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1 of approx 7 results

Sword-dancer's Coat

Thomas Fairman Ordish Manuscript Collection (TFO/1/9/11)
First Line:
Performer: Calvert, Mrs
Date: 1894
Place: England : County Durham : Gainford
Collector: Edleston, Alice
Roud No:
URL:

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2 media items

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[Photograph of sword dancer's coat]

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Sword-dancer's coat Durham

11 [in red ink]

t = Transcribed

Transcription

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[Photograph of sword dancer's coat]

Sword-dancer's coat Durham

11 [in red ink]

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2 of approx 7 results

Sword-dancer's Hat

Thomas Fairman Ordish Manuscript Collection (TFO/1/9/10)
First Line:
Performer: Calvert, Mrs
Date: 1894
Place: England : County Durham : Gainford
Collector: Edleston, Alice
Roud No:
URL:

Media

2 media items

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t

[Photograph of sword dancer's hat]

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Sword-dancer's Hat Durham

10 [in red ink, upside down]

t = Transcribed

Transcription

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[Photograph of sword dancer's hat]

Sword-dancer's Hat Durham

10 [in red ink, upside down]

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3 of approx 7 results

Letter from Alice Edleston to [Thomas Fairman Ordish] (28 Apr 1894)

Thomas Fairman Ordish Manuscript Collection (TFO/1/9/5d)
First Line:
Performer: Calvert, Mrs
Date: c. 1863
Place: England : County Durham : Gainford
Collector: Edleston, Alice
Roud No:
URL:

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2 media items

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Gainford Vicarage.

nr Darlington

Dear Sir,

I am afraid you will have though I had forgotten about the sword dancers dress-Mrs Calver has been ill, and some of her family and has only just been able to get the hat and coat finished. Some people who remember the old ones very well. Think thses quite the same. I enclose the tune they sang to, beginning with “The first

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[On two facing pages. First page:]

that I call on”, the answers, and the clown's song, all the same. The tune they danced to, I cannot get. Mrs Calvert thinks it was not always the same. One tune she remembers hearing her mother call ”Lady Mery Ramsay”. I send the fiddlers book which she gave me, but she cannot point out any particular tune in it. The Doctor was dressed in as old fashioned black clothes and tall hat as they could get.

[Second page:]

He wore leather rimmed spectacles and carried a large pill box These dancers never had a horse with them. Some man used to come round with a horse, but they did not dance. They came from Richmond, and were about here 2 years ago.

The swords were real ones, one that Mrs Calvert remembers had been dug up on Stainmoor.

Yours sincerely

Alice Edleston

28 April 1894

t = Transcribed

Transcription

See all of transcription

Gainford Vicarage.

nr Darlington

Dear Sir,

I am afraid you will have though I had forgotten about the sword dancers dress-Mrs Calver has been ill, and some of her family and has only just been able to get the hat and coat finished. Some people who remember the old ones very well. Think thses quite the same. I enclose the tune they sang to, beginning with “The first

[On two facing pages. First page:]

that I call on”, the answers, and the clown's song, all the same. The tune they danced to, I cannot get. Mrs Calvert thinks it was not always the same. One tune she remembers hearing her mother call ”Lady Mery Ramsay”. I send the fiddlers book which she gave me, but she cannot point out any particular tune in it. The Doctor was dressed in as old fashioned black clothes and tall hat as they could get.

[Second page:]

He wore leather rimmed spectacles and carried a large pill box These dancers never had a horse with them. Some man used to come round with a horse, but they did not dance. They came from Richmond, and were about here 2 years ago.

The swords were real ones, one that Mrs Calvert remembers had been dug up on Stainmoor.

Yours sincerely

Alice Edleston

28 April 1894

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4 of approx 7 results

Letter from Alice Edleston to [Thomas Fairman Ordish] (23 Nov 1893)

Thomas Fairman Ordish Manuscript Collection (TFO/1/9/5c)
First Line:
Performer: Calvert, Mrs
Date: c. 1863
Place: England : County Durham : Gainford
Collector: Edleston, Alice
Roud No:
URL:

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3 media items

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Gainford Vicarage.

Nr Darlington

23 Nov.1893

Dear Sir,

Sword Dancers

I have seen the women who made the dresses, she will make a dancer’s dress and hat exactly after her remembrance of them, which I will send you as soon as possible. She thinks there are none left in this village, but knows who might have a clown’s dress, and will enquire about it.

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[On two facing pages. First page:]

Meanwhile, I give the description of the dresses as she told me.

