Dear all. I’m the administrator of The Norwegian center for dokumentation of Children Culture in Stavanger Norway. I have read with great interest your messages, most of them are registered in my book “Barnet i liv og lek” (The Child in life and play) published by The Universcity Press in Oslo. My archive copy is datet 1983 the 3rd edition. However, I regret to say that it is not in sale anymore. The ISBN number is 82-00-06394. The melody that are used for En, to, tre, O’Leavy (One, two three O*leavy) are One little, two little, three little Indians, four little, five litle, six little Indian, seven little, eitht little, nine little Indians, ten little Indian boys – men. My name is Alice, my husbands name is Arne etc are used in the same way in Norway. The names are of course Norwegian. Hope this can be of interest for someone?
How wonderful that these games are coming back. I played “A my name is Alice. My husband’s name is Al. We come from Alabama and our product is Ajax.” Also played 1,2,3, O’Leary but in the early 50’s in Washington state, I thought it was “1,2,3, Alarry”. We played “7- Up” with a ball against the wall also. In both these last two ball games there were steps of increasing difficulty. In my memory I think I am getting O’Leary and 7-Up confused. Any hints?
What a fabulous site. I was just talking to a couple of friends about A my name is Alice and my husband’s name is Al etc. A friend from the next generation (she’s almost 42 so about 16 years younger than me) said she left out the husband. She said A my name is Alice, I come from America, etc.
I grew up in the Inwood section of upper Manhattan. One of the things only girls did with spaldeens was to bounce the ball while chanting certain rhymes, turning one leg over the bouncing ball on certain words. One of the rhymes went something like: Oliver Twist, can’t do this, touch his knee, touch his toe, (something something…) and over we go. You turned over on Twist, this and go. You’d touch your knee and toe where indicated. I can’t remember one of the lines. After you did this, you’d start all over, but this time you’d do everything twice: Oliver Twist Twist, etc. You’d go up until you gave up or got bored. Another bouncing game was A My Name Is Alice. You’d go through the alphabet: A my name is Alice, and my husband’s name is Al, and I come from Alabama, and I sell apples. Does anyone remember these games?
Just spent the weekend with our granddaughters and tried to teach them Russian ball (as we called it in North Philly.) I could remember – onsies- no bounce, twosies – one bounce, threesies – clap before catching, foursies – rolly/polly, fivesies – throw ball from under your raised leg. From there I remember one was to turn around, another was to clap hands front and back but there are still three missing. Does anyone remember all ten? Another question. Did anyone play advanced A my name is Alice? I.e., ten A’s?
Leda, I remember Stories! Of course I remember A my name is Alice, but it would sometimes get boring (we never seemed to make it past L or M), so we’d play Stories instead. I loved it because it gave you such scope for making things up–and showing your prowess at double and triple turnovers. I haven’t encountered too many other people who remember this game, so it’s nice to share the memories. (I grew up on Dahill Road, between Kings Highway and Quentin Road, in the Gravesend section…)
What a trip down memory lane…thanks gals. Does anyone remember “Stories”? There was one for every letter of the alphabet….something like this: One day just as I was about to approach my Aunt Anita’s adorable astonishing apartment house, etc.The movement was similar to that of A my name is Alice but there were multiple turns. It’s amazing how I can’t tell you what I ate yesterday but I can recall almost eevery story for every letter!
In the early days in Sunnyside, Queens, when we were kids, we didn’t have a lot of space to run around in our little courtyard. Our ball games were usually against a brick wall or on concrete pavement. All the boys and girls played together – running bases, stick and boxball, single-double-triple, etc. Of course the girls did the A My Name is Alice thing, and we also played Hit the Ball on the Penny. For all these games, the ball of choice was almost always a Spaldeen. They had a good feel and a good bounce – and, as I recall, a good smell when they were brand new (that didn’t last long, maybe two paces out of the store and that was it…)
We got a Spaldeen at the Back to Brooklyn Festival and started teaching our daughter how to bounce a ball. She’s seven and new at this. She’s learning A my name is Alice. We’re looking forward to her getting to the Bs.