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.                        Ill
these in queer ways.5 Today, the "kissing games" are either not played or have been changed so as to omit this characteristic feature.
In the place of the choosing of partners has come, it seems, a further development of the dance. In the children's games, when the choosing is over, they merely repeat the performance until it becomes too monotonous to amuse any longer. In only two6 of the play-party games of thirty years ago does there seem to have been any kind of progressive figures in the dance. In six of the more recent ones, viz. All Chaw Hay, Getting Upstairs, Greenleaf, Star Promenade, Tideo and Way Down in the Paw Paw Patch, there is the following device for lengthening and complicat­ing the dance. At the end of the first movement, each girl be­comes partner to the boy who was formerly at her right. With each repetition of the movement she has a different partner, until all players are in their original positions.
Although the dramatic element would hardly offer a basis for classification of these games, it is a very important feature. To point out all of the indications of this would be useless, but cer­tainly a few points are worth noting; in All Go Down to Rowser's, the raising of the hand as if it were the glass of beer; the sowing, of seed in Thus the Farmer Sows his Seed; the acting of the skippers in Skip-to-my-Lou; the part of the person in the center of the circle in both Miller Boy and Pig in the Parlor, the dialogue choruses in the Four Dukes and the boys' choruses of Hay-o-my-Lucy-o, also the flirting in this and in Molly Brooks. When proper or common names are used, there is usually some person in the game to represent this character for example, Lucy, Topsy and Jumbo, the pig, the miller boy, the four dukes, the old chimney sweeper and the Queen from Dover. In Tideo the spaces between the opposing lines represent windows and in Go in and out the Windows, the spaces between the players and under their joined hands represent the same thing. The same sort of
5  The pawns given were usually trinkets of jewelry such as rings, breast-pins or bracelets. At the end of the game these were sold; that is one person, the seller, sat in a chair and another person took one of the forfeits, and holding it over his head said, "Heavy, heavy hangs over your head. What'U you do to redeem it?" The seller replied, "Fine or superfine?" If the forfeit belonged to a girl the answer was, "superfine" if to a boy, the answer was "fine." The seller then prescribed some embarrassing action which the owner must perform before he (or she) could get back the forfeit. These penalties were often ludicrous. If a girl was told to pick a quart of cherries with her partner she had to sit on his right knee and give him a kiss. If the penalty was two quarts she had to sit on his left knee and give him two kisses. Another penalty was to "play Thunder." The person had to stand on a chair and reach just as high as pos­sible while the crowd taunted him about not reaching high enough.
6  Old Brass Wagon and Weevily Wheat.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III