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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502
MEMOIR ON THE STUDY OF
form of game, if there were one, when the custom showed a real victim being taken from outsiders by force, who would resist the demand. The circle dance would follow as the completion of the ceremony. The " line " form would also be the first portion of the game to disappear when once its meaning was lost.
The game, "Hark! the Robbers" (i. 192-99) may be a portion of " London Bridge " made into a separate game by the part of the building being lost, or the children who play both games may have mixed up the method of playing; but as it ends in some places with a contest and in some with a dance, it is difficult to say which is right.
"Thread the Needle," played by all players running through an arch and then dancing round, is a game well illustrated by customs obtaining on Shrove Tuesday in different parts of the country. All the children play " Thread the Needle" in the streets of Trowbridge, Bradford-on-Avon, South Petherton, Evesham, besides other places, in long lines, whooping and shouting as they run through the arches they make. After this they proceed to the churchyard, and encompassing the church by joining hands, dance all round it three times, and then return to thjeir homes. Here is the undoubted per­formance of what must have been an old custom, performed at one time by all the people of the town, being continued as an amusement of children. It was played at Evesham only on Easter Monday, and in three other places only on Shrove Tuesday, and another correspondent says played only on a special day. In other places where it is played the game is not connected with a special day or season. The circle dance does not always occur, and in some cases the children merely run under each other's'clasped hands while singing the words. In the places above mentioned we see it as a game, but still connected with custom. It is a pity that the words used by the children on all these occasions should not have been recorded too. " How many Miles to Babylon (vol. i. pp. 231-238) may with good reason be considered a game of the same kind. It represents apparently a gateway of a town, and a parley occurs between the gatekeepers and those wishing to enter or leave the town. Small gateways or







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