We’d cover a townland a night, maybe thirty or forty houses.
The word would go round. They’d be watching you (expecting). We’d get a couple of bob a house. It was all walking – no bicycles! The craic on the road would be good. And we’d have our own music from the musicians.
The money was all put together and went to host the Mummers Dance. The Mummers themselves, the players, would get two or three bottles free at the dance. Nobody paid in.
You’d know your own rhyme but you’d pick up the others from listening to them.
Here comes I Doctor Brown
I’m the best wee doctor in the town
I cud cure all diseases that ever come out
The Hurdy-Gurdy and the Gout
I cud cure an oul’ woman wit’ her teeth hanging out
And if you don’t believe what I say
Here comes …. And he’ll clear the way.
Here comes I Diddley Doubt
The tail of me shirt is hanging out
I cud ate a pudding, I cud ate a pan
If I don’t get something I’ll ate a man
And if you…
Here comes I, the Last of the Lot
I hope these wee fellas will not be forgot
We’ll have bottles of whiskey and barrels of beer
And we wish yous all a Happy Christmas
And a bright New Year.
Then the music ‘ud start, maybe an oul’ waltz. We’d pair off and dance around the kitchen floor. When we reached the dur, we’d dance out. Then it was the next pair.