Charley Over the Water
DESCRIPTION: Singing game, with a child in the center who tries to catch those who dance in a ring around him. "Charley over the water, Charley over the sea, Charlie catch a blackbird, Can't catch me."
EARLIEST DATE: 1903 (Newell)
KEYWORDS: playparty bird
FOUND IN: US(MA)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Newell, #121, "Charley Over the Water" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES: The children in this game surely did not connect this with Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite Rebellions. But I think it interesting that the bird Charley catches is a blackbird, sometimes used as a symbol for Jacobitism. I don't know of British versions of this, but it might be derived from something which originated in Scotland. - RBW
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