  1. Clown: “Short jacket like the white ones workmen wear, with a collar, ordinary cloth trousers- Jacket and trousers covered with “ carpet thums” which move up and down when he jumped. Hat, like the black thing some soldiers wear, made of pasteboard, feathers in front, and bright things, such as broches, beads and bits of looking glass stuck on”

  2. [Second page:]

Dancers: “ Jacket like the clown’s, of blue or pink calico, covered with bows of different coloured ribbons. Hat, like a high crowned sailor hat, of the calico, covered with bright things.”

King :Like the dancers, with feathers in front of his hat, and smarter”,

The dance: She thinks it was no particular dance, quick “ most like a horn pipe in step.” Sometimes they all danced round the clown, holding their sword points upward over his head. On two stood opposite each other holding out their swords, which the others jumped

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over. They always had a fiddler with them, who wore a tall hat with ribbons. She has an old music book, with the tune they used, and will look for it, and send it me. This village was not so noted for sword dancing as Piercebridge 2 1/2 miles off and Eppleby and Aldbrough just over in Yorkshire. I shall be much pleased to try and get any information you wish for, and hopes to soon send you the dresses. My informant (Mrs Calvert) has a very good and I should think accurate memory.

Yours truly

Alice Edleston

t = Transcribed

Transcription

See all of transcription

Gainford Vicarage.

Nr Darlington

23 Nov.1893

Dear Sir,

Sword Dancers

I have seen the women who made the dresses, she will make a dancer’s dress and hat exactly after her remembrance of them, which I will send you as soon as possible. She thinks there are none left in this village, but knows who might have a clown’s dress, and will enquire about it.

[On two facing pages. First page:]

Meanwhile, I give the description of the dresses as she told me.

  1. Clown: “Short jacket like the white ones workmen wear, with a collar, ordinary cloth trousers- Jacket and trousers covered with “ carpet thums” which move up and down when he jumped. Hat, like the black thing some soldiers wear, made of pasteboard, feathers in front, and bright things, such as broches, beads and bits of looking glass stuck on”

  2. [Second page:]

Dancers: “ Jacket like the clown’s, of blue or pink calico, covered with bows of different coloured ribbons. Hat, like a high crowned sailor hat, of the calico, covered with bright things.”

King :Like the dancers, with feathers in front of his hat, and smarter”,

The dance: She thinks it was no particular dance, quick “ most like a horn pipe in step.” Sometimes they all danced round the clown, holding their sword points upward over his head. On two stood opposite each other holding out their swords, which the others jumped

over. They always had a fiddler with them, who wore a tall hat with ribbons. She has an old music book, with the tune they used, and will look for it, and send it me. This village was not so noted for sword dancing as Piercebridge 2 1/2 miles off and Eppleby and Aldbrough just over in Yorkshire. I shall be much pleased to try and get any information you wish for, and hopes to soon send you the dresses. My informant (Mrs Calvert) has a very good and I should think accurate memory.

Yours truly

Alice Edleston

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5 of approx 7 results

Sword Dance Tune

Thomas Fairman Ordish Manuscript Collection (TFO/1/9/5a)
First Line: Good morrow gentlemen a sleeping I have been
Performer:
Date:
Place: England : County Durham : Gainford
Collector: Edleston, Alice
Roud No: 610
URL:

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1 media item

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5 [in red ink]

Sword Dancers Tune

[Music:1]

Good morrow gentlemen a sleeping I have been

I have had a sleep as the like was never seem

t = Transcribed

Transcription

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5 [in red ink]

Sword Dancers Tune

[Music:1]

Good morrow gentlemen a sleeping I have been

I have had a sleep as the like was never seem

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6 of approx 7 results

Letter from Alice Edleston to [Thomas Fairman Ordish] (5 May 1894)

Thomas Fairman Ordish Manuscript Collection (TFO/1/9/5e)
First Line:
Performer: Calvert, Mrs | Warwick, Thomas
Date: c. 1863
Place: England : County Durham : Gainford
Collector: Edleston, Alice
Roud No:
URL:

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57 RHADEGUND BUILDINGS

CAMBRIDGE

Dear Sir,

We are away from home, so I have only now had your letter. Mrs Calvert was pleased to make the things, as I had a wish to see them, and you do not owe her anything for them. I quite understand the danger of people inventing as they go on but really think, in this

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[On two facing pages: First page:]

case, you may believe Mrs Calvert. I should add she is the village milliner, and was not stinted in the number of yards of ribbon she says the great thing was to put on as much, and as many different as possible. I hope you will find the notes I send separately what you require, please tell me if there is anything

[Second page:]

more you wish to know, in haste to catch early post.

