Opie collection of children's games & songs

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

    Lymington, Hampshire, England

  • Interviewers

    Opie, Iona (speaker, female)

  • Speakers

    unidentified (children)

  • Abstract

    Part 1 of 2. 00:00:00 - 00:31:18. The recording, from Lymington County Junior School in Hampshire, contains two discussions with two groups of schoolgirls concerning the various crazes that influence their playground games and songs. They cover a wide range of these, including skipping and clapping rhymes, marbles, conkers, elastics and particular songs, all of which have enjoyed popularity throughout the school year. Both groups note that skipping is not currently popular amongst the school and is mostly played by the lower years. Nonetheless, one girl suggests that it is played in the winter months and they therefore demonstrate a few skipping songs. These rhymes include a variation of the song 'Granny's in the Kitchen' [00:02:11 - 00:03:13]; 'I Like Coffee, I Like Tea' [00:03:15 - 00:03:31] and 'The Church is Made of Marble Stone' [00:17:25 - 00:18:47]. They also discuss a simple skipping game that has no accompanying rhyme called 'Beat the Rope' which appears to be the same game as 'Keep the Kettle Boiling' [00:03:28 - 00:04:00]. The girls also demonstrate clapping games. These are 'Popeye the Sailor Man' [00:20:55 - 00:21:14]; 'Under the Bram Bush' [00:21:14 - 00:21:32]; 'Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar?' [00:21:35 - 00:23:34] and 'When I was Young I Sucked my Thumb' [00:28:09 - 00:31:00]. Aside from these renditions, much of the recording concerns two particular singing games that have recently enjoyed much popularity throughout the school. The first song is one they call 'As I Was Going to Tokyo' [00:05:10 - 00:05:56] and [00:19:00 - 00:19:30]. Both groups of girls discuss this song and explain that a 'fourth year girl' brought it to the school and it spread quickly. The other song is called 'Bow-Legged Chicken' which they remark was a craze that went 'sweeping through the school' [00:05:58 - 00:14:17] and [00:14:30 - 00:15:08]. Lastly, the girls discuss physical games that they play including a hand-stand game that they call 'Hey Presto' [00;15:09 - 00:15:48], a hide-and-seek game called 'Sardines' [00:26:17 - 00:26:36] and a game possibly created by the girls themselves called 'Pop Poison' which is similar to a catching game [00:20:15 - 00:20:50].

  • Description

    Item notes: Recording of children demonstrating songs and discussing playground games with Iona Opie. Speakers' notes: Group of Hampshire schoolchildren. Recording notes: Slight dropouts to tape extremities. Otherwise good throughout.

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