Hoodening 1994

Moll:
The Hoodeners are here!
Come on, settle down. Don't take all day
Give us some room to perform our play
If the others turn up, just give me a nod
'Cos I'm worried about Sam — he seems a bit odd
He wanders about in the fields real early
You say anything, and he gets quite surly
It could be drink, but I'm not sure
Where are the others? Is that the door?
Ah, here they come, all festive and cheery
Trying to sing, though not very clearly
(Enter Dobbin, Boy [on Dobbin], 'Arry, George and Sam)
All:
Five jolly Hoodening Boys lately come from town
For apples or for money we… (fade out)
Sam:
Oh sod it! I hate that song
I mix up the words, they come out all wrong
Let's sing a song we all know well
We could sing a few verses of Eskimo Nell
'Arry:
That's enough Sam. You bin drinking again?
Lay off that stuff, it deadens your brain
Boy:
What brain? That's dead and has been for ages
(to audience)
He's already squandered his next week's wages
Moll:
You should be ashamed, you've let yourself go
Hasn't he, George… ?
George:
          Yeah, I s'pose so
Sam:
I ain't had much, just the odd one or two
Like anyone else, I'm partial to a few
(to audience, if any)
She's turning into a right old cuss!
Boy:
With a face more like the back of a bus
Sam: (to Moll)
So you, Moll, can watch your tongue
George:
He fancied her when he was young…
Moll:
That's a long time ago, I was only sixteen
Boy:
Was that when Victoria was still the Queen?
'Arry:
Enough of your banter — some words if we might
About our host, on this 'orse-spicious night
[Special lines for each house] (ending up with…)
I've got so much here, I could go on all day
What's up Boy, you got something to say?
Boy:
We've bin down Shuart Lane, ploughing since dawn
Preparing the ground for next year's corn
What thanks do we get? It's hard to survive
George:
I reckon I'm due my P45…
Moll:
Don't worry George, they won't let you go
Your job's safe…
George:
          D'you reckon so?
'Arry:
P'raps Sam's bin drinking to hide his despair
To give the impression that he don't care
About losing his job — we're all for the chop
These redundancies don't seem to stop
Sam: (mournfully)
Mechanisation, combines and things
Heartache and dismay, that's all they brings
Boy:
You morbid old git! There's years left in you
Sort yourself out, the rumours ain't true
You're not that old, not too doddery
George:
With a bit of luck we could win the lottery!
All:   (ad lib groans etc.)
Oh, not the lottery…
(or similar mutterings)
Moll:
'Ere, what's up with Dobbin? He's bin quiet all day
Boy:
It might be something that got in his hay?
Moll:
He huffed and puffed when pulling his cart
And he couldn't manage his usual fart
Sam:
He's cracking up then, just like me and you
He'll end up in some Frenchman's stew
They'll cart him off on that new Chunnel train
George:
And when it breaks down, he'll come back again
'Arry:
He'll be stuck for an hour at the very least
But that's an improvement on Network South East!
George:
It'll still be quicker, 'cause Dobbin's so slow
'Least he's not delayed by the wrong kind of snow
(Dobbin kicks out)
Boy:
Steady Dobbin — there's life in him yet
By the way, what's his age? I always forget
'Arry:
Look in his gob, examine his teeth
Sam
He must be fifty at the very least
Years of Hoodening have taken their toll
He's even got woodworm in his pole!
(Dobbin snaps at Sam)
Boy:
Now then Dobbin, Sam's not himself
Something odd's affecting his health
Moll:
P'raps we should snatch his drinking flask?
That would help us with the task
Of weening the bugger off the stuff
He really has had quite enough
(Sam clutches his flask)
Boy:
It's not the booze that gives him wings
It's these 'ere mushroomy sort of things
Moll:
You must be sure you get the right kind
They're magic, I'm told, and easy to find
(Sam nibbles)
Boy:
What do these things do, old mate?
Sam:
They seem to make me hallucinate
I start to see things not quite there
My mind goes blank, I just don't care
'Arry:
Ah, but there's a darker side with sinister forces
Some say you even see strange black horses
George:
That's Lloyds Bank!
Sam:
That's a load of crap, but just to be civil
I'll sit down now and have a quick nibble
HE-HE-HE!
'Arry: (looking at watch)
Time you went George, off you go!
Go water the horses…
George:
         … Well, I s'pose so
(George goes off)
Moll:
Old Sam looks dozy — best give him a nudge
Get him up now, or he'll never budge
(They help him up)
Sam:
Cor! This stuff's got some kick
Boy:
Don't mix it with beer, case you're sick
Sam:
Nah — gimme a drink, I can hold my liquors
Come on then Moll, flash us your knickers!
Moll:
Sam! Behave!…
(A Dark Horse appears, or whatever!)
Sam:
What's this, a stray horse? All dark and lean
'Arry:
What horse, Sam? Whaddya mean?
Boy:
I can't see, his mind's done a flip
Moll:
I reckon he's off on another trip
Sam:
There, in the doorway, can't you see?
Are you lot taking the piss / mickey outta me?
'Arry:
Let's get you home, you've had a long day
You need a rest… they'll take him away!
Boy:
Give him a ride home on the jade
He's not fit to walk back, I'm afraid
Sam:
Gimme a leg up — I'm feeling stiff
Moll:
This close to Sam, it don't half whiff!
