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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SALLY WATER                                 167
XLVIII. Rice, Sally Water, rice if you can,
Rice, Sally Water, and choose your young man; Choose to the east, choose to the west, Choose to the prettiest that you love.
Now you're married, we wish you good joy, First a little girl, and then a little boy; Seven years after, seven years to come, Seven years of plenty, and kiss when you done.
—Norfolk (Mrs. Haddon).
(c) A ring is formed by the children joining hands. One girl kneels or sits down in the centre, and covers her face with her hands as if weeping. The ring dances round and sings the words. The child in the centre rises when the command is given, and chooses a boy or girl from the ring, who goes into the centre with her. These two kiss together when the words are said. The child who was first in the centre then joins the ring, the second remaining in the centre, and the game continues.
All versions of this game are played in the same way, except slight variations in a few instances. Kissing does not prevail in all the versions. In the Earls Heaton game, the child who kneels in the centre also pretends to weep and dries her tears before choosing a partner. Miss Burne, in Shropshire Folk-lore, says the girl kneels disconsolately in the middle of the ring. In the Strixwould version, the child stands in the centre holding in her hands something resembling a saucer; she then pretends to " knock it in a mortar," and gives the saucer to the one whom she chooses. This one exchanges places with her. In the Northants version, at the words " clash the bells," the children dash down their joined hands to imitate ringing bells. Addy, Sheffield Glossary, says one girl sits in the middle weeping. When the girl has chosen, the young man remains in the centre, and the word " Sally " is changed to " Billy," or some other name, and " man " to " girl." In the Beddgelert version, the centre child wipes her eyes with a handkerchief in the beginning of the game. Several other versions have been sent me, all being the same as those printed here, or varying so slightly, it is unnecessary to repeat them.
id) The analysis of the game-rhymes is as follows :—







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