Yours truly

A Edleston

5 May /94

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23.5.94

Sword Dance

Gainsford

The performance is remembered by several people in the village but there has been none for certainly 34 years. I cannot fix the exact date, but my father has been Vicar 31 years, and there was none for some time before. As I take great interest in anything connected with the history of the place, I have for some years noted words, sayings, games etc, which I come across. The two people who gave me the words of the sword dance are Mrs Calvert and Thos Warwick, our man. He did not remember very much being younger than she is, and she saw much more of it, her cousin being one of the performers herself and a girl cousin making

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[On two facing pages. First page:]

the dresses. Her mother whom I knew lived to over 90 and had a great liking for old customs. The cousin, who danced and another man saw the coat and hat and thought them like those really worn, and Thos Warwick quite unexpectedly coming in when I had them said “ that’s a sword dancer’s coat”. The description of the dresses from mrs Calvert is

Clown. Short jacket a trousers covered with carpet thrums, which moved up and down as he danced. Tall black hat, like some soldiers wear, of pasteboard, feathers in front and bits of looking glass,

[Second page:]

beads and bright things stuck on

Dancers Short jacket like what workmen wear, of blue or pink calico, with a collar, and covered with bows of all different ribbons- Hat of the calico covered with bright things.

* King. Much the same, only smarter, and feathers in front of his hat.

Doctor Black suit, with old fashioned tall hat, leather rimmed spectacles and a large pill box.

Fiddler. He was decorated with ribbons.

-------------------------------------------------

* The hat and coat sent would represent the King’s, the hat having feathers.

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These dancers never had a horse with them.

Neither Mrs Calvert nor Warwick can tell exactly what dance was. “no particular dance” she says, then again “ something like a hornpipe in step, and quick”. Sometimes they all danced round the clown, pointing their swords upwards over his head. Then two stood opposite each other holding out their swords, and the others jumped over them. Both say that the words were not always quite the same, popular songs were added, and personal remarks, by the clown. She gave me the tune, & says what was sung, was the king’s part, calling up the dancers their answers & the clowns song all the same tune.

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He cannot remember the tune at all, but knows that of the song ”When good King Henry” & gave me some more verses. It is the usual children’s tune of "Nuts in May".*

Alice Edleston

5 May 1894

 

*

[Music:1]

Words made to fit.

Thumbnail
t

[Drawing of sword dancer]

Dancer

[Drawing of clown]

Clown

t = Transcribed

Transcription

See all of transcription

57 RHADEGUND BUILDINGS

CAMBRIDGE

Dear Sir,

We are away from home, so I have only now had your letter. Mrs Calvert was pleased to make the things, as I had a wish to see them, and you do not owe her anything for them. I quite understand the danger of people inventing as they go on but really think, in this

[On two facing pages: First page:]

case, you may believe Mrs Calvert. I should add she is the village milliner, and was not stinted in the number of yards of ribbon she says the great thing was to put on as much, and as many different as possible. I hope you will find the notes I send separately what you require, please tell me if there is anything

[Second page:]

more you wish to know, in haste to catch early post.

Yours truly

A Edleston

5 May /94

23.5.94

Sword Dance

Gainsford

The performance is remembered by several people in the village but there has been none for certainly 34 years. I cannot fix the exact date, but my father has been Vicar 31 years, and there was none for some time before. As I take great interest in anything connected with the history of the place, I have for some years noted words, sayings, games etc, which I come across. The two people who gave me the words of the sword dance are Mrs Calvert and Thos Warwick, our man. He did not remember very much being younger than she is, and she saw much more of it, her cousin being one of the performers herself and a girl cousin making

[On two facing pages. First page:]

the dresses. Her mother whom I knew lived to over 90 and had a great liking for old customs. The cousin, who danced and another man saw the coat and hat and thought them like those really worn, and Thos Warwick quite unexpectedly coming in when I had them said “ that’s a sword dancer’s coat”. The description of the dresses from mrs Calvert is

Clown. Short jacket a trousers covered with carpet thrums, which moved up and down as he danced. Tall black hat, like some soldiers wear, of pasteboard, feathers in front and bits of looking glass,

[Second page:]

beads and bright things stuck on

Dancers Short jacket like what workmen wear, of blue or pink calico, with a collar, and covered with bows of all different ribbons- Hat of the calico covered with bright things.

* King. Much the same, only smarter, and feathers in front of his hat.

Doctor Black suit, with old fashioned tall hat, leather rimmed spectacles and a large pill box.

Fiddler. He was decorated with ribbons.

