Thursday, March 5, 2015

Children's Songs and Rhymes

Sandra Antle (second from left) tells onlookers Don Antle, Andrea McGuire, Sharna Brzycki and Marg Connolly about a game she used to play. Photo by Jillian Gould
During the final Hoist your Sails and Run session, tradition-bearer Sandra Antle set down to remember some of the songs that she and her friends used to sing. Rhymes were part of skipping, clapping, and ball-bouncing games. She remembers this one about quarreling mothers:

My mother and your mother 
Lived across the bay,
And every night they picked a fight 
And this is what they'd say:
Icka Backa Soda Cracka
Icka Backa Boo
Icka Bakca Soda Cracka
Out goes you.

And this rhyme with a nautical theme:

I'm a little Dutch girl
Dressed in blue.
Here are the things I
Like to do;
Salute the Captain;
Bow to the Queen;
Turn my back
On the submarine.

Some circle games require the players to reenact the song. Take, for example, The Farmer in the Dell:

The farmer in the dell,
The farmer in the dell,
Hi-ho, the daireo,
The farmer in the dell,

The farmer takes a wife...

The wife takes a child...

The child takes a dog...

The dog takes a bone...

At the beginning, one person - the "farmer" - stands in the middle of the circle, and then chooses a "wife" to come stand in the circle with them. The "wife" chooses a "child," and so forth. As the song continues,

The farmer leaves the wife...

The wife leaves the child...

The child leaves the dog...

The dog leaves the bone...

the players step back into the outer circle one by one as they are called. Finally the player who has been chosen as "the bone" is left in the middle and the game can begin again.

What rhyming or singing games do you remember?

The launch of the booklet Looking Back; Games We Played will be at MacMorran Community Centre at 10am on Tuesday, March 24th. All are welcome. Please be in touch with me at 739-1892 ext 3 or by email for more details on the Hoist your Sails and Run project.

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