THE PLAY-PARTY IN INDIANA - online book

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

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54
The Play-Party in Indiana.
expression, ''walk with me," or "walk abroad with me," signifies engagement.28
The numerous variants of the game which are collected in "Traditional Games," give a valuable basis for the study of the changes which time and the numerous singers have made. Mrs. Gomme draws from these the basis for the possible line of de­cadence in the game. If her general outline is correct, then she would explain the additions as "instances of the tacking on of verses from the 'invitation to the dance' or 'May games.' "29 Of the significance of the line formation we shall have occasion to speak later.
Mr. Newell30 calls this game only a later development of "Three Kings" which is itself a "rude and remarkable variety" of "Knights of Spain." This last is known in a number of forms in Europe "from Latin France, Italy and Spain, to Scandinavian Iceland, from the Finns of the Baltic Coast to the Slavs of Mo­ravia" and was doubtless brought to the United States by the early settlers.31 Judging from the mercantile negotiations of the courtship, he concludes that "we may be tolerably sure that the first diffusion of the game in Europe dates far back into the Middle Ages." In our game "Here Come Four Dukes," though the mer­cenary character of the courtship is replaced by coquetry, yet the line formation and the distinct separation of the two groups remain.
28  Mrs. Gomme. Trad. Games, vol. II, p. 252.
2!)   Mrs. Gomme. Trad. Games, vol. 11, p. 252.
30  Games and songs, pp. 47 and 46 respectively.
31   Ibid. pp. 38-45.
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