Educational CyberPlayGround ®


Collect Examples of Childrens Music

Old Timey Stories Of Life



Collected in Philadelphia STARTED SOMETIME IN 1930's


Kings and Queens and Princess Too
Want to wish you all that's new

So Which Day What Day
Whaddiya Say Birthday
Happy Birthday To You!


The Playground


“I've Got a Friend in Chicago”: Children's Music and Music for Children in the United States

1, 2, 3 and a Zing Zing Zing Tony Schwartz's 1952 soundscape features the street games and songs of children of West Midtown Manhattan.

Cups, the Pitch Perfectpatty-cake game that's gone viral in the schoolyard: During lunch, the children — notably the girls — were clapping their hands, beating out a rhythm on upturned plastic cups, then flipping them over and slamming them onto the table. A new hand-clapping game — similar to schoolyard classics such as “Miss Mary Mack” and “Slide” and “Down by the Banks” — was spreading through the school. It was being transmitted from student to student, face to face, as in the old days. Inside of a week, the rhythm became ubiquitous.

The flulike spread of “Cups” allowed Neal to experience something that social scientists are just beginning to understand. The games are encoded with sociocultural significance, said Elizabeth Tucker, a folklorist and English professor at Binghamton University in New York. They have existed since at least the late 19th century, and their functions include teaching dexterity and serving as tools for forming friendships. And somehow, new research is showing, these primitive clapping and chanting games have endured around the world, despite competition from hand-held technology.


of “The Games Black Girls Play,” said two truisms have emerged from her research. Like other products of our oral culture, hand games are almost impossible to trace to the source. And they are in­cred­ibly durable. “They are the original social media,'' Gaunt said. Hand games were originally passed from friend to friend on playgrounds and “go viral,” spreading from school to school and from state to state. She points to “Miss Mary Mack,” the clapping and chanting game whose titular character dresses in black-black-black with silver buttons-buttons-buttons all down her back-back-back. That game, she discovered, can be found in most every English-speaking country. It is also more than 120 years old. In Ypsilanti, Mich., the rhyme is a little more bluesy; in New York, the pace is a little faster. But the clapping pattern is the same — arm crossed over the chest, palms slapping the thighs and then a patty-cake clap. Games like Miss Mary Mack stay intact, Gaunt says, because they involve something called “embodied language.” Years after adults first played them, they remember the rhythm, which enables them to re-create the rest.

Editor, Children's Folklore Review
Editor, FOAFtale News
(Ph.D., Indiana University, 1977)
tel.: (607) 777-4455 fax.: (607) 777-2408 e-mail:

Kyra Gaunt, a social science professor at Baruch College in New York, researches hand games.

Hand Games on Youtube “It's not that kids don't want to play” hand games, Koons said. “They just need to be taught.” Cherokee Lane Elementary School in Adelphi, music teacher Emily Koons



One Potato, Two Potato (1957) - extract



Folklorist Herbert Halpert recorded sixteen ball bouncing games, rope jumping rhymes, counting out rhymes, etc. from some NYC kids in August 1941 at a summer camp in Lake Como, PA. The recording is housed at the Indiana University Archives of Traditional Music.

Titles are:

Gypsy Gypsy
Alice Faye is a star
One day as I was a ambling
Ink a bink, a bottle of ink
Jelly in the dish
Cups and saucers
It's raining it's pouring
Chanted taunts (copy cat and tattle tale)
My mother, your mother
Uncle Joe
Fudge fudge tell the judge
Hello, hello, hello sir
I won't go to Macys
Cinderella dressed in green/mustard

John C. Campbell Folk School

Little girls demonstrating a hand-clapping game 1989

David Brose has made digital safety files on DVD and HD back-up.


Carson Mischel Jingle Bells, Batman Smells

Pizza Pizza Daddy-O

A 1967 in LA film by Bob Eberlein and Bess Lomax Hawes that looks at continuity and change in girls' playground games at a Los Angeles school.

