The Earsdon Calling-On Song

This the full wording of the calling-on song as formerly used to introducte the Royal Earsdon sword dancers, as notated by Cecil Sharp in 1910.

Good people, give ear to my story, we have called for to see you by chance;
Five heroes I've brought blithe and bonny, intending to give you a dance.
For Earsdon is our habitation, the place we were all born and bred.
There are not finer boys in the nation, and none shall be more gallantly led.

'Tis not for your gold or your silver, nor yet for the gain of your gear,
But we come just to take a week's pleasure, to welcome the incoming year.
My lads, they are all fit for action, with spirits and courage so bold;
They are born of a noble extraction, their fathers were heroes of old.

Now this is the son of brave Elliott, the first youth that enters my ring;
So proudly rejoice I to tell it, he fought for his country and king.
When the Spaniards besieged Gibraltar, bold Elliott defended the place,
Soon caused them their plans to alter; some died - others fell in disgrace.

Now my next handsome youth that does enter is a boy, there are very few such;
His father beat the great De Winter, and defeated the fleet of the Dutch.
His father was the great Lord Duncan, who played the Dutch ne'er such a prank,
That they fled from their harbours, ran funkin', and they fled to the great Dogger Bank.

This one is the son of Lord Nelson, that hero that fought at the Nile;
Few men with such courage and talent, the Frenchmen he did them beguile.
The Frenchmen they nearly decoyed him, but the battle he managed so well,
In their fortress he wholly destroyed them, scarce one got home for to tell.

Now my next handsome youth that does enter is a boy of ability bright;
Five thousand gold guineas I'd venture that he like his father would fight.
At Waterloo and Tarryvary, Lord Wellington made the French fly;
You scarcely can find such another, he'd conquer or else he would die.

Now my last handsome youth that does enter is a boy that is both straight and tall;
He is the son of the great Buonaparte, the hero that cracked the whole all.
He went over the Lowlands like thunder, made nations to quiver and quake;
Many thousands stood gazing in wonder at the havoc he always did make.

Now you see all my five noble heroes, my five noble heroes by birth,
And they each bear as good a character as any five heroes on earth;
If they be as good as their fathers, their deeds are deserving records;
It is all the whole company desires to see how they handle their swords.

It will be seen that this calling-on song is almost identical to that formerly used at Winlaton. When Cecil Sharp visited Earsdon in 1910 and recorded the notation of the dance, he also documented an older calling-on song used in Earsdon until a few years previously.

Further information