There's a Brown Girl in the Ring
DESCRIPTION: "Theres a (brown girl or black boy) in a ring, (she/he) likes sugar and I like plum)." Dance instruction, like "stand and face your partner, wheel and turn your partner" or "skip across the ocean: show me your motion"
EARLIEST DATE: 1907 (Jekyll)
KEYWORDS: dancing nonballad playparty
FOUND IN: West Indies(Jamaica)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Jekyll 19, "Annancy and the Screech-Owl" ("There's a blind boy in the ring"); Jekyll 109, ("There's a black boy in a ring") (2 texts, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Olive Lewin, "Rock It Come Over" - The Folk Music of Jamaica (Barbados: The University of the West Indies Press, 2000), pp. 71-72, "Brown Girl in the Ring" (1 text,) (1 tune)
Martha Warren Beckwith and Helen Roberts, _Folk-Games of Jamaica_ (Poughkeepsie: Vassar College, 1922 ("Digitized by Internet Archive")) #64 pp. 74-75, "There's a Brown Girl in the Ring" (2 texts, 1 tune)
NOTES: Lewin describes the game. A player in the middle of the ring, with a partner, is told by the partner how to perform, and the others on the ring follow her motion. Then the partner moves to the middle and a new girl becomes the caller.
The Jekyll texts show how a game song can be made part of an Anansi story. In this case the "brown girl" or "black boy" is replaced by a "blind boy" -- specifically Screech Owl blinded by daylight -- tricked by Annancy into staying awake till day so that he can easily be killed. - BS
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