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Plough-Jags' Ditties from North Lincolnshire - 1876

M.Peacock (1901) pp.323-324

Context

Location: 
North Lincolnshire Wolds
SE9-1-
Time of Occurrence: 
Plough Monday
Collective name: 
Plough-Jags

Source

Author: 
Mabel Peacock
Title: 
Plough Monday Mummeries
Publication: 
27th April 1901, Vol.VII, pp.323-324

Cast

The Hobby-Horse
Jane / Besom Betty
The Soldier / Recruiting Serjeant
The Fool
The Doctor
The Indian King
The Lady / Lady Bright and Gay

Text

{Plough-Jags' Ditties}

The Hobby-Horse.

Here comes a four-year-old colt [cowt],
As fine a filly as ever was bought [bowt],
He can 'otch, an' he can trot,
An' he can carry a butter-pot
Nine miles high wi'out touching the sky.

Jane, or Besom Betty.

In comes Jane with a long-legg'd crane,
Creeping over the meadow;
Once I was a blooming maid,
But now a down owd widow.

{She sweeps about with her broom.}

The Soldier

I'm a recruiting serjeant
Arrived 'ere just now;
My orders are to 'list all
That follow cart and plough,
Likewise fiddlers. tinkers,
And all that can advance.
I should like to see our fool dance.
Ah! But I can sing.
Come, all you lads, that's a mind for listin'
Come with me and be not afraid:
You shall have all kinds of liquor,
Likewise dance with a pretty maid.

The Fool

{is supposed to kill one of the men, and then they shout}

"Dead! And where's the doctor?"

The Doctor

Here I am, the Doctor;
I can cure the itch, the stitch,
The blind, the lame,
And raise the dead to life again.
I once cured a man that had been in his grave nine years.
Take hold of my bottle till I feel his pulse -
And every time stirr'd his bagpipes played -
Cheer up, Sam, and let's have a dance.

The Indian King.

{He appears as a black man with white dress.}

Where out! my lads, let me come in,
I'm the chap they call "the Indian King."

{He dances, &c.}

The Lady

I'm a lady bright and gay,
The truth to you I'll tell.

[. . . . . . .]

What did the Fool say?

[. . . . . . .]

Notes

Peacock's introduction:

" The next dialogue was repeated to Miss Fowler at Winterton, by Mrs. I., who gave it as used on 'the hillside" (the western slope of the wolds in North Lincolnshire) some twenty-five years ago. It is to be noticed that in this version, as in the one from Hibaldstow, the hobby-horse can 'hotch' - whatever pace that word may mean - while a long-legged crane is again referred to in 'Jane's' speech. It may be tbat the heron, not the true crane, has suggested the line. The latter bird is now only a chance visitor, while the former is, or was till lately, sometimes called the crane, its more common name being heronsew. The 'Doctor's' part includes an allusion to bagpipes (here possibly a comic name for the lungs), which were once well-known instruments of music in the county. An old man who could play the Lincolnshire pipes was still living in the neighbourhood of Kirton-in-Lindsey in the earlier part of the nineteenth century, but both the player and his pipes have now vanished."