North Muskham Plough Play Script

North Muskham, Notts. - Plough Monday Play

M.W.Barley Collection (1957. W.Gascoyne) 

Context:
Location:  North Muskham, Notts.. England (SK7958)
Year:    Perf. Before 1914
Time of Occurrence: [Not given]
Collective Name:       Plough Boys
Source:W.Gascoyne 
M. W. Barley collection. 1st Feb. 1954,

Cast:
         Tom Fool
         Recruiting Sergeant / King Sergeant
         Lady / Lady Bright and Gay / Polly
         Thrashing Blade.             
         Doctor
         Eezum Squeezum
         Little Clown

 Text:
       Tom Fool 
       In comes I that's never been before.
       There's six more actors at the door;
       Some can dance and some can sing.
       By your consent they shall come in.
       Hokum Pokum France and Spain,
       Step in King Sergeant once again.

       Recruiting Sergeant
      In comes I the Recruiting Sergeant,
      I've arrived here just now,
      I've had orders from the King
     To list all jolly fellows
     That follow horse, cartor plough.
     Tinkers, Tailors, pedlars, nailers,
     Chimney sweeps to my advance
     The more I hear the fiddler play,
     The better I dance

      Tom Fool
       Faith lad. ye dance 

      Recruiting  Sergeant:
       I can either dance, sing or say.  

       Tom Fool
       Dont die nor fear.
       In a short time the Lady will appear.

       Lady{singing to the Wassail tune}
        In comes the Lady bright and gay
       With fortunes and sweet charms
       I've constantly got thrown away
       right into my lover's arms.
       He swears that I will wed with him
       As you may understand;
       I've got another sweetheart 
       And along with him I'll go.

       Recruiting Sergeant
       Do you love me Polly ?

       Lady
       Yes to be sorry.
  
       Recruiting Sergeant
       When shall it be, our wedding day ?

        Lady{ Wassail song} ,
        Tomorrow will be our wedding day
        And we will then repair
        Unto the Bell at Edmonton
        All in a chaise and pair. 

        Thrashing Blade {Carrying a stocking stuffed}
       In comes I old Thrashing Blade
       I've thrashed all over England
       And I'll thrash you, Tom.   

         Tom Fool
         Thrash me?   

       Thrashing Blade
  
    Yes. thrash you {hits him with stocking}.

        {Tom Fool falls}

          Lady
         Five pound for a doctor
         Another No. 1 
         Ten to stop away.
         Another No. 2
         Fifteen to come to Muskham to a sad case like this!

         Doctor   {raps loudly}
         Woa boys, Woa boys.
         take hold of my horse;
         take hold of his tail.
         I've just come horse back on a pig.
        Give him a good stiff feed of thack pegs,|
        groom him down with a brick,
        drink with an iron bar.
        in comes I the Doctor.

      Recruiting Sergeant
      How became you a doctor ?

       Doctor
       By my travels.

     Recruiting Sergeant:  
      Where'd you travel?
 
     Doctor 
     England, Ireland, France and Spain,
     And many more nations I can't name.
     I've been to York,
     I've cured Mrs. Cork;
     emptied a teapot half full of flour
     tumbled upstairs, 
     made my stocking leg bleed.
     I've been further than that:
     I've been to Hellamatitty
     where there's neither land nor city
     pigstyes paved with dumplings
     houses thatched with pancakes
     little pigs running up and down the street
     with knives and forks in their belly
     crying out  ''Who'll eat me''
     I've run punch -kick at one
     knocked him over nineteen hedges and twenty church steeples
     and I broke every back bone he had in his ribs.

     Recruiting Sergeant
    You seem a very clever doctor.
    Please try your skill on this young man. 

     Doctor /Examines him}
    His pulse is very weak;
    well I'll soon put that right.
    He's had a wheelbarrow across his chest
    and it won't digest
    Feed him on green taty tops for a week
    and give him a good dose of epsom salts
    and he'll be quite alright.
    This man's not dead he's in a trance.
    Rise up, young man, and let us dance.

       {Enter Eezum Squeezum:}
     Eezum Squeezum 
     In comes I old Eezum Squeezum.
     On my back I carry my besom.
     Under my arm an old tin pan;
     Don't you think I'm a funny old man ?
     Money I want and money I crave.
     If you don't give me money
     I'll sweep you all to the grave. 

      Little Clown
     In comes I the Little Clown
     I carry my box under my arm:
     Penny or twopence'll do no harm,
     Sixpence or shilling'll do more good
     Because it's made of the very best wood.
     Ladies and gentlemen
     sit down at your ease,
     Put your hands in your pockets
    and pay what you please.

      {All sing (Wassail tune)} 
       Good master and good mistress
       As you sit by your fire.
       Remember us poor plough lads
       Who plough through mud and mire:
       The mire it is so very deep
       And the water runs so clear;
       We thank you for your Christmas box
       And a gallon of your best beer.

      Notes:

Two teams - one men, one youths. W. Gascoyne was in youths team - 18-20 years of age. When they came to the Old Hall, N. Muskham, they came into the scullery and knocked at the kitchen door, opened it and said: "Plough boys are here; may we act ?"
Costumes: For Lady..Harry Clipsham padded out with straw, bustle behind. Faces blacked except Doctor. Doctor with false moustache.
Eezum Squeezum..O!d black hat; sack over him, and sacking tied out over arms, stuffed
Tom Fool, "patchcd-up" clothing
Rehearsed "in anybody's barn". Last done before 1914.

 

 

 

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