Opie collection of children's games & songs

Recording of children demonstrating songs and discussing playground games with Iona Opie (part 1 of 2)

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  • Subjects

    Children's games; Children's songs

  • Recording date


  • Is part of (Collection)

    Opie collection of children's games and songs

  • Recording locations

    Alton, Hampshire, England

  • Interviewers

    Opie, Iona (speaker, female)

  • Speakers

    unidentified (children)

  • Abstract

    Part 1 of 2. [00:00:00 - 00:16:27]. This recording contains the singing games, clapping songs, skipping songs and ball bouncing rhymes of schoolchildren from Wootey's Junior School, Hampshire. The recording begins with Iona Opie explaining that she is at Eccleston Independent Junior School, Birmingham. However, there is then a break in the recording and a short silence. When the tape resumes Iona is at Wootey's Junior School, Hampshire. Immediately there is then a performance of the clapping game 'Under the Bram Bush' [00:00:53 - 00:01:24]. Another clapping game performed is one that one of the schoolgirls refers to as 'In a Chinese Town'. The girl sings: 'In a Chinese town, where people were very, very sad, there was a little boy called Andy, his sister's name was Sandy, oh please marry me, in the Chinese town of Macaroon'. This was taught to the schoolgirls by another girl in their school shortly before she left [00:01:25 - 00:02:42]. The children then perform the clapping game 'My Mother Told Me'. One girl explains that 'some French boys' who were exchange students staying with her mother would perform this song in French, although she did not learn the words. They then taught this song to one of their classmates and the song was 'spread' around the school [00:02:43 - 00:06:34]. The recording also contains the skipping songs of the children. These include 'Cinderella Dressed in Yellow' [00:09:53 - 00:10:09] and a song that one of the girls refers to as 'Boyfriend'. To play this, the 'enders' who hold the rope must choose a boys' name from their school and pair it with the girl skipping. They then predict how many babies they will have together and the house that they will live in [00:10:09 - 00:11:51]. One singing game is heard on the recording. This is 'Keep the Sunny Side Up' and the girl explains that she can sing the first line in German. After performing this, Iona suggests that it was in fact sung in French [00:06:49 - 00:09:37]. The recording ends with the girls performing rhymes used for the game 'two balls'. These include the rhymes: 'Matthew, Mark, Luke and John' [00:11:55 - 00:12:08]; 'Bluebells, Cockleshells' [00:12:09 - 00:12:33]; 'In the Summertime' [00:12:33 - 00:15:20]; 'One, Two, Three, Mother Caught a Flea' [00:15:26 - 00:15:45] and 'Will You Marry Me, Susie Anna?' [00:15:45 - 00:16:27].

  • Description

    Item notes: Recording of children demonstrating songs and discussing playground games with Iona Opie. Speakers' notes: Group of Alton schoolchildren

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