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The Little Tup, Carlton-in-Lindrick, Notts., 1906

M.Howley (1962)

Context

Location: 
Carlton-in-Lindrick
SK5984
Time of Occurrence: 
Christmas
Collective name: 
[Not given]

Source

Author: 
Mike Howley
Title: 
The Little Tup
Publication: 
Oct.1962, No.2, pp.9-10

Cast

Tup
Leader
1st character
Jack / Butcher

Text

 

[MIDI music sound file] [ABC music notation]

 

[MIDI music sound file] [ABC music notation]

 

{FIRST VERSE SUNG OUTSIDE THE HOUSE}

[All]

[1]

There is a little tup and he's standing at your door
And if you'll have 'im in Sir, he'll please you more and more
Bring 'im in, bring 'im in.

{(The men are let in. Some or all have blackened faces, and The Tup (or ram) has a home-made ram's head, with a cloth or drape covering the rest of the body} He is led in prancing, on a rope.}

{REST OF PLAY INDOORS}

[All]

[2]

The very first day that tup was born, he cut some funny capers
He ate a field of turnip tops and fourteen tons o' 'taters.
Bailey, Bailey, laddie-fer-lairey-aye.

[3]

The wool that grew (up) on his back Sir, it grew so mighty long,
The eagles built their nests in it, I heard the young ones' song.
Bailey, Bailey, laddie-fer-lairey-aye.

[4]

The horns that grew upon his head, they grew so mighty high,
That every time he shook 'is head, they rattled against the sky.
Bailey, Bailey, laddie-fer-lairey-aye.

Leader {holding tup}.

Is there a butcher in the town?

1st character

Aye! My brother Jack's a butcher.

Leader

Can 'e stick a tup?

1st character

Aye'. 'E'll sticK a tup, dog or devil;
cut nine pounds o' beef off a leg o' mutton all bone .

Leader

Well, if 'e's as good a pink as thee ,
tha'd better fetch 'im.

1st character {Shouts off}

Jack! Jack! There's a job for thee.

Jack {enters}

What for?

1st character

To stick this tup.

Jack

Put your cap over 'is right left eye

{1st character puts his cap over tup's rump}

Jack

That's not 'is right left eye, you block-'ead!

{Jack draws knife and goes through action of killing The Tup, which falls to the ground.}

All sing

[5]

All the women in Derby came begging for his hide
To make some leather "approns" to last them all their lives.
Bailey, Bailey, laddie-fer-lairey-aye.

[6]

All the young lads in Derby came begging for his eyes
To kick them up and down the street for footballs and bulls-eyes.
Bailey, Bailey, laddie-fer-lairey-aye .

[7]

All the (ringers) in Derby came begging for his tail
To ring the Derby passing-bell that hangs upon the wall.
Bailey, Bailey, laddie-fer-lairey-aye.

{This concluded the play. Cakes and ale were distributed and a collection was taken.}

Notes

Introduction:

Contributed by Mike Howley who noted it from his father who saw the Tup Plays performed as a boy at Carlton-in-Lindrick, Nottinghamshire , about 1906.

© 1962 E.F.D.S, Publications Ltd.

The Tup Play was usually performed at Christmas time. About six men took part and the household knew in advance that a team would be coming to the house and their arrival was eagerly awaited.

Peter Millington's Notes:

Numbers have been added for the verses of the song.

Reproduced with the permission of the English Folk Dance and Song Society.