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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ROSY APPLE, LEMON AND PEAR               121
the centre. The Maxey (Northants.) version is altogether diffe­rent. All the children but one stand in a row. The one stands in front of them and sings the lines by herself; at the last line she selects one from the line by naming her. These two then sing the lines, " swinging round," so described by Mr. Sweeting's informant. They then select a third when singing the last line, and the three then swing round. This is repeated till all the children from the line come into the ring.
In the Scotch versions the players all stand in a line, with one in front, and sing. At the end of the fourth line the one in front chooses one from the line, and all again sing, mention­ing the name of the one chosen (Fraserburgh). At Cullen, one child stands out of the line and goes backwards and forwards singing, then chooses her partner, and the two go round the line singing.
(d)  A version which I collected in Barnes is not so perfect as those given here, only the four first lines being sung. A Kentish version sent me by Miss Broadwood is almost iden­tical with the Deptford game. Miss Broadwood's version commences—
Rosy apple, miller, miller, pear. An Ipswich version is almost identical with that of Hersham, Surrey (Lady C. Gurdon's Suffolk County Folk-lore, p. 64), except that it begins " Golden apple" and ends with the marriage formula—
Now you're married, I wish you joy, Father and mother you must obey; Love one another like sister and brother, And now's the time to kiss away.
(e)  This game is probably derived from the mode of dressing the bride in the marriage ceremony, and is not very ancient. The line " Lead her to the altar " probably indicates the earliest version, corrupted later into "Lead her across the water," and this would prove a comparatively modern origin. If, however, the "altar" version is a corruption of the "water" version, the game may go back to the pre-Christian marriage ceremony, but of this there is little evidence.

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