The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #71653   Message #2609233
Posted By: JeffB
11-Apr-09 - 12:03 PM
Thread Name: How old is Pace Egging?
Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
A version from Emma Vickery (Burscough, Lancs) goes :-

I beg your leave kind gentlemen and you ladies of renown
   for we are coming a-pace-egging and we wish to make it known.
Now ladies all and gentlemen to you we'll give a song,
   we'll call upon our comrades and we'll call them one by one

CH:    Because we're jolly lads, we do no harm, wherever we may go,
       for we have come a pace-egging you're very well to know.

And so the next that does come in oh he is a jovial youth,
   he courts all the pretty girls and he always speaks the truth.
He says he'll never deceive them but be always true and kind,
   for day and night, it's his delight, he's always in one mind

And so the next that does come in oh he is a sailor brave,
he's now been ploughing the ocean and splitting the briny wave,
but now he has come back again with money all in store,
he says he'll marry a pretty girl and go to sea no more

And so the next that does come in oh she is our lady gay,
   and from her native country she has lately run away.
With her red cap and feather on and fancy crinoline,
   and all her delight is in drinking red port wine

And the next that does come in oh he is a jolly man,
   and if he does not please you right he'll do the best he can.
He is a jolly fellow and he wears a straw tail
   and all his delight is in drinking Walker's Ale

So now that you have seen us all you can think what you've a mind,
   but if you'll give us a pace-egg we'll think your very kind.
Now ladies all and gentlemen to you we bid adieu
   and if we have not pleased you right we'll come in a year or two.

It's a pity MMario, who was the first to reply back in 2004, didn't go any further with Edward I's (late 13th C) pace eggs. Could have been interesting.

I didn't realise until reading this topic that a mummer's play was associated with pace-egging. Here in Somerset mumming is very much a Christmas activity. The pace-egging songs I've heard all seem to come from the north, and while they might feature characters in fancy dress, like Mrs Vickery's, they are not recognisable characters from the play. The songs all start off by introducing the charcters, but end with a fairly abrupt goodbye til next year, so the singers don't intend to hang about for long.

Incidentally, BigPinkLad was mistaken in deriving "pace" and "easter" from a word meaning "lamb". One comes from "Pesah", the Hebrew word for the Feast of the Passover, the other from the name of a Germanic spring goddess.

If the age of egg-giving is a problem enough, I can muddy the waters further by asking when did that dratted rabbit come into it? Is it a March hare do you think?