Opie collection of children's games & songs

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

  • Add a note
    Log in to add a note at the bottom of this page.
  • All notes
  • My notes
  • Hide notes
Please click to leave a note

The British Library Board acknowledges the intellectual property rights of those named as contributors to this recording and the rights of those not identified.
Legal and ethical usage »

Tags (top 25):
(No tags found for this item)
  • Type


  • Duration


  • Shelf mark


  • Subjects

    Children's games; Children's songs

  • Recording date

    1976-08 and 1976-12

  • Is part of (Collection)

    Opie collection of children's games and songs

  • Recording locations

    Montrose, Angus and Oban, Argyll and Bute, Scotland, Scotland

  • Speakers

    unidentified (children)

  • Abstract

    Part 2 of 2. 00:00:00 - 00:34:28. The following recording contains the skipping rhymes, singing games and catching games of the children from St John's Episcopal School, Oban. The recording contains a constant level of distortion throughout and therefore some of the rhymes and lyrics are not entirely audible. Iona begins by introducing the school and their teacher, and notes that there are forty-six children on the roll call. The children then begin to sing their skipping rhymes. These are 'High Low, Dolly Rocker' [00:00:00 - 00:00:16] and [00:00:55 - 00:01:09]; 'Jelly on a Plate' [00:00:16 - 00:00:40] and [00:00:40 - 00:00:55]; 'Cinderella, Dressed in Yellow' [00:13:33 - 00:14:06]; 'Not Last Night but the Night Before' [00:24:40 - 00:25:11] and 'Vote, Vote, Vote for 'X' [00:25:12 - 00:26:28]. There are two other skipping rhymes sang, although the lyrics are not entirely audible. The first refers to 'jump out when it's your birthday' [00:02:00 - 00:02:37] and the second refers to 'Monday' and 'Sunday' [00:05:18 - 00:05:46]. The children also perform many singing games. These are: 'Old Roger' [00:14:18 - 00:16:25]; 'Do You Know the Muffin Man?' [00:16:25 - 00:17:50]; 'Christopher Columbus Was a Very Great Man' [00:26:29 - 00:27:10]; 'I Have an Ancient Aunty, Her Name is Monica' [00:27:11 - 00:33:49]; 'On a Mountain Stands a Castle' [00:23:09 - 00:24:17]; 'Here We go Lubin Loo' [00:05:46 - 00:07:55]; 'Half a Pound of Tuppenny Rice' [00:07:55 - 00:08:42]; 'Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush' [00:08:43 - 00:09:18]; 'Stands a Lady' [00:10:27 - 00:11:53]; 'In and Out the Windows' [00:11:54 - 00:12:40]; 'Ring a Ring o'Roses' [00:12:41 - 00:13:32]; 'The Farmer's in His Den'' [00:03:20 - 00:04:46]; 'In and Out the Dusty Bluebells' [00:04:47 - 00:05:17]; 'We're Going to Chicago'' [00:19:59 -00:21:18]; 'Down in the Jungle' [00:21:19 - 00:21:52] and 'Wallflowers' [00:21:53 - 00:22:45]. There are several instances in which the children sing a song and the lyrics are inaudible. In one instance they make reference to the line 'we don't want to march with the [?]' [00:09:19 - 00:10:03] and in another they sing 'the King's not at home' and 'to find his wife a home' [00:10:03 - 00:11:53]. You also hear the children refer to 'O Lucy Anna' [00:02:37 - 00:03:20] and tumbling 'down the street' [00:19:39 - 00:19:58]. Lastly, the children describe the various catching games that they play. The first is a game that they call 'In Three' and is similar to what the Opies call the game 'Block'. All the players must run and hide and get back to a 'base' without being caught [00:17:50 - 00:18:29]. The children also explain that they play 'Tig', as well as 'High Tig' [00:18:42 - 00:18:58] and 'Low Tig' [00:19:00]. In each of these, the child must be high up or low down in order not to be caught. As one of the girls explains when describing 'High Tig': 'if someone's high up you don't catch them but if they're down low and running about you can catch them'. Lastly, one of the boys notes that he play 'Kick the Can' which is recorded by the Opies as a prank game [00:33:55 - 00:34:28].

  • Description

    Item notes: Recording of children demonstrating songs and discussing playground games with Iona Opie. Speakers' notes: Group of Scottish schoolchildren. Recording notes: Relatively high-level recording, distorted throughout. Otherwise good.

  • Metadata record:

    View full metadata for this item