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Raggle Taggle


Scene One

A Common

Enter Dad, Mum, Amos, Seth. They’re staggering beneath something very large, maybe a bath or tree.

DAD: Well rid of her. You’ll see. Gorgio. ‘Course he’ll pine for a while, be awful sorry for self. But, looking at it from the long run wise ...

MUM: You speak well.

Dad stumbles, regains his balance, tosses away a transparent plastic drink tumbler.

DAD: Recalls me of an occasion when myself a youngster. Little older than this our Jim boy. I’d earned a hundred pounds I had. Long time to get that sort of money together in them days. My thought to go up to town and get myself a smart spring outfit. Yes.

AMOS: Is it quite an interesting story, Dad? (leading him on)

SETH: Yeah, come on Dad! Tell us all about it!


Instrumental Intro

They put down the large object and gather round, some sit upon it, to listen.

Song: The Lass from Barton Street (4”20’)

Verse 1

DAD: Alright then, come lend an ear and listen to me song

It’s of a trick was played on me and it won’t detain you long

I went to town with a hundred pound and a girl I chanced to meet

And she asked me up along with her to a dance in Barton Street.

Instrumental Link (1B)

Cutaway sequence: the Gloucester Streets

Young Dad may be revealed, walking down street, or Dad may himself play the part of Young Dad. Pretty Fair Maid is revealed. In mime they meet. She gestures him to come to the dance, and he prepares to reply.

Verse 2

YOUNG Well now, me pretty and fair young maid, I cannot dance too well

DAD: Besides I’m bound for the common land where my parents they do dwell

And I’ve worked hard these last few years and I’ve saved up a hundred pound

So I’m going to the shops and then it’s back to the common outside the town.

They walk.

Verse 3

PRETTY Well since you cannot dance too well, then you can have a treat

YOUNG You can have a glass of brandy, and something nice to eat

MAID: I’ll take you back to your folks tonight whether it’s sun or rain

And don’t forget to call on me when you come back to town again.

They continue to walk.

Verse 4

DAD: She seemed to be so friendly, and I filled with desire

We both walked down to Barton Street, and on arrival there

Cutaway sequence: the Hotel

Hotel door is revealed with notice saying ‘Hotel’. Welcoming group of Six Imposters are revealed. One has a bottle of whisky on a tray and glasses. Whisky is poured, all pretend to drink, young Dad actually does drink, probably even when dancing and Waiter is watchful to constantly fill his glass.

DAD: The people in the hotel we went, I thought I heard them say

He’ll be in need of a wedding ring before he gets away.

Instrumental Link (4B)

Verse 5

DAD: Well we had not been long in the room when me head began to spin

And when everyone had their fill the dancing did begin.

The Pretty Fair Maid leads him to dance.

Me and my love we danced around all to a merry tune

While the other couples did the double shuffle round the room.

Instrumental Link (5B)

Mime fiddler strikes up. Two couples from among the Six Imposters do the Double Shuffle round the room.

Cutaway sequence: the Bed

A bed in the hotel bedroom is revealed.

Verse 6

DAD: And when dancing it was over for bed we did prepare ...

(Band pause)

Young Dad staggers to the bed and sits on it. The Pretty Fair Maid is taking off his clothes. His glass is still being filled as Pretty Fair Maid leads him to bed. He collapses onto it. Blackout.

(Band one line only, or possibly band plays Link 6B)

DAD: ... And after that I fell asleep, the truth I will declare

Possible blackout to indicate passing of time. Then the lights reveal Young Dad sitting naked on the bed looking around him, frantically searching for his things under the blankets, etc.

DAD: I woke, me darling and hundred pounds, me clothes and all had fled

And there was I by meself alone, stark naked on the bed!

Verse 7

DAD: In gazing all around me, nothing I could spy

But a woman’s skirt and jumper and high heels by the bed did lie

I wrung me hands and tore me hair, crying ‘O what will I do?

My clothes are gone and my hundred pounds, all for a silly moo.’

(Band pause)

He collapses once more on the bed. Blackout on Young Dad.

Verse 8

DAD: I went back to bed. When night was come, and daylight was away

I put on the skirt and jumper and I set off on my way.

Cutaway sequence: the Common’s Edge

Young Dad’s parents and their camp on the common are probably represented by the audience as; Lights reveal Young Dad arriving back on the common in women’s clothes.

And when I got back to the common, the travellers all did say

‘Oh what a fine young man he’s grown since last he went away!’

Verse 9

Is this the new spring fashion that you went to buy in town?

And where’s the shop that sells them, do you think they may have more?

Another traveller says to me, ‘Zeke, I know you’ve been to town

But couldn’t you get a better suit than that for a hundred pound?’

Verse 10

YOUNG Well I might have bought a better suit if I had the chance

DAD: I met a girl in Gloucester Cross and she asked me to a dance

I danced me own destruction and I’ve done it so complete

That I swear I’ll never go back again anywhere near to Barton Street!

