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singing games


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As the name implies, the singing game is a children's activity in which an action is accompanied by sung verses—Ring-a-Ring-a-Roses, The Farmer's in his Den, Oranges and Lemons, Green Gravel are wellknown examples, but there are dozens of others. With their roots in adult dances of the distant past and their wonderfully pleasing tunes, singing games have attracted a fair amount of attention from folklorists since the late 19th century and are relatively well documented. But in the playground they have been in slow but steady decline and, although far from dead, the repertoire grows smaller and they are seen less often these days.

Gomme, 1894–8;Opie and Opie, 1985.


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