The old Earsdon Calling-On Song

This the full wording of the older calling-on song as was used to introducte the Royal Earsdon sword dancers in the nineteenth century. By the time the Earsdon dance was notated Cecil Sharp in 1910, this older song and its subsequent drama had been supplanted by a new calling-on song.

A-rambling here I've comed,
Good people for to see;
Five actors I have brought,
As brave as brave can be.

It's Earsdon on the hill,
Where the water washes clear,
To Earsdon habitation we belong,
And merry we'll appear.

The first that I'll call on,
He is a pitman bold;
He walks on underground
To keep him from the cold.

The next that I'll call on,
It is his heart's desire
He hews and puts the coals,
The old woman makes the fire.

The next that I'll call on,
He is a tailor fine.
What think you of his work?
He made this coat of mine.

He is a tailor fine,
And a good one to his trade;
He never closed one hole
But two for one he made.

The next that I'll call on,
Is jack upon the deck;
He cooks for our ship's crew
And he sells all the fat.

The next that I'll call on,
It is a big walloping Tom;
He's courted two fair women
And durst not marry one.

For if he married one,
The other he would slight;
And the best that he can do
Is treat them both alike.

Now I'm going to kill a bullock,
Of that I'll make you sure;
We'll kill it in Earsdon Town
And divide it amongst the poor.

This song was then followed by a mock sword fight between dancers no. 1 and 2, with one being “killed” and then revived by a doctor. Both the words of the song and the plot of the following drama are similar to another recorded by Cuthbert Sharp in the Wearside area, published in his book Bishoprick Garland in 1834.

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