The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #110753   Message #2501748
Posted By: GUEST,FransDotir
25-Nov-08 - 10:01 PM
Thread Name: kids' game: I'm goin' down town to smoke my pipe
Subject: RE: 'I'm goin' down town to smoke my pipe,
We also played this game in Detroit in the 1940s, but before the internet I could never find anyone outside my old neighborhood who had heard of it. About 12 or 13 years ago I joined a storytelling listserve and we had a discussion about the game. A query produced versions from all over the country. Someone mentioned that a part of the game resembled the children's book, Heckedy Peg by Audrey and Don Wood. Someone else suggested Games and Songs of American Children by William Wells Newell, an anthropological account of children's games first published in 1893 and reprinted by Dover Press. Newell lists the game as a version of "The Old Witch" and traces it back to 17th century Europe. Heckedy Peg is a beautifully illustrated story based on one version of the game - well worth looking at.
I now tell kids about the game we played growing up and then tell them the story of Heckedy Peg. They love it!