Notice that "ooh gee gee wa wa a biscuit" that you heard in LA 1967 changed to "ooh che che wa wa a biscuit" on the playground in St. Croix U.S.V.I. 1978 collected by Karen Ellis and published in DOMINO



Rob Amchin—University of Louisville—Alabama Gal (contra dance)



Folklore: PlayGround Hand Jives - Mudcat Resources




Smithsonian Folkways Songs for Children from New York City 1978

Educational CyberPlayGround

Draw Me a Bucket of Water






Nursery Rhymes



Educational CyberPlayGround Nursery Rhymes


  • Mary Had A Little Lamb
  • Hey Diddle Diddle
  • Diddle Diddle Dumpling
  • Old King Cole
  • Georgie Porgie




Ballads and Broadsides in Britain, 1500-1800. By Patricia Fumerton, and Anita Guerrini, with Kris McAbee. 2011. London: Ashgate Publishing. 285 pages. ISBN: 9780754662488 (hard cover).

Tristram Coffin, Folklore from America's Working Folk
and The British Traditional Ballad in North America.

Roger McGuinn Folk Den - Free songs you can hear then sing yourslef. About Roger McGuinn



1939 Lomax's expedition to the Southern States Library of Congress audio Files - 140 pages of Recordings of Children's Songs

Songs are sung by the kids
Al corre y corre - All Around the Green Apple Tree - All the Pretty Little Horses - All the Way Round - Black-snake Bit Me, I Don't Keer - Bluebird - Bring Me a Gourd to Drink Water - Candy Gal - Carrie - Children of America - Come on, Willie - Come Through the Sawmill - Come up, Horsey, Hey, Hey - Crawdad - Crawfish Pond - Crows in the Garden - Di-de-oh - [Diez perritos pequeños]

1933 -- John Lomax and his son Alan travel 16,000 miles in four months, recording country, blues and work songs, mainly in southern penitentiaries; they meet Lead Belly shortly before his release from prison.


1930 Classic Louisiana Recordings, Cajun & Creole Music:
A series devoted to the recordings by Alan Lomax and John Lomax in Louisiana

Max Hunter's Song Collection Missouri State University is an archive of almost 1600 Ozark Mountain folk songs, recorded between 1956 and 1976.

The Classic Louisiana Recordings: Cajun and Creole Music, 1934-1937 sun by Elita, Mary & Ella Hoffpauir

Six Ans Sur Mer 1934
Perhaps no other sailor's chantey can compare with 'Seven Years at Sea' for fame and historical interest. It is one of the most extensively traveled songs of European folk repertoires. Best known on the shores of Brittany and Poitou where it seems to have originated, It has spread across France and followed the seacoast into neighboring countries, north and south. It occurs in Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, Catalan, Porugese, Spanish and Swiss versions.


Les Clefs de la Prison, J'ai Vu Lucille Un Matin, J'Etais Sur Ma Galerie


1928--The first Cajun recordings are made by accordionists Joe Falcon (in the Acadian style) and Amede Ardoin (in the black French Creole style); the latter is eventually known as zydeco.





2007 ESL Podcast English Cafe - Topics: Route 66, playground games for children, on time versus in time, counting seconds using Mississippi, to knock yourself out.

Girlscout Songs


Girlscout Songs 688 pages




1927--Victor Records' Ralph Peer goes to Bristol, Tennessee
and records 19 proto-country music artists in two weeks, discovering Jimmie Rodgers and The Carter Family.

1920-- The first blues recording by a black singer Mamie Smith and her Jazz Hounds record "Crazy Blues" for OKeh, triggering an enormous popular demand for blues recordings and "race" records.



Song archivist John Lomax publishes his first book, Cowboy Songs and Frontier Ballads, consisting of songs he gathered traveling through Texas, including "Home on the Range" page 39.



1902--The era of the flat disc recording begins when the Columbia and Victor companies arrive at 7-inch and 10-inch formats for the newly-designed records.

Listen to this collection of 78rpm records and cylinder recordings released in the early 20th century. These recordings were contributed to the Archive by users through the Open Source Audio collection.



1890 - Jesse Walter Fewkes records the Passamaquoddy Indians off the coast of Maine. This is the first field use of the newly-invented recording machine. SEE HYMES



Bit Torrent 1000 songs 1888 - 1919 popular ard rare: including use Azureus for torrents. Cindy 1923, Turkey in the Straw 1904, Molly Malone 1920, Pop Goes the Weasel 1902, Annie Laurie 1916, Old Dan Tucker 1910, Auld Lang Syne 1890, My old Kentucky Home 1918

1888 Internet Archive: Welcome to the Archive's audio and MP3 library. This library contains over a hundred thousand free digital recordings ranging from alternative news programming, to Grateful Dead concerts, to Old Time Radio shows, to book and poetry readings, to original music uploaded by our users. Many of these audios and MP3s are available for free download. The Lost Chord - Thomas Alva Edison

1536 - 1896 Musa Pedestris - Three Centuries of Canting Songs and Slang Rhymes by John S. Farmer

Hear The Golden Wedding Song - married 60 years.


