Henry's Songbook

All original copyrights respected / For private use only

go to  de   Susannes Folksong-Notizen   English Notes  uk

Pace Egging Song

  • (Trad)

    Here's one two three jolly lads all in one mind
    We have come a pace egging and we hope you'll prove kind
    And we hope you'll prove kind with your eggs and strong beer
    And we'll come no more nigh you until the next year

    The first that comes in is Lord Nelson, you'll see
    With a bunch of blue ribbons to tie round his knee
    And a star on his breast like silver does shine
    I hope he remembers it's pace egging time

    Well the next that comes in it is Lord Collingwood
    And he's fought with Lord Nelson till he shed his blood
    And he's come from the sea old England to view
    He's come a pace egging with the whole of his crew

    And the last that comes in is old Tosspot, you'll see
    He's a valiant old man and in every degree
    He's a valiant old man and he wears a pigtail
    And all his delight is a-drinking mulled ale

    Come ladies and gentlemen, sit by the fire
    Put your hands in your pockets and give us our desire
    Put your hands in your pockets and treat us all right
    If you give nought, we'll take nought, farewell and goodnight

    (as sung by The McCalmans)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1965:] The egg is taken as a handy symbol of life in many parts of the world, especially in association with springtime, when the crops show their first sign of life. So at Eastertime, in the North-West of England, the Pace-eggers go round, begging for eggs and, in some cases, performing a version of the mummers' death-and- resurrection play. Strictly, the play is considered to belong to midwinter, but the folk aren't always as punctilious as the folklorists, and in this instance the drama and its song have strayed from their winter date. In the fullest version, sundry masked heroes appear, fight, are slain, and brought back to life by a comic doctor. This, the heroes' calling-in song, is based on a version that Lucy Broadwood received from Heysham, Lancs. (A. L. Lloyd, notes The Watersons, 'Frost and Fire')

  • [1974:] Most of Newcastle's famous sons attained their fame in the nineteenth century. There was Admiral Lord Collingwood [born 26 Sep 1790] right at the beginning of the century who led the fleet at Trafalgar in 1805 and took over from Nelson on his death. (Davies, A Walk Along the Wall 18)

  • [1979:] 'Pace' is from the Latin word for Easter, and pace egging was the practice of collecting eggs and other eatables by touring the houses and farms in one's locality. Little groups of men would either perform a pace egg play (like other seasonal plays, a semi-ritual enactment of death and rebirth), or would dress as some of the characters and present themselves simply with a song. St George, Admiral Nelson, Lord Collingwood, Mrs Pankhurst: these are just a few of the wide range of possibilities. These practices were largely confined to the north-western counties of Cheshire, Lancashire, Westmorland, Cumberland, and parts of Yorkshire, where some remains of pace egging can still be found. This song comes from Marple in Cheshire, where Mr Arthur Hulme remembered it being sung by children between 1895 and 1900. (Palmer, Country 219)

  • [1981:] The surviving fragment of a ritual play performed in the north-west. This was similar in content and style to the "St. George and the Dragon" play, and its local variants, once performed everywhere at the turn of the year. Instead of begging for Christmas alms, however, the pace-eggers went round at Eastertime and begged for eggs. Chocolate Easter eggs, and survivals like this song, are all most of us have left now of the traditions associated with the spring festivals which were Christianised into Easter. (Michael Pollard, notes 'Folk Songs', Topic Sampler)

  • [1986:] Paste (Pasch: Easter) or Pace Egging was [...] popular throughout Northern England and Scotland, and particularly in Lancashire and Cheshire, where it survived until at least the Second World War [...]. In earlier generations, [the song] would have been sung by young men - doubtless more interested in money and "small beer" than eggs - as part of a Pace-Egg Play, a regional variant of the Mumming Play: similar plays were also much acted in West Yorkshire, where revived local versions can be seen on Good Friday at Mytholmroyd, Midgley, Brighouse and elsewhere in the Halifax area.
    Once collected (or, in recent times, bought) "real" Easter eggs are still often painted, decorated or dyed either by boiling in a coloured cloth or with some natural dye like onion skins (for a golden-brown egg); furze-blossom (yellow); "Pasque flower" (bright green) or cochineal (for the favourite red). Then (if not eaten for breakfast) they may be concealed about the garden for an egg hunt: or, especially in northern Britain, hard-boiled for egg rolling down a hill or slope - the winner being, according to local preference, the one which rolls furthest, survives most rolls, or is successfully aimed between two pegs. In many places this ancient sport [...] takes place on Easter Monday at a site fixed by long tradition. Such include Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh; the castle moat at Penrith, Cumbria; Bunker's Hill, Derby; and, best publicized of all, Avenham Park at Preston, Lancashire, where tens of thousands roll and then eat both eggs and (latterly) oranges.
    Alternatively, the eggs may be "dumped" (another northern habit) by being clasped firmly in the hand and smashed against that of an opponent until one or other breaks: or (as in parts of south-western England) a number may be marked and "shackled" (shaken) together in a sieve, the last to crack being the winner. All such old egg customs, however, are now in acute danger from the 20th century's principal contribution to the Easter canon, namely the chocolate Easter egg. (Charles Kightly, The Customs and Ceremonies of Britain, p. ?)


Quelle: England

go back de  P-Index uk

 Sammlung : Susanne Kalweit (Kiel)
Layout : Henry Kochlin  (Schwerin)

aktualisiert am 01.05.2002