Brown Girl in the Ring - Jamaican Children's Songs - Jamaica - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image

Game Instructions

The players form a circle. All sing. As the song begins, one or two girls walk about outside the ring, entering at the last line. Each chooses a partner with whom she "skips" etc. according to the words of the song.

Comments

Here's another version from " Folk-games of Jamaica", Issues 1-7 (1922) by Martha Warren Beckwith and Helen Heffron Roberts…

Dere's a brown gal in de ring, tra la la la la.
Dere's a brown gal in de ring, tra la la la la.
Dere's a brown gal in de ring, tra la la la la,
Fo' she like sugar an' I like plum.

Den yo wheel an' take yo' pardner,
Den yo wheel an' take yo' pardner,
Den yo wheel an' take yo' pardner,
Fo' she like sugar an' I like plum.

Dere's a brown gal in de ring, tra la la la la,
Dere's a brown gal in de ring, tra la la la la,
Dere's a brown gal in de ring, tra la la la la,
Fo' she like sugar an' I like plum.

Den you wheel an' take yo' pardner, tra la la la la,
Den you wheel an' take yo' pardner, tra la la la la,
Den you wheel an' take yo' pardner, tra la la la la,
Fo' she like sugar an' I like plum.

There's two girls in the ring, tra la la la la,
There's two girls in the ring, tra la la la la,
There's two girls in the ring, tra la la la la,
Fo' she like sugar an' I like plum (or rum).

Then skip across the ocean*, tra la la la la,
Then skip across the ocean, tra la la la la,
Then skip across the ocean, tra la la la la,
Fo' she like sugar an' I like plum.

Then show you me your motion, tra la la la la,
Then show you me your motion, tra la la la la,
Then show you me your motion, tra la la la la.
Fo' she like sugar an' I like plum.

Then run and take a partner, tra la la la la,
Then run and take a partner, tra la la la la,
Then run and take a partner, tra la la la la,
Fo' she like sugar an' I like plum.

Then dance with your partner, tra la la la la,
Then dance with your partner, tra la la la la.
Then dance with your partner, tra la la la la,
Fo' she like sugar an' I like plum.

Then jig with your partner, tra la la la la,
Then jig with your partner, tra la la la la,
Then jig with your partner, tra la la la la,
Fo' she like sugar an' I like plum.

*The "ocean" is the space within the circle. The "motion" is a kind of cake-walk.

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Sheet Music

Sheet Music - Brown Girl in the Ring

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Glasceta Honeyghan for contributing this song. Thanks to Monique Palomares for the illustration!

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