The Singing Game

The Singing Game

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This volume is based on 30 years of collecting and research, and traces the histories of singing games such as ring a ring o' roses and oranges and lemons. It is an exposition both of the workings of folklore and of the play habits of young children. Each game is described in detail with reference to its history and its present form. Fashionable in the Middle Ages, frowned upon in the 16th century, and suppressed in the 17th, the singing game is now generally considered to belong to the past. The Opies' research show that the tradition is continuing. The book is illustrated throughout with photographs and prints and includes words to each game, with music for many. Iona and Peter Opie have also written "The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes", "The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book", "Children's Games in Street and Playground", "The Oxford Book of Children's Verse", "A Nursery Companion" and "The Oxford Book of Narrative Verse".show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 544 pages
  • 127 x 193.04 x 27.94mm | 408.23g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 30 half-tones illustrations, music examples, bibliography, indices
  • 0192840193
  • 9780192840196

Table of contents

The singing game; chains and captives - thread and needle, grandy needles, through the needle-ee, how many miles to Babylon?, winding up the clock, the big ship sails, oranges and lemons, London bridge, watch and chain; match-making - the lusty wooer, a duke a-riding, three brethren out of Spain, three brethren come from Spain (Scots version), six virgins, three sailors, widow from Babylon, green grass; mating - King William, pretty little girl of mine, down by the riverside, all the boys in our town, the wind blows high, Johnny the sailor boy, I'll give to you a paper of pins, wallflowers (2), up the street and down the street; wedding rings - merry-ma-tansie, gentle John, Glasgow ships, uncle John (1), uncle John (2), oh dear doctor, rosy apple, Sally Water, Isabella, lady on the mountain, oats and beans and barley grow, the farmer's in his den; cushion dances - jolly sailors, silly old man, pray, pretty miss, bee baw babbity, best bed's a feather bed. (part contents)show more

About Iona Opie

About the Authors Iona Opie and the late Peter Opie have written numerous other books, including Children's Games in Street and Playground, The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren, The Oxford Book of Children's Verse, and The Oxford Nursery Rhyme more

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