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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  • Type


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  • Shelf mark


  • Subjects

    Children's games; Children's songs

  • Recording date


  • Is part of (Collection)

    Opie collection of children's games and songs

  • Recording locations

    Oxford, Oxfordshire, England

  • Interviewers

    Opie, Iona (speaker, female)

  • Speakers

    unidentified (children)

  • Abstract

    Part 1 of 2. [00:00:00 - 00:43:07]. This recording, taped at St. Barnabas School, Oxford, on the 28th February, 1979, records children performing singing games out on the school playground and singing songs chosen by their teacher inside the school hall. The sound quality, particularly when Iona Opie is recording in the school hall, is poor and the songs are difficult to distinguish. When the recording begins, Iona is on the school playground and tapes the children signing 'The Hoky Koky'. The children explain that you can put anything 'in', even 'your bum in!' Iona asks one boy what he thinks of the girls' game and he replies: 'ergh' [00:01:05 - 00:06:03] and [00:08:56 - 00:10:13]. The children then move on to perform the clapping games 'A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea' [00:06:25 - 00:08:12] and 'Under the Bram Bush' [00:08:13 - 00:08:55]. At [00:12:39] in the recording Iona moves into the school hall where she continues to record. An unidentified female can be heard playing the piano and arranging the children before they begin singing. The songs and words sung by the children are difficult to hear. They sing 'Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Matilda' [00:14:02 - 00:16:28] and 'Hurrah, Hurrah, For Good Queen Bess' [00:17:50 - 00:19:24]. At [00:19:40] in the recording the children are split into two groups: 'the Cavaliers' and 'the Roundheads'. The children then sing a song based on this theme [00:19:40 - 00:22:00]. From [00:22:06 - 00:28:42] the children continue to sing songs, accompanied by their teacher and the piano. From [00:29:00] Iona is back recording children on the playground. A group of schoolgirls perform the singing games 'Poor Jenny is a'Weeping' [00:29:07 - 00:31:20]; 'In a Fine Castle' [00:32:50 - 00:35:41]; 'A Ship Sailed From China' [00:36:11 - 00:38:17]; 'The Big Ship Sails' [00:38:20 - 00:39:55] and 'The Grand Old Duke of York' [00:40:36 - 00:43:07].

  • Description

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

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