Young Dad has been miming the above, and now he stamps off stage in a foul temper.

End of cutaway sequence

Meanwhile Dad’s audience have been in stitches of laughter, but trying to keep a straight face, especially when Dad looks in their direction because Dad, although rueful, is in dead earnest. He now sings the last verse directly and pointedly at Amos and Seth.

Verse 11

DAD: Come all of you young Traveller lads, a warning take by me

And always keep good company when you go on a spree

Be sure and stay clear of Gorgio girls, or else come sun or rain

In a woman’s skirt and jumper you will come back home again.

AMOS: Thanks, Dad. Thanks for the advice.

SETH: Yes, thanks Dad.

AMOS: Much valuable.

At Maggie’s Mum’s Place

Maggie, in her Mum’s dream kitchen, makes a pot of tea. Mum comes and stands behind her.

M’S MUM: And didn’t he give you one single momento, one single thing to remember him by?

MAGGIE: Gypsies aren’t like that, Mum. They do give spiritual gifts, though.

M’S MUM: Psha!

MAGGIE: It looks as if he may have given me something as a momento, quite a big something, though small to start with.

M’S MUM: What’s that? Sounds like a riddle to me.

MAGGIE: I can’t tell you yet, Mum.

M’S MUM: Oh, honestly. These people are long past their sell-by date. I mean, living like this might have been all very well in the mediæval time, when there was lots of space for everyone. You could, excuse me, go to the toilet where you happened to be standing and it would not be the end of the world. But the Gypsies haven’t bothered to move with the times, that’s my view. They just can’t be bothered to live like everyone else.

At a Bingo Session

A spot picks out the Bingo caller.

CALLER: Key to the door. Twenty One.

At Maggie’s Mum’s Place

Maggie is preparing a meal, dropping the scraps on the floor, for she is used to cooking in the open.

M’S MUM: Look, you’ve got it all over the floor! You’ve picked up some pretty unpleasant ways while you were away. You are a Gypsy. Always were a Gypsy.

Maggie turns to look at her mother. For some reason that she can’t understand, tears pour from her eyes.

At a Village Fête

A spot picks out a lady at a Fête. She has blue hair and an extraordinary hat. She makes a speech.

LADY: We’ve come! Out of the wilds of the country, the fleshpots of Tescos, the deserts of dockland, to celebrate our Fun Event! And, make no mistake, every penny raised, every single penny, will go to the committee.

The Woodlands

(The Prince gives Jim a Spell)

Clouds of steam and multi-coloured flames are rising from a cauldron. The Prince is brewing up an unhealthy looking potion. He is speaking magical words over it. Jim comes and stands behind the Prince in a cynical way. He believes that Prince has not seen him, but the Prince surprises him by saying quietly;

PRINCE: Jim, this spell is for your private use, that you’ll find powerful.

JIM: I don’t hold with spells.

PRINCE: Even so. The day may come - and I can see it. Day will come when you may need a spell to help you out.

He gets a crumpled piece of paper from his pocket and rolls it up very small and holds it out.

PRINCE: I’ve had this written out at my dictation by Jack Smith. You know, he’s a scholar.

He speaks the first few words of the spell in an undertone.

PRINCE: Enough. I speak no more.

JIM: Why do you give it to me that have no time for spells?

PRINCE: Day will come when you may need this.

JIM: I don’t want it.

PRINCE: Take it. Take it.

JIM: I don’t want it.

PRINCE: Take it! (urgently) Don’t let it fall!

He is still holding it out. He drops it and Jim involuntarily reaches for it to stop it falling. As the Prince watches ferociously, he considers handing it back, then shrugs and puts it in his pocket, sighing with a certain amount of exasperation.

Song: I’m a Freeborn Man of the Travelling People

PRINCE: I’m a freeborn man of the travelling people

Got no fixed abode, with nomads I’m numbered

Country lanes and byways were always my ways

I’ve never fancied being lumbered.

Oh we knew the woods and the resting places

And the small bird sang when winter days were over

Then we’d pack our load and be on the road

Those were good times for a rover.

There was open ground where a man could linger

For a week or two, for time was not our master

Then away we’d jog with our horse and dog

Nice and easy, no need to go faster.

Now and then we meet up with other travellers

Hear the news, or else swop family information

At the country fairs, we’ll be meeting there

All the people of the travelling nation.

Now I’ve known life hard and I’ve known it easy

And I’ve cursed that life when winter days were dawning

But we’ve laughed and sung through the whole night long

Seen the summer sun rise in the morning.

O you freeborn men of the travelling people

Every tinker, rolling stone and gypsy rover

Winds of change are blowing, old ways are going

The travelling days will soon be over.

(Repeat; O you freeborn men ... etc.)

Maggie’s Mum’s Place

We see first a television, on which a newscaster is making an announcement.

NEWS: Hundreds of Gypsies are moving into the area for their traditional Annual Horse Fair and get together, established by Royal Statute in the sixteenth century. All police leave has been cancelled, and all laybys and car parks in the vicinity are being patrolled, just in case. And that’s the end of the Regional News. Here, to finish, are the headlines of today’s news stories in brief.

