Opie collection of children's games & songs

Recording of children demonstrating songs and discussing playground games with Iona Opie and an interview with unidentified female speaker from Warrington, Lancashire (part 2 of 2)

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  • Type


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  • Shelf mark


  • Subjects

    Children's games; Children's songs

  • Recording date


  • Is part of (Collection)

    Opie collection of children's games and songs

  • Recording locations

    Birmingham and Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England

  • Interviewers

    Opie, Iona (speaker, female)

  • Speakers

    unidentified (children)

  • Abstract

    Part 2 of 2. [00:00:00 - 00:31:26]. This recording continues immediately on from the C898-06-01 tape and continues to interview a group of Birmingham schoolgirls. When the recording begins the girls can be heard explaining to Iona that they like to play 'The Big Ship Sails' when they are cold as it warms them up and keeps their hands warm. As one girl describes: 'it's even better than wearing gloves' [00:00:00 - 00:12:53]. The girls then go on to perform the singing game 'I'm a Rambler, I'm a Gambler'. One of the girls explains to Iona that she learnt this song from her cousin in her 'Nan's caravan' in Ireland [00:00:22 - 00:02:21]. This section of the recording then finishes as Iona asks each of the girls to say goodbye. One of the schoolgirls responds: 'I've enjoyed it very much being with you and I'd like us to come again and I'm very sorry that it's time for you to go' [00:02:25 - 00:03:17]. After a short pause the recording resumes and Iona is now with schoolchildren at St Oswald's School, Ashbourne, Derbyshire. Each of the children present introduces themselves and gives their age. In total, there are six girls aged seven [00:03:19 - 00:04:18]. They begin by singing a selection of singing games that they play on their playground. These are: 'In and Out the Scottish Bluebells' [00:04:19 - 00:04:35]; 'The Farmer's In His Den' [00:04:36 - 00:05:38]; 'Here We Go Gathering Nuts in May' [00:05:39 - 00:06:53]; 'The Big Ship Sails' [00:06:56 - 00:09:34]; 'London Bridge is Falling Down' [00:09:43 - 00:12:38]; 'Orange Balls' [00:12:42 - 00:14:09]; 'Seashells, Cockleshells' [00:14:52 - 00:15:42]; 'Mary, Mary' [00:16:00 - 00:16:32]; 'Shake the Bed, Shake the Bed' [00:16:41 - 00:17:20]; 'Bananas in Pyjamas' [00:25:06 - 00:25:45]; 'Oranges and Lemons' [00:26:32 - 00:27:25] and 'Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush' [00:27:28 - 00:31:26]. The recording also contains a brief description of a skipping game that the children play. To play, one of the schoolgirls explains that you must 'pick a boyfriend' and skip repeating the words: 'love me, love me not'. If the player stops on 'love me' then they must 'love the boyfriend what you've picked' [00:14:37 - 00:14:52]. The children also perform three skipping songs. These are: 'Doctor Knickerbocker, Number Nine' [00:17:44 - 00:19:45], 'My Father Went to War, War, War' [00:21:49 - 00:22:59] and 'I am a Pretty Little Dutch Girl' [00:23:02 - 00:24:03].  One ball bouncing rhyme is heard on the recording and this is 'Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree' [00:20:08 - 00:21:00].

  • Description

    Item notes: Recording of children demonstrating songs and discussing playground games with Iona Opie and an interview with unidentified female speaker from Warrington, Lancashire. Speakers' notes: Group of Birmingham schoolchildren. Recording notes: Slight dropouts/slips to tape extremities. Otherwise good throughout.

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