Digitation Project Preparation This series of resource papers provides information to help guide you as you review and select collections for your digitization projects. The papers focus on issues to consider as you select, organize, handle and prepare collection items for conversion to digital formats.

Work Songs. By Ted Gioia. 2006. Durham: Duke University Press. 368
pages. ISBN: 978-0-8223-3726-3 (soft cover).

Reviewed by Maura Kealey, Independent Scholar
This is a wonderful book. Work Songs invites the reader into the best of two worlds -- serious theory and fun content. It is written in a clear and easy style, sprinkled here and there with verbal wit and passionate eloquence.
Gioia's study takes issue with two assumptions that have dominated our culture's approach to art and music. The first is the "separability principle," or the idea that art is (and should be) "useless," entirely divorced from ordinary life. The second is the principle of progress, or the belief that art evolves upward from one generation to the next. Work Songs rebuts both assumptions by exploring the history of the ways that music has "enchanted and transformed our everyday existence." Gioia suggests an alternative framework, a "'connectedness principle'. . .that all music creates linkages with our daily lived experiences, and that this is its greatest blessing for us."
The first part of the book is organized chronologically, following the evolution of work. It begins with evidence from the Lascaux caves that paintings were placed in hard-to-reach locations with the best acoustics, suggesting a role for music in the lives of pre-historic hunters. We then travel through the diverse worlds, and types of work song, of the cultivator, the herder, and the pre-industrial weaver. A pivotal chapter, "The New Rhythms of Work," introduces the central role of music after "the pulse of labor [no longer] mimicked the rhythms of nature." Clocks told time, and music -- church bells, drums, singers, trumpets -- conveyed the new order of life to workers.
Gioia's use of many diverse sources, such as historians' and travelers' accounts, becomes a dialogue with other folklorists and ethnomusicologists in a series of topical chapters on the work and music of sailors, lumberjacks, cowboys, miners, and prisoners. LomaxWe learn a lot about the journeys and collections of the Lomaxes, father and son, and their various folklore critics and admirers. For anyone who grew up listening to Tennessee Ernie Ford singing "16 Tons", the chapter "Take This Hammer!" is a fascinating historical-detective inquiry into competing claims about who John Henry really was, and the ambivalence of what his strength, and the hammer, meant. Nor is the labor movement forgotten -- music by the IWW's Joe Hill, as well as others whose songs served to inspire and unite masses of striking workers who did not speak the same languages, are placed in the musical tradition of utopian visionaries dating back to the early nineteenth century.
Gioia's definition of work songs is expansive -- it includes not only the anonymous "folk" songs sung by workers while working, but also music performed by workers off the job (factory towns with large brass bands), songs written by non-workers about work ("Take this Job and Shove It"), and commercial music played in the workplace -- from Muzak, engineered to enhance the modern rhythms of work, to auto workers insisting on their boom boxes, blaring rock and roll over the deafening noise of the assembly line.
This brief review hardly does justice to the intriguing philosophical debates about the nature of music and its role in human life that recur as the book moves through centuries of work and music. One example: the role of music as a "change agent." Gioia discusses the scientific research about how athletes achieve "peak performance" -- or the "flow state" of consciousness -- and shows how in many different work contexts and musical traditions, singing together can induce that "extraordinary effortlessness" of work.
The epilogue begins by quoting William Morris: "Art is man's expression of his joy in labor." The opposing view is Abraham Maslow's postulation that "self-actualization," the highest human need, is an atomized individual's responsiveness to his inner muse.

Gioia takes us back to the call-and-response of the classic work song to argue that achieving the highest human potential is not individual and isolating, but communal and connecting. "The work song, with its emphasis on community, its integration of individual efforts into a more powerful whole, and its focus on mastery over the immediate demands of the here and now, reminds us of a different set of attitudes to life and labor."