Daisies Are Our Silver...

Monday, 21 May 2012

Buttercups Our Gold.



The sun is shining so brightly on the buttercups and daisies today that I am reminded of that sweet children's hymn by Jan Struther. If you were at infant school forty plus years ago then you probably remember it too. If you don't remember that one then I am sure you remember When A Knight Won His Spurs also by Jan Struther* -my favourite.


Let us travel back in time 37 years to a similar sunny May afternoon. My 9 year old self is standing in a field  dotted with buttercups and daisies. I am wearing my PE kit and am making a daisy chain while in the distance my classmates are playing rounders. I am also playing rounders but as I am completely rubbish at batting, bowling and fielding I have been banished to the very deep field where no one is going to manage to send the ball. Now and again I pick a buttercup and wander over to a fellow rounders reject and hold the flower under her chin and say 'do you like butter?' The yellow of the flower reflects on her chin to show that she does indeed like butter.
 I love playing rounders.


The perfect way to spend a warm afternoon.


*Jan Struther is the pen name of J.Anstruther (see what she did there?) and is of course the author of Mrs Miniver.

Edit

I can't find Buttercups and Daisies on Youtube but here is When a Knight. Enjoy.



Another edit.
Anne from Life in Mud Spattered Boots has very kindly found a clip of Daisies Are Our Silver. The singing begins at around 27.



32 comments:

  1. i love 'when a knight won his spurs', think i still know all the words! lol
    Really enjoy your blog.

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  2. Dear Sue
    The pictures also reminded me of the folk song "Strawberry Fair/Fayre" ("Singing, singing buttercups and daisies"). What a lovely sunny start to the week.
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. Oh yes, I remember that one too! It had a funny folky chorus didn't it? rifol rifol fol di diddle rifol - or some such. Sigh...

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  3. I watched the kids play rounders last week and was itching to join in. But I appreciate a good buttercup moment too.

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  4. It's one of my favourites too Sue and I often sing it just because. Didn't realise they were composed by the same person.

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  5. Am less years than forty something but remember both hymns :) I LOVE when a knight won his spurs.......fantastic :)

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  6. Oh thank you for reminding me of "When A Knight Won His Spurs". What a beautiful children's hymn that is. Took me right back to primary school, standing in the hall at assembly, singing.

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  7. I spent a similarly happy time at the age of 9 and you have brought it all back. Rifel rifel trolley diddle ifel, rifel rifel, trolley diddle dee. Sang it to my sons every night after Early one Morning and Blow the Wind Southerly.

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    Replies
    1. Oh lord now you're talking nostalgia -my mum used to sing both of those.

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  8. I would have been with you there on the playing-field, safely outside the thick of things, with a stash of banned jammy biscuits in my pocket.

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  9. I use to sing that hymn at school and When a Knight Won his Spurs, what memories you have bought back.
    Can't wait to teach my grandchildren the fun with buttercups and picking Diasies to makes Daisy Chains and picking them for the kitchen window sill!
    Julie xxxxxxxx

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  10. Can't do hymns any more. They all make me cry. Used to just be carols but now they all make me weep. But I do love them ever so. Did you ever sing 'Hills of the North Rejoice'? That was another or my faves.
    Not much in the way of buttercups and daisies here at the mo. Must go on a Knight type quest to find some at the weekend.
    Ax

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    1. Hills of the north rejoice! River and mountain stream
      Hark to the Advent voice la la la di la--can't remember the rest.

      Oh yes, so many lovely hymns and my children know hardly any despite going to a catholic school. Their school hymn is 'This little light of mine' which is not a hymn in my opinion. I learnt all my hymns and carols at my junior school where we would have Hymn Practice every week. I love communal singing.

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    2. Love 'When a knight' can still see myself standing in the primary school hall singing it the morning we got our 11 plus results - 50 years ago, aargh! When I was very small my great aunt used to come to help in the house and she would sing 'Jesus wants me for a sunbeam' as she peeled veggies in the kitchen, always wearing her hat and a wrap round pinny.

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  11. Anonymous6:56 pm BST

    What a breath of fresh air! I love reading you blog.
    Info on Jan Struther and her hymns can be found here: http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/struther/hymns/hymns.html#354

    Tasha

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    1. Thanks Tasha. Lord of All Hopefulness is another favourite of mine.

