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How old is Pace Egging?

DigiTrad:
PACE EGGING SONG


Related threads:
Pace Egging in London (1)
Folklore: Pace Egging (8)
Wassail/pace egg song (19)
(origins) Origins: Pace egging Song (10)
Pace Egg Play (26)
Abram Pace Egg Play (21)
Help: Pace Egging? (40)


Les in Chorlton 16 Jul 04 - 02:26 PM
GUEST,MMario 16 Jul 04 - 02:29 PM
Ed. 16 Jul 04 - 02:54 PM
greg stephens 16 Jul 04 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,Henry 16 Jul 04 - 04:21 PM
GUEST 16 Jul 04 - 04:27 PM
Ed. 16 Jul 04 - 04:30 PM
TheBigPinkLad 16 Jul 04 - 04:38 PM
Ed. 16 Jul 04 - 04:40 PM
TheBigPinkLad 16 Jul 04 - 04:54 PM
Little Robyn 16 Jul 04 - 08:48 PM
Bert 16 Jul 04 - 10:22 PM
Les in Chorlton 17 Jul 04 - 11:16 AM
Les in Chorlton 18 Jul 04 - 11:42 AM
Les in Chorlton 09 Apr 09 - 02:36 PM
Folkiedave 09 Apr 09 - 05:57 PM
Les in Chorlton 10 Apr 09 - 04:59 AM
Lighter 10 Apr 09 - 11:38 AM
Amos 10 Apr 09 - 11:52 AM
Folkiedave 10 Apr 09 - 12:02 PM
doncatterall 10 Apr 09 - 03:14 PM
Snuffy 10 Apr 09 - 04:20 PM
Mysha 10 Apr 09 - 09:10 PM
Les in Chorlton 11 Apr 09 - 04:48 AM
doncatterall 11 Apr 09 - 05:27 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 Apr 09 - 06:57 AM
Snuffy 11 Apr 09 - 07:38 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 Apr 09 - 08:51 AM
JeffB 11 Apr 09 - 12:03 PM
doncatterall 11 Apr 09 - 12:35 PM
DMcG 13 Apr 09 - 03:32 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Apr 09 - 08:22 AM
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Subject: How old is Pace Egging?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 02:26 PM

Go on then ......... no Celtic eggnog stuff. What reasonable historic evidence exists?


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 02:29 PM

How about financial records from the reign of King edward I for the decoration of 450 pace eggs?

Hmmm pace/paschal/pescha.


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: Ed.
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 02:54 PM

According to the book, The Lancashire Pace-Egg Play: A Social History:

"The oldest substantial or complete text of a Lancashire pace-egg play so far traced is one written out in 1842 by Jesse Lee ..." (Quote taken from this page)


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: greg stephens
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 03:36 PM

Got a picture of my grandfather in blackface(or rather very dirty face), Millom, Cumberland, c 1900. I believe the photo shows him about to go pace-egging(in the play, not just egg-rolling) . Not very old historically, but it is my grandad!


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: GUEST,Henry
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 04:21 PM

In Britain's Living Folklore, Roy Palmer considers; The predominant custom at Easter is the giving of eggs: Easter or 'pace' eggs are thought to have a Norse origin, and in the sagas the egg symbolises the earth.


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 04:27 PM

The danish for easter egg is 'paaske aeg'. Mind you, i think paaske and pace might have a common latinate root. As to the plays, I recommend the marvellos 'rites and riot' by Bob Pegg.

FM


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: Ed.
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 04:30 PM

Before we can go any further, we need to know whether Les is asking about the play or the giving of Easter eggs.

Les?


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 04:38 PM

pace = pasc = easter (from the word for lamb in several old languages).


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: Ed.
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 04:40 PM

Thanks, but we already knew that...


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 04:54 PM

And how was I supposed to know that you knew? If you've got nowt good to say, etc.


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: Little Robyn
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 08:48 PM

Since time immoral!


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: Bert
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 10:22 PM

Nearly as old as Kendall


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 17 Jul 04 - 11:16 AM

Sorry I had to go out and enjoy myself.

I was asking about Pace egging rather than Mummers Plays. Thanks for the links to Eddie Cass:

Cass is inclusive of people with differing beliefs regarding origins of the plays, but follows recent authors in rejecting the theory that they are pagan or pre-Shakespearean relics. However, he is among the first to suggest alternatives. He proposes that the drama derived from the theatre booths of eighteenth-century fairs, evidenced, for instance, by the example of John Edwin in 1770.

