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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OLD DAME                                      15
II. To Beccles, to Beccles,
To buy a bunch of nettles, Pray, old dame, what's o'clock ? One, going for two.
To Beccles, to Beccles, To buy a bunch of nettles, Pray, old dame, what's o'clock ? Two, going for three, &c. [And so on until " eleven going for twelve " is said, then the following:—]
Where have you been ?
To the wood.
What for ?
To pick up sticks.
What for ?
To light my fire.
What for ?
To boil my kettle.
What for ?
To cook some of your chickens.
—Halliwell, Nursery Rhymes, p. 229.
(b)  One child sits upon a little stool. The others march round her in single file, taking hold of each other's frocks. They say in a sing-song manner the first two lines, and the old woman answers by telling them the hour. The questions and answers are repeated until the old woman says, " It's eleven, and you'll be hanged at twelve." Then the children all run off in different directions and the old woman runs after them. Whoever she catches becomes old woman, and the game is continued.—Yorkshire (Miss E. Cadman). In the version given from Halliwell there is a further dialogue, it will be seen, before the old woman chases.
(c)  The use of the Yorkshire word "beck" ("stream") in the first variant suggests that this may be the original version from which the " Beccles" version has been adapted, a parti­cular place being substituted for the general. The game some­what resembles " Fox and Goose."

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