Location: North Skelton, Yorkshire, England (NZ6718)
Year: Publ. 1930
Time of Occurrence: [Not given]
Collective Name: [Not given]


Douglas Kennedy
Observations on the Sword-Dance and Mummers' Play
Journal of the English Folk Dance Society, 2nd Series, 1930, No.3, pp.26-27




I open the door, I enter in.
I hope the game will soon begin.
Stir up the fire and make a light
For in this house there'll be a fight
If thou don't believe the words I say,
Step in, King Charles, and clear the way.

King Charles.

In comes I, King Charles is my name.
Sword and pistol by my side, I'm bound to win the game.


The game, sir, the game, sir,
It is not in your power.
I'll slash thee into mince meat
In less than half an hour.

King Charles.

How canst thou? How canst thou?
My head is made of iron, my body's made of steel,
My hand and feet of knuckle-bone
I challenge thee on the field.
{They fight and Jack falls down}
Now I've knocked him to the ground.
Not a doctor to be found.
Five pounds for a doctor.

{Some one says}


No doctor

[King Charles]

Ten pounds for a doctor.


In comes I, old Doctor Brown,
The best old doctor in the town.

King Charles.

How came you to be a doctor?


By travels.

King Charles.

Where have you travelled?


England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales,
And now come back to Old England again.

King Charles.

What can you cure?


All sorts.

King Charles.

What's all sorts?


Ixtpy, picty, nineteen divils in a man's head,
I can cast twenty-one out.

King Charles.

Cure him.


Here, Jack, take a sup of my medicine.
And ride up and fight King Charles again.


Oh, my back.


What's amiss with thy back?


My back is wounded, my heart's confounded,
And I cannot fight again.


In comes I, old Bel,
On my shoulder I carries my club,
In my hand a dripping pan.
I think myself a jolly old man.
A jolly old man I seem to be,
I've got two sons bigger than me,
One stout, the other small,
I think myself above them all.

Jack Sweep.

In comes I, little Jack Sweep,
All the money I get I mean to keep.
Money I'll lay, money I pray,
If you don't give me money
I sweep you away.


Kennedy's introduction:

"This play was given to me by the leader of the North Skelton Sword-Dance team. It has not now any connexion with the dance, and there is nothing in the structure of the play to indicate that it ever did have any connexion."

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2001-01-01 - Entered by Peter Millington
2021-01-15 - TEI-encoded by Peter Millington


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