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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(b) The players stand in two lines, facing one another, three boys on one side and the girls (any number) on the other. The boys advance and retire dancing, and saying the first two lines. The girls stand still, one who personates a mother answers with the next two lines. The boys then advance and reply. When they are retiring the mother says the next lines and the boys reply; they then choose a girl and take her over to their side. The dialogue is generally spoken, not sung. The boys turn their toes outwards to show their spurs. The number of players on the girls' side is generally an uneven one, the odd one is the mother and says the dialogue. This is the most general way of playing, but there are interesting variations. Chambers says two parties play, one representing a dame and her daughters, the other the suitors. The suitors move backwards and forwards with their arms entwined. The mother offers her daughters when she says " Smell my lilies," and the game ends by some little childish trick, but unfortu­nately, he does not describe this. Miss Ellis (Leicester) says if the number of players suited, probably all the boys, instead of three, would be on one side and the girls on the other, but there is no hard and fast line. They turn out their toes to show their spurs: when they sing or say, " Pass through the kitchen," &c, the girls stretch out their arms, still keeping hold of hand, and the boys, forming a long tail, wind in and out under their arms as they stand. Having previously decided among themselves which girl they shall seize, they go up and down the lines several times, until the period of sus­pense and expectation is supposed to have lasted long enough. Then the last boy in the line puts his arms round the chosen girl's waist and carries her off. This goes on until there is only one girl left, who recommences the game on her part by singing the first lines, choosing first a boy, who then be­comes a Spaniard. In the first version from Belfast, the first girl who is asked to go refuses, and another is asked, who consents. In the Manchester version (Miss Dendy), the girl refuses twice, then accepts. The "mother" is seated in state with her "daughters" round her in the Bexley Heath (Miss Morris) version. The two "gentlemen" advance to her and

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