Mudcat Café message #2121304 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #103866   Message #2121304
Posted By: Azizi
07-Aug-07 - 09:54 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: Tag (the game)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Tag
The way that I played Hide & Go Seek and the way I've seen Black children play this game in the Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania area differs from the way it's documented being played by southern African American children in books like Bessie Jones & Bess Lomax-Hawes Step It Down and Linda Gossett's Talk That Talk.

The rhyme composition "All Hid" is an example of how rhymes were strung together to give the children playing this game time to hid. In this chant, the reciter combined Mother Goose rhymes and rhymes from African American secular slave songs such as "Juba this Juba that". Periodically in his {or her} recitation of standardized rhymes, the reciter would ask the other children if they were all hid, and the children would respond by saying that same phrase {though I wonder if early on the children said No, we're not all hid".

Here's that rhyme.

ALL HID

Call:
Last night
Night before
Twenty-five blackbirds
at my door.
I got up
Let 'em in
Hit 'em in the head
With a rolling pin.
All hid!

Response:
All hid!

Call:
All hid!

Response:
All hid!

All:
5, 10, 15, 20, all hid, hid

Call:
25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, all hid.

Response:
All hid!

Call:
All hid!

Response:
All hid!

All:
5, 10, 15, 20, all hid, hid

Call:
65, 70, 75, 80,85, 90, 95, 100 all hid.

Response:
All hid

All:
5, 10, 15, 20, all hid, hid

Call:
Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jump over the
candlestick. Little boy blue, come blow your horn, sheep in the
meadow, cows in the corn.Tom, Tom the piper's son, stole a pig and away he run. Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater, had a wife but couldn't keep her. Juba this and Juba that, Juba stole a yellow cat.
I spy in pocketful of rye, how many blackbirds in my pie?
All hid!

Response:
All hid

All:
5, 10, 15, 20, all hid, all hid

-snip-

Unfortunately, my copy of Step It Down and my copy of Talk That Talk are hiding from me. Therefore, I can't cite the page number or publishers. I seem to recall that the Linda Gossett's book quoted Bessie Jones' recollection of this chant from her African American Gullah heritage.