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Sunday

some Jamaican ring games

If you know how any of these rings games are played please provide the instructions below. Also if there are some folk songs or rings games I have left out, please feel free to list that as well. I have compiled a list of 22 ring games, my favorite being "bruk rock stone. I will provide the lyrics and instructions for this game after I supply my list.

As I find the Jmaiacan versions will try to add videos. However most of these ring games are found on youtube.

1-"Bruk Rock Stone

2- Jackie yuh knee can ben

3-Around the basket

4-Pass the Ball

5-Esua and Jacob

6-I bought a house upon a hill

7-All body clap

8-Farmer ring the dell

9-in groups of

10-on the bank or in the river

11- Football- shouting match- pass the ball-freekick Shift Penalty-goal

12- Punchinella

13-Johnny was a miller

14-yes Balinda

15-There is a brown girl in the ring

16-here come nancy oon her pony

17-blue bird blue bird in and out the window

18- london bridge is falling down

19-musical chairs

20-If ah lose, if a lose I don't care

21-those who born in January skip around

22-arms house

23- Brown girl in the ring

24-Dog n Bone



lyrics - Bruk Rockstone


Go dung a Manuel Road Gal an Bway
fi guh bruk rock stone 
Bruk dem one by one gal and bway
bruk dem two by two gal and bway 
bruk dem tree by tree gal and bway
bruk dem four by four gal and bway....ect
finger mash nuh cry gal and bway
memba a play we deh play

rept whole song

instructions
a ring is formed on the ground by kneeling children each having a rock before them. As they game begins a certain tempo is maintained and  each child takes the rock before them and pass it to the left of him/her, to the person closest. The game and count continues,"

Bruk dem one by one gal and bway
bruk dem two by two gal and bway 
bruk dem tree by tree gal and bway
bruk dem four by four gal and bway....ect

until either someone  loses rhythm and gets more than one stone pilled before them or gets their fingers smashed, in which case the last part of the song would kick in 

"finger mash nuh cry gal and bway memba a play we deh play" 

the song and game would reset after the party who lost rhythm or was mashed was dismissed. Until one only person would be left and this would be the winner.

To end the game quickly sometimes the tempo was fluctuated to ensure there would be losers. 

2- lyrics...Jackie yuh knee cah ben
Jackie yuh knee cah ben!
Ben like how mi deh ben turn like how mi deh turn jook like how mi deh jook (rept)

Rules

Similar to brown girl in the ring. There is a person in the ring and they are dancing to the rhythymn of the clapping a singing ring. Once the second line is reached in the song, the person in the ring starts to dance and the ring imitates him/her. once the verse is complete another person runs intot he ring.

they do they same until the whole rings gets a turn. (depending the size of the ring everyone may not get a chance before the game becomes boring and the leader changes the game.

23 -lyrics-Brown Girl in the Ring
    There's a Brown girl in the ring
    Tra la la la la
    There's a brown girl in the ring
    Tra la la la la la
    Brown girl in the ring
    Tra la la la la
    She looks like a sugar in a plum
    Plum plum
    Then she skips and takes a partner 
      Tra la la la la la
      Then she skips and takes a partner
      Tra la la la la la
      Then she skips and takes a partner
      Tra la la la la
      She looks like a sugar in a plum
      Plum plum
    Show me your motion
    Tra la la la la
    Come on show me your motion
    Tra la la la la la
    Show me your motion
    Tra la la la la
    She looks like a sugar in a plum
    Plum plum
Rules
A standing ring is formed and those around the ring sing the lyrics. Similar to Punchinella girl in the ring. There is a person in the ring and they are dancing to the rhythm of the clapping a singing ring. Once the second line is reached in the song, the person in the ring starts to dance and the ring imitates him/her. once the verse is complete another person runs into the ring.

they do they same until the whole rings gets a turn. (depending the size of the ring everyone may not get a chance before the game becomes boring and the leader changes the game.

4 -lyrics-Pass the Ball

Pass the Ball and the ball gone round 
man yuh neva know seh di ball gone roun'

Pass the Ball and the ball gone round 
man yuh neva know seh di ball gone roun'

ah drill him boy drill him and drill him bway drill him
ah drill him boy drill him and drill him bway drill him

Rules
A standing ring is formed and those around the ring sing the lyrics. The participants in the ring, stand close and shoulder to shoulder with their hands behind them as a ball is passed around. The person in the ring observes the ring while the first part of the is song is sang. When the second part is reached the person in the ring bores into the ring to try and find the ball.

