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Pace-egging

from Popular Rhymes And Nursery Tales - CUSTOM RHYMES





It is a custom in some parts of England for boys to go round the village
on Easter eve begging for eggs or money, and a sort of dramatic song is
sometimes used on the occasion. The following copy was taken down from
recitation some years ago in the neighbourhood of York; but in another
version we find Lords Nelson and Collingwood introduced, by a practice
of adaptation to passing events, which is fortunately not extensively
followed in such matters. A boy, representing a captain, enters and
sings--

Here's two or three jolly boys all o' one mind,
We've come a pace-egging, and hope you'll be kind;
I hope you'll be kind with your eggs and your beer,
And we'll come no more pace-egging until the next year.

Then old Toss-pot enters, and the captain, pointing him out, says--

The first that comes in is old Toss-pot you see,
A valiant old blade for his age and degree;
He is a brave fellow on hill or in dale,
And all he delights in is a-drinking of ale.

Toss-pot then pretends to take a long draught from a huge quart-pot,
and, reeling about, tries to create laughter by tumbling over as many
boys as he can. A miser next enters, who is generally a boy dressed up
as an old woman in tattered rags, with his face blackened. He is thus
introduced by the captain:

An old miser's the next that comes in with her bags,
And to save up her money, wears nothing but rags.

Chorus. Whatever you give us we claim for our right,
Then bow with our heads, and wish you good night.

This is repeated twice, and the performance concludes by the whole
company shouting to the top of their voice--

Now, ye ladies and gentlemen, who sit by the fire,
Put your hands in your pockets, 'tis all we desire;
Put your hands in your pockets, and lug out your purse,
We shall be the better, you'll be none the worse!

"Pase-day, Easter-day. Pase-eggs, Easter-eggs. Corrupt. from Pasch. They
have a proverbial rhyme in those parts for the Sundaies in Lent:

Tid, Mid, Misera,
Carl, Paum, good Pase-day."
Kennett, MS. Lansd. 1033.





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