-------------------------------------------------

* The hat and coat sent would represent the King’s, the hat having feathers.

These dancers never had a horse with them.

Neither Mrs Calvert nor Warwick can tell exactly what dance was. “no particular dance” she says, then again “ something like a hornpipe in step, and quick”. Sometimes they all danced round the clown, pointing their swords upwards over his head. Then two stood opposite each other holding out their swords, and the others jumped over them. Both say that the words were not always quite the same, popular songs were added, and personal remarks, by the clown. She gave me the tune, & says what was sung, was the king’s part, calling up the dancers their answers & the clowns song all the same tune.

He cannot remember the tune at all, but knows that of the song ”When good King Henry” & gave me some more verses. It is the usual children’s tune of "Nuts in May".*

Alice Edleston

5 May 1894

 

*

[Music:1]

Words made to fit.

[Drawing of sword dancer]

Dancer

[Drawing of clown]

Clown

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7 of approx 7 results

Sword Dancers

Thomas Fairman Ordish Manuscript Collection (TFO/1/9/5b)
First Line:
Performer:
Date: c. 1863
Place: England : County Durham : Gainford
Collector: Edleston, Alice
Roud No:
URL:

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Sword Dancers

There have been none in Gainford or near as far as I can make out for about 30 years and I have never seen them. The words of their performance I got from a man who acted the King, a woman who made the dresses and a few recollections from others who had seen them often.

Performers: King, 6 Dancers, 2 Clowns, Doctor.

--------

Clown:

Crack a bottle that fellow has got no supper this morning, nor breakfast last night.

King:

Spectators, silence keep, our dancers will appear

We're six as clever lads as ever danced here

We're six dancers young, never danced much before

We'll do the best we can, the best can do no more.

So be of courage bold and young men each and old

Let nothing here you daunt when on you I do call.

The first that I call on he is a spark from France

He's the first man on the list but the second in the dance.

1st Dancer:

God bless you honest fame and all your young men too

I've come to act my part as well as I can do.

King:

If thou will act thy part and never from me flee

I'll call our young men in one by one, by two, by three.

The next that I call on his name is Mr. Bold

As good a swordman he as ever sword did hold.

2nd Dancer:

My valour has been tried in city, town and field

I ne'er could find the man that once could make me yield

King:

The next that I call in his name is Mr. Wild

I fear the worst of all those maids he does beguile

 

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3rd Dancer:

I've travelled many a mile 'tis not for my gain

It is for my true love and I'll travel it over again.

Clown:

Red rum for dancers and give us room to ring

I'll show the most curious sport that was ever acted

on this King's reign, actors young, actors aged

I'll show you the most curious sport that was ever acted on the stage

If you don't believe the words I say

I will call the real King of Macedonia

King:

Here comes the great King of Macedonia

And here I do advance

Clown:

And I'm the ragged clown come to see the dance

King:

Dance, dance, wert thou ever admitted to see a King dance

Clown:

Hark canny fellow, was not thou driving the swine the other day

Or stealing the swine as I should say.

King:

Hold thy tongue thou saucy rascal

Thou will be hanged I fear.

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5

I am a King and a conqueror, and a King of high renown

Have I to be offended at thou a silly ragged clown.

Clown:

If thou wert hanged I'd me a better King than thou

Thou need not be so much offended nor make such an ugly face

King:

Thy impudence doth protect thee, but I both swear and vow

I've been the death of many a man, and I'll be the death of thou,

And now the next he is a Prince of noble fame

4.

Has spent a large estate and the wars he will maintain.

4th answers

Although I be a Prince, my name I'll not deny

Although I be a Prince, my valour here I'll try.

King: 5

The last that I call on he is a squire's son

He's like to lose his love, because he is too young.

5th answers

Although I be too young, I've money for to roam

I'll freely spend it all, before my love I'll lose.

Clown: 6

Now I'm the last myself, my name is Captain Tom

All the lasses know me well with going to court them

You sent me before, to knock at your door

To see if you'd let us come in

My waistcoat and coat are made of mohair

My breeches are made of standoff

My stockings and shoes are made of refuse

And my sword cries come if you dare

(Then all dance round the clown and when their swords are round his neck he sings:)

Clown:

Just now I'm going to die as you may plainly see

These six glittering swords will soon put an end to me

(They then draw their swords and he falls down)

King:

Now since our Hector's dead and on the ground is laid

We'll have to suffer for it, young men I'm sore afraid

1st Dancer:

I'm sure it's none of me, I'm clear of the crime

It's he who followed me which drew his sword so fine.

