[From Peel Plays, 1908]

Rosy Basins,
or Them oul' times.



Printed and Published by
G & L Johnson,
Prospect Hill, Douglas

(Cottage kitchen. Peatfire on hearth. Dresser with rosy basins, etc. Round table on which Nessy is arranging the "mrastyr beg' or "little' dinner." House door opening on storm. Another showing staircase. Enter Finlo with bons.

FINLO. Aw Nessy veen ! It's well you've plenty fire in for it's coul' scandalous an' a middlin' coorse night doin' in. Wasn' I sayin' this morning we'd be getting some dirt out of this dark?

NESSY. Deed yes, Finlo. Coul' enough, an' sorry I am for the wans that's on the sea this night. There's been fire on the pane all day, an' that's a middlin' sure sign of storm. I wouldn' thruss there's wuss comin'.

FINLO. Where's the childher?

NESSY. It's like they'll be up on the laff in the barn still. In hidlands likely to see will Daa come for to fetch them.

FINLO. They'll be gettin' their death of coul' out theer, woman !

NESSY. No fear. Not them,- unless indeed John's lil wan. She's been rared so tendhar, the way they are in Englan'. I don't know in me senses how folks can live in them places with murders an' favers an' all manner of dirts goin'. P'raps you'd bes' be bringin' them in Daa for the priddhas is teempt at me this while.

(Exit Finlo.)

NESSY (to Grandaa). We was talkin' of John's til wan, Grandaa. The Chile's lookin' better al ready since she's been with our wars. Wouldn' you think she'd be starved at them theer to keep her slim an' genteel.

GRANDAA. Aw well ! Englan's all very well for lords an' high wans, but it's not no place at all for childher anyhow. Poor John for all! Better keep the Chile here, Nessy veen. Her bite an' sup's not much. Let the mother go home an' leave her here.

NESSY. 'Deed, I believe she would leave the Chile. Not that I'd be sayin' no ill of her neither, but she's so dalicut an' high-an' the prim an' genteel you never saw. Why she's hardly lettin' the words out of her mouth she's so fine an' eddicated.

(Children's voices outside.)

NESSY. Now then, come in urrov the cowl'. Come to your suppers. Come Boy Beg. Come Lhiannoo Veen. Come Daa an' bring the lil wan.

Aw the bogh ! (taking child from Finlo). Was she wantin' a piece then ! Come veen, an' A'ntie will take care of thee. Now Boy Beg ! Mind you your manners an' don't be boul' or I'll warm you. Don't be shovin' him Lhiannoo Veen. Be good childher now an' show the lil wan how nice you can be. Sit quite now an' let's hear you sing your Grace-

(Nessy sits down with child in her arms. Boy Beg and Lhiannoo Veen with " rosy basins " and "pieces " in their hands, sing

With happy hearts and smiling face
We come to sing our daily Grace - A crumb for me
(spoken aside) An' a crumb for thee
An' a crumb for the lil burds out on the tree
For warmth and light, and sunshine bright
For cheerful day, and quiet night-
(spoken aside) A crumb for me
An' a crumb for thee
An' a crumb for the wans that's out on the sea
And may we still be glad to share
With those whose lives are poor and bare-
(spoken aside) A crumb for me
An' a crumb for thee
An' a crumb for the wans- in the Tramman Tree.

(The meal finished, Nessy clears table and puts things aside. Grandaa takes child on his knee. Grout sit round table with Boy Beg and Lhiannoo Veen on low stools in front. Noise of wind and rain.

FINLO. just lizzen to that now. It's bad terrible an' a big sup of rain doin' in. Turning to snow again too, I'm thinkin'. Was there as big storms in them oul' times Grandaa ?

GRANDAA. Aw well, they were much the same I'm thinkin'. But th'oul' times was bes' for all.

FINLD. That's what th'oul' wans is sayin' still. Did you ever hear Danny Boyde sing the song about them oul' times ? Lizzen now an' see can I put a mouth on it :- (Sings).

Them was the times, the fine oul' times
When the Manx was goin' a spakin';
In the pulphit an' all, it was goin' for all
At the like of the oul' Archdacon.

Them was the times, th'oul'-fashioned times
When the flax would be goin' a spinnin';
An' the busy the queels were whistling roun'
As quick as the talk of the women.

Them was the times, the prosperous times
When no one was thinkin' of savin's;
But heavin' the puddens over the quay
To show there was lashin's an' lavin's.

Them was the times, the fine oul' times
When the weaver was bringin' the Newses,
An' colloguin' the bargain urrov the wife
While giving the masthar his viewses.

Them was the times, the courtin' times
When the buoys to the dhure were stealin';
An' the busy the dogs were waggin' their tails
To show there was no ill-feelin'.

