Monday, November 10, 2014

The Counting-Out Rhymes of Children

Henry Carrington Bolton - The Counting-Out Rhymes of Children: Their Antiquity, Origin and Wide Distribution: A Study in Folk-Lore (1888)

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From the author who last post described the early development of the thermometer we now have something completely different.  Bolton was a chemist by both training and profession but also dabbled in folk lore.  This short book is one of those wonderful late 19th century compilations of assorted material from around the world, done often in the belief that all cultures are the same they just express themselves differently.  So this look at children's rhymes runs from New York state to Germany to Hawaii to Madagascar, taking time along the way to look in on the Pilgrims, ancient Greeks, necromancers and even a rumor about one rhyme coming from the Druids.  The last half of the book has the rhymes in the original languages.