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
ns
Sitting in the sander (Cornwall),
Sitting in the sun (Brigg. and Nairn),
Sat upon a cinder (Earls Heaton),
Sitting on the ground (Notts.), are but the steps through which the entire omission of the water incident was finally attained. The third incident is " Rise and choose" a young man, the alternative being "Cry­ing for a young man." The first indicates a kneeling and reverential attitude before the water, and occurs in twenty-one versions, while the second only occurs in fourteen ver­sions.
The expression "crying" is really to "announce a want," as "wants" were formerly cried by the official "crier" of every township, and indeed as children still in games "cry" the forfeits; but losing this meaning, the expression came to mean crying in the sense of "weeping," and appearing to the minds of children as a natural way of expressing a want, would therefore succeed in ousting any more archaic notion. The incident of crying for a lover appears in other singing games, as, for instance, in " Poor Mary." Especially may this be con­sidered the process which has been going on when it is seen that "choosing" is an actual incident of the game, even in those cases where "crying" has replaced the kneeling. The choosing incident also assumes two forms, namely, with respect to " east and west" in twenty-two versions, and " best and worst" in nine versions. Now, the expression, " for better for worse," is an old marriage formula preserved in the vernacular portion of the ancient English marriage service (see Palgrave, English Commonwealth, ii., p. cxxxvi.) ; and I cannot but think that we have the same formula in this game, especially as the final admonition in nearly all the versions is to choose "the one loved best." Following upon this comes the very general marriage formula noted so frequently in these games. It is slightly varied in some versions, and is replaced by a different formula, but one that also appears in other games, in two or three versions. One feature is very noticeable in the less common versions of this game, viz., the assumption of the marriage being connected with the birth of children, and the







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