This was one of the games Mr. Barnes had sent an account of to Mr. Amos Otis, as I have already mentioned, and in Mr. Otis’s reply he says it is called the “Needle’s Eye” in New England.
This is a similar game to the last, and is a very popular one at the present day. The children form themselves into a ring, and as they dance round say or sing:
“Wally, wally, wall-flower,
A-growen up so high,
All we children be sure to die,
Excepting (naming the youngest),
’Cause she’s the youngest.
Oh! fie! for shame! fie! for shame!
Turn your back to the wall again.”
The youngest child now turns round, still retaining the hands of her companions, but with her face in an opposite direction to theirs. This is gone through again until all have their faces on the outside of the circle, when they reverse the order, and gradually resume their old positions.” Another version is as follows:
“Wall-flowers, wall-flowers, growing up so high,
We are all living, and we shall all die,
Except the youngest here, (naming her).
Turn your back to overshed” (?)
(This last line is repeated three times.) (Symondsbury.)
II.— DRAMATIC GAMES.
These too are games which are principally played by girls out of doors. The players are not called by their own names, but personate characters, such as a mother and her daughter, dukes, knights, fox and geese, hen and chickens, &c. Their ditty is a dialogue, not a song; and a great deal of dramatic effect is often given to their acting. Instead of dancing in a ring, they form lines, facing each
- Conf. Shropshire Folklore, p. 513.