No subject

Wilson Gray hwgray at EARTHLINK.NET
Sat Jul 31 03:47:30 UTC 2004

> Wilson,
> When the game was over did you call ally ally outs in free like we did
> in
> southern Illinois?
> Page Stephens

Strange as it may seem, this is not a part of
hide-and-seek/hide-and-go-seek [I myself say "hide-and-seek," but I've
heard "hide-and-go-seek" from so many different people in so many
different places and read it in so many different kinds of publications
that I can't consider the "go" version to be "wrong," though, of
course, I'd like to;-)] as I know it. The game simply continued till
the last person out was caught or got home free. Some time in the
distant past - in the '60's, perhaps? - I read an article about the
derivation of "olly olly ox in free" from "all the, all the outs in
free." That was the first that I had ever heard of it.

Now, I'm going to return your serve. Did "it" chant a sing-song rhyme
or merely count up to a certain number? The only place that I've lived
where the chant is used is in East Texas. However, I have irrefutable
evidence that it is used elsewhere in the South, almost certainly in
Memphis, TN, though I can't verify this.

The chant is:

Last night, night before
Twenty-four robbers at my door
I opened the door
I let them in
I hit them in the head with a rolling pin
All hid?

The evidence is:

In 1961, a band calling itself The Mar-Keys, like the Bar-Kays a
spin-off from the much-better-known band, Booker T and the M.G.'s, was
formed in Memphis, TN. Their first and only hit was an instrumental
entitled "Last Night." If you turned this record over, like, to the
flip side, there you found another instrumental, entitled, "Night
Before"! Coincidence? I think not.

-Wilson Gray

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