But giving eggs at Easter is a bit odd and a bit old. So, is it a pre-Christian survival?


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 18 Jul 04 - 11:42 AM

Any new views?


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 02:36 PM

Ok we have let some time pass any new ideas about Pace Egging and its origins especially that song we all know and love?

Cheers

L in C


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 05:57 PM

Roud in "The English YEar" suggest 1579 for mention and 1778 for secular (decorated) eggs.

There is an egg musuem of decorated eggs in Hungary which is brilliant and some good piccies.

Google Hungarian+Easter Eggs.


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 04:59 AM

Wow, did they do Pace Egging?

Les


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 11:38 AM

Oxford confirms the 1579 mention of "pace eggs" but has nothing before 1916 on the plays. C. Clough Robinson, however, printed the entire script of one in "The Dialect of Leeds and its Neighborhood" (1862).

Despite the connection with pace eggs, the text of the play sets it at Christmas, suggesting a Yuletide origin for the play (if not for the eggs).

The actual age of the custom putting on a pace-egging mummers' play remains uncertain. The plays may not have developed before the early 19th century. The question needs to be explored further.


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: Amos
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 11:52 AM

Pace will be 34 next month, I believe. His younger sister Fayce will be 29 the week after. His younger brother Rawtin will be eleven on September 27. His parents, Awn and Haus, do not discuss their ages.

He has one living grandfather who is 98, who goes by the name Scramlee, and a great-aunt who is 101 known as Mary E.Z. Auver. In her youth, she performed as a dance-hall queen using the stage name Sunny Sideupp. According to family legend President Coolidge once came to one of her shows and complimented her on her dancing.


A


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 12:02 PM

Wow, did they do Pace Egging?

No but you can see the connection bewtween giving decorated eggs at Easter time (now chocolate eggs) and the Hungarian decorated eggs.

How is this for a theory? People used to go around from house to house at Easter time>getting eggs given to them>getting decorated eggs> dressing up for this begging>putting on a play to beg> using an existing (Xmas) mummers play?

Seem logical enough if impossible to verify.


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: doncatterall
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 03:14 PM

it just so happens that I was trying to remember the words of the Overton song - any help appreciated,

Don


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: Snuffy
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 04:20 PM

Is this the one?

I beg your leave fine gentlemen and ladies of renown ....


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: Mysha
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 09:10 PM

Hi,

Being a foreigner I of course hardly have any idea what you're all talking about, but: If we're talking about the mummers' plays, which all seem to have the theme of someone dying and then living again, wouldn't it make more sense for them to originate from Easter, and having come to Christmas as well when the traditions came to resemble eachother?

In a Christian interpretation, Easter is when Christ was crucified and came back among the living. In a rite of passage interpretation, wouldn't the start of the new year, which was in the Springtime, be the logical time for the rite of passage, where the boy dies and comes to life a man?

Now you all tell me what this really was about and why I'm completely wrong ...

                                                               Mysha


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 04:48 AM

Fair enoughski Mysha - a lot of people have made this interpretation but as to it's roots in Christianity - I doubt if any can be identified. A lot more like the "pre-christian fertility and egg" idea

L in C


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: doncatterall
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 05:27 AM

Snuffy

Yes, that's it - I can only remember 3 verses though.

Don


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 06:57 AM

From The Lancaster/Abram Pace Egg Play. A more unusual pace egg song -

Us Actors are the best of me that e'er trod English ground
We never are feint hearted, are voices are full sound
We never are feint hearted, but boldly tell our tale
And if in time, you like our rhyme
You can bring us cakes and ale
For drink and jovial company
We prize above all gold
This Easter time, we'll act our rhyme
And drink good ale and old.

To hear in context join us at the St Gerges day celebrations, a bit early, on Sunday 19 April at the Angel, Angel Street, Manchester at around 7:30pm.

Doctor Dave


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: Snuffy
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 07:38 AM

Don

There are six verses in the version called Beg Your Leave here in the Digital Tradition


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 08:51 AM

Whoops - 'best of meN'. If you hadn't guessed:-)


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: JeffB
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 12:03 PM

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?


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: doncatterall
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 12:35 PM

Snuffy

Spot on - thanks

Don


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: DMcG
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 03:32 AM

I've recently been asked how old 'jarping' is (see here). It is certainly at least 80 years in County Durham, from living memory. How much further does it go back?


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Subject: RE: How old is Pace Egging?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 08:22 AM

Today 7:30pm. The Angel, Manchester. Be there or be somewhere else...

Dave the Doctor


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