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Wednesday, January 7, 2015



"Now when I was a little boy my favorite ring game was this...winey, winey/winey, winey..." /
~Peeny Peeny by Shabba Ranking
As a youth in primary school* I had a rough time concentrating on defending my wicket, or bending a cross from the corner, whenever the girls formed a circle in the school compound and started chanting and, ahhhm, dancing. I can't count the amount of wickets we boys left stranded, or footballs rolling lonely on a sudden-emptied field, as we rushed to join the girls in the ring. Full of mannishness, we sang

There's a brown girl in the ring,
Whether she black or brown or surnamed Singh never mattered to me. The girl in the ring would prance 'round the circle of boys and girls while eyeing up a partner. Whenever we got to the part

...'cause she sweet like sugar 
and a plum, plum, plum...
she'd stop her 'lil false-shy self in front of whosoever she liked and pose up with her hands on her hips... anticipating...and as we sang

Now, let me see your motion, Tra-la-la-la-la
Show me your motion, tra-la-la-la-la-la...
she'd buss a wine.** Bare Precociousness. Listen, nuh man! I was a force-ripe pickney*** myself; so, I had no problem wining back. Worse yet if it was Miss-what-she-name, or Miss-you-know-who.

My favorite ring game went like this

Gypsy in the moonlight, Gypsy in the zoo/ Gypsy never come home till half-past two/So walk in Gypsy walk in, walk in thru my door/And turn to your partner and show them what you do...
By the time we got to this part, Miss Gypsy in the ring would done find a partner and with that last command, she would show how she could get on bad; indeed, rolling she hips and singing in response

I do not love no-bo-dy/ Nobody love me too...
When you check it out in truth, future dancehall queens learned to bubble right there in them ring games. Notice ladies! In protecting the not-so-innocent and bare precocious, I never called no names. I just fling stone in a pen. Whichever goat bawl out, is she get lick.

 Small days, still on my mind....

* Primary school is grade one to six (elementary school in the US)
**wine- also, wind. As in winding the hips and waistline
***force-ripe pickney is a child who acts "fresh", too grown for his/her age


  1. Very energetic blog, I enjoyed that a lot. Will there be a part 2?

    1. Greetings and bless up. Sorry I didnt see this before; the spammers made me have to take the automatic post feature off. As a result comments go to my inbox until I approve them.

      I am thrilled that you liked this piece. I had so much fun writing it. But my friends wanted to know who and who I was talking about. ;-) Man, dey wouldn't leave me alone.

      To answer your question, part 2? To ring games?/Or to the small days theme? I did intend this to be a series so, yes, its a date. Just tell me, what you liked. Then I will know how to come through on part two. Arrrrigh??


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