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Children's Rhymes. Children's Games, Children's Songs, Children's Stories
Children's Rhyme-Games - The Widow of Babylon


But the games engaged in exclusively by the "wee folks" are the really delightsome ones. Such is "The Widow of Babylon," the ritual of which, less elaborate, resembles that of "Merrv-Ma-Tanzie," though the rhymes are different. Girls only play here. One is chosen for the centre. The others, with hands joined, form a ring about her, and move round briskly, singing:--

Here's a poor widow from Babylon,
With six poor children all alone;
One can bake, and one can brew,
One can shape, and one can sew,
One can sit at the fire and spin,
One can bake a cake for the king
Come choose you east, come choose you west,
Come choose the one that you love best.

The girl in the middle chooses one from the ring, naming; her, and sings:

I choose the fairest that I do see,
[Jeanie Anderson] come to me.

The girl chosen enters the ring, communicating the name of her sweetheart, when those in the ring resume their lightsome motion, and sing:-

Now they are married, I wish them joy,
Every year a girl or boy;
Loving each other like sister and brother,
I pray this couple may kiss together.

The girls within the ring kiss. The one who first occupied the circle then joins thee ring, while the last to come in enacts the part of mistress; and so on the game goes until all have had their turn.


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