2nd [ditto]:

Don't lay the blame on me, I'm clear of the fact

It's he that followed me, that did this wicked act.

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[On two facing pages. First page:]

6

3rd Dancer:

Don't lay the blame on me you villains all

I'm sure my eyes were shut when the first sword was drawn.

4th [ditto]:

How could your eyes be shut, when you were looking on

I'm sure you were with us when the very first sword was drawn.

5th [ditto]:

Now since I am the last, the blame I'll have to take

So on my bended knees for pardon I do crave.

King:

Now since you've told the truth and told it unto me

We'll do the best we can to bury him privately

2nd Clown:

Bury him, bury him, the devil bury him

I've heard of a doctor far and near one in France and one in Spain

Either of these men would bring him to life again

King:

A doctor, a doctor, ten pounds for a doctor.

Doctor:

Here am I

King:

Well Doctor what is thy fee

Doctor:

Ten pounds is my fee, but £9.19/11 3/4 I'll take of thee

King:

Pooh, Pooh, 'tis far too much, I'll not give it thee

Doctor:

One bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

So I'm off home again.

King:

Stay, Doctor, stay and try thy skill

Doctor:

Yes indeed that I will

King:

How far have you travelled Doctor

Doctor:

Oh ! all over England France and Spain

And now I've come to cure this man whom you have slain

So ladies and gentlemen my business to complete

You shall see this dead man rise to his feet

Arise young man arise

Clown: (getting up sings:):

Good morrow gentlemen, a-sleeping I have been.

I've had such a sleep as the like was never seen

But now I am awake, and here I am this day

So we'll have a dance and the doctor shall have his pay

They sing:

When first King Henry ruled this land.

He was a gracious king.

He bought six pecks of barley meal.

To make a large pudding

(Then they dance, and afterwards sang any popular songs.)

[Second page:]

7

(This is another version from a younger man who never acted himself and does not remember any more:)

Now since I am the last, the blame I must take

So down on my bended knees for pardon I must crave

Now since thou told the truth, the truth can do no more

We'll do the best we can and bury him privately

Bury him, the devil bury him

I know a doctor that can cure him

A doctor, £10 for a doctor

Here comes I old Dr. Brown

How came thou to be a doctor

By my travels

How far hast thou travelled?

Through England, Fingland, France and Spain

Three times there and back again

Where was thou born?

I was born at itty titty

Where there neither wood, house, land nor city,

Wooden church, leather bells, black puddings for bell ropes, and if thou had been there you would have eaten them all

Wha do they call thee

My name high van, low van tin tan tarravan

latten, leavy, high jany, low jany dead men's bones

Pitch and tar, hog's tar, beeswax and honeycombs

That's my name and a funny name too.

Now, Doctor, what's thy fee?

Ten pounds, but £9.19.113/4 I'll take of thee

I'll not give it thee

I soon gang yam on my old horse

Stop, Doctor and try thy skill

Yes and that I will

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8

 

How long has this man been dead?

Seven years, 7 months, 7 weeks, 7 days, 7 seconds and I dinnet know how many thirds.

It's a long time for a man to be dead and brought to life again.

How did he happen this misfortune?

Fell upstairs and broke his neck.

Upstairs thou stupid fool, I oft heard of a man falling down but never up.

Well down, doctor, I forgot.

Canst tell us what's matter with him?

All hairs of his head split, his neck broken, his main spring loose and his thumble tear out of joint.

Now here's a box of pills that was left fra' my great grandfather when he was 300 and 36 years of age. All this can they cure, the Mulley grubs and the sculley grubs the itch the stitch and the gout.

If there's nineteen devils in, they drive twenty out.

Now here's a bottle left by my great grandmother when she was 100 and 90 years of age, take a drop

Ladies and gentlemen you shall all see this dead man stand upon his feet again, arise young man arise..

 

A Children's Play (the characters seem mixed)

(This was acted by a few small boys till recently but I have seen nothing of it for 5 or 6 years. They dressed up with bits of ribbon and coloured paper and one with a black face.)

They knock:

Open the door

I open the door I enter in

I hope the battle will soon begin

Stir up the fire and make a light

For in this house there'll be a fight

If you don't believe the words I say

Step in King George and clear the way

King George.

In comes I King George, King George is my name

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9

With sword and pistol by side

I hope to win the game

Slasher:

The game sir?

King George:

The game sir,

The game will not end in thy power

I'll smash thee into mincemeat

In less than half an hour

Open the door.

