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

    Dulwich, London, England

  • Interviewers

    Opie, Iona (speaker, female)

  • Speakers

    unidentified (children)

  • Abstract

    Part 2 of 2. 00:00:00 - 00:32:05. This recording continues to interview the schoolchildren from Langbourne Primary School, Dulwich. The recording contains many short rhymes created by the children themselves as well as rhymes passed on through families and playground lore. These include a rhyme, created by the children, about a schoolboy that they describe as 'horrible'. They sing the boys name, followed by 'Christmas pie, mix it up with a tartan tie' [00:06:15 - 00:06:55]. One of the girls also performs a very short rhyme that she created about her younger brother who she describes as a 'horrid boy'. She sings: 'Ali Bali, Ali Bali-Bee, sitting on his mother's knee, if he hollers, leave him be' [00:28:32 - 00:29:02]. Lastly, Iona persuades one of the girls to perform a song that she wrote about her china doll. She sings: 'me and my little Chinese doll, we go everywhere together, I never leave her at home, she's never on her own, because I'm always there' [00:19:51 - 00:21:35]. The children also perform rhymes that they learnt from their family or on the playground. One of the schoolgirls gives a rendition of a rhyme that her father taught her about 'hot sick'. The girl laughs and explains that she will often sing this song just as someone is about to eat mash potato [00:06:57 - 00:07:37]. The children also chant rhymes that they sing at the end of the school term. These include one that the Opies recorded to be 'We Break Up, We Break Down' [00:00:13 - 00:00:55] and 'One More Day of Sin' [00:01:08 - 00:02:10]. One of the girls also sings two rhymes she learnt in Aberdeen, although she has trouble remembering the lyrics. These are called 'The Rain, The Rain' [00:05:00 - 00:05:47] and 'I've Got these Chocolate Fingers' which she explains can be sung at 'any time really' [00:05:52 - 00:0612]. Alongside these rhymes and playground songs, the children perform pop songs. The girls comment on how much they enjoy the songs of Shirley Temple and perform 'On the Good Ship, Lollipop' [00:17:00 - 00:17:37] and an amended version of 'Polly Wolly Doodle' [00:14:04 - 00:15:07]. After singing these songs, one of the girls remarks: 'we're mad on Shirley Temple, we really are'. Their other favourite songs include Abba's 'Mamma Mia' [00:30:44 - 00:33:14] and Gary Glitter's, 'I Love You, You Love Me' [00:30:10 - 00:30:43]. The remainder of the recording contains traditional skipping songs such as 'I'm a Little Girl Guide' [00:02:17 - 00:02:35] and the singing game 'Poor Jenny' [00:08:53 - 00:09:41]. There is also a short discussion concerning the different names for 'French Skipping' as a girl who has recently moved from Aberdeen explains that she used to call it 'Chinese Ropeys'  [00:09:54 - 00:10:26].

  • Description

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

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