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

    Garforth and Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England

  • Interviewers

    Opie, Iona (speaker, female)

  • Speakers

    unidentified (children)

  • Abstract

    Part 1 of 2. [00:00:00 - 00:15:08]. This recording contains a discussion with children from Garforth Parochial Church of England Controlled School, Yorkshire, in July, 1978. An unidentified female speaker can also be heard at the start of the recording. The children perform singing games and clapping songs, and briefly refer to games that they play based on high physical content. The recording begins with a brief interview with an unidentified female speaker who has lived in Garforth 'all her life'. She goes on to perform and discuss the singing game 'In and Out the Shady Bluebells' and estimates that she sang this song aged eight in 1937. The interview then ends abruptly [00:00:00 -00:01:32]. Iona Opie is now with children in Garforth Parochial School and they begin by performing singing games for her. These include: 'Be-Baw-Babbity' [00:01:34 - 00:01:50]; 'Diana Dors'; a version that makes reference to the song 'Keep the Sunny Side Up' [00:01:51 - 00:04:24]; 'Hula Hula' [00:05:32 - 00:06:23]; 'Ching, Chang, Chinaman' [00:06:24 - 00:06:50] and 'One Bottle of Pop' which is a song that the children learnt at Brownies [00:07:33 - 00:08:52]. The schoolgirls then go on to demonstrate clapping and skipping songs for Iona. The clapping songs include 'My Boyfriend's Name is Tony' [00:04:35 - 00:05:30]; 'Milly, Molly, Mandy' [00:06:52 - 00:07:32] and 'Paul is a Funny 'Un' [00:09:2 - 00:10:15]. The children discuss with Iona the skipping songs 'I'm a Little Bumper Car' and 'How Many Gallons in the Car?' [00:10:50 - 00:12:03] and perform 'I'm a Little Girl Guide' [00:12:04 - 00:12:36]. Iona asks the children what other games they play on the playground. Although they do not describe in detail these games, they refer to the fact that they play 'Tally, Tally,', 'Chain Tigs' and 'Bulldog'; all of which are chasing games [00:12:44 - 00:14:09]. At the end of the recording the children can also be heard telling Iona that they play the chasing game 'Cabbages' [00:14:52 - 00:15:08]. Iona asks the children what terms for truce and respite are used on their playground. Initially the children are unsure but decide that they would shout 'Kings' and cross their fingers on both hands [00:14:10 - 00:14:51].

  • Description

    Item notes: Recording of children demonstrating songs and discussing playground games with Iona Opie. Speakers' notes: Group of Garforth and Huddersfield schoolchildren. Recording notes: Relatively low quality, with slight distortion at peaks. Otherwise good.

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