Them was the times, the fine oul' times
When the childher were goin' a rarin'
On porridge an' jough, an' bonnags an' broth
An' suppin' on priddhas an' herrin'.

GRANDAA. Aye, aye. Thou's doin' middlin', but there's not the blast on it that Danny Boyde had. 'Deed yes. Th'oul' times was bes' for all. An' I think the people was inore livelier an' more heartier them times till what they are now, singin' an' dancin' an' playin' ball on the green, an' never no person comin' to put a sour look on them. Theer was wan year I was out at Skeeyl-y-Maghal theer. A turble nice place it was too, they're tellin' me it's altered thremendjus at them now. There was a buriful dub of wattier where the sun- dial is now, and the green grass sloping to it oil all sides like a picture. An' the wans from the houses roun' would be out theer dancin' like mad in th'everin'. Many's the time I've seen it. An' the anon comin' across from his house wis de fil fiddle to his chin, an' play, play, playin' for the wails that was dancin' an' never no harm at all

FINLO. That was nice too. They're sayin' the Manx was turble good at the music them times. It's not often you'll be hearin' a fiddle at the Pazons now. It's more for pianners an' organs they are now.

NESSY. They was used to be sayin' when a chile had long han's at her-Fine han's for beatin' the barley cake-but these days it's-Fine han's for to play the pianner.

GRANRAA. Well, the man that was on the Church was good though. The rale oul' sort. Never no pride at him at all but the gennal ! Aw kind shockin'. An' thatch to his house like the rest, but kep' nice at him though with a house- keeper an' two gels to be doin' the butter an' answerin' the dhure. The housekeeper was a turble smart woman but middlin' sevare. Boul' as a leopard she was, an' wouldn' take no sauce from no person. An' I'm not sayin' no ill of her neither, but ma word, the tongue ! There was wan everin' that a passel of us boys was goin' up the lane at the back surrupshus, never no harm at all, but jus' capers an' passin' the time of day, an' the two gels doin' imperince on us from the windhar, when out she come, an', " Be off," she says, an' "You swine," she says, an' "Pazon'll be larshin' you," she says, an', "Ye oncultivated dirts,"she says. Uncultivated Dirts ! That's what she was callin' us. Uncultivated Dirts ! ... .., . Aw well! It was life for all !

LH. V. Mammy?

NESSY. Yes lov'. Tell Mammy then.

LH. V. (going up to Nesey). Mammy. What's Grandaa tellin' that time about the sheep in the snow ?

NESSY. Aw the sheep in the snow is it ? Aw the poor lil lammies that was goin' a buryin' down, down in the snow.

FINLO. Aw deed ! That was a terrible story. Grandaa can sing it nice though.

GRANRAA. I'm fearin' it's forgot at me. Let's see how's this it's goin'.


Oh dark is the daylight and darker the sky
And small are the snowflakes but closely they lie
Then haste ye my shepherds, to the hills we must go
For I'm fearin' the sheep will be lost in the snow.

Then up rose the shepherd and sadly did say
Oh masthar, oh masthar, there's sorrow this day-
Forthe childher this morn to the schoolhouse did go
And I'm fearin' they're losted deep under the snow.

Oh haste ye then shepherds, get lanterns and men
For the snowflakes are piling on mountain and glen.
Fetch Trusty and Mona the best dogs I know
For there's more than the sheep may be lost in the snow.

Oh Trusty, oh Mona, what is it you've found
And what is there under that cold silent mound ?
For the poor dogs lamenting lay down in their woe,
But their cries could not waken the lambs in the snow.

And the childher were lyin' so peaceful and sweet,
A sod for their pillow, a stone to their feet ;
And rosy their faces in the lanterns' red glow-
But the light neverwakened the lambs in the snow.

There's sheep on Slieu Whallian and sheep on Slieu Dhoo,
And young lambs are playing in sheltered Folieu;
But there's mourning and crying in farms high and low
For the lambs that were lying deep under the snow.

NESSY. Aw dear, to think of that now !

FINLO. Well, Well. It's time we were taking the road to bed now. We'll be goin' soon this coorse night while there's good fire in. Do you know for why, Boy Beg ?

Boy BEG. For because tomorrer'll come quick.

LH. V. No, no-but to let the lil Fayries come in to the fire. Isn't it Daa ?

GRANDAA. Aye, aye, that's it. There's plenty tallein' doin' in at some of these grammatical fellas, but I wouldn' thruss there's more in than they're knowin'. An' what harm is it either to be lavin' a bit of warm turf on the hearth an' a tase of bread an' milk for them that's out on the coul' hills, an' isn' doin' Its no harm at all when we're not goin' against them.

