Archive for January, 2015


Posted on: January 10th, 2015 by hauleymusic No Comments



Clapping Games:
A clapping game is usually played by two players and involves clapping as an accompaniment to a rhyme. Clapping games are found throughout the world and similar games may be known throughout large areas with regional variations. The rhyme helps the players carry out the complicated actions in time.

Pease Porridge Hot:
“Pease Porridge Hot” or “Pease Pudding Hot” (also known as “Peas Porridge Hot”) is a clapping singing game and nursery rhyme. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 19631.

The origins of this rhyme are unknown. The name refers to a type of porridge made from peas, pease pudding, also known in Middle English as pease pottage (“Pease” was treated as a mass noun, similar to “oatmeal”).

The earliest recorded version of Pease Porridge Hot is a riddle found in John Newbery’s Mother Goose’s Melody (c. 1760):
Pease Porridge hot,
Pease Porridge cold,
Pease Porridge in the Pot
Nine Days old,
Where the terms “pease pudding” and “pease pottage” are used, the lyrics of the rhyme are altered accordingly.

Children playing Pease Porridge Hot.
Schoolchildren often play Pease Porridge Hot by pairing off and clapping their hands together to the rhyme as follows:
Pease (clap both hands to thighs) porridge (clap own hands together) hot (clap partner’s hands),
pease (clap both hands to thighs) porridge (clap own hands together) cold (clap partner’s hands),
Pease (clap thighs) porridge (clap own hands) in the (clap right hands only) pot (clap own hands),
nine (clap left hands only) days (clap own hands) old (clap partner’s hands).
(Repeat actions for second stanza)
NOTE: The actions are performed during recitation of the word or phrase, not following.

Jump-rope rhyme:
A skipping or jump-rope rhyme, is a form of singing game chanted while using skipping ropes. Such rhymes have been recorded in all cultures where skipping is played. Examples of English-language rhymes have been found going back to at least the seventeenth century. Like most folklore, skipping rhymes tend be found in many different variations.

The following is an example that may have been around for several generations.

Down in the valley where the green grass grows
There sat my grandmother sweet as a rose
She sang, she sang, she sang so sweet
Along came my grandfather and kissed her on the cheek
How many kisses did she get that week
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and so on until that person messes up jumping.

This Little Piggy:
“This Little Piggy” or “This little pig” is an English language nursery rhyme and fingerplay. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 19297.

The most common modern version is:
This little piggy went to the market,
This little piggy stayed home,
This little piggy had roast beef,
This little piggy had none,
And this little piggy cried wee wee wee all the way to town.

Another version often cited is:
This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy stayed home,
This little piggy had jam and bread,
This little piggy had none,
And this little piggy went crying all the way to town.

Finger play:
The rhyme is usually counted out on a person’s toes, each line corresponding to a different toe, usually starting with the big toe and ending with the little toe. A foot tickle is usually added during the “Wee…all the way home” section of the last line. The rhyme can also be seen as a counting rhyme, although the number of each toe (from 1 for the big toe to 5 for the little toe) is never stated.

The first line of this rhyme was quoted in a medley “The Nurse’s Song,” written about 1728, a full version was not recorded until it was published in The Famous Tommy Thumb’s Little Story-Book, published in London about 1760. It then appeared with slight variations in many late eighteenth and early nineteenth century collections. Until the mid-twentieth century the lines referred to “little pigs.”

Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake, Baker’s Man:
“Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man”, “Pat-a-cake”, “patty-cake” or “pattycake” is one of the oldest and most widely known surviving English nursery rhymes. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 6486.

Common modern versions include:
Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man.
Bake me a cake as fast as you can;
Roll it, Pat it and mark it with B,
Put it in the oven for baby and me.

Patty cake, patty cake, baker’s man.
Bake me a cake as fast as you can;
Roll it up, roll it up;
And throw it in a pan!
And toss it in the oven as fast as you can!

The earliest recorded version of the rhyme appears in Thomas D’Urfey’s play The Campaigners from 1698, where a nurse says to her charges:
…and pat a cake Bakers man, so I will master as I can, and prick it, and prick it, and prick it, and prick it, and prick it, and throw’t into the Oven.

The next appearance is in Mother Goose’s Melody, (c. 1765), in the form:

Patty Cake, Patty Cake,
Baker’s Man;
That I will Master,
As fast as I can;
Prick it and prick it,
And mark it with a T,
And there will be enough for Tommy and me.

The game:
The rhyme is often accompanied by hand-clapping between two people. It alternates between a normal individual clap with two-handed claps with the other person. The hands may be crossed as well. This allows for a possibly complex sequence of clapping that must be coordinated between the two. If told by a parent to a child, the “B” and “baby” in the last two lines are sometimes replaced by the child’s first initial and first name.

The roles of games:
A variety of roles have been attributed to singing games, including learning and sometimes creating new words, also allowing children to develop their own rules and rituals of play and behavior. Most singing games tend to be co-operative rather than competitive and children based rather than teacher based.

Debates over decline:
Since the eighteenth century some feel that singing games are less popular. Street games in many regions are no longer safe due to traffic. Simple games also compete with television, video games, i-pods and organized sports. There is however, indication that games are still popular on the playground. Evidence shows that the age range has narrowed. Pre-teens and teenagers seem to have stopped playing and left them to those between the ages of six to ten years old. Recently Iona Opie has noted that singing games in Britain are played mostly by girls.

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Brewster, Paul G. Children’s Games and Rhymes. New York: Ayer Co Pub.1976.

Campbell, Andrea. Great Games for Great Parties: How to Throw a Perfect Party.
New York: Sterling, 1991.

Cooper, Mary. Tommy Thumb’s Pretty Song Book, London: printed by John Newbery, c. 1744.

Denslow, W.W. Mother Goose, New York: Dodo Press, 1901.

Halliwell, James Orchard. The Nursery Rhymes of England, Oxford: University Press. 1846.

Herman, D. The Cambridge Companion to Narrative. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2007.

James, Arlene. A Family to Share. Waterville, Me.: Thorndike Press, 2006.

Lomax, Alan. Folk Songs of North America. Garden City, N.J.: Doubleday, 1960.

Miller, Olive Beaupré. In the Nursery of My Bookhouse. Chicago: The Bookhouse for Children Publishers (1920).

Opie, I.; Opie, P. (1951). The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1997 ed.). Oxford: University Press. pp. 349–50.

Rizzo, C. All the Ways Home: Parenting and Children. Norwich VT: New Victoria Publishers. p. 104. 1995.

Roud, S. The Lore of the Playground: One Hundred Years of Children’s Games, Rhymes & Traditions (New York City, NY: Random House, 2010

Wentworth, George. Smith, David Eugene. Work and Play with Numbers. Boston: Ginn & Company.1912.

Whitmore, William H. The Original Mother Goose’s Melody, as First Issued by John Newbery, of London, About A.D., 1760. Albany: Joel Munsell’s Sons, 1889.

Wollaston, Mary A. (compiler). The Song Play Book: Singing Games for Children. New York: A.S. Barnes and Company (1922).