Maggie has been revealed during this, watching the telly. There comes a violent combined ringing on the bell and rattling of the letter box. She gets up and turns off the telly, then goes to the front door to where;

Suburban Street

Amos is lurking.

AMOS: (professional sales talk) Good morning, Miss. I am travelling in this area collecting all kinds of antiques, metal and scrap. It may be you have somewhat in the garden that has long lain ... Oh, I knows you, don’t I? It’s Maggie. Jim’s rakli?

MAGGIE: Hi, Amos!

AMOS: It is, ain’t it?

MAGGIE: (sadly) It’s Jim’s rakli.

AMOS: (in quite a different tone, now he knows who she is) Well, poove the grai! ‘Course we all heard tell Jim and you ain’t no more together like.

MAGGIE: No, we’re no more together.

AMOS: When was it? Must be many a passing time, over the weeks, more, months, years!

MAGGIE: Not years, but, yeah, quite a while.

AMOS: Jim was a sad man, that time you went away. Still is. Broken hearted. He was telling me, just yesterday.

MAGGIE: Is he back with the family?

AMOS: Well, yeah, of course.

MAGGIE: What was he saying?

AMOS: Mum does better for him in the Jogray lark than you did.

MAGGIE: Jogray?

AMOS: Jogray, you know, hot dinners.

MAGGIE: (smiles) Oh, well. I know I’ve never been very domesticated.

AMOS: Where we are now, not far, just down the road. At the Horse Fair. I’ll tell him I see you.

MAGGIE: No. Don’t do that.

AMOS: I have to. He is my brother.

MAGGIE: No. Please don’t.

She takes his hand. Amos is embarrassed.

MAGGIE: Promise!

AMOS: Well, I mean ... Oh, alright. (there is an awkward pause) Oh well, better be going.

He’s beginning to go. Slow fade. Amos looks back uneasily as Maggie begins to walk back into the house.

Maggie’s Mum’s Place

Maggie, feeling pissed off and uneasy, tosses herself down on the sofa and turns on the telly by remote control.

Song: Are You Going to Scarborough Fair?

TV SINGER: Are you going to Scarborough Fair

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

Remember me to one who is there

She was once a true love of mine.

Maggie sinks back onto the sofa and possibly falls asleep, as we face out on the TV singer. Suddenly the television is bright again and Jim is singing. Maggie has jumped forward and is sitting on the edge of the sofa transfixed.

JIM: (on the telly)

Are you coming to Scarborough Fair

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

Can you find me an acre of land

You who once were a true love of mine?

A slow fade began on ‘drive a’ and Jim’s face has disappeared by the time Maggie has leaped up and, disturbed at whatever it is that has happened, switches off the telly. Then she sings herself, possibly unaccompanied;

MAGGIE: Drive a deep furrow and lay your course fair

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

Between the salt water and the strand

Then you’ll be a true love of mine.

Maggie sits down again on the sofa. Slow fade out.

Scene Two

The Great Gypsy Horse Fair

This scene is in a series of cameos, sometimes divided by songs.

Cameo one : Horse Fair

Travellers arrive for the great Gypsy horse fair, each group as they arrive singing in praise of a different season.

In back projection we may see images of the seasons as they affect travellers, so that Spring may be trailers or vardas amid verdant groves, Summer may be working on harvest, Autumn may be car breaking, Winter may be snow drifting over trailers parked amid mud, or whatever.

Song: The Four Seasons Song


GYPSY: Breezes blow through the wood in springtime

Roots drink deep from the wakened earth

Young leaves shine in the quickening sunlight

Dance the song of the new year’s birth.

GYPSIES: The dance goes on and it’s never ending

The circle turns and the singer sings

The year turns round but the wood in springtime

Does not care what the winter brings.


GYPSY: When the leaves are long in the days of summer

And the light drifts through them cool and green

Great trees stir in their dreaming sleep

And sing slow tales of the years they’ve seen.

GYPSIES: The dance goes on and it’s never ending

The circle turns and the tale unfolds

The year turns on but the wood in summer

Has no thought for the winter’s cold.


GYPSY: Blackberry, hazel and elderberry

Hang heavy and ripe in the shortening days

Bright as a banner the autumn leaves

Burn red in the old sun’s dying rays.

GYPSIES: The dance goes on and it’s never ending

The circle turns and returns again

The year turns on and the wood in autumn

Gathers itself for the winter’s pain.


GYPSY: When winter bites and the leaves have fallen

And through the hawthorn cold winds run

Through the dwindling days the cruel-leaved holly

Keeps safe the memory of the sun.

GYPSIES: The dance goes on and it’s never ending

The circle turns and the singer sings

The year burns low but the winter wood

Still holds the memory of the spring.

Cameo Two : Horse Fair

There are large numbers of Travellers milling around. Many have things for sale.

