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By Nick Cox 

Ring Game 

In my young days, first half of the sixties, I recall that we were the fortunate one in the neighborhood to have a radio.  The Beatles, Peter, Paul and Mary and the like are what I recall hearing.  As school days began in the latter half of the sixties, cultural (local) music began to be a part of my life.  The ring games, both those approved by the teachers and those scorned were of great interest.  They were mainly mating games.  I think they played an integral part in moulding the minds of the future adults. 

Official class ring game:  On person is picked as "It" and stands in the middle of the ring.  The ring is formed by all classmates holding hands.  Alternate bous and girls. 

It:        In a fine castle (Well Carriacou still have none)
   Do you hear my CeeCee Oh? (What on earth is a CCO)
       I love one of them.
  Which is the one do you love?
       I love Mary. 
(If brave you name the one you dote)
:   What will you give to her?
       I will give her a diamond ring.
(Well that was a real fantasy for me
               thinking that diamond was a metal like gold.  Other more realistic
               offerings included, "Plate of Coocoo, Rice and peas etc. 
              Food was the most popular)

Ring:   Go away Mary.  Go and take your Diamond ring.
            Go and join your Cee Cee band. 

Mary will now be "It"

 Moonlight Game 

Now on a moonlight night maybe during August holidays we played games like Coop. I do not have to explain that one unless explanation is requested.  Can anyone remember the process of selecting the "Ketcherman?" 

The popular ring game was: 

Under the cabin we shall be, 
("It" is crouching like a sleeping bird in the center of the ring)
Like a blackbird in the air.
Rise and stand up on your feet
("It" rises to his/her feet)
and show me the one you love the best. 
(It goes close to and faces the one he/she likes)
Oh sally's going to marry, I wish you well.
First the boy, second the girl
(everyone points at the one "It" chose)
Seven days after seven days ago
Oh roll oh roll.
Oh Whirl her to the left and to the right
To the left and to the right.

(The couple hold hands and swing them left and right)
Whirl her to the left and to the right
and give her a kiss and send her away.
(Only the very brave executed on this.)
Oh roll. Oh roll. (The gyration of the couple begins)
Oh roll you bamby gyal roll you bamby gyal
(And the signature Juke!) 

I know that all that winding in T&T carnival was invented in Carriacou.  Kayac girls learn to wind in ring games, big drum etc., but they do not flaunt their colours) 

Anyway, I am looking to make more sense than the obvious from the lyrics, especially as I intend to record them sometime soon.)  The lyrics are just the way I heard them as a boy.  Not making complete sense, but not daring to question topics of that nature.  Pity I have no means of sharing the melody at this point.

Miss Mary 

Miss Mary Plant, plant, plant
Ah basket ah yam, yam, yam
And when e grow, grow, grow
She go gimme some, some, some.
Aha aha ha ha.
You make me laugh, laugh, laugh.
And when ah laugh, laugh, laugh
Me waiste go shake, shake, shake.

(This one is the origin of wind and go down)
Ah went dow Princess Village
A meet ah lady stooping.
Ah ask ahr ah simple question,
She gimme ah forward answer.
Go down my lady. Go down
Go down like a bunch ah roses.
Come up my lady.  Come up.
Come up like ah bunch ah roses.

 (The origin of shake and tremble.  Shiver)
Ini mini moe
Diamond ah shiver and ah front she so
Diamond ah shiver and ah back she so
Diamond ah shiver and ah side she so
Diamond ah shiver and ah side she so
Diamond ah shiver and ah hold she so
Diamond ah shiver and ah let she go.

(Some serious winding went on.  The boys, being more shy, performed mostly at
night.  Their own turf)

This poem is used to determine the one who passed the stink wind.  

Doctor Noble went to town 
To buy a bottle of Ink. 
Ink stink.  Pudd'n stink. 

Pinta Pinta Poof.


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