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

    Chelsea, London, England

  • Interviewers

    Opie, Iona (speaker, female)

  • Speakers

    unidentified (children)

  • Abstract

    Part 1 of 2. 00:00:00 - 00:30:09. This recording, made by Iona Opie at an estate and playground in Chelsea, contains a number of playground games and songs, alongside many counting-out rhymes. For much of the recording, the children demonstrate popular skipping games such as 'I'm a Little Bumper Car' [00:00:30 - 00:00:58] and 'Bluebells, Cockleshells', although there is some reluctance to sing this as the children do not have a skipping rope with which to demonstrate it. As one of the children asserts: 'we can't play invisible skipping!' [00:18:40 - 00:19:12]. The children also demonstrate clapping songs, including two different versions of 'A Sailor Went to Sea ,Sea, Sea' [00:03:10 - 00:04:16] and [00:21:23- 00:22:46]. In the second version the children appear to improvise with their own lyrics, experimenting with different combinations of words. 'Under the Bram Bush' is also performed [00:04:28 - 00:04:57] and at [00:06:05 - 00:06:25]. The children personalise this song, finishing the rhyme by shouting the word 'Chelsea!' Â  Alongside these songs, the children demonstrate a number of counting-out rhymes. These include, 'Ip Dip Sky Blue' [00:09:05 - 00:09:18]; 'Each, Peach, Pear, Plum' [00:09:40 - 00:10:02]; 'My Mother and Your Mother' [00:10:18 - 00:10:49] and 'One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato, Four' [00:11:00 - 00:11:31]. The children also demonstrate singing games and nursery rhymes such as 'The Big Ship Sails' [00:12:24 - 00:13:27]; 'I'm a Little Girl Guide' [00:12:00 - 00:12:25]; 'Ring a Ring o' Roses' [00:06:40 - 00:07:00]; 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' [00:16:40 - 00:17:02]; 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' [00:17:40 - 00:18:00] and 'The Hoky Koky' [00:25:09 - 00:28:09]. The recording also includes a story that one of the schoolgirls has made up which concerns a young girl who went out alone to 'find a nice boy'. She uses the story to embarrass her friend, claiming that the little girl is in fact this girl who marries one of their classmates. The story ends with the girl in question asserting: 'No I never!' [00:20:25 - 00:20:51].

  • 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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