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 Barnes version has kissing for its finale. The Hanbury also has kissing, but it precedes the following to London. In the Brigg, Lincolnshire (Miss Barker), a child stands in the middle and points with her finger to each one she passes; finally selects one, who leaves the ring and kneels in front of the girl in the middle. At the end of the second verse the kneeling child gets up and the first child goes in and out under the arms of the players, followed by the other. At the fourth they reverse and go back under the arms in the opposite direction, finally stopping in the middle of the ring, when another child is chosen and the first one in goes out. In the Winterton and Bottesford versions (Miss Peacock), at the words "Stand and face your lover," the child who has been going " in and out" stands before the one she chooses, beckons to her, and sings the next verse. Then the chosen one chases her until she can catch her. In the Crockham Hill version (Miss Chase) the love is measured out with a handker­chief three times, and after kneeling in the road, the chosen partner follows round the ring and reverses for the return.
(d) The analysis of the game-rhymes is on pp. 134-39. This shows that we are dealing with a game which repre­sents a village, and also the houses in it. The village only disappears in six out of the twenty versions. In three of these (Hanbury, Fraserburgh, and West Grinstead) the line has gone altogether. In the fourth (Lincolnshire) it becomes " Round and round and round," no mention being made of the village. In the fifth (Belfast) the line has become " Marching round the ladies." In the sixth (Settle) it has become " Up and down the valley," which also occurs in another imperfect version, of which a note was sent me by Miss Matthews from the Forest of Dean, where the line has become " Round and round the valley." The substitution of " ladies" for "village" is very significant as evidence that the game, like all its compeers, is in a declining stage, and is, therefore, not the invention of modern times. The idea of a circle of children representing a village would necessarily be the first to die out if the game was no longer supported by the influence of any custom it might represent. The line of decadence

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