I grew up on New York’s Lower East Side 80 years ago. About 40 years ago, I was amazed when a woman friend, reminiscing about her childhood in Winthrop Mass., north of Boston, sang a group street game chant: “Oh, Oh, the ring we leave-o!” It struck me immediately that her “Ring we leave-o” was obviously the phrase that somehow morphed into the Italian-sounding “Ringoleavio” in the streets of New York. It may or may not have been exactly the same game. Does anyone know? How did they play The Ring We Leave-o in Boston in the 1930s?
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