Slasher:

How canst thou when my head is made of iron

My body made of steel

My hands and feet of knuckle bone

I'll challenge thee to yield

King George:

I sir, I sir,

Take your sword and try sir,

Holt:

Here two champions come to fight

That never fought before

I have come to save one of their lives

And what can I do more?

Fight on, fight on, my gallant boys

I'll bet ten to one,

Bow Slasher here lies dead.

(They fight)

Oh dear, oh dear, what have I done

I've killed my father's only son

Around the kitchen, around the hall

A five pound doctor I must call

There is no five pound doctor

A ten pound doctor

There is no ten pound doctor

All the world for a doctor

Dr. Brown

In comes I old Dr. Brown

The best old doctor in the town.

Holt:

How come you to be the best old doctor?

Doctor:

By my travels

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[On two facing pages. First page:]

10

Holt:

Where have you travelled

Doctor:

England, Fingland, Ficky and Spain

Three times there and back again.

Holt:

What did you see in your travels

Doctor:

Three dead men fighting

Three blind men seeing fair play

Three deaf and dumb men shouting Hip, hip, hooray

Holt:

What can you cure?

Doctor:

I can cure

Holt:

What in the world can you cure?

Doctor:

The hick, the pick, the polt, and the golt

If there is nineteen devils down that man's throat

I can pull twenty out.

Holt:

Cure that man.

Doctor:

I have a little bottle in my waistcoat pocket

Put it to his lips, Jack, rise fight again

My brother's come alive again

We'll never fight no more

We'll be as kind as brothers

As ever we were before

With pockets full of money

And cellars full of beer

I wish you a merry Christmas

And a happy New Year

 

Here's five guising lads all in a row

We just come a guising

If you will provide your extra strong beer

We'll come no more here till this time next year

Sing lady fal the lay

Fal the day

Fal the day

The next one steps up Lord Nelson you'll see

With a bunch of blue ribbons tied under each knee

A star on his breast like silver doth shine

I hope you'll remember it's Christmas time.

Sing lady, fal the day.

Put you hand in your pocket and pull out your purse

If you give us a trifle you'll find it no worse

Put your hand in your pocket, you'll find it all right

If you give nought, we'll take nought, farewell and good night

In comes I old Beelzebub

Over my shoulder I carry my club

In my hand a dripping pan

I think myself a jolly old man

A jolly old man I ought to be

I have two sons as big as three

One tall, the other small

I think myself above you all

In comes I little Johnny Funny

I'm the man that collects the money

I have a little box under my arm

Five or six shillings will do it no harm

So ladies and gentlemen, put your hands in your pockets and pull out your purse

And give us a trifle, you'll find it no worse

Put your hands in your pockets you'll find it all right

If you give nought, we'll take nought, farewell and goodnight.

 

Thumbnail
t

Two stories

Rhymes

Sword Dancers play

Childrens play

Gainford Co Durham

 

[in pencil]

Miss A Edleston

Gainford Villcarage

nr Darlington

t = Transcribed

Transcription

See all of transcription

Sword Dancers

There have been none in Gainford or near as far as I can make out for about 30 years and I have never seen them. The words of their performance I got from a man who acted the King, a woman who made the dresses and a few recollections from others who had seen them often.

Performers: King, 6 Dancers, 2 Clowns, Doctor.

--------

Clown:

Crack a bottle that fellow has got no supper this morning, nor breakfast last night.

King:

Spectators, silence keep, our dancers will appear

We're six as clever lads as ever danced here

We're six dancers young, never danced much before

We'll do the best we can, the best can do no more.

So be of courage bold and young men each and old

Let nothing here you daunt when on you I do call.

The first that I call on he is a spark from France

He's the first man on the list but the second in the dance.

1st Dancer:

God bless you honest fame and all your young men too

I've come to act my part as well as I can do.

King:

If thou will act thy part and never from me flee

I'll call our young men in one by one, by two, by three.

The next that I call on his name is Mr. Bold

As good a swordman he as ever sword did hold.

2nd Dancer:

My valour has been tried in city, town and field

I ne'er could find the man that once could make me yield

King:

The next that I call in his name is Mr. Wild

I fear the worst of all those maids he does beguile

 

3rd Dancer:

I've travelled many a mile 'tis not for my gain

It is for my true love and I'll travel it over again.

Clown:

Red rum for dancers and give us room to ring

I'll show the most curious sport that was ever acted

on this King's reign, actors young, actors aged

I'll show you the most curious sport that was ever acted on the stage

If you don't believe the words I say

I will call the real King of Macedonia

King:

Here comes the great King of Macedonia

And here I do advance

Clown:

And I'm the ragged clown come to see the dance

King:

Dance, dance, wert thou ever admitted to see a King dance

Clown:

Hark canny fellow, was not thou driving the swine the other day

Or stealing the swine as I should say.

