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Roman Soldiers (Langsbury)

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Performer: Langsbury, Ken
Place Collected: Cheltenham
Date collected: 2013 19 March
Collector: Davies, Gwilym
Roud Number: 8255

This is one of the longest-lived and most widespread of children’s singing games. The soldiers are usually English and Romans, but in other versions we find King George’s Men, Germans, Rovers, Irish, Yankees and British. It has been collected mainly in England and Scotland although there is evidence that it is well-known in Ireland also. It is one of the few singing games that appeals to boys, with its fighting aspects. Many adults remember it with affection and it is still being collected.  Ken was taught this version by his mother in about 1942.

Notes by Gwilym Davies 6 May 2015