The Plough Boys (from Tollerton, Nottinghamshire) 1950

Vaughan Williams Memorial Library Collection (1950, M.Shepherd)


Folk Play Home Scripts Intro County List Class List Characters

Context:
Location: Tollerton, Nottinghamshire, England (SK6134)
Year: Col. 1950
Time of Occurrence: Plough Monday
Collective Name: Plough Boys

Source:

Marjorie Shepherd
The Plough Boys (from Tollerton, Nottinghamshire)
Vaughan Williams Memorial Library Collection, Jan.1950


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

Tom Fool

In comes I, Bold Tom
Good evening ladies, gentlemen all
We have just come to taste your wine and beer
We, have come to make you merry
Stoke up your fires, turn on your lights
And see our galland act tonight
Some can dance, some can sing
At your consent they shall come in
Okum, Pokum, France and Spain
In comes the Recruiting Sergeant on his name

Recruiting Sergeant

In comes I the Recruiting Sergeant
I have arrived here just now
I have orders from the King
Enlist all young men that follow horses, cart, waggon or plough
Tinkers, tailors, peddlers, nailers
All the more to my advance
The more I hear the fiddle play
The better I can dance

Tom Fool

What, you dance?

Recruiting Sergeant

Yes, I can either dance, sing or say

Tom Fool

If you can either dance, sing or say
I will quickly walk away.

Farmer's man

In comes I the farmer's man
Don't you see my whip, in hand
As I go forth to plough the land and turn it upside down
How straight I go from end to end
And never make a baulk or bend
And all my horses I attend
As they go marching round the bend
Whoa back, Bob.

Lady

Behold the lady bright and gay
Good fortune and sweet charms
How scornfully I have been thrown away
Out of my true love's arms
He says as I won't to him wed
He'll let me understand
He will list all for a soldier
And go into some foreign land.

Recruiting Sergeant

Come all you lads that have a mind for listening
List and do not be afraid
You shall have all kinds of liquors
Likewise kiss this fair pretty maid.

{To Farmer's Man}

Are you willing to serve the King young man?

Farmer's Man

Thanks kind Sergeant for your offer
Time away does quickly pass
The health and wealth does very well suit me
But I'm in love with this buxom lass.

Recruiting Sergeant

This buxom lass she will not maintain you
Her beauty it will fade away
Like the first rose of summer in the winter does become
Ten bright guineas shall be your bounty
If along with me you will go
Your hat shall be neatly trimmed with ribbon
You shall cut a gallant show.

{To Farmer's Man}

Are you free, able and willing to serve your King?

Farmer's Man

Yes, Sergeant

Recruiting Sergeant

In you hand I place this shilling
On your hat I place this ribbon
You are a King's man.

Lady

And since my love has listed and entered volunteers
I neither mean to sigh for him or yet to shed one tear
I neither mean to sigh for him but just to let you know
I will get another sweetheart and along with him I'll go.

Tom Fool

Do you love me my pretty fair maid.

Lady

Yes Tommy, to my sorrow

Tom Fool

And when shall be our wedding day

Lady

Tommy dear, tomorrow

[All Four]

And we'll shake hands and we'll make banns
And we'll get wed tomorrow.

Dame Jane

In comes I Dame Jane
With a neck as long as any crane.
Bibble, babble over the meadows
A long time I have sought thee,
and now I have got thee
Pray Tommy take thy child.

Tom Fool

Child, Jinny? It's not my child
Look at it, it's not a bit like me

Dame Jane

Look at its nose, eyes and chin
It is as much like you as ever it can grin.

Tom Fool

Who says so?

Dame Jane

The overseer of the parish pump said I was to bring it
to the biggest fool in the house
and I think you are he.

Tom Fool

Thank you, Jinny.

Threshing Blade

In come I old Threshing Blade
As all you people know
My old dad learnt me this trade
Just 60 years ago
I thrashed old Bony-part and all his crew
And I will thrash you before I go

{To Sergeant}

Recruiting Sergeant

You won't.

Threshing Blade

I will

{R. Sergeant knock Threshing Blade down.}

Tom Fool

O, Murphy, Murphy, what hast thou done
Thou hast killed and slain thy'n only son
Thy'n only son, thy'n onle heir
Can'st thou not see him bleeding there?
Five pounds for a doctor.

