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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mouthed, waddling frog." The second player then turned to the third and repeated, " A gaping, wide-mouthed, waddling frog," and so on all round the room. The leader then said, u Two pudding-ends would choke a dog," continuing in the same way until twelve was reached. Chambers does not describe the way the game given by him was played, but it was probably much in the same manner. Rimbault's Nursery Rhymes gives the tune to which words of the song were re­peated. The words given are almost identical with No. I., but the tune, copied here, is the only recorded one I have found.
(d) It seems probable that we have in these rhymes a remnant of a practice of singing or chanting carols or rhymes relating to the custom of sending gifts to friends and relatives during the twelve days of Christmas. The festival of the twelve days was an important one. The great mid-winter feast of Yule consisted of twelve days, and from the events occurring during those days it is probable that events of the future twelve months were foretold.—On the festival of the twelve days consult Keary's Outlines of Primitive Belief, p. 381. Miss Burne records that the twelve days rule the year's weather; as the weather is on each day of the twelve, so will it be in the corresponding month, and for every mince-pie eaten in friends' houses during these days a happy month is promised. In the games usually played at this season, viz., those in which forfeits are incurred, and the redemption of these by penances inflicted on the unhappy perpetrators of mistakes, we may perhaps see a relic of the observance of certain customs and ceremonies, and the penalties likely to be incurred by those persons who omitted to religiously carry them out. It is considered unlucky in the North of England and Scotland to enter a neighbour's house empty-handed. Christmas bounties, and the practice of giving presents of food and corn and meal on St. Thomas's Day, 21st December, to the poorer people, when they used to go round to the farmers' houses to collect food to prepare for this festival, may have had its origin in the idea that nothing could be prepared or cooked during the festival of the twelve days. It was a very general practice for work of all kinds to be put entirely aside

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