The Traditional Children's Games of England Scotland
& Ireland In Dictionary Form - Volume 2

With Tunes(sheet music), Singing-rhymes(lyrics), Methods Of Playing with diagrams and illustrations.

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in the centre, and stand still when singing M Waiting for a partner." In the Hampshire (Miss Mendham), Brigg (Miss Barker), and Winterton (Miss Peacock) versions, the children dance round instead of walking. The Rev. Mr. Roberts, in a version from Kirkby-on-the-Bain (N.W. Lincolnshire), says: " There is no proper commencement of this song. The children begin with 'A waitin' fur a pardner,' or 'Oats and beans,' just as the spirit moves them, but I think 'A waitin" is the usual beginning here." In a Sheffield version sent by Mr. S. O. Addy, four young men stand in the middle of the ring with their hands joined. These four dance round singing the first lines. After " views his lands" these four choose sweethearts, or partners, from the ring. The eight join hands and sing the remaining four lines. The four young men then join the larger ring, and the four girls remain in the centre and choose partners next time. The words of this version are almost identical with those of Shropshire. In the Isle of Man version (A. W. Moore), when the kiss is given all the children forming the ring clap their hands. There is no kissing in the Shropshire and many other versions of this game, and the centre child does not in all cases sing the words.
(d)  Other versions have been sent from Winterton, Leaden-ham, and Lincoln, by Miss Peacock, and from Brigg, while the NortJiamptonshire Notes and Queries, ii. 161, gives another by Mr. R. S. Baker. The words are practically the same as the versions printed above from Lincolnshire and Northants. The words of the Madeley version are the same as the Much Wenlock (No. 1). The Nottingham tune (Miss Youngman), and three others sent with the words, are the same as the Madeley tune printed above.
(e)  This interesting game is essentially of rural origin, and probably it is for this reason that Mr. Newell did not obtain any version from England for his Games and Songs of American Children, but his note that it " seems, strangely enough, to be unknown in Great Britain " (p. 80), is effectually disproved by the examples I have collected. There is no need in this case for an analysis of the rhymes. The variants fall into three

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