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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the middle holds a white handkerchief by two of its corners; if a boy he would single out one of the girls, dance backwards and forwards opposite to her, and sing the first verse. If the answer were " No!" spoken with averted head over the left shoulder, he sang the second verse. Occasionally three or four in turn refused. When the request was granted the words were changed to the fourth verse. The handkerchief was then carefully spread on the floor; the couple knelt on it and kissed : the child formerly in the middle joined the ring, and the other took his place, or if he preferred it re­mained in the centre; in that case the children clasped hands and sang together the first verse over again, the last to enter the ring having the privilege of selecting the next partner.
(c) Miss Courtney says (Folk-lore Journal, v. 47), that this game is quite a thing of the past. Of the Hurstmonceaux version, Miss Chase says, "This game is not fully remembered. It was played about 1850." The words indicate an invitation to the dance similar to those in <( Cushion Dance," " Green Grass."
Pretty Little Girl of Mine

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