GYPSY: (with a donkey) Yes, he’s good, is very good with a herd ... If a cow should fall in a bog, he will ‘ee au’ till help is on its way.

Cameo Three : Horse Fair

Enter beautiful Lola, a Gorgio girl who is, however, wearing exotic pseudo Gypsy gear. She’s leading a beautiful dog.

GYPSY: What you do? Are you a Traveller?

LOLA: Do I look like a Traveller?

GYPSY: Well, yes.

GYPSY: No. She’s no Gypsy. She’s just pretending.

GYPSY: You’re a Gorgio, ‘ent yer?

LOLA: Yes.

GYPSY: Why you come here?

LOLA: I’m a dealer in harness.

She flaunts the leather studded belt round her waist. She’s wearing other bits of rather kinky harness about her person.

GYPSY: How much you take for the jukel then?

LOLA: The dog is not for sale.

Cameo Four : Horse Fair

Gypsy Zeke, recently widowed, says to a group gathered round him;

ZEKE: Yes, we buried her. She was put in an oak tree, filled with fern, laid to rest in a bright coloured frock with an ounce of baccy and a pipe in one hand and a box of matches and a box of snuff in the other. Yes, I reckon death should be the same as a wedding.

Cameo Five : Horse Fair

Lola with Dad’s palm.

LOLA: This palm is the same. I have observed that in the palms of so many people the life line stops ahead in a few years’ time - and at the same time for all of them almost to the hour and day.

MUM: What does that mean? That makes me afeared.

LOLA: Talking to others who read palms they’ve told me the same.

MUM: That means many people is going to die at the same time, all at once.

LOLA: Looks like it.

DAD: Why?

MUM: That makes me afeared.

Cameo Six : Horse Fair

Two Gypsies pass, deep in conversation.

WOMAN: ... Not very well. Because, the menfolk keep being taken from me.

GYPSY: Why would that be, then?

WOMAN: Well, they don’t understand all these forms to do with the lorry, they can’t read them, you see. So the law has took them away.

Cameo Seven : Horse Fair

Enter Luke and Amelia Smith and Young Smith, followed by Mum and Dad.

LUKE: Best thing we ever did, I’m telling you.

MUM: I reckon you may be lucky. It’s not everyone can find a place on one. So what’s it like on the Gorgiman sites?

LUKE: Nothing but kindness.

YOUNG S: Us got a bathroom.

DAD/MUM: Bathroom?

LUKE: Gorgio builds huts like little houses. You stop the trailer alongside, inside a bathroom.

YOUNG S: And a toilet!

DAD: Never had a bath. (a little wistfully, then he sees the Prince approaching and says, more defiantly) Never held with it.

Enter the Prince.

PRINCE: (severely, to the Smiths) Travellers don’t hold with no baths, you know that. We wash traveller way with a bucket. Cleaner than Gorgios. Modest but down and up, up and down, down and up, up to the bottom.

AMELIA: (ignoring the Prince, to Dad) Well, we’re pleased to have the bath, Zeke, Gorgio ways or no ways. And it’s no more hassle, no more hassle beside the roadway.

DAD: They tell me, though, that Gorgio man has his own rules on the council sites.

AMELIA: Oh, nothing much. Nothing really. They do have rules and regulations, but nothing too bad really.

DAD: Like - no jukels, no fowl. No open air jog.

AMELIA: I can understand it though. But Gorgio’s attitudes are different, very much different.

DAD: (persuing his point) What about yours though? Can you keep the jukels?


YOUNG S: Dad slashed all their throats and put ‘em in the binbag!

Amelia Smith remonstrates with her son.

DAD: And the old dealing, scrap dealing. Can you do that?


MUM: And the open stick fire?

LUKE: No. Not on ours.

AMELIA: No. But we don’t need no open stick fire now ‘cos we has luvver to buy coke for the stove in the trailer. And he don’t need no job now. He’s signing on, at the Social. Gorgio gives us money. They have a council bloke that helps us fill in the forms, you know. We gets luvver, so much luvver.

DAD: Don’t sound much cop to me. What’s a Traveller or any man can’t make his living. I wouldn’t take no support from the Social. Ask or receive.

AMELIA: Yes, but Luke’s not so well as he was. It’s his legs. And we’re neither so young as we was. And the scrap, down our way, it’s not never so good as it was. Times are not easy.

DAD: Even so.

LUKE: Then there’s all the hassle on the commons and laybys. Don’t know why, but down our way these days it’s push and shove, push, shove, push, shove all day long. Gorgio got into his head to be nacri.

AMELIA: Luke says the new age travellers in all them buses and benders been riling the gavmush so he become vicious.

PRINCE: (loudly, in case any others are tempted to abandon the official Gypsy line) It’s not too bad down our way. And I reckon we got something you haven’t. Worth all the luvver and council sites. What’s that? We got our freedom.

LUKE: Maybe.

MUM: I mean, don’t you feel they’re turning you into Gorgios?


