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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322                   UNCLE JOHN IS ILL IN BED
Catch her by the lily-white hand And carry her over the water. Sally goes a-courting night and day, Histal, whistal, by her side, Johnny Everall by her side.
—Shrewsbury, Chirbury (Burne's Shropshire Folk-lore, p. 511).
Uncle Tom is very sick,
What shall we send him ?
A piece of cake, a piece of bread,
A piece of apple dumpling.
Who shall we send it with ?
Mrs. So and So's daughter.
She is neither without, .
She is neither within,
She is up in the parlour romping about.
She came downstairs dressed in silk,
A rose in her breast as white as milk.
She pulled off her glove,
She showed me her ring,
To-morrow, to-morrow the wedding shall begin.
—Nairn (Rev. W. Gregor).
(b) The Shropshire version is played by the children form­ing a ring by joining hands. After the eighth line is sung all the children stoop down—the last to do so has to tell her sweetheart's name. In the Scotch version the players stand in a row. They sing the first five lines, then one player is chosen (who chooses another) ; the other lines are sung, and the two shake hands. Another version from Scotland (Laurieston School, Kirkcudbright, Mr. J. Lawson), is very similar to the one from Nairn.
Mr. Newell (p. 72) gives versions of this game which are fuller and more complete than those given here. He thinks it bears traces of ancient origin, and may be the last echo of a mediaeval song, in which an imprisoned knight is saved from approaching death by the daughter of the king, or soldan, who keeps him in confinement.

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