THE PLAY-PARTY IN INDIANA - online book

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

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.is
The Play-Party in Indiana.
O happy is the miller boy, And he lives by himself, As the wheel goes round, He gathers in his wealth. One hand in the hopper, And the other in the sack; As the wheel goes around The boys fall back.44
Mrs. Leslie Beall, Versailles, Ind.
b. The game requires an uneven number of players. The person (boy or girl) who is without a partner stands in the center and all of the others promenade around him during 1. The movement is regular and rather quick to imitate the turning of a wheel. At 2, each boy drops his partner's arm and tries to get the arm of the girl behind him and at his right. While the change is being made, the one in the center (the Miller) tries to get a partner. If he (or she) succeeds the person without a partner is the one in the center for the next game; if he (or she) fails in this, then he must be in the center a second or even third time.
c.-d. There are many references to the tune, "There Was a Jolly Miller." D'Urfey in "Pills to Purge Melancholy" (vol. iii, pp. 151ff of 1707 edition) mentions this as being used in several ballad operas, e. g., "The Quakers' Opera," "The Devil to Pay," and "The Fashionable Lady" or "Harlequin's Opera," under the name of "The Budgeon It Is a Delicate Trade." The tune to "The Jolly Miller" was in 1624 harmonized by Beethoven for Geo. Thomson (Pills to Purge Melancholy, i, p. 169). Further "The Jovial Cobbler" of St. Helen's has the same tune. (Ibid, p. 169.)
The first stanza of the ballad is remarkably like certain Amer-ican versions of the game song:
How happy's the mortal that lives by his mill, That depends on his own, not on Fortune's wheel. By the sleight of his hand, and the strength of his back How merrily this mill goes clack, clack, clack.
A dialogue song "Oh Jenny, Jenny, Where Hast Thou Been?" follows the line of departure which is shown in the last stanza of the preceding ballad quoted above.
Gummere. Scottish Ballads, vol. 2, p. 449. The Miller of Dee, is related to the same story.
44 This was a popular game only a short time ago in Jay County.
Mr. R. H. Strong.
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