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  12. Penny Beaumont7:58 pm BST

    Oh Sue, you have bought back so many memories. Infant school in the early 1950's. We sang Daisies are our silver, and when a knight won his spurs, hills of the north; what about From Greelands icy mountains and Morning has broken, like the first morning. I could go on and on.
    I love reading your blog, keep up the good work.

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  13. We sang When a Knight Won His Spurs at our wedding and my children are under strict instructions to sing it at my funeral. As soon as I saw the title of your blog I muttered Buttercups Our Gold before I saw your next line. Oh such memories. Grey knickers and brown lino floor of the school hall.
    What a wonderful post. Thank you Sue.

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  14. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, I used to enjoy this hymn and I can still remember most of the words! I'm not sure I want to remember PE, I was the last chosen in team games!
    Sarah x

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  15. I had no idea that Jan Sruther wrote those hymns - I loved 'When a Knight'. For the last few years of primary school I lived in Norfolk and we sang 'For those in Peril on the Sea' every week as so many children had fishermen for fathers.
    Mrs Miniver is one of my comfort reads by the way - I love that book!

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    1. I love For Those in Peril. I remember singing it quite frequently at my secondary school in Birmingham which is about as far away from the sea as you can get.

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    2. My gandfather was a submariner and we sung For Those in peril at his funeral - the mere though of it can still reduce me to tears.

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  16. I love this version of when a Knight Won his spurs...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99Tw1c_t15k
    I sing it occasionally to kids at school :)

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  17. When a Knight - I think it was number 377 in the hymn book! It's been ...erm....more than 40 years since I was at primary school! Ah, how well I remember "Dasies arr arr" if you can imagine about 80 young Scousers singing that, our visiting music teacher Mr Quirk (Quirky Quirky the red faced turkey) (because he was, always very red in the face. He shouted a lot.) He always shouted when we sang Daisies arr arr diamonds. But we couldn't sing it any other way. It all comes back to me!
    When we got a bit older, our favourite at High School was 'Dear Lord and Father of mankind" Personally I always loved Eternal Father as my dad had been in the Navy and my sister Diana had just left home to become a Wren. Ah, happy days!

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  18. Hi Sue
    How lovely! Thank you so much for reminding me of that lovely hymn, what a delightful start to the day (and with the sun is shining gloriously through my office window onto my toes!).
    Onward Christian Soldiers was another favourite we had at school until they banned it when we all got a bit too enthusiastic with patriotic swaying!
    I was a rounders "deep-fielder" too but have since realised what the problem was;~ a) I was terrified of the ball and b) I was too shy to have a proper swing at it with the bat. This evening however, as the weather is so lovely, I shall be organising a game of rounders for my Guide Unit, and I will be unashamedly swinging my bat with gay abandon in an attempt to hit the ball - I've realised I don't care anymore. Oh and we use a tennis ball, which is far less intimidating than a proper rounders ball!!!

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  19. Dear Sue,

    Such a beautiful post. I chuckled at the image of you on the rounders' field: I was virtually always the last one picked when rounders teams were being made up ;-)

    I couldn't resist listening to "When A Knight". Although I have been living in France for fifteen years and my mother is French I did all my schooling in England and I have VERY happy memories of primary school. Sometimes I need a little trip down memory lane as it is too easy to get wrapped up in my French self. Thank you Sue for bringing me back to MY nine year old self.

    Stephanie

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  20. So many of my favourite hymns in your post and the comments. I so loved singing When a Knight that I used to use it as a lullaby with my kids ... sort of like singing them a bedtime story.

    I'd have been out there in the long grass with you and Mise during the rounders games, probably trying to catch grasshoppers!

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  21. I know neither song/hymn. I suppose it is because I was brought up in Wales.

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  22. Yep. Me a deep fielder too. Always hoping that no-one would hit the ball far or high enough to reach me. Surely the most terrifying moment was to be aroused from one's deep appreciation of plantain and daisies by cries of 'Catch it!'. No chance.

    Early One Morning was one of my mother's songs too. (Along with The Campfire is Dying Down.) But listening just now to When A Knight reduced me to great gulping tears. Completely took me by surprise. Or I'd never have started reading your blog while I was brushing my teeth.

    Thank you :)

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    1. You made me laugh -luckily I wasn't cleaning my teeth.

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  23. Anonymous5:42 pm BST

    When a Knight - learnt this in primary school was totally amazed that not only did i remember words but also the tune and it was forty years plus ago that I was at primary school.

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