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Lyr Req: Dickie Dight, shine a light

GUEST,JTT 30 May 11 - 10:03 PM
MGM·Lion 31 May 11 - 05:29 AM
MartinRyan 31 May 11 - 05:42 AM
MGM·Lion 31 May 11 - 08:14 AM
Jim Dixon 02 Jun 11 - 08:21 PM
Valmai Goodyear 03 Jun 11 - 03:20 AM
GUEST,leeneia 03 Jun 11 - 11:29 AM
Jim Dixon 03 Jun 11 - 12:29 PM
GUEST 15 Mar 15 - 02:09 PM
GUEST 10 Jan 16 - 02:05 AM
GUEST 31 Oct 16 - 10:43 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Dickie Dight, shine a light
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 30 May 11 - 10:03 PM

In the 1956 film 23 Paces to Baker Street, the main character, an American, is hunting unsuccessfully for a kidnap gang, when it occurs to him to set a trap to bring them to him.

He mutters a tag, something like "Dickie Dight, shine a light, that we may come to you".

I'm wondering if this is from an English or American adventure poem or song, or perhaps a children's game. Does anyone know the origin?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dickie Dight, shine a light
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 31 May 11 - 05:29 AM

I don't know if any connection: but a family-jingle of my mother & her sister, when I or my cousins were displaying the untidily ill-dressed condition mentioned, was "Dicky Dicky Doubt, your shirt's hanging out".

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dickie Dight, shine a light
From: MartinRyan
Date: 31 May 11 - 05:42 AM

I recall

Dicky Dicky Doubt with your shirt hanging out
Five yards in and five yards out...


- but I doubt if it's connected with the original question.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dickie Dight, shine a light
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 31 May 11 - 08:14 AM

Not too sure about that, Martin. I suspect that the two gentlemen with the same forename and identical first & last consonants of surname might well have shared some common ancestor.

Regards 2U2

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dickie Dight, shine a light
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 08:21 PM

From About My Father's Business by Lillian Beckwith (London: Hutchinson, 1971), page 117:
"Later we might attach ourselves to a band of children to play the special winter evening games for which darkness was essential: 'Dicky-Dicky-shine-a-light' when one group of children with a lighted candle in a perforated cocoa tin were hunted by another group, or we might indulge in a mild form of 'Dare and Do'...."
From No Friend of Mine by Ann Turnbull (Cambridge, MA : Candlewick Press, ©1994), page 86:
They took turns hiding in the woods, playing Dicky-shine-a-light and ghosts.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dickie Dight, shine a light
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 03 Jun 11 - 03:20 AM

Bob Copper mentions a version of the game in one of his books about growing up in rural Sussex. It was played in the dark on the Downs. The child who was It had to strike a light from a downland flint in response to the call 'Dicky Dyke, strike a light' in order to give the chasers a clue where he was.

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dickie Dight, shine a light
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 03 Jun 11 - 11:29 AM

Thanks, Jim and Valmai for explaining this charming bit of folklore.

But I must admit I wouldn't want my kids playing with a candle, whether it was in a cocoa tin or not.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dickie Dight, shine a light
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 Jun 11 - 12:29 PM

I suppose I could have found this earlier if I had thought of another synonym for "shine."

From The Modern Playmate: A Book of Games, Sports and Diversions for Boys [sic] of All Ages by John George Wood (London: Frederick Warne and Co., 1875), page 10:

DICKY, SHOW A LIGHT.

This game can only be played on a tolerably dark night, and is a kind of combination of "Hare and Hounds" and "I Spy" in the dark.

One or two players, armed with a policeman's dark lantern, undertake the part of "Dicky," and start off to conceal themselves, while the rest, also with a lantern, after allowing a few minutes' law, proceed in search of them.

When the Dicky is ready, he flashes his light in the direction of the searchers and "makes tracks," while the searchers come after him in full cry. If they are at fault they may cry, "Dicky, Dicky, show a light," when he is bound, unless dangerously near, to flash his light; so that, if they see the light, they get a fresh start; if not, they know that they are close upon him.

A good Dicky, however, will scarcely ever give them an opportunity of doing this, but will lead them, especially if he knows the country thoroughly as he ought, a regular will-o'-the-wisp dance, through hedges, over ditches, and into quagmires, without ever allowing them to catch him; flashing his light, now far, now near, now here, now there; disappearing for a moment in one direction, and flashing out again suddenly in a totally different quarter; ever leading them on, but always keeping a wary distance; or, most annoying of all, allowing them to come nearly up with him, only to find themselves brought up by some impassable obstacle—a deep river, for instance, with the Dicky laughing at them from the other side.

The Dicky has many advantages over his pursuers, amongst which not the least is his knowledge of their movements, while they are ignorant of his: this, as it makes mere avoidance so easy, renders it desirable to fix beforehand some not very extended boundaries within which the game shall be played; otherwise, with any very considerable area of operations, the pursuers might "whistle" for their Dicky.

A Dicky when hard pressed will sometimes effect his escape by turning sharp upon his pursuers and blazing his bull's-eye in their faces; before they have time to recover from their surprise, the Dicky is off into the surrounding darkness, and may contrive, if favoured by the ground, to be non est by the time their eyes have got over the sudden glare.

Whatever time of year the game be played, all the players should be warmly clad, and the Dicky should be especially careful when hiding not to lie down on the damp ground, however dry he may believe it to be: the game, however great may be its attractions, is not worth the risk of a bad cold, much less of rheumatism or a chest complaint.

There should not be too much standing about, either, when heated with running: the same liberties, it must be remembered, cannot be taken in the night as in the day-time.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dickie Dight, shine a light
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Mar 15 - 02:09 PM

My mother played this game in Sussex in the 1930s, her father farmed on what is now Gatwick Airport, one person would use a torch to flash a light and the rest of the children had to catch them. They called "Dicky Dicky Dike show us your light". They played at night in the fields.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dickie Dight, shine a light
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 16 - 02:05 AM

My dad who was from Exeter, Uk and born in 1923 played a game with his friends when he was around 10 yrs old called Dickie Dyke shine your light.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dickie Dight, shine a light
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Oct 16 - 10:43 AM

Van Johnson sings "Dickie Dight shine a light or else the dogs can't follow!" I am watching "23 Paces to Baker Street" right now!


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