Opie collection of children's games & songs

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

    Chelsea, London, England

  • Interviewers

    Opie, Iona (speaker, female)

  • Speakers

    unidentified (children)

  • Abstract

    Part 2 of 2. 00:00:00 - 00:18:32. This recording, from Chelsea, contains audio of children discussing and performing a number of rhymes and songs. The children sing and demonstrate some well-known singing games such as 'Poor Jenny' [00:00:00 - 00:00:44] and 'The Farmer's in his Den' and explain that they learnt these at school [00:03:56 - 00:05:34]. Alongside these, however, the children sing less prevalent rhymes such as a variation of the song 'When I was Young I Had No Sense' [00:17:55 - 00:18:32] which a young girl sings after learning it from her father. The children also sing a variation of 'My Mother Sent me to the Shop' [00:12:18 - 00:12:49]. Aside from their songs and rhymes, the children are keen to demonstrate games they may have created or adapted themselves. One such game is one that they call 'England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales'. This is played on the swings and makes use of the boundaries and markings of the playground surrounding them. The different colour markings on the playground represent different countries to which the children must swing across to when the country's name is called by a player. The children have also added another element to the game in which a child can be 'run over' when they lay under a swing [00:13:36 - 00:15:54]. Iona also discusses terms that they use to signify 'immunity' in games and the children mention that they use the term 'fainties' [00:17:16 -00:17:27]. Also mentioned are the ball games that the children play and the rhymes that accompany such games. These include rhymes called 'Upsy Jim' and 'Knees Up Mother Brown' [00:09:48 - 00:11:52]. Lastly, Iona briefly discusses the new popularity of skateboards and roller-skates [00:02:20 - 00:02:35].

  • Description

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

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