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.                        105
Continue repeating until all the players are in their original positions.
c.-d. Frances Robinson, Folk Music, Cur. Lit., vol. XXX, pp. 350-51; Miss E. B. Miles, Some Real Amer. Music, Harper's Mag., vol. CVIII, pp. 118-23; Miss M. R. Hofer, Children's Singing Games, p. 38. Scotch weaving game whose dance is analagous; Mrs. Ames, Mo. Play-Party, Jour. Am. Folk-lore, vol. XXIV, p. 302; Miss Hamilton, Play-Party in Mo., Jour.; Am. Folk-lore, vol. XXVII, p. 290; Prof. A. B. Johnson: Kentucky Mountain Songs, Georgetonian, Mar. 1910, p. 8.
The stanza which Miss Agnes Taylor heard in Hearne (central Texas) is proof of the bad repute of this game, which was played like the old Virginian Reel.
Take a lady by her hand,
Lead her like a pigeon,
Make her dance the weevily wheat,
She loses her religion.
As to origins, there can be little doubt of the source of the dance. It is the Virginia Reel, figure for figure. To trace it further would involve doubtful points. "It is," Mr. Newell says, "an imitation of weaving. The first movements represent the shooting of the shuttle from side to side, and the passage of the woof over and under the threads of the warp; the last movements indicate the tightening of the threads, and bringing together of the cloth."76
Miss Hofer77 indicates the probable relation of this dance to the Scotch "Weaving Game." The latter is of very ancient origin and has "incidentally become embodied in the Virginia Reel and many other dances in which weaving figures are used."
Our opinion concerning the source of the words is necessarily more tentative. Miss Miles says:78 "It is not improbable that that the 'Charley' of these songs is the Prince Charlie of Jacobite ballads. 'O'er the river, Charley' may or may not be an echo of 'Over the Waters to Charlie' for a large proportion of the mountain people are descended from Scotch Highlanders who left their
76  Games and Songs, p. 80.
77  Children's Singing Games, p. 38.
78  Harper's Mag., vol. 109, p. 121.
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