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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232
THREE DAYS' HOLIDAYS
in two versions (Bocking and Ellesmere) the Anglo-Saxon title of "Lady" is applied to the Queen.
The writer in Blackivood s Magazine, who quotes the rhymes as "immemorial," says: "Another game played by a number of children, with a hold of one another, or ' tickle tails,' as it is technically called in Scotland, is ' Through the needle-e'e.'" Moor (Suffolk Words and Phrases) mentions the game. Patter­son (Antrim and Down Glossary) gives it as "Thread the needle and sew." Barnes (Dorset Glossary) calls it " Dred the wold woman's needle," in which two children join hands, and the last leads the train under the lifted arms of the first two. Holloway (Dictionary of Provincialisms) says the children form a ring, holding each other's hands; then one lets go and passes under the arms of two who still join hands, and the others all follow, holding either by each other's hands or by a part of their dress. " At Ellesmere," Miss Burne says, " this game was formerly called ' Crew Duck.' It now only survives among little girls, and is only played on a special day." It is alluded to in Poor Robin's Almanack for 1738 : "The summer quarter follows spring as close as girls do one another when playing at Thread my needle; they tread upon each other's heels." Strutt calls this "Threading the Taylor's needle." Newell (Games of American Children) gives some verses, and de­scribes it as played in America.
See " How many miles to Babylon," " Through the Needle 'ee."
Three Days' Holidays
Two players hold up their joined hands, the rest pass under one by one, repeating, "Three days' holidays, three days' holidays!" They pass under a second time, all repeating, " Bumping day, bumping day!" when the two leaders strike each player on the back in passing. The third time they say, " Catch, catch, catch!" and the leaders catch the last in the train between their arms. He has the choice of " strawberries or grapes," and is placed behind one of the leaders, according to his answer. When all have been "caught," the two parties pull against each other.—Berrington (Burne's Shropshire Folk­lore, p. 522).







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