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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THROUGH THE NEEDLE EYE, BOYS            289
idea) some similar action on the part of the kings, such as a further arraying of the bride, and presenting her to their party or house, which has been misunderstood. Mr. Newell suggests that children having forgotten the original happy finish, and not understanding the " haggling" over the suitors, turned the kings into bandits. Children think it such a natural thing to wish to marry kings, princes, and princesses, and are so sincere in thinking it a matter of course to refuse a sailor or soldier for a king, when it is only a question of marriage, and not of choosing the one you like the best, that this reason does not to me seem to apply to a game of this kind.
Through the Needle Eye, Boys
Two leaders each choose a name such as " Golden Apple " and " Golden Pear." The remaining children all hold each other's waists in a long string, the " Golden Apple" and " Golden Pear " holding hands aloft like an arch. The string of children then runs under the arch. The last child that passes under is detained by the "Golden Apple" and " Golden Pear " (they having dropped hands previously). The detained child is asked in a whisper which she prefers, " Golden Apple," " Golden Pear;" she chooses, and then stands at the back of the " Golden Apple" or "Golden Pear." When all the children have passed through, the " Golden Apple" and "Golden Pear" hold each other's hands and stand with the others behind them and pull like a "Tug of War." There should be a line drawn between the " Golden Apple " and the " Golden Pear," and whichever side pulls the other over the line, wins the game.—Northumberland (from a lady friend of Hon. J. Abercromby).
The formula sung in Fraserburgh when the players are running under the raised arms is—
Clink, clink, through the needle ee, boys,
One, two, three,
If you want a bonnie lassie,
Just tak me. After the tug of war the victors call out " Rotten eggs, rotten eggs " (Rev. W. Gregor).
VOL. 11.                                                                                      T







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