Welsh Children’s Games

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Welsh Children’s Games

The most famous Welsh game of all time is “Oranges & Lemons.” Played throughout the UK, children sing a rhyming song called “Oranges & Lemons” and play a game along with it. The song goes like this:

Oranges and lemons, 
Say the bells of St. Clement’s.
 You owe me five farthings; 
Say the bells of St. Martin’s.

When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.

When I grow rich, 
Say the bells of Shoreditch.

When will that be? 
Say the bells of Stepney. 

I do not know, 
Says the great bell of Bow. 

Here comes a candle to light you to bed, 
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head

To play the game two people make an arc with their hands and all the other children file through the arc repeatedly until the end of the rhyme. The person who is under the arc when “chop off your head” is sung is “captured” and eliminated from the game. The last player eliminated wins.

Another popular game is called “Conkers.” Two players each have “conker” which is a hazelnut with a hole in the middle. A string is pulled through the conker’s hole. Players take turns striking their conker against the other player’s until one breaks. If your conker breaks last you win!

Song is a very important part of Welsh culture, and many Welsh children sing nursery rhymes. Some like “Inkie Pinkie Parlez Vous” have become famous throughout the UK. Children also sing songs and rhymes while skipping rope, like “Bobby Shaftoe” and “Mabel Mabel.”

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