Electronic ERD - Jerusalem, Lincolnshire, Plough Play

Compiled by E.C.Cawte, A.Helm & N.Peacock. Online ed.: P.T.Millington

horizontal rule
Master Home >> eERD Home >> Examples of Texts >> Jerusalem

From Mrs E.H. Rudkin: Collection. Collected by Anthony Padget, 1959. (Jerusalem is four miles from Lincoln).

From three elderly men: Mr C. Briggs, Mr Brown, and Mr Lilley, who came from the village of Jerusalem where they used to work on the land. Mr Briggs and his father before him was the Village Crier. The play was last performed at Jerusalem before 1914. It was revived by by the three men, assisted by the vicar, and given at an Old Age Pensioners' party a few years ago. Started before Christmas and carried on after. There were seven characters.


In comes I bold Tom
As bold as a lion
A blacksmiths shop
Without any iron
A pair of old bellows
all full of holes
An old iron stiddy
and not many coals
Open spoken France and Spain
In comes our Sargent
on the the same (sic)

Enter Sargent


In comes I the recruting sargent I've arrived in here just now
I have had orders from the Queen to list all fellers that follow orse cart or plough
Likewise Tinkers Taylors Pedlers and Sailors
Fools at my advance
The more I hear the fiddlers play the better I can dance


What me a fool come to see you dance


Yes I can hear them dance, sing or play


If you begin to dance sing or play
I shall quickly march away
Praps in a short time the lady will be here

Lady (sings):

In comes the lady bright and gay
Big fortune make sweet charms
Its scornful how I'm thrown away
Out of some dear one's arms
He swears if I don't marry him
That you will understand
He'll list all for a soldier
And go to some foreign land.


Do you love me pretty fair maiden
Yes unto my sorrow
When'st to be our wedding day
Tommy loves tomorrow

All three start to dance

Toorooriadio, Tommys wed tommorio


Stop ! Stop ! Stop !
Whats all thi dancing and jiggin about 'eres a tight boy to dance I can dance on a barley chaff riddle. It will neither bend nor break one strand
I am going to ask all you stickmejacks to me and ladys wedding and what you like the best you must bring on with you. I know what me and me lady likes and what me lady is goin to have. We're going to have a barley chaff dumplin buttered with wool and a gallon of ropy ale to it. So its ladies and gentlemen's you've eerd all my part I can act the fools part just as well as any other

Shufffes em rarnd with stick

Only wait a short time perhaps old Dame Jane will be ere


In cums I old Dame Jane with a neck as long as a crane
Dib Dab over the meadow once I was a blooming maid But now I am a down right old widow

(Has a doll in hand)

({To Fool})

Tommy its a long time since I sawt thee but now I've caught thee.
Since all my joys exhausted since you called me what you did pray
tommy take your bastard (Gives doll to Tommy) Look at its chin its nose its eyes its as much like you as ever it could bin


What is it He male or Shemale (Take your feeder and spoon it)




All mines Hemale

(Claps hand on leg)

Thats my leg you old faggit ive note ter thank you for Only wait a short time old Eezum Squeezum


In cums I old Eezum squeezum on me back I carry my beezum
In mi hand a whip leather frying pan bread an cheeze in a bag
puddin in a lantern if you had been where Ive been you would never be wanted. Is there anybody here can stand afore this.


Yes I can for my head is made of iron my body is made of steel,
and no one can make me feel
[Omission here somewhere]
My shins is muttle bone


Aw carnt they

(Clouts Rib. and knocks him down)


Five pound for a doctor


Ten pound to stop away


Fifteen pound and he must come at once


In comes I the doctor


What you a doctor


Yes I've travelled for it


Where've you travelled


I've travelled all over the world
I've travelled England Scotland France and Spain
Three times round the world and back again to old England


Havnt you been nowhere else


Yes I once went three mile yon side York to an old Lady called misses Cork
She fell upstairs with an empty teapot full of flour and grazed her shinbone just above her elbow and made her stocking bleed


What pains can you cure


I can cure the hipsy pipsy palsy gout pain within and pain without
Draw tooth set a leg cure almost any pain in the head


Clever doctor try your skill


Thank you sir so I will

Places hat, coat, gloves, stick on table. Begins to feel of old man


Is that the strongest part about a man


Its the strongest part about a woman. I've a little bottle in my inside coat trousers waistcoat pocket. He wants a little of my wiff waff just rubbin' round 'is tiff taff. This man is not dead hes only in a trance come rise up old man and lets have a dance if you can't dance we can sing come rise up old man and lets begin

(All start to sing)

Good master and good mistress
As you sit round your fire
Remember us poor ploughboys,
Who plough through mud and mire
The mire it is so very deep
The water runs so clear
Give what you like to our money box
And a mug of your best beer

(Send round collection box)

(Fool goes out)

Good master and good mistress
You see our fool as gone
We make it in our busness
To follow him alone
He swears if I don't marry him
As you will understand
He'll list all for a soldier and go to some foreign land

(Give greetins on exit)

On a later sheet:

Whoa Whoa Wopsy old boy which of you old boys can 'old my 'orse
'es a donkey 'es a rum un to kick mind he doesnt bite you my lads.

horizontal rule

Notes on the above:

The Jerusalem Play, reproduced here by kind permission of Mrs E.H.Rudkin, is a typical example of the Wooing/Hero-Combat plays listed in the Table (see p.25). Although there is some confusion concerning the speakers in the MS, the action and sense makes it fairly clear who should be speaking. It is typical of the area that some of the action is expressed in song, though the music was not collected with the text. The last two lines may indicate that, as with many Wooing/Hero-Combat plays, a hobby-horse was among the characters, though to date no text has been recorded which shows the exact part played by this character. Eezum Squeezum is a normal substitution in the Wooing/Hero-Combat plays for Beelzebub of the Hero-Combat plays.

horizontal rule
© 2007, E.C.Cawte, N.Peacock & P.Millington ( Rev. 22-Nov-2007