This Scottish version of "How Many Miles to Babylon" can be found in print dating back to 1847.


*The last two lines mean:

How many men have you?
More than you dare come and see.

Game Instructions

Two of the fastest children are placed between two trees. All the other kids stand at one of these trees. Then the two swift youths come forward and address them with this rhyme:

"King and Queen of Cantelon,
How many miles to Babylon?
Six or seven or a lang (long) eight
Try to win there by candle-light!"

When not touching the tree, they run in hopes of getting to Babylon (i.e. the other tree), but not many of them get close to it before they are caught by the runners.

-Per "An Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, illustrating the words in their different significations by examples from ancient and modern writers" (1808) by John Jamieson.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

This version can be found in "Popular Rhymes Of Scotland (1847) by Robert Chambers.