(Children set rosy basins with milk and bits of bonnag, and all sing)-

What road are you taking, my lhiannoo veg villish
And where will you go at the end of the day ?
We are taking the road to the Glen of the Twilight
And " Cadlag the Sleeper" will show us the way.
Where the Fayries are weaving the dreams for our pillow
And lighting the candles that burn in the sky.
Where Cadlag the Sleeper is swaying the willow
And blackbirds are calling, Oie-vie, Oie-vie.

And what will you do in the Glen of the Twilight
When Cadlag the Sleeper has found you a nest ?-
We'll play xvith the roses the Fayries have brought
And murmur of waters will lull us to rest. [us,
Where the Fayries are weaving the dreams for our pillow
And rocking the cradle where softly we'll lie-
Where Cadlag the Sleeper is swaying the willow,
And childher are nodding, Oie-vie, Oie-vie.

(During last verse surging more and more slowly; the children nodding and falling asleep.)



(Same interior. Firelight. Door opens and Stranger is blown in. Shuts door with difficulty against storm).

STRANGER. (With patronising air). Good evening, my good peo-
Why-dear me! Is no one here ! Can they be actually all gone to bed at this hour? Barely nine o'clock-Well I'm thankful to find such comfortable shelter for the night. (Peering round). And what have we here ? Milk and bread set out ! This must be what we read of-food and drink set out for the Fairies, or " Good People" as I have heard them called. Is it possible that in these enlightened days there may still be found men and women with such credulity! It is appalling to think of such ignorance. Well-I at least am provided with a good supper and will at once proceed to enjoy this delicious repast ! (Sups) And in the morning I will convince these good people of the extreme foolishness of their belief. (Puts basin down and settles himself in chimney corner, hidden behind coats, etc. After a few seconds soft music is heard. Stranger moves and listens. Air of Yuan y jaggad keear).

1st FAIRIES. Is there welcome here to-night, Is the chiollagh warm and bright?

2nd FAIRIES. Yes there's welcome here to-night For the welcome Fayries. Plenty welcome here,

All together. Plenty welcome there,
Welcome, welcome, plenty welcome
For the Fayries here.

1st FAIRIES. Are the bits of bonnag there
For the Fayries' simple fare ?

2nd FAIRIES. See the bits of bonnag there.
For the welcome Fayries.
Bits of bonnag here

All together. Bits of bonnag there
Bits of bonnag, bits of bonnag
For the Fayries here.

1st FAIRIES. Are the rosy basins set
For the Fayries cold and wet?

2nd FAIRIES. See the rosy basins set
For the welcome Fayries.
Rosy basins here

All together.

Rosy basins there
Rosy basins, rosy basins
For the Fayries here.

(Both groups fly on to floor; join hands dancing and singing, Stranger watching intently.)

Come we then to dance around
So no witch may here be found.
Never witch may cross the ground
All. Danced on by the Fayries.
Fayries dancing here
Fayries dancing there
Dancing, dancing,
Dancing everywhere.

(Door to staircase opens softly. Stranger hides behind coats. Children enter barefoot and half-dressed. Fairies flee. Children go to chiollagh, pick up basins and look at each other gravely.)

Boy BEG. (Coming forward and holding out basin.) The Fayries has ate all up ! (Working spoon round basin.) Even the scraerpin's !

LH. V. (Taking basins.) I'll heirs these basins on the chiss for fraid they'll bebroke. (coming back') Lets play pretence Boy Beg.

Boy BEG. (Eagerly.) 'Tence I'm the Phynodderee. (Gets broom and begins to sweep. Lh. V. watching. )

LH. V. 'Tence I'm the Moddha Dhoo. (Hides behind door and sings :-Air of Kirk Katreeney Marroo.)

Lx. V. Bow-wow.

Boy BEG. J There's the Moddha Dhoo.

LH. V. together. l Bowowoo, B-wo o o o o o o.

Boy BEG. 1 All alone Wisout no bone

LH. V. together. (Bough! Wough ! Wough ! Wough !

Boy BEG. f The poor old Moddha Dhoo

Lx. V. together. Bo w o o o. B-wo o o o o o o.

LH. V. Bow-wow.

Boy BEG. Lonely Moddha Dhoo

LH. V. together. Bo w o o B-w o o o o o.

Boy BEG. Come and play With us to-day

LH. V. together. Bough ! Wough ! Wough ! Wough !

Boy BEG. Poor old Moddha Dhoo

LH. V. together. B-w o w o o o o o o. Sounds overhead.

Lh. V. comes forzøard.

LH. V. Hush Boy Beg for fraid we'll wake Mammy. Lets 'tence we're the Fayries now an' praps they'll come back. (Fairy Music.)

Children join hands and dance. Fairies steal out one by one and join in. All dance to Fairy music.

Sound overhead of stick knocking on floor. Music ceases abruptly. Fairies fee. Children stand apart listening.

NESSY. (from staircase.) Boy Beg ! Lhiannoo Veen ! Comeback to bed this minute! Ma Word I'll warm you !




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