S.Race Collection (1924)


Sydney Race (Col.)
[Belsebub speech probably from Plough Monday in Nottingham]
S.Race Collection, [Col. about 1924]

Text fragment for Belsebub probably associated with a Plough Monday custom current in the suburbs of Nottingham about 1924. This reads;

In comes I old Belsebub
Upon my shoulder I carry a club
In my hand a frying pan
Gentlemen and ladies do
yo not think me a clever man
The story done we must be gone
We cannot tarry here
But if you please before we go
We will taste of your Christmas pie

This single speech written on a scrap of paper carries no details of provenance. However, a paragraph in S.R. (1924) describes a "relic" Plough Monday custom among children in the suburbs of Nottingham. This states that bands of youngsters paraded the streets in strange attire, had blacked faces or masks, and carried wooden swords or sticks. He then says; "Sometimes the town boys repeat a few lines of the old rhymes, but the effort is usually a feeble one." As there are no other fragments in the S.Race collection, my inference is that these were lines used by the Nottingham children.

Kelly's Directory list Sydney Race as living in 1924 at 26 Noel Street, overlooking the western end of The Forest recreation ground, and on the edge of Hyson Green. Maybe the boys came from this area.

Index Terms:

Locations: Suburbs, Nottingham, Notts. (SK5541); Hyson Green, Nottingham, Notts. (SK5541)
Years: Perf. about 1924
Subjects: Text Fragment; Belsebub; House Visiting; Plough Monday
Archives: TDRG Archive, Ref. TD00500

Last Updated Jan 1992 by Peter Millington.