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

    Macclesfield, Cheshire and Warwick, Warwickshire, England

  • Interviewers

    Opie, Iona (speaker, female)

  • Speakers

    unidentified (children)

  • Abstract

    Part 1 of 2. [00:00:00 - 00:45:41] This recording contains discussions with and performances by schoolgirls from Hurdsfield County Infants School, Macclesfield, Cheshire and Warwick in 1980. Each group of girls perform playground songs and games and discuss these with Iona Opie. The recording begins with Iona explaining that she is in Macclesfield and has been 'scouting around trying to find some children' but is having difficulty finding any as it has just been raining [00:00:00 - 00:00:11]. Iona then finds three girls aged seven and two other children aged six. They explain that this morning they were playing 'racing' such as 'hopping races' and 'running races'. They have also been playing 'Tiggy off ground' and 'Tiggy scarecrow'. When asked, they decide that 'races' or 'Tiggy scarecrow' are the best games to play [00:00:13 - 00:01:22]. Iona asks if they play any games with 'words' and the children explain that they can play 'Who's your boyfriend?', 'Simon Says' and 'Mary Angie'. They explain to Iona how to play 'Who's your boyfriend?' and 'Mary Angie'. The children tell Iona that they already know who they are going to marry [00:01:22- 00:02:54]. Iona asks the children if they play 'balls up against the wall'. One girl tells her that they do not as the children are no longer allowed to bring toys to school [00:02:55 - 00:03:24]. The children then sing a number of skipping and clapping songs and singing games. They sing: 'Georgie Porgie' [00:03:32 - 00:03:48]; 'Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear' [00:08:44 - 00:09:06]; 'Four Little Dolls' [00:05:11 - 00:08:36]; 'The Farmer's in his Den' [00:09:07 - 00:11:07]; 'Poor Mary is a'Weeping' [00:11:08 - 00:13:06]; 'Ring a Ring o'Roses' [00:13:54 - 00:14:19]; 'The Hoky Koky' [00:14:20 - 00:16:06] and 'When Susie Was a Baby' [00:16:47 - 00:19:11]. A schoolboy joins Iona and the other children and begins to recite a rhyme about 'Kermit the frog'. He then stops and tells Iona: 'I won't say it, I won't say it' as this rhyme is 'rude' [00:19:07 - 00:23:20].  The children describe to Iona a game that they play called 'I'm a Little Bumper Car' (this is also a rhyme often used for skipping). To play, they cross their arms across their chests and run and bump into one another [00:04:00 - 00:04:49].  From [00:26:04 - 00:27:48] in the recording, Iona has changed location. It is unclear where she is but she asks an unidentified male what holiday it is that is coming up. The unidentified man explains that it is a holiday to commemorate St. Barnabas, Macclesfield's patron saint. From [00:27:50] in the recording, Iona is in Warwick with a girl called Charlotte and her cousin, Tammy who is nine years old. The children sing a number of singing games and clapping and skipping songs for Iona. These are: 'I'm a Bow-Legged Chicken' [00:30:52 - 00:34:21]; 'My Mummy Told Me' [00:34:28 - 00:37:28]; 'Not Last Night But the Night Before' [00:39:00 - 00:40;10]; 'I Like Coffee, I Like Tea' [00:41:10 - 00:40:36]; 'I'm a Little Bumper Car' [00:40:27 - 00:41:13]; 'Down in the Valley Where the Green Grass Grows' [00:41:14 - 00:42:43] and 'I'm a Little Dutch Girl' [00:44:43 - 00:45:41].

  • Description

    Item notes: Recording of children demonstrating songs and discussing playground games with Iona Opie. Speakers' notes: Group of Macclesfield and Warwick schoolchildren. Recording notes: Slight L/R imbalance, variable throughout.

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