THE PLAY-PARTY IN INDIANA - online book

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

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112                       The Play-Party in Indiana.
imitation of objects are those of the six pronged star-formation of the Star Promenade and the double circle or wheel formation which, as the players circle left represents the turning of the mill wheel. These details are most inadequate, for certain players interpret almost every movement as having a dramatic signifi­cance. This accounts very largely for the liveliness of the dance, the absence of sentimental, vulgar or unnatural movements and the permanent attraction of the games.
The classification of the play-party games with respect to the dance is the most satisfactory. Even this cannot be absolutely accurate for the types overlap, but there are three main forms— the arch, the circle and the long-ways,—which have distinctive features. In the arch type, one couple clasp each others hands, hold their arms high so as to form a kind of arch, and beneath this arch all of the other players skip in single file. The children's game, London Bridge and the antiquated play-party game, Needle's Eye, are of this class. Of this type, Mrs. Gomme finds fourteen in England.7 She considers this sort of game, with its taking of prisoners and its tug of war to be a relic of the primitive struggle for territory.
Of the second type, the circle-form, there are very many varia­tions. The first position is the same in almost every case, how­ever. All join hands, the girls being at the right of their partners and all facing center. Following this may come a grand right and left passing, a star figure or a promenade. The majority of the play-party games are of this type. The following is the list:
All Chaw Hay on the Corner.
Captain Jinks.
Chase the Buffalo.
Cincinnati Girls.
Coffee Grows in a White Oak Tree.
Cuckoo Waltz.
Down in Jay Bird Town.
Fare Thee Well.
Farmer in the Well.
Getting Upstairs.
Girl I Left Behind Me.
Greenleaf. *Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush.
Hunt the Buffalo. ♦Itiskit.
Kilamakrankie. *King William.
7 Trad. Games, vol. ii. p. 480.
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