Cameo Eight : Horse Fair

GYPSY: ... With a horse-drawn vehicle, you see, the police well knew that you couldn’t go after hours, you’d say; ‘You can’t do that to the horse!’ You know you’ll have the cruelty people on to you. Whereas now with a motor ...

Cameo Nine : Horse Fair

ZEKE: So I built this edifice. Now it can be told. An edifice, a memorial to Mariella, the best wife that ever took wild justice from her man and gave fair do’s to all her nephews and her sons. She was fair, fair as can be known in the case of women. May her soul rest in peace.

Cameo Ten : Horse Fair

Enter an animated group of Gypsies with plastic cups and rubbish.

GYPSY: What is it? What is it?

GYPSY: What they do? What they do?

GYPSY: Them Gorjios. Them feik under a cosh.

Lola and her boyfriend are kissing tenderly under a tree. Gypsies throw eggs etc. at them.

GYPSY: Don’t bring them nacri Gorjio habits here.

Cameo Eleven : Horse Fair

(The return of Maggie)

MUM: So many people here. Penfolds, Smiths, Lees, everyone! So many people!


DAD: Well here, at any rate, we’re legal. There’s someone here for you, by the way, Jim.

JIM: Who?

DAD: There.

It is Maggie. She has a baby with her. Jim stands rooted to the spot. Now she’s got a baby, Maggie is the centre of attention, and the others crowd round Maggie, admiring the baby.

MUM: That’s Jim’s then?

MAGGIE: Ask Jim.

All look over towards Jim.

JIM: Yes.

Jim continues standing by Maggie and they embrace.

Cameo Twelve : Horse Fair

At the Slaughterhouse

PRINCE: One sheep’s gut. One cow’s head. One pig’s head. One sheep’s hind foot.

ATTENDANT: Yes, sir.

PRINCE: Put ‘em in that sack.

ATTENDANT: Yes, sir.

The Prince raises the sack to his shoulders, watched by the surprised slaughterhouse attendant. Exit.

Cameo Thirteen : Horse Fair

By a River

Jim, Maggie, and the baby whose name is Little Maggie.

JIM: Put these in your panties, Maggie. Ancient Gypsy tradition.

Maggie takes from him money, in notes.

MAGGIE: How much, Jim?

JIM: Three thousand pounds, Maggie. From the scrap from those motors.

MAGGIE: Jim, when she grows up, shall we let her go to school?

JIM: School? Why school? Gorjio teaching. That’s what’s school. Little Maggie can learn traveller ways.

Jim lies on the bank, trailing his hand in the water. Then he comes over and says directly to his daughter;

JIM: (to Little Maggie) And many’s the bite you’ll get one day from pike or eel under the bank or under the bridge or stone in the river. Plunge your hand in the water, put your hand lightly along the side of the fish until you get your fingers near his gills, then squeeze lightly on the gills with thumb and forefinger and he’ll be yours, little Maggie.

Jim goes back to the river and Maggie sings to the baby;

MAGGIE: (sings)

Little lassie of the Travelling people

Got no fixed abode, with nomads you’ll be numbered

Country lanes and byways will always be your ways

Fancy free you’ll never be lumbered.

Scene Three

Leaving the Fair, On the Road, In a Layby, By a River, On the Road, A Common

(Leaving the Fair; the going gets harder)

Note: This scene consists of cameos representing the harder aspects of life on the road, interspersed with the verses of two different songs; ‘Go, Move, Shift’ and ‘The Old Ways are Changing’.

Music Link:‘I’m a Freeborn Man of the Travelling People’ continues behind Mum.

Cameo One : Eviction

MUM: (to audience) Them was good times we had, good times and maybe we thought they would go on for always. But the trouble was, the Gorgios. I don’t know why but there came the time we saw we had been wrong to be so happy. Gorgio was building sites for the Travellers to go on and them was fair enough. Some Travellers were glad to get away from the life by the road, to be in safety. But then they decided to make our life by the road a misery. I don’t know why but since then it has been one long story of push, shove, push, shove, it has made our lives a misery.

Song: Go, Move, Shift

RUBEN: Born in the middle of the afternoon

In a horse drawn wagon on the old A4

No comfy place to lay my head

You can’t stop here, the policeman said

You’d better be born in some place else.

GYPSIES: So get along, move along

Get along, move along

Go ... Move ... Shift.

Note: Many of these cameos occur during darkness, some are separated by darkness. Music may continue behind as well as in between these scenes. Those who will be making our Travellers lives a misery will fall into various categories: securicor and other security forces, police (gavvers or shades), MoD police, vigilantes, council workers, and very rarely, the Army. Sometimes the one may be a differently dressed version of the other. It is not that easy for the Travellers to distinguish between the various categories.

Cameo Two : Eviction

On the Road

Gavver Prior, Mum, Dad.

GAVVER: Right, get off this manor. Get off this manor.

The police radio is crackling.

MUM: Say something to him, Dad.

DAD: Yes. I’ll talk to him.

He goes over to the Gavver.

