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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originally intended to mean the colours of the two contesting parties, and not fruits of those names. In contests between the people of a town and the authority of baron or earl, the adherents of each side ranged themselves under and wore the colours of their chiefs, as is now done by political partizans.
The rhymes are probably corrupted, but whether from some early cries or calls of the different parishes, or from sentences which the bells were supposed to have said or sung when tolled, it is impossible to say. The "clemming" of the bells in the Norfolk version (No. 5) may have originated " St. Clements," and the other saints have been added at different times. On the other hand, the general similarity of the rhymes indicates the influence of some particular place, and, judging by the parish names, London seems to be that place. If this is so, the main incident of the rhymes may perhaps be due to the too frequent distribution of a traitor's head and limbs among different towns who had taken up his cause. The ex­hibitions of this nature at London were more frequent than at any other place. The procession of a criminal to execution was generally accompanied by the tolling of bells, and by torches. It is not unlikely that the monotonous chant of the last lines, " Here comes a light to light you to bed," &c, indicates this.
A boy (A) kneels with his face in another's (B) lap; the other player's standing in the background. They step forward one by one at a signal from B, who says to each in turn—
'Otmillo, 'Otmillo, Where is this poor man to go ?
A then designates a place for each one. When all are despatched A removes his face from B's knees, and standing up exclaims, " Hot! Hot! Hot!' The others then run to him, and the laggard is blinded instead of A.—Warwickshire (Northall's Folk Rhymes, p. 402).
This is probably the same game as " Hot Cockles," although it apparently lacks the hitting or buffeting the blinded wizard.

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