Recruiting Sergeant

Ten pounds for him to stay away.

Tom Fool

Fifteen pounds for him to come
If there is one to be found anywhere

Recruiting Sergeant

Well, there is.

Tom Fool

Well, step in doctor.

Doctor

Whoa boys, whoa boys, take hold of my horse
Mind it does not swallow you
In comes I the doctor.

Tom Fool

What, you the doctor?

Doctor

Yes, me the doctor.

Tom Fool

How became you to be a doctor?

Doctor

By my travels.

Tom Fool

Where did you travel?

Doctor

Italy, Ireland, Germany, France and Spain
Thirteen times round the world and back again.

Tom Fool

What, as far as that?

Doctor

Yes, A great deal further than that
Also two-two miles yon side of York
Where I cured an old woman called Mrs. Cork
She tumbled upstairs with a tea-pot
Half full of cold boiling water.
And grazed her shin just below the elbow
And made her stocking top bleed
Also to my old grandmother's cupboard
Where I always used to get a piece of cake and pork pie,
That's what makes me such a fine big man.

Tom Fool

Fine big man you are

Doctor

Yes as big as two men in this room
My own size particularly when I get my hat off.

Tom Fool

What great pains do you cure, doctor?

Doctor

Ipsy, Pipsy, Polsy, Gout
Pains within and pains without
Draw a leg, set a tooth
Physic cats, poison rats
Almost bring a dead man to life again
But I haven't done that yet.

Tom Fool

You seem a clever old chap, doctor
I wish you would try your skill on this young man

Doctor

By your leave sir. I will.
Here pretty lady, take hold of this hat, stick and walking gloves
while I feel this man's pulse.

Tom Fool

Pulse man, the pulse doesn't lie there.

Doctor

Where Tommy, where would you feel?

Tom Fool

You feel the bridge of the neck and the back of the nose of course
That's the hardest and softest part about him.

Doctor

This man is not dead, he is in a trance,
He has been trying a new experiment.

Tom Fool

What is that doctor?

Doctor

He has been living on green raw boiled potatoes
nine days all but a fortnight
Also swallowed his old grandmother's donkey and cart
and couldn't digest the wheels.
Oh I have a box of pills here.

Tom Fool

By the way doctor, what pills do you carry?

Doctor

These pills are anti-billious pills
Take one at night and one in the morning
And swallow the box at dinner time
If the pills do not digest the box will
Oh I have another box here.

Tom Fool

What does that box contain, doctor?

Doctor

Stilts for shrimps,
crutches for lame grasshoppers
Spectacles for blind bumble-bees
and many other things I cannot mention just now.
Inside my inside trousers waistcoat pocket that I have left at home,
I have a bottle of whiff whaff
to teem down his old tiff taff.
If you can dance, we can sing
Arise old chap and let's begin.

All

Good masters and good mistress
As you sit around your fire
remember us poor ploughboys
Who plough through mud and mire
The mire it is so very deep
The water runs so clear
Put your hands into your pockets
That is all that we desire
Put bread into our hoppers
and beer into our cans
Let's hope you will never forget
The jolly Old Farmer's Man.

{Box collection.... Tom Fool bids goodnight then sings}

Good masters and good mistress
You see our fool has gone
We make it our business to follow him along.
We thank you for civility and what you gave us here
We wish you all goodnight and another happy year.


Notes:

Indexer's Notes:

Downloaded from the Web site of the Foresters Morris Men, Nottingham: http://www.cs.nott.ac.uk/Department/Staff/ef/plough-t.html, and proof-read against a typescript of the play from the same collector provided by Roy Harris.

From local press reports, it is known that the Tollerton Plough Boys performed into the 1950s.

Source Note:

This play was collected by Marjorie Shepherd in January 1950 from Tollerton, Nottinghamshire.


File History:
15/04/1996 - Created by Eric Foxley
21/11/1999 - Encoded & checked by Peter Millington

The recommended URL for this web page is www.folkplay.info/Texts/95sk63sm.htm
Last generated on 26/12/2007 by P.Millington (Peter.Millington1@virgin.net)