★ The Bramble-bush Story:
A ring-dance imitation-play, the metrical portion of which is not without a little melody. The bramble-bush is often imaginative, but sometimes represented by a child in the centre of the ring. All join hands, and dance round in a circle, singing,–
Here we go round the bramble-bush, –The bramble-bush, the bramble-bush: Here we go round the bramble-bush On a cold frosty morning!
After the chanting of this verse is ended, all the children commence an imitation of washing clothes, making appropriate movements with their hands, and saying,–
This is the way we wash our clothes, –Wash our clothes, wash our clothes: This is the way we wash our clothes On a cold frosty morning!
They then dance round, repeating the first stanza, after which the operation of drying the clothes is commenced with a similar verse, “This is the way we dry our clothes,” &c. The game may be continued almost ad infinitum by increasing the number of duties to be performed. They are, however, generally satisfied with mangling, smoothing or ironing, the clothes, and then putting them away. Sometimes they conclude with a general cleaning, which may well be necessary after the large quantity of work that has been done:
This is the way we clean our rooms, –Clean our rooms, clean our rooms: This is the way we clean our rooms On a cold frosty morning!
And like good merry washing-women, they are not exhausted with their labours, but conclude with the song, “Here we go round the bramble-bush,” having had sufficient exercise to warm themselves on any “cold frosty morning,” which was doubtlessly the result, we may observe en passant, as a matter of domestic economy, aimed at by the author. It is not so easy to give a similar explanation to the game of the mulberry-bush, conducted in the same manner:
Here we go round the mulberry-bush, –The mulberry-bush, the mulberry-bush: Here we go round the mulberry-bush On a sunshiny morning.
In this game, the motion-cries are usually “This is the way we wash our clothes,” “This is the way we dry our clothes,” “This is the way we make our shoes,” “This is the way we mend our shoes,” “This is the way the gentlemen walk,” “This is the way the ladies walk,” &c. As in other cases, the dance may be continued by the addition of cries and motions, which may be rendered pretty and characteristic in the hands of judicious actors. This game, however, requires too much exercise to render it so appropriate to the season as the other.
★ Checkout this story aswell :
The Three Hermits