"Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush", also best-known as "This is the Way" or "Mulberry Bush" is kids' favorite nursery rhyme and singing game. Kids dance in a circle to musical accompaniment, such as singing.
Origin of the nursery rhyme
Various theories are related to the origin of nursery rhymes. Similarly, different theories have been advanced to explain the origin of "Here We Go Round the Mulberry" kids song. The first version was recorded by James Orchard Halliwell in the mid nineteenth century. He was inspired by a similar game with the lyrics 'here we go round the bramble bush'.
Halliwell included subsequent verses: 'This is the way we wash our clothes', 'This is the way we dry our clothes', 'This is the way we mend our shoes', 'This is the way the gentlemen walk' and 'This is the way the ladies walk'.
R. S. Duncan (historian) claims that the rhyme originated with female prisoners at HMP Wakefield. It is believed that a prig was brought from Hatfeild Hall (Normanton Golf Club) in Stanley, which grew into a mature mulberry tree. The prisoners used to exercise around this tree in the moonlight. However, there is no evidence to support the theory given by R. S. Duncan.
Another possible theory explaining the origin of "Here We Go Round the Mulberry" is associated to Britain's struggle to produce silk by growing more and more mulberry trees, which is a key habitat of silkworms. According to Bill Bryson, in the 18th and 19th century, Britain tried to compete with China in producing silk but the mulberry trees could thrive and grow as they were too sensitive to frost.
The traditional lyrics, ' 'Here we go round the mulberry bush / On a cold and frosty morning'' are hence considered to make fun of the hurdles faced by the industry.
Kids favorite circle game
"Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" is not only one of the popular nursery rhymes, but also a circle games. Participants or players hold hands in a circle and move around in the first verse. Then they break up to imitate different appropriate hand actions or movements to the subsequent verses.
Incorporating actions with nursery rhymes singing is fun and keep the young children happy and entertained. Moreover, it give an excellent chance to the kids to interact with the fellow players and enhance their social skills.