Opie collection of children's games & songs

Recording of children demonstrating songs and discussing playground games with Iona Opie (part 1 of 3)

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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

    Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England

  • Interviewers

    Opie, Iona (speaker, female)

  • Speakers

    unidentified (children)

  • Abstract

    Part 1 of 3. [00:00:00 - 00:16:16]. This recording, from St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Primary School, Huddersfield, 1978, contains discussions with a small group of schoolgirls who perform singing and skipping games for Iona Opie. The girls begin by playing the singing game 'Oranges and Lemons' [00:00:00 - 00:04:42]. Rather than simply singing this, the schoolgirls have turned this song into a game by creating two teams: the 'Oranges' versus the 'Lemons'. When asked what team is best, most of the girls suggest 'Lemons' because 'they're much nicer!' The children go on to sing a song that they call 'Casanova' but is also referred to by the Opies as 'When I Was One I Ate a Bun' [00:04:43 - 00:09:25]. Iona asks the children what sort of game they think this is and they suggest that it is a game that explains 'what people did when they are different ages'. The schoolgirls estimate that the song has been in the school for 'about a year'. A number of skipping songs are heard throughout the recording. The schoolgirls begin by reading a list of different skipping games that they know and assigning different girls to perform each song. They then perform: 'High, Low, Dolly, Pepper' [00:10:48 - 00:11:49]; 'Up to Mississippi' [00:11:50 - 00:12:24]; 'Vote, Vote, Vote, For 'X' [00:12:25 - 00:13:16]; 'I'm a Little Girl Guide' [00:15:26 - 00:16:16] and 'Salt, Vinegar, Mustard, Pepper'. The children explain that if you land on 'mustard' you must jump high; 'salt' you must jump low; 'vinegar' you must jump normally and 'pepper' you must skip quickly [00:13:20 - 00:15:22].

  • Description

    Item notes: Recording of children demonstrating songs and discussing playground games with Iona Opie. Speakers' notes: Group of Huddersfield schoolchildren. Recording notes: Wow throughout. Otherwise good.

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