has followed a period of the lapse of popularity. Mr. Newell says that "these amusements came into existence because they were adapted to the conditions of early life; they pass away because those conditions are altered. The taste of other days sustained them."6
Doubtless this is true to the conditions in most places, but the young people of Ripley County, Indiana, enjoy so thoroughly the traditional play-party, with its queer words, its romping dance and dramatic action, that they are not satisfied with any of the modern substitutes.
5.     The play-party season of the summer of 1915 began with a lawn party in the country two miles from Versailles on May 1.
6.     Games and songs, p. 12.
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