Open main menu

Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/92

This page has been validated.
70
Correspondence.

May I send you another version of the All Souls' Day rhyme given by Miss Burne in her Staffordshire Notes ?

At Hilderstone, on the borders of Derbyshire, forty years ago, the boys used to sing —

"A soul cake, a soul cake,
Give me a penny for a soul cake.
One for Peter,
One for Paul,
One for Him who made us all.
Put your hand in your pocket
And pull out your keys.
Go down to your cellar
And fetch what you please.
An apple, a pear, a plum, or a cherry.
Or any good thing to make us merry.
A soul cake," &c., ad lib.

This was called "going souling."

I do not think we had any May-day observances, but Christmas brought guisers ; one of them was St. George, who fought and killed the Prince of Paradise. Our mistletoe bush was quite "a golden bough," decorated with oranges and coloured ribbons, and it hung till Shrove Tuesday, when the pancakes were supposed to be cooked over it.

Trusting you will pardon my troubling you with these old memories,

Dorothea Townshend.

80, Woodstock Road., Oxford.



The Staffordshire Horn-Dance.

(Vol. vii., p. 382.)

After describing the horn-dance at Abbot's Bromley, in her article on "Staffordshire Folk and their Lore," Miss Burne draws the conclusion that the primary intention of the performance was the assertion of some ancient common right or privilege in regard to the chase. May not this be the secondary rather than the first signification of the custom ? Is it not possible that in origin the dance resembled the buffalo-dance of some North American Indian tribes, and that by natural evolution and transformation