Pace Egging


Jon Wishes “Happy Easter everyone,” as do I. He continues, “I’m not 100% sure that this is the right day for this song but it seems appropriate anyway. We did a nice version with Eliza and the Ratcatchers, possibly on YouTube somewhere.”

Well this does seem to entirely appropriate today as far as I can tell and this link will tell you more. It seems that the “Pace” of the title is from Pacha, the Latin for Easter. You’ll find the Watersons version of this song, which I guess is essentially the same as Jon’s version at Mainly Norfolk and this Mudcat link will also give you an extra verse or two.  As for The Ratcatchers’ performance, I’ve immediately drawn a blank, but being very conscious of the time theft aspect of YouTube have ducked out. I like the Mummers’ aspect of this, which probably also compensates for the lack of St. George action yesterday.



46 Responses to “Pace Egging”

  1. Jane Ramsden says:

    Wonderful link about the Festa Paschalia, Skyman, to accompany Jon’s very rousing chorus!

    I am not familiar with the term pace-egging. It was always egg-rolling when I was a child, as per this Wiki-link, with reference to the boggling Gander Song!

    But we did decorate our eggs, either by the wax resist (batik) method, or adding various substances to the water the egg was boiled in. I think moss was one substance we used, which produces various shades of blue-green eggs. I am no egg artist, but apparantly they have their own guild – the International Egg Art Guild, which promotes the craft of egg artistry!

    I couldn’t find Eliza and the Ratcatchers on YouTube, but did find 2 versions of this song by The McCalmans through this link:

    Plus the final (and best) performance of the Pace Egg Play at Heptonstall, Good Friday, 2010, where Bold Slasher gets it at the hand (and somewhat bent sword) of St Georgie!

    However, for something more religiously fitting, here is Regina Coeli (Mozart’s Latin Easter Chant) prayed in place of the Angelus (morning, noon and night) during the Easter Season, and often sung in the Latin for added festivity:

    Happy Easter, Afsadders! Or should I say ‘Prospera Pascha sit!’ (Did Romans use exclamation marks?)

  2. Alan Rosevear says:

    Jon got this in before anyone else today (woke me up nicely)- hope I am as lucky tonight as this is the one everybody wants to lead on – the toss pots.

  3. Reinhard says:

    This YouTube video shows Eliza and the Ratcatchers singing the
    Pace-Egging Song
    at Buxton Opera House in 2007.

  4. Shelley says:

    This is the version I know (although I’ve heard variations too). Pace Egging near me happens tomorrow (Easter Monday) up in Middleton, with the play revived by Mike Harding in the 60s details here:

    (The current Dobbin the Horse is a friend of mine)

    Thanks fo the video link Reinhard!

  5. Jane Ramsden says:

    Thank you, Reinhard. My comments are still ‘awaiting moderation,’ but I wrote that I couldn’t find this link on YouTube – lack of diligance on my part! Still, I have put in some others, including The McCalmans’ version of this song, tho it may be Easter Monday afore they get posted!

    However, I stand corrected on the non-celebration of St George’s Day, as it was celebrated in Bradford’s own Centenary Square yesterday with hundreds attending according to this local newspaper link:

    Anyone playing the video be prepared to sit out the obligatory car advert for a too-small snapshot of the festivities… which I knew nowt abaht or I’d have been down there, instead of spending 4 hours hedgecutting!

  6. Jane Ramsden says:

    And thank you, Shelley, for the Middleton Pace Egg Play script, which is different from the Heptonstall video I posted… when I’ve been moderated!

  7. Shelley says:

    My pleasure Jane – I have some video of the Middleton Play taken a view years ago, but it’s on my phone and the quality isn’t good enough for public viewing. One day I’ll film them properly.

  8. Dave says:

    For full details of mumming plays and associated folk drama this is the place to go:

    Peter Millington who is the person behind – plays in Mortimer’s band.

  9. muzza(s.e.England) says:

    Yesssssssssss……………an old favourite.glad it’s included.

  10. Elly B says:

    I have only heard this at Forest school before. I tresting to learn more about it. Thankyou

  11. Old Tosspot(Cutty Sark beer locker) says:

    Thish ish a jolly old shong that me and me mates loved to shing in the good old days…more ale pleash admiral…me pigtail’s drying out!

  12. Diana says:

    Mr. Holmes I presume, in one of your many disguises (Old Tosspot).I should go and lie down before you fall down as you are obviously high on opium.

    A nice cheerful song – really enjoyed this one.

  13. Lord Nelson (Trafalgar Square) says:

    Old Tosspot, why not have a tankard of grog at the Old Peculier?

  14. Diana says:

    You certainly are a quick change artist Sherlock (I may call you Sherlock after all this time I assume). Mind you don’t fall!

  15. Old Tosspot(Cutty Sark beer locker) says:

    @Diana……….that Lord Nelson wasn’t me!!!!!!!!! and he hasn’t revealed any “Tells” so you and Jane wll have your work cut out to track HIM down.

  16. Diana says:

    Has you nose got longer Muzza or shall I call you Pinochio?

  17. Lord Nelson (Trafalgar Square) says:

    Muzza is really innocent this time, Diana. And no, I won’t give you any clues. HAHAHAHAHA!

  18. Diana says:

    Naughty Jane – you wicked creature you. Gotcha! Thanks for the pic of St George and all the other information which I shall peruse at leisure.

    Sorry Holmes old fellow for accusing you but you do it so often, it really isn’t surprising I think it is one of your aliases.

