THE PLAY-PARTY IN INDIANA - online book

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

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucer Codes



Share page  Visit Us On FB


Previous Contents Next
The Play-Party in Indiana.                          69
Love in a Village (opera 1762) There Was a Jolly Miller.
Dryden. Miscellany Poems. The Miller of Dee.
The Convivial Songster. 1782. The Miller of Dee.
Walsh' Compleat Country Dancing Master. The Dusty Miller.
Hornby. The Joyous Book of Singing Games. Jolly Miller, p. 60.
c. Games. Mrs. Gomme (Trad. Games, ii, pp. 436-7. Vol. i, pp. 289-293) gives eight variants.
Miss Mari Ruef Hofer. Children's Singing Games, p. 23.
Mrs. Ames. Jour. Am. Folk-lore, vol. XXIV, p. 306. The music, which she gives is very similar to that above, in its manner of repetition and variation of the phrases and in rhythm, but the melodies are not identical.
Miss Goldy Hamilton. Jour. Am. Folk-lore, vol. XXVII, p. 293.
Mr. Addy in his directions for the game as played in Sheffield45 uses the words "young men" and "young women" to designate the players. This would indicate that the game was played by young people and that within a recent date. This suggests that our older play-party games may be directly connected with the dance games of England. The song dances of the Misses Fuller witness to the same thing.46
Mr. Newell in this instance goes farther, and considers the game as being the predecessor of the once-popular ballads of the game. After quoting the first stanza from "The Happy Miller"47 he concludes thus: "The song was doubtless formed on the popular game; but the modern children's sport has preserved the idea, if not the elegance of the old dance better than the printed words of a hundred and seventy years since." His meaning seems to be that this ballad followed the dancing game "The Jolly Miller" and was in some degree indebted to it.
It is important, too, that this game which has changed so little in the words and manner of playing has melodies in Indiana and Missouri, which are almost identical with the first one which Mrs. Gomme gives.48 Her second melody, though in the Aeolian mode so common to English ballads, is easily recognized as being related to the former. The third which she gives is a circular
45  Mrs. Gomme. Trad. Games, vol. 1, p. 291.
46  See the game "Here Come Four Dukes A-Riding,'
47   D'Urfry. Pills to Purge Melancholy. 1707.
48  Trad. Games, vol. I, p. 289.
Previous Contents Next







E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III