Christmas Mummers Play from Sapperton, Glos. - 1914

R.J.E.Tiddy (1923) pp.170-173


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Context:
Location: Sapperton, Glos., England (SO9403)
Year: Col. 1914
Time of Occurrence: Christmas
Collective Name: Mummers

Source:

R.J.E.Tiddy
The Mummers' Play
Oxford, University Press, 1923, pp.170-173


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

No. I

Please to let the mummers act.
In comes I hind before,
with my broad broom to sweep up the floor,
a room for gallant store,
prey give me room to rhyme,
for I am come with my gallant men to show you a little activity
on this merry Christmas tide.

{Walk in gallant soldier.}

No. II

In comes I a gallant soldier, Slasher is my name,
with my bockel and my staff I mean to win the game.

{Walk in Speckeback}

No. III

In comes I old Speckleback the biggest man in the North humberland,
many a battle I've been through,
I can fight a battle as well as you,
any man that won't let me stand
I'll fetch him down with my most mighty hand.

No. II

Try it on bold fellow.

No. III

Measure staves,
my staff's four foot and a half,
hell knock down a calf
and he'll knock down you.

{No. II and No. III fight with staves and No. II knocks down No. III.}

[No. I]

Walk in Jack Vinney.

No. IV

My name 's not Jack Vinney, my name 's Mr Vinney.
Don't you know my name?
What do you want me for?

No. I

To cure this man.

No. IV

This man is very dangerously ill,
he's got the hitch the stitch the palsy and the gout,
pains within and pains without and pains all round about,
head-ache in the shoe string, gout in the elbow,
bellie ache in the big tom toe,
and if this man has been dead one hundred and ninetynine years
he shall take a pill out of my golden box
and rise and fight again.

{No. II and No.III fight again and No. III knocks down No. II.}

No. I

Five pound the doctor was but at home.

No. VII

He is n't at home, sir.

No. I

Ten pound the doctor was but at home.

No. V

Hold my horse.

No. VII

I've got him fast by the tail, sir.

No. V

Give him a hapoth of oats, pennoth of beans,
rack him up with a fuzz faggot,
scrub him down with a broom stick
and give him a bucket of coal ashes to drink.
What do you want me for ?

No. I

To cure this man.

No. V

He 's very dangerously ill.
He 's got the hitch, the stitch, the palsy and the gout,
pains within and pains without,
as I was going down a wee won narrow straight crooked lane
I met a barn built with apple dumplings and thatched with pancakes,
inside this barn there was two men threshing tobacco
one it a reave and blow
and the other a dreave and blow
hit a pack of barley corns through a nine foot wall
and killed a little dead dog the other side
this dog bid kow yelping a fortnight after he was dead
I went and rammed my arm down his neck
and turned him inside out.
As I was going across a common the other day
I shot an old Jack Hare,
hit in the right eye on the left side,
took him home to the cook,
the cook was n't at home,
went to this barn built with apple dumplins and thatched with pancakes,
there I saw her upon the wall spinning butter for the cat.
I asked her to come down,
she said she would not come down,
then I said I'll fetch you down,
I scrambled upon my hands and knees and kicked her down
about ninety-nine miles under ground on a bed of feathers,
she asked me to get her out,
I told her I would get her out,
I went home after my peck-axe and chisel,
when I got home my peck-axe was took bad
and my chisel had nine young ones,
so I could n't get her out that day,
I told her I would call another day and get her out;
I know the way to cure a magpie with the toothache.

No. I

How 's that, sir?

No. V

Cut off his head and throw his body into the ditch,
I know another way.

No. I

How' that?

No. V

Draw a tooth,
Assistance Mr Vinney.

{Presumaby here a tooth s drawn.}

No. I

Walk in father scrump.

No. VI

In comes I old father scrump
with a bell on my rump
and my bacco box under my arm.
As I was going down a wee woa narrow straight nasty dirty sandy clean lane
after two load of pin dust I met a house,
I knocked at the maid and the door fled out,
I asked for a crust of her beer
and a glass of bread and cheese,
I said no thank you she said yes if you please
I never deny any one,
and as I was going down this ere wee woa narrow straight nasty dirty sandy clean lane
after two load of pin dust I met a orchard
and in this orchard there was cast iron steel pear trees
and apples and oranges grew upon them.
I thought I'd get a peck of apples to make me a gooseberry pudding for Christmas,
when I got up the tree a man came along,
he asked me what I was up in the tree after.
I told him I only wanted a peck of apples to make me a gooseberry pudding for Christmas,
he said you come down or I'll fetch you down,
up he steps one side of the tree and I slipped down the other,
and away I tore across the orchard,
jest as I was getting over the hedge
he gave me such a kick on my rump,
kicked a hump up on to my shoulder
and there remains the hump now.

No. I

Walk in Belsey Bob.

No. VII

In comes I old Belsey Bob
and on my sholder I carry my nob,
in my hand a dripping pan,
don't you think I'm a jolly old man
with my hump back and curly wig,
you play me a tune, I'll dance you a jig.

{Another version for Father Scrump is}

Father Scrump

In comes I as ain't been yet
With my big head and little wet
My head is so big and my wits so small
I' play you a tune as will please you all


Notes:

"Written out by a son of William Cobb, of Sapperton, in 1914. In the manuscript the speeches were indicated, as here, by numbers."

"Instruments.

Tin whistle. Jew's harp. Father Scrump carries the humpenscrump made with a tin with wires across and bridge and a stick with notches for a bow and also a sheep-bell on his rump.

Belsey Bob he wears a sheep bell and Morris bells."


File History:
07/01/1995 - Scanned & OCRed by Peter Millington
09/09/1998 - Encoded by Peter Millington
13/12/2000 - Corrected by PTM

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Last generated on 26/12/2007 by P.Millington (Peter.Millington1@virgin.net)