  19. Jane Ramsden says:

    And it isn’t me either, Diana! (Despite the HAHAHAHAHA!) I think Muzza is innocent… no dots! Unless he’s becoming more adept at disguises and using my HAHAHAHA to fool you all! Could be Reynard. I know it’s not Pewter. Or maybe one of the Johns?

  20. Diana says:

    @ Jane: If it is not Pewter then I will plump for John B (of the W M). It doesn’t seem to me that it is a crafty fox, but who knows? I don’t!!! I don’t suppose whoever it is will ever come clean. It is so frustrating it really is. As usual I blamed poor Muzza for it all cos it would be just like him. Are you sure its not Pierre?

  21. Jane Ramsden says:

    I am sure it’s not Pierre. Muzza may well be pulling a fast one as we have ragged him severally the last few days. My money is on Reynard, whom I could see as Lord Nelson, or also John B. But Muzza does favour the naval… I can’t believe I just wrote that… HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! This will, however, be making his day!

  22. Diana says:

    Well it looks like we will never know unless the person concerned owns up. Come on be brave we won’t hurt you I promise. Only cos we cannot get our hands on you eh Jane?

  23. Jane Ramsden says:

    OK, I confess Diana, it was me, I am the illusive Admiral

  24. Diana says:

    OK, I confess Jane, it was me, I am the illusive Admiral

  25. Diana says:

    Jane I know it was not me so do not think it was thee either. Someone is taking our names in vain! Rotten swine! Come on Jane who shall we punish for this heinous crime – I am sure we can make them suffer in some small way.

  26. Diana says:

    @Diana………ok, was me that took your names in vain and “confessed x 2” to being “The Admiral”…but twas not me that did the original…..It does illustrate that somebody can take over your name and say all sorts of things that might offend. This proves how valuable Jane’s avatar is…because that did not reproduce as the message was generated by me!…………now can I go to bed, having made my peace.

  27. Muzza (N.W.Surrey.UK) says:


  28. Diana says:

    @Muzza so I was right all along – like you say though this could be quite misleading, without Jane’s avatar to support her, anyone could write anything under another’s name and get away with it. Still that last comment, supposedly from me, probably would not fool anyone. I am never up at that hour – only the night owls and foxes are up then.

  29. Diana says:

    Muzza think of all those people who were under suspicion for your crime – there was Pewter, Reynard and John B. They might have something to say to you, you rascal. There is Jane to contend with as well as me who you incriminated. It is a good job I have a forgiving nature.

  30. Jane Ramsden says:

    @ Diana: We still don’t know who the original Lord Nelson (Trafalgar Square) was. Muzza is denying culpability for that one! One can get confused with all these personae. Even Muzzy nearly fell off his (woolly owl) perch – or was it his column? – trying to pretend he was us. Too tall an order for thee, Lad! Hahahahahaha!

    I am sticking with my own identity. I have enough on coping with the schizoid, stress-busting bear that is my shape-shifter without anymore, and especially not on top of Nelson’s Column. T’would feel too much like Gormley’s dumbing-down-of-art Fourth Plinth!

  31. Diana says:

    @Jane you are lucky with you avatar cos no one can replicate that. Still as we don’t know who the original Lord Nelson is, we are back with the usual suspects. If it is not me or thee and not Pewter, who can it be? Reynard has not joined in with us since the “vests” and “socks” episodes so I have ruled him out, so has someone new entered the ball park?

  32. Muzza (N.W Surrey-UK) says:

    and still the mystery lingers on!

  33. Diana says:

    Indeed it does Muzza, indeed it does!

  34. Old Muzza(N.W surrey.UK) says:

    I am Spartacus!

  35. Lord Nelson says:

    I am Spatrucus

  36. Old Tosspot says:

    I am Spartacus HA HA HA HA….and he was first mentioned in Syracuse as a farmer but went on to become the governor or Pestriconia…his number one album can be found in a barn in Greece………….damn……..I’ve dropped my encyclopedia

  37. Holmes says:

    I am Spartacus but ….lookee here Watson(I’m Spartacus as well Holmes)…
    all those close comment times listed above point to poor old Muzza being the culprit……..but we know that he is completely innocent……Damn you Moriarty!

  38. Moriarty says:

    I am Spartacus

  39. Jane Ramsden says:

    Look at the times of the above postings and you’ll deduce it’s all Muzzy Spartacuzzanda doing the quick-change artistry. Not clever enough, Moriarty! Lol.

  40. Old Muzza (NW Surrey-UK) says:

    Poor old Jon and Admin Simon must have wondered on the wisdom of opening such a Pandora’s box of frogs. I think we went a little off track here fellas but we were a jolly crowd and we still enjoy the songs and the folk community behind all the silliness.

  41. Linda says:

    This seems to suit the lovely weather we’re having at the moment and ditto Muzza still enjoying the songs and the friendliness of the folk community…

  42. John Bryson says:

    A slightly different part of the year, but relevant – this is changed to wassailing instead of pace egging when Bishop’s Stortford Folk Club goes wassailing – I don’t quite know how, but I am often the ‘toss pot’ charater in the song when we do venture out. Considering I’m practically tea total is it is a bit odd – or do the others knows something I don’t?!

  43. Old Muzza (NW Surrey-UK) says:

    I’m with you John boy………… our age the young ‘uns consider us- old Tosspots

  44. Old Muzza (NW Surrey-UK) says:

    Blimey…………..reading all those comments…. above even I’m confused!….
    I’m still an old Tosspot though!

  45. Old Muzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    We never did find out who was the illusive….I cant even remember if it was me….I don’t think so though because I didn’t understand the comment!

  46. OldMuzzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    Well all that Lord Nelson stuff caused some jollity…still none the wiser as to who said what…still enjoy the old song

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