Mudcat Café message #1268103 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #4300   Message #1268103
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
09-Sep-04 - 08:55 PM
Thread Name: Children's Street Songs
Subject: RE: Children's Street Songs
There is a lot of documentation on "Water, Water, Wallflowers 2" in the DT. This game has a long history in the UK and Ireland. Usually it is catalogued under the title "Down She Comes As White As Milk."
In the United States, Newell published this version from New York, in 1883, with music:

Water, water, wild flowers, growing up so high;
We are all young ladies,
And we are sure to die,
Excepting Susie Allen.
She is the finest flower,
Fie, fie, fie for shame;
Turn about and tell your beau's name.
(The girl complying, the ballad proceeds-)

Mister Nobody is a nice young man,
He comes to the door with his hat in his hand.

Down he comes, all dressed in silk,
A rose in her bosom, as white as milk.

She takes off her gloves, she shows me her ring,
Tomorrow, tomorrow, the wedding begins.

Newell, W. W., 1883 (1963, Dover), Games and Songs of American Children, No. 12, pp. 67-68.
Newell commented: "This round is remarkable for being introduced, wherever it occurs, by a stanza with a different melody, whereby the ballad is turned into a game. By this introduction the hero and heroine of the action are selected.
""Little Sally Waters," or "Uncle John," having been first played, the round proceeds about the couple standing in the ring:" At this point, Newell introduces a version of "white as milk" that was played in Massachusetts "before 1800."

See comments and "Water-Flower" version, posted by Azizi, thread 6108:
Wade in the Water