Whenever a person is caught with the ball, they replace the person in the ring. 

18 comments:

  1. I found this website that has some of the lyrics to the ring games mentioned. it is

    http://www.cocojams.com/content/caribbean-folk-songs

    Check it out.

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  2. I did not see you list this one, so here is Rocking Robbins hand game
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1sGAd9ea3A&app=desktop

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  3. Mama-Lashy!...not really a ring game...but a game children use to play alot....it generally started out with these lines...

    A:Children! Children!
    B: Yes mama
    A: where have you been to
    B:To granpapa
    A:what did he give you
    B:bun and cheese
    A: so where's my share
    B:up in the air
    A:how can I reach it?
    B:climb on a broken chair
    A:suppose I fall
    B:we don't care
    A:who teach you that manners?
    B:the dog
    A:and who is the dog
    B:yuh!!

    At this point children (part-B) would start running and mama (part-A) would start chasing them.

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  4. Hi Kerrol. Nice blog. I suggest, however, that you make the background a lighter colour than dark green because it is hard to read the content against the green.
    Keep up the good work.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your feedback! Could you be a little more specific. I was trying to keep a Jamaican colored theme though (Black green and gold-if you get my drift).

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    2. Hi Miss Crawford how are? I am doing a movement anthology and as I was searching I come up on your name. Its one Of your loving students From CTC.

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  5. I also remember playing "Bull in a Pen".

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  6. Ah yes! Bull in a pen, rabbit in a hut and stucky...how could I forget!?

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  7. can some one please remind me how Yes Balinda plays? doing characterization with my grade seven children and want to use it to get them in the mood

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    Replies
    1. The game is played with the ring (R) responding to things the (RL) says with "Yes Balinda!"

      (RL) Skipping in the ring
      (R) "Yes Balinda!"
      (RL) Skipping in the ring
      (R)"Yes Balinda!"
      (RL) Choose the girl/boy you love
      (R)"Yes Balinda!"
      (RL) Choose the girl/boy you love
      (R)"Yes Balinda!"
      (RL) Bring her/him come to judge
      (R)"Yes Balinda!"
      (RL) Bring her/him come to judge
      (R)"Yes Balinda!"
      (RL) Is this the boy/girl you love?
      (R)"Yes Balinda!"

      Usually (RL) dishes out insults and (R) responds with yes balinda. The (RL) can say kick him/her out the ring or keep her/him in the ring and then the song begins again.
      (RL) Skipping in the ring
      (R) "Yes Balinda!"
      (RL) Skipping in the ring
      (R)"Yes Balinda!"

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  9. This blog is pretty useful, however the lyrics for these games would be a plus.
    keep up the good work, best one i have seen.

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  10. very helpful. but more actual word or lyrics of the games and songs could have been made visible to the site. because persons tend to forget what the actual words of the tune are.

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  11. Is there one for which you want the lyrics...typing them all in can be very time consuming...maybe I'll start a wiki....with the lyrics...

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  12. I love what you are doing here. I am no longer in JA so I have not seen or heard some of these games for centuries. Can someone help me with the rhythm for pass the ball? My sixteen year old wants to teach it to her youth group.

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  13. Greetings!

    I found this interesting blog post after watching this video on traditional Jamaican dances: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOux_Y6tFgU&t=4s

    As an African American collector of children's rhymes and game songs, I'm particularly interested in the ring game that is shown from 12:07-14:03 in that video.

    Do you or any of your readers recognize that game? If so, what is the name of that ring game and what are the words that the girls are singing?

    Btw, an African American teacher in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where I lived shared a different version of the "Children Children" game that was given above by October 13, 2014 at 6:29 PM. I don't know where she got it from, but it's possible she is of some Jamaican descent. I can add the words here if you request them.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Anonymous January 15, 2013 at 5:40 AM mentioned the website cocojams as a source for Caribbean ring games lyrics. I founded/curated that website but discontinued it in 2015. Some of the content can be found on my pancocojams blog, including a post on "Brown Girl In The Ring".

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