DAD: Mush, why you talk to us like that? We’re human beings like you.

Gavver Prior gets from the car, or alternatively turns down his radio.

GAVVER: Did you want to say something?

DAD: I said, don’t talk to us like that. We’re all human beings. Just, our ways are different to your ways.

GAVVER: Who are you then? You’ve got a lot of spunk, haven’t you, for a runting Traveller.

Cameo Three : Eviction

Jim and Amos wander by. They have evidently been talking about the problem that they are being harrassed.

AMOS: But why now? Why especially now?

JIM: It’s always been one long story of push and shove, push and shove.

AMOS: Worse now though.

JIM: Well for one reason we do know the parliament has said they’re thinking of making it illegal to park on the commons and laybys.

AMOS: They can’t do that! We’ve always done that.

JIM: That’s what they say!

AMOS: We’ve always done it!

JIM: Even so.

AMOS: What will they do with us? We can’t just vanish.

JIM: Single men cope for themselves. Women and children in bed and breakfast.

AMOS: (amazed) Never!

Song: Farewell to the Life of the Rover

MAGGIE The old ways are changing, you cannot deny

& MUM: The day of the traveller’s over

There’s nowhere to go and there’s nowhere to bide

So farewell to the life of the Rover.

GYPSY Farewell to the tent and the old caravan

CHORUS: To the Tinker, the Gypsy, the Travelling Man

Farewell to the life of the Rover.

Eviction Noises

Cameo Four : Eviction

Enter the Prince, and three Security men.

SECURITY: Good evening, sir. Are you aware that you are on private property? What’s your name? Where are you going? What are you doing here?

PRINCE: Well ...

SECURITY: Wait a minute, would you? I haven’t finished yet.

PRINCE: I’m saying ...

SECURITY: Listen when I’m speaking to you.

PRINCE: Very good. Yes, I’m ...

SECURITY: Listen, if you don’t mind. Well, I give you three hours flat to get out of this manor.

Eviction Noises

Cameo Five : Eviction

Vigilantes are banging on the side of a trailer. Jim is sitting eating a sandwich nearby.

VIGIL: Right, time to get going. Get going, come on, get going. You’ve had ample warning.

Jim puts his sandwich back on a tin plate by the fire.

JIM: Yes, all right, we’ll move on boys, just give us five minutes, won’t you, because we’ve just got our breakfast to eat, so we can tidy up and get moving, and have our bit of bacon, then we’ll go. All right, then?

VIGIL: Get going now! When I tell you.

The vigilante kicks Jim’s breakfast into the fire.

Song: ‘Go, Move, Shift’

DAD: Born in a tent near a tatty field

December, no more harvest yield

The farmer said, the work’s all done

It’s time you were moving on.

GYPSIES: So get along, move along

Get along, move along

Go ... Move ... Shift.

Eviction Noises

Back projection may show us caravans being shifted by bulldozers, tractors.

Cameo Six : Eviction

MAGGIE: Can’t we go back to the Fair, Jim?

JIM: It’s the wrong time of year for the Fair.


JIM: Well, there’s no living to be had round there, now that fruiting’s over. And they chased us out of the Fair in the end, didn’t they? Royal Charter it may be, but that’s only for one or two days in the year, eh?

Cameo Seven : Eviction

Early in the morning. A shade knocking on the door of the trailer.

SHADE: You’re on again. What’s your name?

JIM: All right, mush. We’re just going.

Eviction Noises

Back projection may show us trailers being moved, amongst them an old horse-drawn varda, an Old Man at the reins.

Cameo Eight : Eviction

A vigilante is shaking his head. It is a leafy lane and Jim is sitting with a cup of tea before going to bed.

VIGIL: Will you people never learn? I told you. You can’t stop here. We have no need of Travellers in this manor.

Eviction Noises

Possibly a Gypsy singer will set the events that follow in context.

Cameo Nine : Eviction

JIM: That bloody squad car. He’s been following us since Studcombe.

Jim stops. A shade walks back from his squad car which has, in fact, just stopped in front of them.

SHADE: You can’t stop here.

JIM: (wearily) All right, mush. I wasn’t going to.

Jim starts the lorry again. Drives. Turns off the main road, down a lane.

JIM: That’s got rid of him. We’ll be all right down here, I think.

Jim stops the lorry and sighs with relief. But then we see the blue flashing light of the squad car. The shade walks back towards them.

Eviction Noises

Cameo Ten : Eviction

Mum and Dad by the fire. Heroic Inspector stands above them.

HERO INS: Move! When will you be going? While I stay here you don’t stay. Move! While I remain in the Queen’s uniform, you won’t remain long in this manor.

MUM: Yes, but please why do you say bad words to the travelling people, you want to make them angry? You are bad man!

SHADE: I don’t care if I’m a bad man or no. While I remain in uniform, you don’t remain in this manor. Anyway, who do you think you are. Stand up when you talk to me. Go on! Stand!

Mum rises to her feet.

