Opie collection of children's games & songs

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

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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

    Redditch, Worcestershire, England

  • Interviewers

    Opie, Iona (speaker, female)

  • Speakers

    unidentified (children)

  • Abstract

    Part 1 of 1. 00:00:00 - 00:24:50. This recording, from Crabbs Cross First School, Redditch, documents a discussion between Iona Opie and six schoolgirls aged between eight and nine. Much of the recording concerns the girls skipping, clapping and singing games, all of which they perform. The children begin by explaining that they regularly play 'Elastics' on the playground and one of the girls sings a very short rhyme that accompanies this game called '2,4,6,8' [00:01:44 - 00:01:59]. The girls then begin to perform their skipping games. These include 'Not Last Night but the Night Before' which is sung at three separate instances at [00:03:36 - 00:03:40]; [00:03:59 - 00:04:30] and [00:04:42 - 00:05:27]. The song is sung twice as some of the girls are unfamiliar with the song. Iona asks why this is so to which one of the girls, who does know the rhyme, explains: 'she [one of the girls] just hasn't, sort of, picked up the words'. The children also perform a skipping rhyme that they call 'G-O-P-T-H' which Iona has not heard before. Each letter represents a task that the child must complete. For example, 'H' stands for 'Highwaters' and the children must jump higher as the rope is raised [00:05:30 - 00:06:22]. Other skipping songs performed include 'I'm a Little Bumper Car' [00:06:20 - 00:07:27]; 'Keep the Kettle Boiling' [00:07:26 - 00:07:41]; 'Cowboy Joe of Mexico' [00:07:42 - 00:08:45] and 'Salt, Vinegar, Mustard, Pepper' [00:20:43 - 00:21:-03]. The children also perform a few clapping songs, although note that they are not currently 'playing' clapping on their playground at the moment. Instead, 'elastics' and skipping are popular. They sing 'Under the Bram Bush' [00:02:14 - 00:03:28]; 'I Had the German Measles' [00:16:37 - 00:17:38] and' When Susie Was a Baby' [00:17:41 - 00:20:41]. Lastly, the children sing a number of singing games including 'Orange Balls' [00:09:07 - 00:12:00]; 'I Sent a Letter to my Love' [00:12:03 - 00:14:19]; 'In and Out the Scottish Bluebells' [00:14:51 - 00:15:50]; 'Oranges and Lemons' [00:15:50 - 00:16:36]; 'The Big Ship Sails Through the Alley Alley Ooh' [00:21:05 - 00:22:12] and 'The Hokey Koky' [00:22:30 - 00:23:13]. The recording finishes with a few of the girls requesting to sing the Brownie Guide Song [00:24:18 - 00:24:50].

  • Description

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

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