You noble spectators, wherever you be,
Your attention I beg and I crave;
For all my desire is to make us large room,
And abundance of pastimes we'll have.
I am the second Samson, in Judges you'll find,
Who delights in his darling so dear;
What a blockhead I was for to tell her my mind,
And so gallant and quick you shall hear.
The first that comes on like a ranting young lad -
He conquers wherever he goes;
He's scorned by his enemies to be controlled,
And his name it is King William Raw.
The next is his brother, you might think they were twins,
I thought by the world they would fight;
When these two Philistians siez-ed on me,
You'd ha' thought they had ruined me quite.
The third is a man of some more milder blood,
Some pity there's lodged in his breast;
He oftentimes threatened to do me some good,
But he doesn't for fear of the rest.
The fourt' he comes on like a ranting young lad,
He's like some great gestical stand;
It was he that gave orders that I should be polled,
So they fettered my feet and my hands.
The fift' is a cruel as cruel can be,
The others and him did revise
It was he that gave orders I should no more see,
So they instantly bored out my eyes.
The sixt' is no better than all of the rest,
He was the first breeder of strife,
If any of you then had been in my place,
You'd ha' been glad to com'd off with your life.
These are the six lords that first ruined me,
Without the consent of my dear;
But I will come even with them by-and-bye
So gallant and quick you shall hear.
When they were all merry carousing with wine,
When first down for Samson did call;
He pulled down the house, slew them all at that time,
So there was an end of 'em all.
(Prologue to dance:)
These are six actors bold,
Never came on stage before;
And they will do their best,
And the best can do no more.
You'd seen them all go round.
Think on 'em what you will;
Music strike up and play
"T' aud lass fra Dallowgill."
abc | midi | pdf
Source: Broadwood, Lucy, 1893, English Country Songs, Leadenhall Press, London
An extract from Lucy Broadwood's notes is given below:
The tune generally played for the dance was "My love she's but a lassie yet," but the tune of the Prologue has so much of the Morris Dance character that it very possibly served to dance to. The instruments are two fiddle and a small drum; the musicians and Clown are dressed in blue calico jackets with red braid and a pink sash or hem, white calico trousers with red stripe, and a pink cap; the dancers wear pink jackets with blue braid and sash, white tropusers with red stripe, and a blue cap. This was the traditional performance by the old inhabitants of Kirby Malzeard, near Ripon. Mr Bower says; "Taken down by me from old Thomas Wood, of Kirby Malzeard who sings and repeats it. But he will have nothing to do with the present Christmas sword-dancers or "Moowers," who, he says, 'Have never had the full of it, and don't dress properly, nor do it in any form, being but a bad, idle company; but were originally taught by him to make up the numbers at the Ripon Millenary Festival.'"
Warning: the MIDI option will only play the main song, not the prologue. Use a program like ABCMUS if necessary to hear both parts.
Roud: 610 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six