Hooden Play 1967

Wag:
Look, the door is open wide
Leave old Dobbin here outside
Boy:
Help me, Joe, to hold the brute
Now if I had a gun I'd shoot
The awkward beast right through the head…
The jade's worth less alive than dead
Wag:
Woah back, Dobbin, woah, I say
Adam:
Help, now there'll be hell to pay
Moll:
Sorry, missis, sorry, master
Look, he's been and cracked the plaster
Moll:
The vicar'll have fifty fits…
He's nearly kicked his house to bits
Moll:
Look what he's done near the table
Boy:
Dobbin, boy, it's not your stable
Moll:
It's all right, folks. Don't hold your noses
Put it round your next year's roses
Adam:
Now the air's much less than pure…
Tainted by the nag's manure
Wag:
It's sent the old girl in a panic
This fertilizer most organic
Adam:
Don't worry, ma'am, it's all good luck
It makes your roses grow, does muck
Wag:
Adam, boy, now watch your tongue
Adam:
I only meant old Dobbin's dung
Wag:
Look, he's quiet now
Adam:
Catch him, boy; you touched him last
Boy:
I'll see what I can do. Gawd blast
You for an awkward cuss!
Come on, old boy, don't make a fuss
Moll:
Now he's whispering in his ear
Wag:
Look out, lad, he's gonna rear
All:
Oohhh
Adam:
He put his hoof right through …'s head
Moll:
With such a dent he must be dead
[They gather round the prostrate boy]
Adam:
Yes, he's dead all right… crushed his head like a rotten apple
Moll:
Get old Sid to toll his knell
Wag:
Quick, you'll find him in "The Bell"
Adam:
Let not worms his corpse disturb
Wag:
Get a coffin made by Herb
Moll:
Blood from ears and blood from nose
The poor young lad's turned up his toes
Adam:
Just for a little heap of dung
He's left the world at twenty-one
Wag:
Just for a little heap of muck it
Seems poor …'s kicked the bucket
All:
This poor lad's, alas, a gonner
We shall write his name upon a
Cross of wood well planed and painted…
Angels grant his soul's untainted
Moll:
He groaned
Adam:
Just a minute… get a feather
Now we soon shall see just whether
The poor lad's eyes are closed in death
Wag:
It moved
Moll:
That means there's still some breath
[The boy sneezes]
Moll:
He sneezed
Wag:
Now quick, a pinch of snuff
How d'ye feel boy?
Boy:
Blooming rough
They've laid main drainage in my roof
Wag:
No boy; that hole was Dobbin's hoof
[They lift him up]
Adam:
The wonder is he's not gone crackers
Let's take old Dobbin to the knackers
Moll:
Go quickly, Moll, to Margate town
And get a vet to put him down
All (except the boy):
His flesh for dog's meat we will use
Bones for glue and hide for shoes
His tail and mane for fiddle bows
Eyes and tongue to feed the crows
His hooves to make horn-handled knife
Come, boys, let's have old Dobbin's life
Boy:
What, kill Dobbin?
All:
Yes
Boy:
What, my mate, Dobbin?
All:
Yes
Boy:
Over my dead body, then
Wag:
What, d'ye want a kick again?
Boy:
No, but Dobbin's strong and willing
And still can earn an honest shilling
Adam:
Talk of shillings, Joe, my friend
We have forgot our visit's end
Which was to wish these people here
The best of health throughout the year
Wag:
And taste their wine and drink their beer
Moll:
And then to show we meant no wrong
To sing them all a Christmas song
Wag:
Get old Dobbin's bag then
All:
Now, masters, since poor men must live
Deep into your pockets dive
Come, give us freely of your store
God blesses those who feed the poor
And curses whosoever stints…
Unload your shekels, masters, since…
If ye the Hooden Horse do feed
Throughout the year ye shall not need.

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