Author Topic: Brown Girl  (Read 697 times)

The Holy Saint, Grand High Poobah, Master of Monkeys, Ehlers

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Brown Girl
« on: October 13, 2004, 07:25:16 PM »
Ok, My kids love the wiggles. And on one of the videos there's a song "Brown Girl in the Ring," and I can't figure out what it means. Because I'm lazy, my Internet research lasted something like five minutes. All I really learned was that it IS a children's song with Caribbean (possibly Jamaican, but I see references to Guyana as well) origins.

If someone can figure out where the phrase came from, that'd be cool.

fuzzyoctopus

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Re: Brown Girl
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2004, 02:32:55 PM »
I have discovered:

1)That this song has been performed by Raffi (I should not be surprised).

2) Amazon sells a book that will teach you how to play this song-game.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0679404538/102-6325472-5221736?v=glance

3)A man named Nalo Hopkinson wrote a sci-fi book with this title; he grew up in Jamaica and named the book after the game.  He explains it in an interview - http://www.cyberhaven.com/books/sciencefiction/hopkinson.html

"It's words from the first line of a ring game song, perhaps the only one that's known throughout the English-speaking Caribbean. It's played by girls. One little girl is in the middle of the circle, and everyone else sings, "There's a brown girl in the ring, tra-la-la-la-la, and she look like a little sugar plum."
That gives the girl in the middle time to think, because then the circle sings, "Gal, show me your motion, tra-la- la-la-la," which is a challenge to her. She has to demonstrate some kind of fancy move which the others try to copy. She picks the person who's the most skillful at it, and they switch places. The next person becomes the new brown girl in the ring."

"Hr hr! dwn wth vwls!" - Spriggan

I reject your reality, and substitute my own. - Adam Savage, Mythbusters

French is a language meant to be butchered, especially by drunk Scotts. - Spriggan

The Holy Saint, Grand High Poobah, Master of Monkeys, Ehlers

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Re: Brown Girl
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2004, 03:25:21 PM »
Cool. I knew about the SF novel, but I didn't read up on it, because I am lazy. I knew that someone here would be O/C enough to read and find me my answer. Thanks FO!