Sam:
What do you mean? I'll have you know
I changed my pants three months ago
Moll:
Changed into what? They still seem to heave
Now get on the horse, we're ready to leave
'Arry:
He's on, but he don't seem steady
Boy:
Go on Dobbin, I think he's ready
(The other horse re-appears)
Sam:
Look! That horse over there
Grab me, I'm falling, you stupid mare!
(Sam falls and clouts Moll, who dies. Horse runs off.)
Sam:
Sorry Moll, you OK?
If you're hurt, just you say
'Arry:
She's 'ad it! What have you done?
Sam:
I only knee'd 'er up the bum
Boy:
Surely now, she's not that hurt?
'Arry:
Sam! Stop looking up her skirt!
Sam:
I was only thinking 'bout our younger days
When we were young, we went through a phase
(Enter young Moll)
Sam:
Molly, it's you! What can I say?
Your beauty radiant as yesterday
Can it be you? I'm your greatest fan
Young Moll:
Of course it's me, you stupid man!
I'm not just a figment of your dreams
And under this shawl is not all it seems
Sam:
She always was a one to tease
Young Moll:
He was known as Sam the Sleaze
Cunning, dirty, and somewhat sinister
I'm sure he'd make a government minister
Fancy HIM? He's far too tight
I'm off, ta-ta, enjoy your night!
Sam:
MOLLY!
'Arry:
I'm sure he's flipped, gone a bit funny
His eyes are glazed, his nose all runny
(Sam sniffs)
Boy:
What of old Moll? We can't leave her there
Her body will turn and pollute the air
'Arry:
We'll use the nag to hump her back
Dobbin'll cope — just give him a whack!
We'll sing a song as we cart her away
Go fetch a sheet, boy… Do as I say!
(Boy goes off, raising one finger)
Sam:
Hang on a sec! There's just us two
I can't sing, and nor can you
'Arry:
You lift her up, across your shoulder
You're much stronger… and you're older
Sam:
Don't look at me. She's far too weighty
I'm not putting my back out, matey!
'Arry:
She'll have to stay there a while
Sam
Till she rots?
'Arry:
          Don't be vile
Maybe, Sam, a bit of your tuck
Will bring her round, with a bit of luck
(They feed Moll and put the rest aside, and Dobbin tucks in)
Moll:
Eeeeee-errrrrr!
Sam & 'Arry:
She's alive!
(Moll sits up)
Moll:
I can see stars, Gawd knows how
That one there looks like the Plough
Sam:
That is a plough!
Moll:
Orion's there, and that's the North Star
'Arry:
Isn't Orion the name of a car?
Moll:
Just to the right, is Castor & Pollux
You clout me again and I'll have your ********
('Arry restrains Moll as she gets up)
'Arry:
Moll, it's good to see you back again
Hope you've not had too much pain
(Two horses appear and run around Dobbin)
Moll:
Aaaahhh! Now I know what Sam's on about
There's two of 'em — I'm off out
(Moll runs off, Dobbin gets restless)
'Arry:
Dobbin old mate, what can you see?
Why you shakin'? Leave 'old of me!
(Dobbin craps himself)
'Arry:
About time, what's taken you so long
You saved 'em up — Cor, what a pong!
Sam:
My head's now clear, but where's old Moll?
'Arry:
Those magic things have taken their toll
Sam:
They did on Dobbin, by the look of the floor
No wonder Molly ran out the door
'Arry:
What of the Boy? He's late getting back
If Gaffer comes round, he'll get the sack
Ah — here comes George, and also the lad
But still no Moll, she must be bad
Boy:
I've got this sheet, I hope it will do
I'm worn out — dunno about you
'Arry:
So's this sheet, by the look of this tear
But Moll's now gone, we don't know where
George:
I've watered the horses, they seemed quite dry
There were two extra ones — can't think why
Boy:
Lucky I had my oats in the store
They stuffed till they could eat no more
After that they disappeared
I find it all rather weird
George:
We also saw Gaffer back at the farm
He said our jobs were safe from harm
Boy:
So we are employed for another year
That's a good excuse to stay for a beer
Sam:
Ah! Here comes Molly, white as a sheet
Moll:
Make mine a Whisky, I want it neat!
Any more of that and my mood could worsen
I may well end up just like Paul Merson
'Arry:
You really have had quite a fright
It's sure turned out a different night!
George:
We must blame Sam and his magic potion
I vote that we carry the motion…
Of Sam's first round, it serves him right
Well, someone said he's far too tight
'Arry:
A word of warning 'fore we say any more
Don't touch mushrooms unless you're sure
Especially you kids, no matter how old
Don't ever eat them, unless you're told…
Boy:
By a grown-up, your Mum or your Dad
Sam:
Or just like Dobbin, your guts will be bad
Moll:
This year our cause is not just the one
But several charities, it makes it more fun
George:
It includes the Tear Fund, so help fill our bag
And we'll keep you informed through the Parish Mag
Sam:
We'll take any notes and all your loose change
Fifty-pound notes are well within range
Boy:
Don't spend on the lottery or buy a new car
Or waste it on bribes to Bruce Grobelaar
All:
For… if ye the Hooden Horse do feed
Throughout the year ye shall not need!

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