Location: Lincolnshire, England (------)
Year: Publ. 1890
Time of Occurrence: [Not given]
Collective Name: Plough Jags


E.Bentley Wood
69. PLOUGH JAGS (Vol.1., No.46, p.51).
Lincolnshire Notes and Queries, July 1890, Vol.II, No.3, pp.88-89



{In reply to the query by "M.G.W.P.," I have obtained the following account of a dialogue used by plough-jags in some parts of the county.}

{The principal characters are Beelzebub, a fool, a doctor, a woman and baby, a soldier, a collector, $c.}

{They commence by singing outside a house:}


Good master and good mistress,
As you sit by the fire,
Remember us poor plough-boys
Who travel through muck and mire.
The mire is so deep: we tracel far and near
To wish you a happy and prosperous new year.

{The fool knocks and asks permission to show their play as follows:}

[Tom Fool]

In comes I, Tom Fool,
The biggest fool you've ever seen;
There's five more little boys out here
By your consent they shall come in.

{Leave having been obtained he bids them "step up." The soldier enters first and sins a song which appears to ad. Lib.; I can hear of no particular words. Next enters one of the Company dressed as a woman.}


In comes I, old Dame Jane,
With a neck as long as a crane,
Long have I sought thee, now I've found thee:
Tommy, bring the baby in.

{Lad hands her a sham Baby.}

{Enter Beelzebub.}


In comes I, Old Beelzebub,
In my hand I carry my club,
Under my arm a whit-leather dripping pan,
Don't you think me a funny old man?
Is there any old woman in this company who dare stand before me?


Yes, me. {Beelzebub knocks her down.}


Beelzebub, Beelzebub, what has thou done!
Killed poor old dame Jane and lamed her son.
Five pounds for a doctor!


Ten to stop away.


Fifteen to come in a case like this.

{Enter Doctor.}


In comes I, the Doctor.


How became you a doctor?


I travelled for it.


Where did you travel?


England, France, Ireland and Spain
Now I've come to doctor England again.


What diseases can you cure?


Hipsy, pipsy, palsy, and gout,
Pains within and pains without,
Heal the sick, and cure the lame,
Raise the dead to life again.


Now try your skill.

{Doctor takes hold of Woman's ankle.}


Is that where her pulse lies?


Yes, the finest and most delicate part about a lady.
Her pulse beats nineteen times to the tick of my watch once.
This woman is not dead, but in a trance,
If she can't dance we can't sing,
So raise her up and let's begin.

{The Collector here takes the hat round while the others dance about.}

{The Fool leaves first when the others sing as follows:}


Good master and good mistress,
You see our Fool is gone,
We make it up in business
To follow him along.
We thank you for civility,
And all you gave us here,
We wish you all, good night,
And a prosperous new year.

{Exeunt omnes.}

{I do not see the connection of the soldier with the rest of the company, but he is always introduced decked with streaming ribbons.}

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2000-12-24 - Entered by Peter Millington
2021-01-15 - TEI-encoded by Peter Millington


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