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Children's Rhymes. Children's Games, Children's Songs, Children's Stories
Children's Rhyme-Games - When I was a Young Thing


"When I was a young thing," of simple though pretty action, has had a wide vogue. Its rhyme goes:

When I was a young thing,
A young thing, a young thing;
When I was a young thing,
How happy was I.
'Twas this way. and that way,
And this way, and that way
When I was a young thing.
Oh, this way went I.

When I was a school-girl, etc.
When I was a teacher, etc.
When I had a sweetheart, etc.
When I had a husband, etc.
When I had a baby, etc.
When I had a donkey, etc.
When I took in washing, etc.
When my baby died, oh died. etc.
When my husband died, etc.

The players, joining hands, form a ring, and dance or walk round singing the words, and keeping the ring form until the end of the fourth line in each successive verse, when they unclasp, and stand still. Each child then takes hold of her skirt and dances individually to the right and left, making two or three steps. Then all walk round singly, singing the second four lines, and masking suitable action to the words as they sing and go: the same form being continued throughout.


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