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Q: English school song of 1940's ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: English school song of 1940's
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: researcher225-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 22 Feb 2005 14:02 PST
Expires: 24 Mar 2005 14:02 PST
Question ID: 478915
I went to a one-room private school in the village of Long Whatton,
Leicestershire, England from 1943 to 1948.  My 2 brothers and my
sister, older than I was, also went to this school.  We sang a strange
song and I am wondering if anyone else has heard of it and knows its
origins.  The
1st verse:  "He tossed the ball so high, so high, He tossed the ball
so low;  He tossed the ball right over the wall;  And the Jews were
all below"  This was not sung in a derogatory fashion.  My father
asked the school mistress if the word really was "Jews" and I believe
was assured that it was.  I remember fragments of the 2nd verse:  "The
Jew's young daughter then up got;  All;  She tossed
the ball back over the wall;.....................   Does anyone know
anything about this song?  We also played "circle" games in the
playground.  One person would be detailed to run round the back of the
circle while everyone chanted "I wrote a letter to my love, And on the
way I lost it.  Someone must have picked it up and put it in their
pocket"  Another similar chant was "First the farmer sows the
seed..........."  I forget the rest.  Does anyone know how these games
were played and if they were popular playground games from any era? 
The school was somewhat old-fashioned.
Subject: Re: English school song of 1940's
Answered By: thx1138-ga on 22 Feb 2005 16:39 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello researcher225 and thank you for you question.

I also went to an "old style" private school in England (although some
30 years after you!) here is the song you remember. It is called "Sir
Hugh, or the Jew?s Daughter" and I post here the last few verses that
you remember.  For the full version, click on the link below the
quotations. (It is near the bottom of the page and dates back to 1255)

"155[U].1	You toss your ball so high,
	 You toss your ball so low,
	 You toss your ball into the Jew?s garden,
	 Where the pretty flowers grow.
155[U.2]	Out came one of the Jew?s daughters,
	 Dressed all in green:
	 ?Come hither, pretty little dear,
	 And fetch your ball again.?
155[U.3]	She showed him a rosy-cheeked apple,
	 She showed him a gay gold ring,
	 She showed him a cherry as red as blood,
	 And that enticed him in.
155[U.4]	She set him in a golden chair,
	 She gave him kisses sweet,
	 She threw him down a darksome well,
	 More than fifty feet deep."

And yes, the story is very old!

"SIR HUGH; OR, THE JEW?S DAUGHTER: CESPB 155 (Percy?s Reliques, 1765;
but it may be as old as Chaucer?s ?The Prioresse?s Tale,? 14th c.,
which it closely resembles, and the basic story goes back to the 12th
c.); SEFSA I.222-229 (te. and tu.); BCNCF II.155-160, IV 82-83
(music); HCF (tape); NCF VII.l.35.

This tells the old story, going back to the year 1255, of how wicked
Jews (or a Jewess) killed a little Christian boy. In the North
Carolina versions the little boy is playing ball, and the ball is
accidentally tossed into the Jew?s garden. The Jew?s daughter entices
him in and kills him, in what is evidently a ritual murder (?stabbed
his little heart in?), and throws the body ?into the cellar below? or
?a deep dark well.? The dying boy (or in some versions the revenant of
the boy) gives directions for burying his body, with Bible at his head
and prayer book at his feet, The miracle of Our Lady in Chaucer and in
some of the English versions of the ballad, is not preserved in the
North Carolina versions. Needless to say, the story is a piece of
cruel anti-semitism, as Child eloquently pointed out nearly a hundred
years ago. In some versions the Jew or Jewess has disappeared
altogether and become ?the jeweler?s daughter"

Also see:

"Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln: 
Murder or Accident? 
July 27th is the feast day of a little known saint, a mere boy whose
death in 1255 was shrouded in mystery and made him a Christian martyr"

This ballad is available on "Classic Ballads Of Britain& Ireland Vol. 2" $13.51

"Jew`s Daughter, The (Sir Hugh)"


With regard to the verse "I wrote a letter to my love, And on the way
I lost it.  Someone must have picked it up and put it in their pocket"

Again, click on the link below the verse, and when the webpage comes
up click on the graphic to hear the tune.

"A Tisket, A Tasket,
A green and yellow basket.
I wrote a letter to my love,
But on the way I dropped it.
I dropped it, I dropped it,
And, on the way I dropped it.
A little boy picked it up,
And put it in his pocket"


And lastly , "First the farmer sows the seed" 
The full version:

"Oats and beans and barley grow

Oats and beans and barley grow
Oats and beans and barley grow
But not you, nor I, nor anyone know
How oats and beans and barley grow"

The "Oats and beans and barley grow" Are remembered here by a pupil from the 1920`s

"My Recollections of St James's School (1922-29)" 
"We had no hall in the school so P E as we know it now was unheard of.
If the weather was fine and the teacher felt inclined we would be
taken into the yard for drill. We would stand in rows and all perform
exercises together on the teacher?s instructions. Sometimes we would
play singing and action games. One I remember was:
Oats and beans and barley o
Oats and beans and barley o
You and I and all of us know
How oats and beans and barley grow
First the farmer sows the seed
Then he stands and takes his ease
Stamps his feet and claps his hands
And turns him round to view the land"


Thank you for your question, and if you need any clarification of my
answer, do not hesitate to ask prior to rating my answer.

Very best regards


Search strategy included:
"Jew?s Daughter" hugh
researcher225-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
This was an excellent answer to my three-part question.  I was
provided with a lot of information on my main question - the school
song.  The links I was given made fascinating reading.  Thank you

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