Song: ‘Farewell to the Life’

PRINCE: Farewell to the cant and the travelling tongue

Farewell to the Romany talking

The buying and selling, the old fortune-telling

The knock at the door and the hawking.

GYPSY Farewell to the tent and the old caravan

CHORUS: To the Tinker, the Gypsy, the Travelling Man

Farewell to the life of the Rover.

Eviction Noises

Cameo Eleven : Eviction

We are in Jim’s trailer. Maggie is there. A car’s headlamps light up the trailer. Then there comes the splintering crash of some form of amateur petrol bomb exploding, breaking glass, and the frenzied barking of dogs. The bomb has gone through the rear window. Jim comes running

MAGGIE: (from the trailer) It was a car. That passing car. They were passing by and threw a sort of bomb out.

She appears at the trailer door.

JIM: Maggie!

There is blood over her.

JIM: Is Little Maggie alright?

Both rush back into the trailer.

Eviction Noises

Cameo Twelve : Eviction

Lethco, a much respected older Gypsy, is addressing a group through a loudhailer.

LETHCO: I’m not an educated man, but I’m a man of experience and I do know the way these things are done. Some of us have been talking this over - the travelling people who are on this ground - and we say that we agree to form this Travelling Traders Association (suppose that will be the name). You may not see results right away, the first year ... but there’s got to be a beginning for all things.

Because you are driven from pillar to post, out of one district to another and you have no rest on the road. There is a remedy for our people, we are British subjects; we are entitled to justice. Other minorities in this country, even those who come from abroad, are looked after and their human rights respected, but you’ve got nothing, or nobody to care, or no place to live, nor even to rest.

You are technically a people ‘of no fixed abode’ ... I’m not thinking about you men, I’m thinking about your little children. The time has come when they should all be able to go to school and get some education.

A Gypsy comes up from the crowd.

GYPSY: Bollocks! Bollocks!

LETHCO: What I am saying is the truth!

GYPSY: I’m no more his son!

Eviction Noises

Cameo Thirteen : Eviction

Two shades are standing outside Jim’s trailer. Jim sees them coming and skips into the caravan and slams the door. He stays silent in there with Maggie and the baby. Nothing happens for a while and the shades stand outside.

Jim looks out through the window. The shades are standing so close to the door that when Jim looks out through the window he can’t see them.

Jim opens the door a chink and looks out and the shades make a rush. And once again Jim slams the door shut.

Gypsies in a nearby trailer set up protective screaming.

Shade I walks away from the caravan and talks into his walkie-talkie.

SHADE I: Garnet here. Get me two dogs.


Eviction Noises

Cameo Fourteen : Eviction

There is the sound of heavy lorries moving towards the trailers. Friendly Gorgio sits on the towbar of a caravan so that a lorry which is backing towards it can’t tow it away.

GORGIO: Tell the women to stay in the caravans with the children. Then it’s illegal to move them.

MUM: Stay in the trailers?

GORGIO: Yes. Really. If you do that they can’t move you.

MUM: (to Gorgio) Who are you, then?

GORGIO: I’m a Gorgio. I’m here to help you.

MUM: Help us! If you really mean it, help us really, have us with you. Have our trailers in your gardens! Have us with you! Otherwise, rut off. We don’t want no Gorgios.

Song: ‘Go, Move, Shift’

NATALIE: Born at the back of a blackthorn hedge

When the white hoar frost lay all around

No Eastern men came bearing gifts

Instead the order came to shift

GYPSIES: So get along, move along

Get along, move along

Go ... Move ... Shift.

Eviction Noises

Cameo Fifteen : Eviction

Gypsies are screaming, getting between the lorries and the caravans, so that the lorries cannot tow the caravans away. Women sit on the towbars of the caravans and call to some of the children to do likewise.

Cameo Sixteen : Eviction

There are four shades trying to get their fingers round the steel rim of the door to Jim’s trailer, trying to pull it open to put the dogs through. They don’t succeed and go round to the caravan windows and try to force them open to put in the police dogs.

They get one of the windows open and the head of the first dog goes into the caravan. The baby is screaming and Maggie is shouting and screaming too.

MAGGIE: You’re rutting beasts! Get those dogs out!

There are many other Gypsies now gathered round the door of the caravan and the windows are partly shut so the shades can’t get more than the heads of the dogs in.

Cameo Seventeen : Eviction

PRINCE: (partly to the audience) Of what sort of men, what men, what sort of men can these be? Of a certain they say there are many mistakes made in the world. But the biggest mistakes of all are made in bed.

Song: ‘Farewell to the Life’

AMOS: You’ve got to move fast to keep up with the times

For these days a man cannot dander

There’s a by-law to say you must be on your way

And another to say you can’t wander.

GYPSY Farewell to the tent and the old caravan

CHORUS: To the Tinker, the Gypsy, the Travelling Man

Farewell to the life of the Rover.

Cameo Eighteen : Eviction

The shades make a charge at the door. It breaks. The shades go in. Jim goes to tackle them to protect Maggie.

