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Children's Rhymes. Children's Games, Children's Songs, Children's Stories
Children's Rhyme-Games - Merry-ma-Tanzie


"Merry-ma-Tanzie" is solely a girls' game, of which boys, however, may be interested spectators. The counting-out rhyme having put one in the centre, the rest join hands in a ring about her, and moving slowly round, they sing:

Here we go round the jingo-ring,
The jingo-ring, the jingo-ring,
Here we go round the jingo-ring,
About the merry-ma-tanzie.

Twice about and then we fa',
Then we fa', then we fa',
Twice about and then we fa',
About the merry-ma-tanzie.

Choose your maidens all around,
All around, all around,
Choose your maidens all around,
About the merry-ma-tanzie.

Replying to this invitation, the one in the centre chooses two from the circle, and retires with them a short distance away. During their absence the ring-band proceeds as before, and sing with imitating gesture:

Sweep the house ere the bride comes in,
The bride comes in, the bride comes in,
Sweep the house ere the bride comes in,
About the merry-ma-tanzie.

When those who left return, the one who was in the centre takes up her original position, as also do the others, and the ring moves on again with:-

Here's a bride new come home,
New come home, new come home
Here's a bride new come home,
About the merry-ma-tanzie.

Then follows "Mary Auderson is her name," with the usual repeats, and ''Guess ye wha is her true love," "A bottle o' wine to tell his name,'' "Andrew Wilson is his name,'' "Honey is sweet and so is he,'' (or Apples .are sour and so is he,") "He's married her wi' a gay gold rill,," "A gay gold ring's a cank'rous thing," But now they're married we wish them joy," "Father and mother they must obey.'' "Loving each other like sister and brather," "We pray this couple may kiss together," all, of course, sung with their repeats as above; and the game may be played until every little girl has revealed her little sweetheart's name, which, to be sure, is the motif of the play.


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