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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WHEN I WAS A YOUNG GIRL                  373
those versions the influence which education, first in the shape of dame or village schools, Sunday schools, and latterly Board schools, has had upon the minds and playtime of the children. These lines may certainly be looked upon as introductions by the children of comparatively modern times, and doubtless have taken the place of some older custom or habit. This game is exactly one of those to which additions and alterations of this kind can be made without destroying or materially altering, or affecting, its sense. It can live as a simple game in an almost complete state long after its original wording has been lost or forgotten, and as long as occupations continue and events occur which lend themselves to dumb action. The origin of the game I consider to be those dances and songs performed in imitation of the serious avocations of life, when such cere­monies were considered necessary to their proper performance, and acceptable to the deities presiding over such functions, arising from belief in sympathetic magic.
At harvest homes it was customary for the men engaged in the work of the farm to go through a series of performances depicting their various occupations with song and dance, from their engagement as labourers until the harvest was completed, and at some fairs the young men and women of the village, in song and dance, would go through in pantomimic representa­tion, the several events of the year, such as courting, marriage, &c, and their several occupations.
Perhaps the most singular instance of imitative action being used in a semi-religious purpose, is that recorded by Giraldus Cambrensis in the twelfth century, who, speaking of the church of St. Almedha, near Brecknock, says a solemn feast is held annually in the beginning of August: " You may see men and girls, now in the church, now in the churchyard, now in the dance, which is led round the churchyard with a song, on a sudden falling on the ground as in a trance, then jumping up as in a frenzy, and representing with their hands and feet before the people whatever work they have unlawfully done on feast days; you may see one man put his hands to the plough, and another, as it were, goad on the oxen, one man imitating a shoemaker, another a tanner. Now you may see a girl with a

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