The Ampleforth Mummers Play


as  performed by Monkseaton Morrismen, - 1981

(Clown enters followed by dancers and musician. Dancers disperse to sides of arena.)
Clown  Here come I that ne’er come yet
With my great big head and little wit.
Though my head be great and my wit be small
I’ve six fine lads to please you all.
My head’s made of iron,
My heart’s made of steel.
My hands and feet of  knuckle bone
I challenge you out to feel.
(Enter King.)
King

I am a King and a conqueror too
And here I do advance.   

(Clown smacks King on bottom with sword)
Clown And I am the clown of this noble town
And I’ve come to see thee dance.
Come on my six brave heroes.
(Team forms into line.)
Clown

Your valor has been tried,
All on the plains of Waterloo these six fought side by side.
And all you pretty lasses that’s sitting round about
These are six handsome husbands that ever were turned out.
They’ll make you loving sweethearts,
For ever they’ll be true.
They’ll fight for you as manfully as they did at Waterloo.
So now you’ve seen us all,
Think of us what you will,
Music, strike up and play
T’auld Wife of Coverdill.

(Dance commences and at end musician is killed and dancers flee into crowd. Clown comes forward and trips over body)
Clown ‘Tis rough ground!
King What’s the matter here?
(Clown points at body)
Clown A man, dead!
King I fear you killed him.
Clown No! He near killed me!
Come on you villains,
And declare yourselves.
(Each dancer comes into open declaring his Innocence and accusing others with much venom.)
1st Dance 'Twas not I that did this bloody act
'Twas he that followed me that did it for a fact!
2nd Dancer I’m sure its none of I that did this awful crime.
‘Twas he that followed me that drew his sword so fine!
3rd Dance Don’t lay the blame on me you awful villains all.
I’m sure my eyes were shut when this young man did fall!
4th Dancer How could you eyes be shut when I was looking on.
I’m sure that you were there when first these swords were drawn!
5th Dance (Walks towards King shaping up for a fight.)
Our King has done this deed and lays the blame on me.
Before I take the blame I’ll try my sword with thee!
(They fight and rest of team separate them.)
Clown Let’s read the will!
(Dancers line up and kneel behind body whilst expressing agreement. Clown gives sword to male member of the audience.)
Dancers We’ll read the will! Aye, the will! The will! etc
(Clown standing at head of body takes the will, a toilet roll, from body's pocket. Places roll in hands of body, using his fingers as roll holder, and pulls out a long length.)  
  Clown There was an old woman of Gloucester
Who..
 King No, No That must be wrong.
Read it aright
(Clown points up, all dancers look up)
Clown God in Heaven take my soul
(Clown points to ground, all dancers look down.)
  Graveyard take my bones
And that man there (pointing) that holds my sword,
Take my wife and bairns!
(General low laughter as dancers stand and disperse. Dancer acting as horse quietly leaves to collect sign and Doctor.
King If we mean to escape a halter,
for a doctor we must send.
Is there a Doctor in the house?
Five pounds for a doctor!
Dancers Ten pounds for a doctor!
Any other doctor in the house?
Bottle of broon for a doctor!
                            etc.
(Enter doctor on horse, dismounts.)
Doctor See here, (Flicks hat off head, which is attached to coat with thread, and catches it as it swings between his legs.)
a doctor bold,
Who travels much, at home.
Take these here my pills. (pulling pills from bag)  
They cure the young, the old,
The hot, the cold.
The living and the dead.
I can cure men with their heads off,
Men with their hearts out,
The itch, the stitch.
The stone, the bone,
The pulse and the gout.
And if there are nineteen devils in a man,
I can take twenty out.
I’ve traveled all the way from Itty-Titty
Where there’s neither town nor city.
Wooden churches, leather bells,
Black puddings for bell-ropes.
And little pigs running up and down the street
With knives and forks stuck in their backs
Shouting “God save the Queen.”
(All stand to attention saluting, body sits up waving flag. Doctor takes rubber hammer from bag and hits body on head)
Doctor Lie down, you’re dead!
What’s the matter here?
King A man, dead!
Doctor How long’s he been dead?
King Seven minutes. Can you cure him?
Doctor If he’d been dead seven years I could cure him!
King Well, what’s your fee?
Doctor My fee? Nine hundred and ninety nine pounds.
Ninety nine and a half new pence.
A peck of ginger bread
And some oats for my horse!
King It’s an imposition! I shall not pay?
Doctor Very well. Horse!
(Doctor charges at horse to mount. Both fall.)
King Doctor, is that the least you will take?
Doctor I’ll throw off the oats for the horse

 King

Very well, you must try your skills.
(Doctor walks to body facing head to examine it.)
Doctor Dead!?
(Body kicks doctor in bottom. Doctor turns round to examine feet and body wacks Doctor’s bottom with rolled up newspaper. Doctor takes out his stethoscope and places on Body's accordion. Body plays Dead March.)
Doctor He’s dead, but he has a raging pulse!
Clown How can a dead man have a raging pulse?
Doctor I must give him physic! (Takes pill from bag, and puts in Body’s mouth.)
Clown Giving a dead man physic?
(Body blows pill into air, Doctor catches it in his hat.)
King Doctor, he’s a long time coming back to life!
Clown I’ll bring him back to life.
(Clown stands at feet of body, dancers in line to rear pointing swords at body. Everyone serious. Clown draws sword along body head to feet. Returns sword to head and as he raises it body and other swords rise.)
Body Good evening (morning) gentlefolk.
A' sleeping I have been.
I’ve had such a sleep.
The like was never seen.
But now that I am awake
And alive unto this day.
The dancers shall have their dance.
And the Doctor shall have his pay.
(Dance commences, Clown and Doctor collect fee. When lock Is tied dancers process off followed by Doctor, Clown and Musician.)

Copyright of  Monkseaton Morrismen and Folk Dance Club