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Description of 'Old tup' custom

Hoyland, George (speaker, male / singer, male)
1959-08-21

Recording

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  • Title:
    Description of 'Old tup' custom
  • Contributor: Hoyland, George (speaker, male / singer, male); Kennedy, Peter, (speaker, male); Kennedy, Peter, (sound recordist)
  • Subjects: England; Mummers' plays
  • Language: English
  • Place Name: Chapeltown, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, UK
  • Notes:
    Recording date: 1959-08-21
    Collection title: Peter Kennedy Collection
    Duration: 7 min. 46 sec.
    Item notes: 'The Derby ram' begins: 'As I went to Derby upon a market day / I met the finest tup that ever was fed with hay'.
    Performance notes: George 'Cavill' Hoyland describes the custom of 'Old Tup', a mumming play, also known as 'The Derby ram'; describes how an old log, shaped to resemble a ram's head, would be placed on a broomstick covered with a hide, in which the man playing the part of the ram would conceal himself; people would place coins in the ram's mouth; took place in Ecclesfield and surrounding districts at Christmas; performed around public houses in order to earn money; sings 'Tup song' ('The Derby ram'); butcher character would stab the tup; doctor character recites lines to bring tup back to life; characters - a butcher, a doctor, a fool, Devil doubt, Beelzebub; recites rhyme asking audience to put money in the box; Old Tup would chase audience members at the end.

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