The Lore of the Playground: One Hundred Years of Children's Games, Rhymes and Traditions

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Random House Books, 2010 - History - 560 pages
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A fascinating survey of 100 years of children's games and rhymes

From conkers to marbles, from skipping to tag, not forgetting "one potato, two potato" and "eeny, meeny, miny, mo," Lore of the Playground explores the world of Britain's playgrounds, and looks at the games children have enjoyed and the rhymes they have chanted over the past hundred years and more. Each generation, it emerges, has had its own favorites--"Knock Down Ginger" in the 1950s, "Chain Tig" in the 1970s. Some pastimes, such as skipping, have proved remarkably resilient, their complicated rules carefully handed down from one class to the next. Many are now the stuff of distant memory. And some traditions have proved to be strongly regional, loved by children in one part of Britain, unknown to those elsewhere. All are brilliantly and meticulously recorded by Steve Roud, who has drawn on interviews with hundreds of people aged from eight to 80, to create a fascinating picture of all our childhoods.

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About the author (2010)

Steve Roud has been researching British folklore for over thirty years and is the joint author of the Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore, plus other books on traditional drama and folk song. He also compiles the Folk Song Index and the Broadside Index, two internationally known computer databases of traditional folk and popular song. He served as Honorary Librarian of the Folklore Society for over fifteen years. He lives in Sussex.

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