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Children's Rhymes. Children's Games, Children's Songs, Children's Stories
A Book for Bairns and Big Folk by Robert Ford (1904)


Preface

In offering to the public this collection of Children's Rhymes, Children's Gaines, Children's Songs, and Children's stories ---the multitudinous items of which, or such, at least, as were not living in my own memory, have been gathered with patient industry, albeit with much genuine delight, from wide and varied sources—I anticipate for the work a hearty and general welcome, alike from old and young. It is the first really sincere effort to collect in anything like ample and exclusive fashion the natural literature of the children of Scotland, and meets what has long appealed to me as decidedly a felt want. The earlier pages are occupied with a commentary, textually illustrated, on the generally puerile, but regularly fascinating Rhymes of the Nursery, the vitality and universal use of which have been at once the wonder and the Muzzle of the ages. This is followed in turn by a chapter on Counting-out Rhymes, with numerous examples, home and foreign, which is succeeded, appropriately, by a section of the work embracing description of all the well-known out-door and in-door Rhyme-Games—in each case the Rhyme being given, the action being portrayed. The remaining contents the title may be left to suggest. I may only add that the stories--including ''Blue Beard," and "Jack the Giant Killer," and their fellow-narratives —ten in all—are printed verbatim from the old chapbooks once so common in the country, but now so rare as to be almost unobtainable.

Essentially a book about children and their picturesque and innocent, though often apparently meaningless, frolics, by the young in the land, I am assured, it will be received with open arms. From the "children, of larger growth" those who were once young and have delight in remembering the fact.- the welcome, if less boisterous, should be not less sincere. Commend to me on all occasions the man or woman who, `1 with lyart haffets thin and bare," can sing with the poet-

''Och hey! gin I were young again,
Ochoue! gin I were young again
For chasin' bumbees owre the plain
Is just an auld sang sung again."

ROBERT FORD

287 Onslow Drive,
Dennistoun,
Glasgow.

Contents


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