"Draw a Pail of Water" has many variations of the song and game.

You can find the directions to play this version in the Game Instructions.

Draw a Pail of Water (Modern British Version) - English Children's Songs - England - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image

Game Instructions

This game is played with 4 kids. They stand in a square. Two kids (Pair 1) stand across from each other holding hands (they keep holding hands for the whole game). The other two kids (Pair 2) stand across from each other holding hands over the other pair's hands (they keep holding hands for the whole game also). They all sway back and forth while singing the song.

On the last line, one of the kids (from Pair 1) goes under and inside the hands of the opposite pair (Pair 2). Then they all sing the song again, while swaying back and forth. On the last line, the other kid (from Pair 1) goes under and inside the hands of Pair 2.

They all sway back and forth while singing the song again. On the last line, a kid from Pair 2 goes under the hands of Pair 1 (they actually put their hands over that kid's back).

Then they all sway back and forth again while singing the song. On the last line, the other kid from Pair 2 goes under the hands of Pair 1 (they put their hands over that kid's back).

That's the game!

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Thanks and Acknowledgements

This is the version of this song that's sung in England today. A similar version was collected in 1911 in Littleport, Cambridgeshire by the song collector Cecil Sharp. Illustration is from "The Traditional Games of England, Scotland, and Ireland: With Tunes" (1894) edited by Alice Bertha Gomme. The illustration was edited by Lisa Yannucci.

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