Games and Songs of American Children

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Courier Corporation, 1963 M06 1 - 289 páginas

Children's games are among the most interesting social phenomena. Their inventiveness and variety are overwhelming, and their durability is uncanny. Some children's games still current today were played when Rome was young. Minor details may change, the words of the jingles change, but the games remain basically the same from one generation to the next. Also, children's games reflect with great accuracy both current and past situations, providing a good index to the folkways of a certain time and place.
This book is the pioneer study in American children's games. It contains scores of games that the author collected throughout the eastern half of the United States around the turn of the century. It is the basic book in the field, for much of the material has disappeared since Newell collected it. Of course this book can never be superseded, since this particular moment in time is gone and cannot be retrieved.
Newell, who was one of America's foremost folklorists, has described the procedure of the games, and quoted collected texts of the songs in full, with the music for them in many cases. He also provides comparative material demonstrating the kinship between the game under discussion and similar games from other cultures. Over 100 games are given here under various functional categories: guessing games, games of chase, ball games, knife games, and many others.
The book has great value for modern readers. It is also an important document for the folklorist, since most of this material is not obtainable elsewhere. It is valuable to historians as a source of information on popular culture. It is useful to parents, teachers, and any others who may want suggestions for games and entertainments for children. And for the general reader it will bring back many a golden memory of the days when he, too, played "London Bridge is falling down."

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