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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THREE DUKES                                 249
demanding and answering are thus sung. The maidens make curtseys and look coquettishly at the dukes when singing the fourth verse, and draw themselves up stiffly and indignantly when singing the sixth, bending and bowing lowly at the eighth. The dukes look contemptuously and criticisingly at the girls while singing the fifth and seventh verses; at the ninth or last verse they "name" one of the girls, who then crosses over and joins hands with them. The game then con­tinues by all four singing " Here come four dukes a-riding," and goes on until all the maidens are ranged on the dukes' side.
This method of playing obtains in most versions of the game, though there are variations and additions in some places. In the Bocking, Barnes, Dublin, Hurstmonceux, Settle, Symondsbury, Sporle, Earls Heaton, and Clapham versions, where the verses begin with " Here comes one Duke a-riding," one boy stands facing the girls, and sings the first verse advancing and retiring with a dancing step, or with a step to imitate riding. In some instances the "three Dukes" advance in this way. In the Barnes version, when the chosen girl has walked over to the duke, he takes her hands and dances round with her, while singing the tenth verse. In the Symondsbury (Dorset) version the players stand in a group, the duke standing opposite, and when singing the sixth verse, advances to choose the girl. When there is only one player left on the maidens' side the dukes all sing the seventh verse; they then come forward and claim the last girl, and embrace her as soon as they get her over to their side. In the Hurstmonceux version, when the girls are all on the dukes' side, they sing the last verse. Miss Chase does not say whether this is accompanied by dancing round, but it probably would be. In the Dublin version, after the third verse, the duke tries to carry off the youngest girl, and her side try to save her. In the Wrotham version, after the girls' retort, "Quite as good, as you, sir," the dukes select a girl, who refuses to go to them : they then sing the last six lines when the girl goes over. In the second Dorset version (which appeared in the Yarmouth Register, Mass., 1874) the players

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