A Plough Monday Play from Clayworth, Notts. - 1913-1916

R.J.E.Tiddy (1923) pp.241-245


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Context:
Location: Clayworth, Notts., England (SK7288)
Year: Col. 1913 to 1916
Time of Occurrence: Plough Monday
Collective Name: [Not given]

Source:

R.J.E.Tiddy
The Mummers' Play
Oxford, University Press, 1923, pp.241-245


Cast: (Click on any name for the character name index.)
Text:

{Enter Clown.}

Clown

In comes I bold Tom
A live and quick young fellow,
I've come here to taste your meat
Many folks cry they're ripe and mellow
Good evening, good ladies and gentlemen all.
It 's Plough Monday which makes me so bold and scold
I hope you won't be offended.
At these few words I've got to say,
Many more pretty boys and girls will pass this way,
Some can dance and some can sing,
By your consent they shall come in.

{Opens door}

Hokum pokum France and Spain
We'd meet the recruiting sergeant all the same.

{Enter soldier.}

Soldier

In comes I the recruiting sergeant
I've arrived here just now,
I've got orders from the Queen
To list any young men
Such as Tinkers Tailors Soldiers Sailors
Any man to my advance
The more that the fiddle plays
The better I can dance.

Clown

What you dance?

Soldier

Yes we dance.

Clown

If you begin to dance, I quickly march away.

A Farmer's Boy

Woa, woa, old man, don't go away in despair.
Perhaps in a short time a lady will appear.

A Ploughboy

In comes I the Farmer's man
I've come here to plough the land,
To turn it upside down.
I go straight from end to end
I scarcely a boaks [Notes 1] bend
And to my horse I attend
As they go marching to the end.

{Enter The Lady (Sings her part).}

Lady

In comes I, a lady bright and gay
With fortunes and sweet charms,
All scornfully I've been thrown away
Right out of my true love's arms.
He swears if I don't wed with him
As you do understand.
He will list all for a soldier
And go unto some foreign land.

Clown

Do you love me, my pretty maid?

Lady

Yes, Tommy love.
We 11 shake hands
And put in banns
And then we'll be wed to-morrow.
Singing Whack fall ly laddy O
Whack fall ly laddy O
We'll be wed to-morrow.

{Enter old Eezum-Squeezum.}

Eezum-Squeezum

In comes I old Eezum Squeezum
On my shoulder I carry a besom,
In my hand a frying pan,
So don't you think I'm a jolly old man.
If you don't, I do.
My head is made of iron,
My body is made of steel,
My hands and toes of knuckle-bones
And no mortal man can make me feel.

Soldier

Stop, stop old man, don't talk like that,
You say your head is made of iron,
Your body is made of steel,
Your hands and toes of knuckle-bones
No mortal man can make you feel.
Stand up to me like a man
I'll make your bones rattle.

{They fight and spars round like for a bit and then old Eezum Squeezum falls down dead.}

Clown

Is there a doctor to be found
To cure this deep and deadly wound?

Ploughboy

Yes there is a doctor to be found
To cure this deep and deadly wound.

Doctor {speaking from outside}

Woa, woa, hold my pony
Give him a good stiff feed of water and a drink of chaff

{Enters}

In comes I the doctor.

Clown

What, you the doctor?

Doctor

Yes, me the doctor.

Clown

How came you to be a doctor?

Doctor

I've travelled for it.

Clown

How far have you travelled?

Doctor

Hokum, Pokum, France and Spain
Nine times round the world and back again.

Clown

No further than that, doctor?

Doctor

Yes, much further than that
Prom bedside to fireside
To my old grandmother's cupboard
And many pieces of mince pie and pork pie out (of) there
That's what made me such a big man.

Clown

You're a big man now doctor.

Doctor

I'm as big as any man in this town under my size.

Clown

What pains can you cure?

Doctor

Pipsy Pipsy palsy gout
Pains within and pains without.
By this young lady taking hold of my hat stick and gloves

{gives to lady}

I'll commence feeling this man's pulse.

{Feels E-S's heel.}

Clown

Do the pulse lie there, Doctor?

Doctor

Yes, I thought so; where should you have felt?

Clown

Back o' the head, against this elbow.

Doctor

My mistake.

Clown

Great mistake too, Doctor.

Doctor

This young man's not dead
He's only in a trance,
Been trying an experiment.

Clown

What's that, Doctor ?

Doctor

. . . . . . up a green potato tops
Boiled fourteen days over a fortnight
Last night he swallowed Sam Snowden's [Note 2]
Wheelbarrow, donkey and cart,
and he Can't get shut o' the wheel.
Cough, young man.

{Eezum Squeezum coughs faintly.}

Doctor

Very faint, put out your tongue-
Very much inflamed,
take a drop out of my bottle
And let it run down your throttle.
It will do your body and soul a world of good.
I'll also have a box of my pills.

Clown

Pills are they, doctor?
Stop, doctor, read the resurrection of those pills.

Doctor

Those pills are virgin pills
One to be taken to-night, two to-morrow morning,
Swallow the whole box next day at dinner time.

Clown

This young man can't dance, so we'll sing.
Raise him up and let 's begin.

{All sing to tune (more or less) of wassail song.}

[All]

We are not the London Actors
That act upon the stage
We are the country plough lads
That ploughs for little wage.
Good master and good mistress,
As you sit round the fire,
Just think of us poor plough lads
That plough through mud and mire.
The mire it is so very deep,
The water runs so clear.
We thank you for a Christmas box
And a pitcher o' your best beer.
You see our tale is ended,

{Exit fool}

You see our fool is gone,
We'll make it in our business
To follow him along.

{Exeunt omnes}


Notes:

Tiddy's Notes:

Note 1 - "The village from whom Miss M.Marshall collected the play explained that a boaks is part of a plough.

Note 2 - "A local worthy."

Indexer's Notes:

Scanned text downloaded from http://members.tripod.co.uk/Sandmartyn/ploug01.htm


File History:
1999 - Scanned by Martin Collins
11/09/1999 - Encoded by Peter Millington

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