King:

Hold thy tongue thou saucy rascal

Thou will be hanged I fear.

5

I am a King and a conqueror, and a King of high renown

Have I to be offended at thou a silly ragged clown.

Clown:

If thou wert hanged I'd me a better King than thou

Thou need not be so much offended nor make such an ugly face

King:

Thy impudence doth protect thee, but I both swear and vow

I've been the death of many a man, and I'll be the death of thou,

And now the next he is a Prince of noble fame

4.

Has spent a large estate and the wars he will maintain.

4th answers

Although I be a Prince, my name I'll not deny

Although I be a Prince, my valour here I'll try.

King: 5

The last that I call on he is a squire's son

He's like to lose his love, because he is too young.

5th answers

Although I be too young, I've money for to roam

I'll freely spend it all, before my love I'll lose.

Clown: 6

Now I'm the last myself, my name is Captain Tom

All the lasses know me well with going to court them

You sent me before, to knock at your door

To see if you'd let us come in

My waistcoat and coat are made of mohair

My breeches are made of standoff

My stockings and shoes are made of refuse

And my sword cries come if you dare

(Then all dance round the clown and when their swords are round his neck he sings:)

Clown:

Just now I'm going to die as you may plainly see

These six glittering swords will soon put an end to me

(They then draw their swords and he falls down)

King:

Now since our Hector's dead and on the ground is laid

We'll have to suffer for it, young men I'm sore afraid

1st Dancer:

I'm sure it's none of me, I'm clear of the crime

It's he who followed me which drew his sword so fine.

2nd [ditto]:

Don't lay the blame on me, I'm clear of the fact

It's he that followed me, that did this wicked act.

[On two facing pages. First page:]

6

3rd Dancer:

Don't lay the blame on me you villains all

I'm sure my eyes were shut when the first sword was drawn.

4th [ditto]:

How could your eyes be shut, when you were looking on

I'm sure you were with us when the very first sword was drawn.

5th [ditto]:

Now since I am the last, the blame I'll have to take

So on my bended knees for pardon I do crave.

King:

Now since you've told the truth and told it unto me

We'll do the best we can to bury him privately

2nd Clown:

Bury him, bury him, the devil bury him

I've heard of a doctor far and near one in France and one in Spain

Either of these men would bring him to life again

King:

A doctor, a doctor, ten pounds for a doctor.

Doctor:

Here am I

King:

Well Doctor what is thy fee

Doctor:

Ten pounds is my fee, but £9.19/11 3/4 I'll take of thee

King:

Pooh, Pooh, 'tis far too much, I'll not give it thee

Doctor:

One bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

So I'm off home again.

King:

Stay, Doctor, stay and try thy skill

Doctor:

Yes indeed that I will

King:

How far have you travelled Doctor

Doctor:

Oh ! all over England France and Spain

And now I've come to cure this man whom you have slain

So ladies and gentlemen my business to complete

You shall see this dead man rise to his feet

Arise young man arise

Clown: (getting up sings:):

Good morrow gentlemen, a-sleeping I have been.

I've had such a sleep as the like was never seen

But now I am awake, and here I am this day

So we'll have a dance and the doctor shall have his pay

They sing:

When first King Henry ruled this land.

He was a gracious king.

He bought six pecks of barley meal.

To make a large pudding

(Then they dance, and afterwards sang any popular songs.)

[Second page:]

7

(This is another version from a younger man who never acted himself and does not remember any more:)

Now since I am the last, the blame I must take

So down on my bended knees for pardon I must crave

Now since thou told the truth, the truth can do no more

We'll do the best we can and bury him privately

Bury him, the devil bury him

I know a doctor that can cure him

A doctor, £10 for a doctor

Here comes I old Dr. Brown

How came thou to be a doctor

By my travels

How far hast thou travelled?

Through England, Fingland, France and Spain

Three times there and back again

Where was thou born?

I was born at itty titty

Where there neither wood, house, land nor city,

Wooden church, leather bells, black puddings for bell ropes, and if thou had been there you would have eaten them all

Wha do they call thee

My name high van, low van tin tan tarravan

latten, leavy, high jany, low jany dead men's bones

Pitch and tar, hog's tar, beeswax and honeycombs

That's my name and a funny name too.

Now, Doctor, what's thy fee?

