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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its leaves. In a version of this game from Lincoln, called the " Old Oak Tree" (ii. p. 386), we find practically the same words and same actions, the dancing round and jumping up and down are constant features of this game. It remains in some degenerate versions from Scotland (ibid.), where the game has assumed the modern name of " Rolling Tobacco." In "Wind up the Bush Faggot " we have again the tree or bush suggested, and the dancing and jumping, or stamping up and down. In Shropshire it is the closing game of any playtime, and was played before " breaking-up" at a boys' school in Shrewsbury in 1850-1856. This tends to show that the game had originally been played at a special time or season.
For an example of this custom I may repeat (from ii. p. 386) that in mid-Cornwall, in the second week in June, at St. Roche and one or two adjacent parishes, a curious dance, like a serpent's coil, is performed at the annual " feasts." The young people are assembled in a meadow, and the band plays a lively tune. The band leads, and all the people follow hand in hand. The band or head keeps marching in an ever-narrowing circle, while its train of dancing followers becomes coiled round it in circle after circle. Then the band, taking a sharp turn about, begins to retrace the circle, still followed as before, and a number of young men, with long leafy branches in their hands as standards, direct this counter-movement. Although there is no mention of a tree in the account round which this ceremony is performed, the custom is so striking as to leave very little doubt of their con­nection. Lady Wilde (Ancient Cures, Charms, and Usages of Ireland, p. 106) says, " On May-Day in Ireland all the young men and maidens hold hands, and dance in a circle round a tree hung with ribbons or garlands, or round a bonfire, moving in curves from left to right, as if imitating the windings of a serpent." This is a closer parallel to the game still, and leaves no doubt as to its connection with custom. There may be, too, some connection between these winding-up or serpentine dances and the Maypole dances on May-Day in England.
The detail into which I have gone in the case of these games makes it, I think, unnecessary that I should enter into equal

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