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Choreographed Games Oats Peas Beans

( Choreographed, Circle and Breakthrough, Command and Response, Dancing, Singing and Song )

Oats peas beans and barley grows
Oats peas beans and barley grows.
Nor you nor I nor nobody knows
How oats peas beans and barley grows.

Thus the farmer sows his seed
Thus he stands and takes his ease
Stamps his foot and claps his hands
And turns around to view his lands.

A-waiting for a partner
A-waiting for a partner
So open the ring and choose one in
Make haste and choose your partner.

Now youre married you must obey.
You must be true to all you say.
You must be kind you must be good
And keep your wife in kindling wood.

The players form a ring clasping hands and circle about one of their number who has been chosen to stand in the center. They all sing the first four lines when they drop hands and each player goes through the motions indicated by the words sowing the seed with a broad sweep of the arm as though scattering seed from the hand standing erect and folding the arms stamping the foot clapping the hands and at the end of the verse turning entirely around. They then clasp hands again and circle entirely around singing —

Waiting for a partner
Waiting for a partner

standing still for the last two lines —

So open the ring
And choose one in.

On these words the one in the center chooses one from the circle as a partner. The player who was first in the center then returns to the circle and the one chosen as partner remains in the center while the game is repeated.

If large numbers are playing four players may stand in the center instead of one and in that case of course four partners will be chosen. This form of playing the game has traditional sanction and at the same time adapts itself nicely to the large numbers that often have to be provided for under modern conditions of playing.

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