Thanks to London Sound Survey and BBC Worldwide for posting these lovely recordings of children’s singing games in Britain.
ON A DOUBLE-SIDED transcription disc (BBC catalogue number 873132) are four tracks. Three are from Millwall in east London and the fourth is from Wandsworth. The Millwall tracks reproduced here were all recorded on 17 June 1938.
First, a girl explains what happens when The Muffin Man is sung.
The second track records the children singing and playing Dusty Bluebells.
The final Millwall recording is of Lucy Locket, which involves a mixture of turn-taking and scramble competition to a song using the same tune as Yankee Doodle Dandy.
Read more and listen to these tracks at; www.soundsurvey.org.uk/index.php/survey/radio_recordings/1930s/1557/
CHILDREN’S SINGING GAME WANDSWORTH 1938
Additionally a recording made at Heathcote School, Wandsworth in the June of 1938. Pre-war Wandsworth was a predominantly working-class district and, judging by the children’s accents, the school’s make-up reflected that.