Ten pounds, but £9.19.113/4 I'll take of thee

I'll not give it thee

I soon gang yam on my old horse

Stop, Doctor and try thy skill

Yes and that I will

8

 

How long has this man been dead?

Seven years, 7 months, 7 weeks, 7 days, 7 seconds and I dinnet know how many thirds.

It's a long time for a man to be dead and brought to life again.

How did he happen this misfortune?

Fell upstairs and broke his neck.

Upstairs thou stupid fool, I oft heard of a man falling down but never up.

Well down, doctor, I forgot.

Canst tell us what's matter with him?

All hairs of his head split, his neck broken, his main spring loose and his thumble tear out of joint.

Now here's a box of pills that was left fra' my great grandfather when he was 300 and 36 years of age. All this can they cure, the Mulley grubs and the sculley grubs the itch the stitch and the gout.

If there's nineteen devils in, they drive twenty out.

Now here's a bottle left by my great grandmother when she was 100 and 90 years of age, take a drop

Ladies and gentlemen you shall all see this dead man stand upon his feet again, arise young man arise..

 

A Children's Play (the characters seem mixed)

(This was acted by a few small boys till recently but I have seen nothing of it for 5 or 6 years. They dressed up with bits of ribbon and coloured paper and one with a black face.)

They knock:

Open the door

I open the door I enter in

I hope the battle will soon begin

Stir up the fire and make a light

For in this house there'll be a fight

If you don't believe the words I say

Step in King George and clear the way

King George.

In comes I King George, King George is my name

9

With sword and pistol by side

I hope to win the game

Slasher:

The game sir?

King George:

The game sir,

The game will not end in thy power

I'll smash thee into mincemeat

In less than half an hour

Open the door.

Slasher:

How canst thou when my head is made of iron

My body made of steel

My hands and feet of knuckle bone

I'll challenge thee to yield

King George:

I sir, I sir,

Take your sword and try sir,

Holt:

Here two champions come to fight

That never fought before

I have come to save one of their lives

And what can I do more?

Fight on, fight on, my gallant boys

I'll bet ten to one,

Bow Slasher here lies dead.

(They fight)

Oh dear, oh dear, what have I done

I've killed my father's only son

Around the kitchen, around the hall

A five pound doctor I must call

There is no five pound doctor

A ten pound doctor

There is no ten pound doctor

All the world for a doctor

Dr. Brown

In comes I old Dr. Brown

The best old doctor in the town.

Holt:

How come you to be the best old doctor?

Doctor:

By my travels

[On two facing pages. First page:]

10

Holt:

Where have you travelled

Doctor:

England, Fingland, Ficky and Spain

Three times there and back again.

Holt:

What did you see in your travels

Doctor:

Three dead men fighting

Three blind men seeing fair play

Three deaf and dumb men shouting Hip, hip, hooray

Holt:

What can you cure?

Doctor:

I can cure

Holt:

What in the world can you cure?

Doctor:

The hick, the pick, the polt, and the golt

If there is nineteen devils down that man's throat

I can pull twenty out.

Holt:

Cure that man.

Doctor:

I have a little bottle in my waistcoat pocket

Put it to his lips, Jack, rise fight again

My brother's come alive again

We'll never fight no more

We'll be as kind as brothers

As ever we were before

With pockets full of money

And cellars full of beer

I wish you a merry Christmas

And a happy New Year

 

Here's five guising lads all in a row

We just come a guising

If you will provide your extra strong beer

We'll come no more here till this time next year

Sing lady fal the lay

Fal the day

Fal the day

The next one steps up Lord Nelson you'll see

With a bunch of blue ribbons tied under each knee

A star on his breast like silver doth shine

I hope you'll remember it's Christmas time.

Sing lady, fal the day.

Put you hand in your pocket and pull out your purse

If you give us a trifle you'll find it no worse

Put your hand in your pocket, you'll find it all right

If you give nought, we'll take nought, farewell and good night

In comes I old Beelzebub

Over my shoulder I carry my club

In my hand a dripping pan

I think myself a jolly old man

A jolly old man I ought to be

I have two sons as big as three

One tall, the other small

I think myself above you all

In comes I little Johnny Funny

I'm the man that collects the money

I have a little box under my arm

Five or six shillings will do it no harm

So ladies and gentlemen, put your hands in your pockets and pull out your purse

And give us a trifle, you'll find it no worse

Put your hands in your pockets you'll find it all right

If you give nought, we'll take nought, farewell and goodnight.

 

Two stories

Rhymes

Sword Dancers play

Childrens play

Gainford Co Durham

 

[in pencil]

Miss A Edleston

Gainford Villcarage

nr Darlington

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