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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  • 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

    Liss, Hampshire, England

  • Interviewers

    Opie, Iona (speaker, female)

  • Speakers

    unidentified (children)

  • Abstract

    Part 2 of 2. 00:00:00 - 00:30:08. This recording continues on immediately from C898/21/01 and focuses upon skipping, particularly the phenomenon of skipping crazes. When asked by Iona to explain what constitutes a 'phenomenon', one of the girls explains that it is when 'everyone starts doing something and you can't stop'. They note that often there are often fights over what song or game shall be sung when skipping, but emphasise that they always try to make it fair and share games amongst each other [00:00:30 - 00:03:47]. The girls then go on to discuss where they first learnt skipping, allowing Iona to explore the topic of the way in which children's games are learnt and transmitted. One of the girls, who spent time in Gibraltar, explains that rather than learning it on the playground, she was taught on the road outside of her house by her older sister and her friends [00:05:15 - 00:05:27]. She then goes on to discuss what games were played by the Spanish schoolchildren on the island. She notes that many of these children spent their time trying to scare her and would hide in bushes and steal their 'lollipops'. Skipping was not a popular game on her playground in Gibraltar, but games such as hopscotch and Jacks were widely played. The girl recalls that she once tried to play with a few Spanish girls but they could not 'play much' as they could not explain the game to the children [00:05:20 - 00: 11:43].  Further into the recording, the children compare games played at one of the girl's Brownie groups and those on the playground. Iona asks if the children prefer the games that they play at Brownies or those on the playground and one of the girl explains that often she cannot play the games that she learn at Brownies on the playground as the other children rarely know them. She notes that this was the case with the game 'Timothy Jack'. [00:26:50- 00: 27: 45]. Aside from these discussions, the children also perform several skipping rhymes and singing games. The girls perform the songs 'Diana Dors' [00:21:10 - 00:21:59] and 'I'm Shirley Temple' [00:22:27 - 00:22:52]. After performing this, the children then discuss the embarrassment caused by performing this song as they have to lift their skirts up [00:22:27 - 00:22:52]. A Brownie leader is then briefly interviewed and performs the skipping song, 'I Can Take My Tea Without Sugar' [00:28:26 - 00:29:52]. Lastly, there is a performance and discussion of the rhyme 'Ring a Ring o' Roses' and the children discuss the different versions that may be sung [00:11:29 - 0 0:12:54].

  • Description

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

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