Gathering Nuts in May

DESCRIPTION: "Here we go gathering nuts in May, nuts in May, nuts in May, Here we go gathering... On a bright and pretty day." "Who will you have for your nuts in May?" "We'll have (a boy) for the nuts in May." A girl will "pull him across." Repeat for each player
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1881 (Carrington)
KEYWORDS: playparty courting harvest nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond,South),Scotland(Aber)) US(Ap,MW,NE,So) Canada(Ont) West Indies(Jamaica) New Zealand
REFERENCES (15 citations):
Greig/Duncan8 1599, "Here We Come Gathering Nuts in May" (3 texts)
Greig-FolkSongInBuchan-FolkSongOfTheNorthEast #152, p. 1, "Nuts in May" (1 text)
Randolph 561, "Gathering Nuts in May" (2 texts, 1 tune, although the second, fragmentary, text may be unrelated)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5, pp. 520-521, "Nuts in May" (1 short text, 1 tune)
Linscott-FolkSongsOfOldNewEngland, pp. 16-18, "Here We Go Gathering Nuts in May" (1 text, 1 tune)
Opie/Opie-TheSingingGame 64, "Nuts in May" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Bush-FSofCentralWestVirginiaVol1, p. 25, "Grapes in May" (1 text, 1 tune)
Newell-GamesAndSongsOfAmericanChildren, #26, "Here We Come Gathering Nuts in May" (1 text); #166, "Knots of May" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sutton-Smith-NZ-GamesOfNewZealandChilden/FolkgamesOfChildren, pp. 36-37, "(Here we go gathering nuts and may, nuts and may, nuts and may)" (1 text)
Dolby-OrangesAndLemons, p 125, "Here We Go Gathering Nuts in May" (1 text)
JournalOfAmericanFolklore, W. J. Wintemberg, "Folk-Lore Collected in Toronto and Vicinity," Vol. XXXI, No. 120 (Apr 1918), #66 p. 132 "Nuts in May" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Evelyn Carrington, "Singing Games" in [Relics of Popular Antiquities, &c.] The Folk-Lore Record (London, 1881 ("Digitized by Google")), Vol. III Part II, #3 p. 170, "Nuts in May" ["Bocking, in Essex"] (1 text)
Sarah Hewett, The Peasant Speech of Devon (London, 1892 (2nd edition, "Digitized by Google")), p. 41, "Nuts in May" (1 text)
Martha Warren Beckwith and Helen Roberts, _Folk-Games of Jamaica_ (Poughkeepsie: Vassar College, 1922 ("Digitized by Internet Archive")) #39 pp. 49-50, "Nuts in May" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #6308
Tony Wales, "Four Children's Singing Games (Nuts in May)" (on TWales1)
cf. "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" (tune) and references there
NOTES [46 words]: Linscott-FolkSongsOfOldNewEngland explains, "This is certainly a dance survival from the May Day destivals of olden days.... The words are a corruption from 'knots of may,' the game is of English origin, and the tune a variant of the country dance melody 'Nancy Dawson.'" - RBW
Last updated in version 6.3
File: R561

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