Play party (Kentucky version)
Oh the Noble Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men
He marched them up to the top of the hill
And marched them down again.
Directions: Two lines of 5-6 couples (ideally boys on one side, girls on other) = a set. ALL SING. Head couple joins inner hands as they march to the bottom between the lines and turn to return to the top of the line on “men.” STRESS that the head couple should march and take the full 8 beats before turning on “men”; they should take the full 8 beats to reach the top of the line on “again.” DO NOT RUSH THIS.
Oh when they were up, they were up,
And when they were down, they were down
And when they were only halfway up,
They were neither up nor down.
Directions: The head couple takes a full 16 beats to join both hands across the set and skip and twirl in a clockwise fashion all the way down to the bottom of the set, where they make an arch on the word “down.” DO NOT RUSH THIS.
Oh a-hunting we will go
A-hunting we will go
We’ll catch a fox and put him in a box
And then we’ll let him go
Directions: The new head couple separates (“cast off”) and leads each line down the set in a single line (“follow the leader” fashion) on the outside of each line to join hands at the bottom and duck under the arch, leading all the couples back up the line in place, with the new head couple at the top, ready to begin the next figure. DO NOT RUSH THIS!
If couples are slow in getting back to place, they may begin to sing another verse, as needed, inserting new words as above. More verses are below (enough for 8 times through, i.e., 8 couples). When everyone is back in place, begin the first verse again with the new head couple.
Fancy ending: When the new head couple is once again the original head couple, they lead the line back and meet to duck under the arch at the bottom, but this time they arch as well, just on the other side of the arching couple, and each couple, as they come through, arches on the immediate upper side until everyone has formed an arch.
We’ll catch a mouse and put him in a house… etc.
We’ll catch a fish and put him in a dish… etc.
We’ll catch a snake and put him in a lake… etc.
We’ll catch a lamb and put him in a pan… etc.
We’ll catch a goat and put him in a boat… etc.
We’ll catch a bear and put him in a chair… etc.
We’ll catch a whale and put him in a pail… etc.
We’ll catch a pig and put him in a wig… etc.
We’ll catch a skunk and put him in a bunk… etc.
We’ll catch an armadillo and put him in a pillow… etc.
We’ll catch a brontosaurus and put him in the chorus… etc.
We’ll catch a cow - I don’t know how… etc.
We’ll catch a sheep and put him in a jeep… etc.
We’ll catch a dog and put him in a log… etc.
We’ll catch a cat and put him in a hat… etc.
Most of these words are from Oh, A-Hunting We Will Go by John Langstaff. Atheneum, 1984.