Helsingin Yliopisto

In the game captain commands the game leader gives orders to the players. The players should do as they are told only when the leader begins with “captain commands”. If some one does as his told to without a specific command from the captain, the game ends for him. The winner gets to be the leader at the next round.

This game has many variations. For example the game Simon says the players should do as they are told to, not as the leader shows them.


A playground is divided to three sections so that at the end of the grounds are safe-places. The tar bug stands in the middle of the ground and shouts “who’s afraid of the tar bug”. After that every player has to run from a safe-place to another. If the tar bug catches a player when he’s not in a safe-place the player becomes either the new tar bug or with other rules a helper to the tar bug.
In Finnish the game is known also as hawk and chicks. The name “who is afraid...” comes from the old, more “racist” name “who is afraid of the black man”.

Two poles of a gate are chosen from the players. They name themselves as they want to, for example tulip and rose. They take each others hands and raise them high to make a gate. The others line up and start going through the gate as the song begins.

Hey, hey wedding,
clock stroke noon,
king is standing in his palace.
As black as pudding,
as white as wool.
Who becomes last is the death.
When the song says death the gates close up on one of the players. Then they whisper to the player the names they chose and the player picks up another. After he has picked up a pole name, he goes behind his “own” pole. And so the game continues until all the players are behind the gates. The gate poles still hold hands and the other players grabs the one’s standing in front of them by the waist. After that there is a battle witch one of the gate poles is stronger: each team tries to pull so hard that the other team will fall down.
The game is originally from Sweden and it’s played all over Finland. You can find it in many playbooks and the words of the songs vary by the books.
Collected: Paula Ahonen