Opie collection of children's games & songs

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

    Ilkley and Barwick-in-Elmet, Yorkshire, England

  • Interviewers

    Opie, Iona (speaker, female)

  • Speakers

    unidentified (children)

  • Abstract

    Part 2 of 2. [00:00:00 - 00:34:20]. The recording begins with a continued discussion between Iona Opie and a group of school girls from All Saints First School, Yorkshire, as heard on the C898-16-01 recording. From [00:18:37] on the recording, Iona is with a male speaker who recalls games and songs from his childhood. Throughout the recording there are sporadic periods of silence. The recording begins with the schoolgirls from All Saints First School continuing to sing clapping and skipping songs, and singing games. They begin with the clapping game 'When Susie Was a Baby'. The children make reference to 'The Osmonds' in this song, singing: 'she [Susie] left her knickers in The Osmond's car'. A teacher stood with Iona Opie explains that a boy on the playground, recently moved to Liss from St. Albans, also plays this clapping game but often plays alone and claps 'with himself'[00:00:00 - 00:04:14]. The girls can then be heard playing a singing game based upon match making. They choose a particular boys name and then shout: 'if you hate him, stamp, if you want to marry him, blink'. The sound is slightly distorted throughout this performance [00:04:15 - 00:05:25]. This is followed by a period of prolonged silence [00:05:30 - 00:08:05]. When the sound returns, the children are singing 'The Big Ship Sails' [00:08:06 - 00:10:03]. A number of skipping songs are heard throughout the recording. The children sing: 'I Like Coffee, I Like Tea' [00:10:22 - 00:10:41]; 'Skip Together, Skip Together' [00:10:42 - 00:10:58]; 'Cowboy Joe of Mexico' [00:11:28 - 00:13:18] and 'There's Somebody Under the Bed' [00:13:19 - 00:14:27]. This is followed by a short break in the recording and Iona Opie explains that she is now stood on the playing field of the school and describes the different games that the children are playing [00:15:14 - 00:15:38]. A schoolgirl can then be heard describing a skipping game that she plays called 'Teddy on the Telephone' and Iona Opie remarks that this game is 'not at all common' [00:15:39 - 00:16:35]. After a short break in the recording Iona Opie explains that she has just completed a 'complete circuit of a rather middle-class estate in Elmet and found absolutely no girls out in the street at all' [00:17:57 - 00:18:36]. The second half of the recording begins at [00:18:37] as Iona Opie begins an interview with a male speaker. He starts by describing a game that he and his friends would play on the beach called 'rigamajee' [00:18:37  - 00:21:35] and [00:23:10 - 00:24:08]. This particular speaker can also be heard describing this game in detail on the C898-40-01 recording [00:12:38 - 00:15:10]. He notes that this game can also be referred to as 'Mount it Kitty'. The speaker then suggests that children these days spend much time 'wrapped up' in layers of clothes. However, he and his friends were as 'hard as nails' as children and did not wear much. Much of the remainder of the recording centres upon the games of marbles that the speaker played as a child [00:22:08 - 00:23:03] and [00:25:06 - 00:34:20]. He explains the different terms and movements that could be used when playing. For example, 'fullocks' was an abbreviation for 'full speed'. If this was followed by a call of 'no hands back' the player could not draw his hand back before firing thus making for a less effective shot. The term 'vases on down marble' would mean that a player would have to fire the marble off of their knee. The recording finishes on this topic of marbles.

  • Description

    Item notes: Recording of children demonstrating songs and discussing playground games with Iona Opie. Speakers' notes: Group of Ilkley and Barwick-in-Elmet schoolchildren. Recording notes: Relatively high-level recording, distorted throughout. Slight dropouts to tape extremities.

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