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.
23
b.     Two couples play this. They join hands to form a circle, the partners facing each other. At 1, they circle around to the left. At 2, partners cross their right hands making a "star."8 Repeat, forming the "star" with the left hands. At 4, the boys bow, the girls courtesy. At 5, each boy swings the girl next to him, and then 6 swings his own partner.
This is also a game for eight, and as such it is danced with rather complex figures. This, like the dance of "Weevily Wheat," is not considered proper for church members.
c.     This was well known by children fifteen years ago. The basement of the school house at Versailles was always crowded with players as soon as the teachers left at noon, and also at recesses when there was least danger of discovery. At the same time it was well known as a play-party game and as such it continues to be popular today.
d.     G. M. Miller (University Studies of the University of Cin­cinnati, vol. 1, p. 31) speaks of this game in connection with others which we shall give in detail later. "Some of the songs used in Indiana were very old, while others were comparatively recent in origin. The song for the Virginia reel was probably as old in parts as the original of the dance itself, the old Sir Roger de Coverly contra dance. Others going pretty far back were Weevily Wheat and Pop Goes the Weasel, while Captain Jinks and We're Marching Down to Rauser's (evidently a German saloon-keeper who kept 'good beer') were more recent."
e.     Other variants are published in Cur. Lit. vol. 30, pp. 350-51 (Robinson, Folk Music), and in Jour. Am. Folk-lore, vol. XXIV, p. 298 (Mrs. Ames, Missouri Play-party).
The melody known in Ripley County is practically the same as that given by Mrs. Ames. The words are quite different, for her version has five stanzas and something of a ballad situation. She gives also the words to the song, "My Father and Mother Were Irish," which are the same as those of the play-party game in Indiana, and likewise the music to this game is the same as in "All Go Down to Rowser's."
Miss Hamilton's variant in Jour. Am. Folk-lore, vol. XXVII, p. 290, corresponds most closely to the one given above.
8 Each boy raises his partner's hand to his lips as if it were the beer glass.
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