This recording was made by Iona Opie in Stepney Green in 1976. ‘The Farmer’s in his Den’ is what the Opies referred to as a ‘ring game’ and was in their opinion one of the ‘best known’ singing games. To play, one child is chosen as the ‘farmer’ and must stand in the middle of a ring of children. As the song progresses a participant is selected to be the wife, child, nurse, dog and bone who then join the farmer in the middle of the ring. The song ends with the children enthusiastically patting the participant playing the bone or child on the head. Roud suggests that this song is still widely performed, although mainly within nurseries and preschools. As the girl in the recording admits, once children become older the song is regarded as a ‘bit baby’. Furthermore, the energetic ‘thumping’ of the bone now tends to be replaced with a gentler patting of the child, supervised by teaching staff and nursery workers. Despite these changes, Roud suggests that the lyrics and actions of the song have remained largely unchanged.