Opie collection of children's games & songs

Recording of children demonstrating songs and discussing playground games with Iona Opie (part 1 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

    Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire and Micklefield, Yorkshire and Garforth, Yorkshire, England

  • Interviewers

    Opie, Iona (speaker, female), Webb, Damian (speaker, male)

  • Speakers

    unidentified (children)

  • Abstract

    Part 1 of 2. [00:00:00 - 00:17:00]. This recording contains two interviews with schoolchildren from Meadowcroft Middle School, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, and children from Micklefield, Yorkshire. The recording begins with Iona Opie noting that she is in Aylesbury and despite meaning to visit the primary school, she is now with children from Meadowcroft Middle School. She remarks that this is of no bother as the children still know the singing game 'Here We Go Gathering Nuts in May' which they then perform [00:00:19 - 00:01:14]. The children learnt this while in the 'little school' together. They then go on to sing 'The Hoky Koky' and explain some of the actions that accompany this song [00:01:20 - 00:03:39]. Other singing games performed by the children throughout this recording are 'The Big Ship Sails' [00:03:39 - 00:04:22]; 'In and Out the Dusty Bluebells' [00:08:05 - 00:09:03]; 'The Grand Old Duke of York' [00:09:04 - 00:09:29]; 'A-Hunting We Will Go' [00:09:30 - 00:10:45] and 'I'm a Bow-Legged Chicken' [00:10:46 - 00:12:20]. The children also perform and demonstrate a singing game called 'The Muffin Man'. This is a ring game and begins with a circle of children with one child stood in the middle. This child will then circle around and collect a player from the circle and bring them into the centre. This continues until all the children are in the middle of the circle [00:04:21 - 00:08:04]. There is then a break in the recording and when the tape resumes Iona is with children in Micklefield, Yorkshire. They begin by performing the singing game 'Wallflowers' and explain to Iona how this game is played. This includes a change in lyrics at the end of the song from the original line: 'we're going to die' to 'we're not going to die' [00:12:21 - 00:15:20]. The children then discuss with Iona counting-out strategies. They explain that often they choose who will be 'it' on the basis of who is the youngest [00:15:41 - 00:16:02]. The recording then ends with the children performing a short counting out rhyme called 'Eleven White Horses' [00:16:03 - 00:17:00].

  • Description

    Item notes: Recording of children demonstrating songs and discussing playground games with Iona Opie. Speakers' notes: Group of Aylesbury, Micklefield and Garforth schoolchildren. Recording notes: Slight audible bleed from right channel. Otherwise good throughout.

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