Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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cxiii
Another amusement is called " The Corn-market," where also there is a master, who has an assistant called Spy-the-market; another essential character is old Penglaze, who has a blackened face, and a staff in his hand, and a person is girded round with a horse's hide, or what is supposed to be such, to serve as his horse ; they are placed towards the back of the market. The other players have each some even price appropriated to them for names, as Twopence, Sixpence, Twelvepence, &c. The master then calls " Spy-the-market," to which the man replies, " Spy-the-market." The master again calls u Spy-the-mar­ket," who replies, " Ay, sirrah." The master then asks the price of corn, the man names some price that is borne by one of the players, as for instance " Twopence." The master then holds the same conversation with Twopence as he had with his man, and so on till some mistake is made, by any of the party not answering to his name, when the un­lucky offender is to be sealed, which constitutes the » principal amusement of the game. The master goes up to the delinquent, and taking up his foot says, " Here is my seal, where is old Penglaze's seal ?" and gives him a blow on the foot. Old Penglaze then comes in on his horse, which winces and capers about grotesquely. He is then told that a fine colt wants shoeing, for which he says his re­ward is a full gallon of moonlight, besides all other customs for shoeing in that market. The shoe of the colt is taken off, and Penglaze gives him one or two hard blows on the sole of the foot, after which he rides off again, his horse capering more than be­fore and sometimes throwing the old gentleman off.
In Yorkshire and Northumberland, and some other parts, the ancient custom of the Sword-dance is still kept up at Christmas, or was to a very recent period, the dancers being accompanied by a

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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III