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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becomes in this way an important argument for the discovery of the original form. /
The next incident, No. 10 of the analysis, goes through all the games except one (West Grinstead), where the very obvious corruption of " willows " for " windows " occurs. This incident takes us to the houses of the village; and thus the two lines show us a procession, first, going round outside the boundary of the village, and, secondly, proceeding in serpentine fashion through the houses. Incident 13 has a few variations which do not point to anything more than verbal alteration, due to the changes which have occurred in the conception of the game. In­cidents 17 to 22 are not constant to all the versions, and their variations are of an unimportant character. Incident 27 is an important element in the game. The prevalence of London as the place of assignation is probably due to the influence of that city in the popular mind; but the real significance seems to be that the lover-husband follows his bride to her own village. In only two versions is this incident varied (No. 28) to indicate that the husband took his wife with him, and only three versions have dropped out the incident altogether.
Abnormal incidents occur in only seven versions, and they are not of great significance. The Lincolnshire and Sporle versions have a line of general introduction (No. 1) before the game proper begins. Incidents 8 and 9 occur only in the Lincolnshire version, and do not disturb the general movement beyond indicating that the game has become, or is becoming, an indoor game. Incident 21 is obviously a modern line. Nos. 26 and 31 suggest a chase after a fugitive pair which, as they do not occur in other versions, must be considered as later introductions, belonging, however, to the period when runaway marriages were more frequent than they are now, and thus taking us back to, at least, the beginning of this century; while the significant and pretty variant No. 32 shows that the game has lost touch with the actual life of the people. No. 30 in the Fraserburgh version has a suspicious likeness .to a line in the American song " I'm off to Charlestown," but as it occurs only in this one version it cannot count as an important element in the history of the game.

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