The children in this footage, recorded in Edinburgh in 1951, are singing ‘Here Comes a Bluebird’ to the same tune as the one used for ‘In and out the Dusty Bluebells’. In the dance the “bluebird” weaves through the “windows” created by the children’s linked hands, reminiscent of the dance that accompanies ‘Dusty Bluebells’, before selecting a partner to dance with.
Roud records that ‘Dusty Bluebells’ was a very popular game in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It seems likely that this is the reason why the tune and actions for ‘Bluebird’, depicted here, so closely resemble the ones for ‘Dusty Bluebells’.
The Opies recorded children in Nottingham singing a version of ‘Bluebird’ in 1977. The refrain ‘bluebird through my window’ but ‘take a little hop and dance with your partner’ was replaced with ‘take a little girl and tap her on the shoulders’. The Opies noted that that version of the song was probably of American origin; indeed, variations on ‘Bluebird’ are still popular in American playgrounds.