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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THE STUDY OF CHILDREN'S GAMES          459
having all the principal variants from different parts of the country will be obvious when definite conclusions as to th* origin and significance of traditional games are being considered,
Strutt mentions many games played by boys in his day, but his remarks are confined principally to games of skill with marbles, tops, &c, and games like " Prisoner's Base," " Scots and English," " Hot Cockles," &c. He records none of those interesting dialogue games which we know now as singing games. It may be that these games were in his day, as now, the property more of girls than of boys, and he may not have looked for or thought of recording them, for it can hardly be imagined that he was unaware of their existence. He records swinging and ball and shuttlecock playing as girls' amusements, but very little else, and it can­not even be suggested that the singing game and dialogue game have arisen since his time. Indeed, an examination of the games will, I hope, prove for them a very remote origin, showing traces of early beliefs and customs which children could not have invented, and would not have made the subjects of their play unless those beliefs and customs were as familiar to them as cabs, omnibuses, motor cars, and railways, are to the children of to-day, who use these things as factors in games which they make up.
I do not pretend to have made a complete collection of all versions of games to be found in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It will be seen from my list that some counties are entirely unrepresented ; but I think examples enough have been brought together from a sufficient number of different places to show that, even could I obtain the games of every county, I could not reasonably hope to obtain any that would be com­pletely different from those appearing here. Versions differing, more or less, in words from these would, doubtless, appear, but I do not think an entirely different game, or any variants that would materially alter my conclusions, will now be found. All those sent me during the progress of the volumes through the press—and these are a considerable number—show no appreciable differences..
A detailed examination of each game has led me to draw







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