The shades seize Jim and they handle him out of the trailer. He is struggling as they take him.

Maggie runs out of the trailer, leaving the baby.

MAGGIE: You’re not taking him without me. I’m coming too!

P.C.: He’s going on his own.

She follows them.

Cameo Nineteen : Eviction

Police Station Cell

Jim on his own. A shade comes in and shuts the door behind him. He hits Jim in the stomach.

JIM: Hit me in the face! Go on! Where it will show!

SHADE I: I’ll hit you in the face and all.

He prepares to hit Jim.

JIM: (shouts as loud as he can) He hit me, he hit me!

Enter Shade 2.

SHADE 2: What’s all this noise about?

SHADE 1: Oh, he was using insulting language and trying to strike me.

JIM: That’s not true.

SHADE 2: You can sort it out in court.

Exit the shades. Jim looks round the cell, then places his hands in the position of prayer.

Eviction Noises

Cameo Twenty : Eviction

A Corporation lorry is reversing up to a trailer. It continues to reverse, and two Gypsies on the towbar jump and run out of the path of the reversing lorry. An old man, emerging from a trailer, brandishes an antique gun, raising it over his head.

DRIVER: Sod that for a lark. I’m not going to drive down the women and children.

Deputy Town Clerk and Gypsy Woman.

The Deputy Town Clerk tries to pull a woman off the towbar. But she holds tight. Many of the children are standing in a group by the fire.

GYPSY: You can’t move that trailer. There’s an oil stove in it and there’s my kiddies in it!

Two Corporation men are trying to pull Gypsies off a towbar, amongst them, Maggie.

GYPSY: These are not Corporation men. They’re thugs in uniform to come and help in the rout of the Travellers.

Eviction Noises

Cameo Twenty One : Eviction

Amid the chaos, a journalist is quizzing one of the police officers.

JOURNAL: What is the role of the police officers?

SHADE: The police are here to ensure that there is not a breach of the peace. To ensure that the law is not broken. And also to ensure that nothing is done which might result in the law being broken.

JOURNAL: But surely you know it’s against the law to remove a caravan with people in it. This is part of the Highways Act, isn’t it?

SHADE: So you are telling me.

JOURNAL: Therefore I hope that you will now prevent these caravans being moved, since there are women and children in them.

POLICE: We are not able to do that, sir.

JOURNAL: Well, what the heck are you here for if not to see that the law is not broken?

POLICE: We are here to ensure that there is not a breach of the peace.

Eviction Noises

There is the sound of heavy vehicles approaching. We may see a video back projection of Maggie, dressing herself and the baby.

The doors of various vans fling open and men, dishevelled, appear at them. Security men are dragging Gypsies away from the doors of their caravans. Gypsy women and children are gathered round the towbars.

Cameo Twenty Two : Eviction

Friendly Gorgio and Official.

GORGIO: Why do you treat the Gypsies like that?

OFFICIAL: Because they don’t belong here. This isn’t their place.

GORGIO: Where is their place, then?

OFFICIAL: I don’t know. But we don’t want them here.

GORGIO: Whose place is this then?

OFFICIAL: Well, it’s the place of the people who live here, the decent people who live here.

GORGIO: Are you one of these people? Is this where you come from?

OFFICIAL: Me? No. I’m from the Home Counties.

Song: ‘Go, Move, Shift’

GYPSY: Once you could settle for a week or two

On a layby, common, or a river side

But the council came and got uptight

And said you people have no right

You better get moving some place else.

GYPSIES: So get along, move along

Get along, move along

Go ... Move ... Shift.

Cameo Twenty Three : Eviction

The window of Jim’s trailer shatters as a brick is thrown through it. By the fire where the chavvies stand there is an explosion.

PRINCE: Hospital. The child needs hospital!

GYPSY: Hopeless. We’ll never get her out through that lot. Hey, what the

The noise level dies down. As they look, to the amazement of the Travellers, the Corporation vehicles begin to move back from the caravans down the road.

JIM: What now? They’re going!

GYPSY: Why are they going?

GYPSY: Is this a trick?

An uneasy quietness lies over the place. Gypsies talk amongst themselves. A Gypsy runs up.

GYPSY: They say a truce has been declared. Er - they say we can stay here for four days.

Song: ‘Go, Move, Shift’

ALL: Wagon, tent, or trailer born

Last week, last year, or long time gone

Nearby or a thousand mile away

There’s always men nearby who say

You’d better get born in some place else.

CHORUS: So get along, move along

Get along, move along

Go ... Move ... Shift.

Cameo Twenty Four : Eviction

In a Shopping Precinct

Jim and Maggie with a stock of provisions.

MAN: You’re from the Gypsies, aren’t you?

JIM: What’s it to you?

MAN: Go down to London. There’s places for you Gypsies there. Go down to Hyde Park in London. Have a go there. Give the people up this way a rest.

JIM: Is there a place for Gypsies there? Hyde Park?

MAGGIE: Jim ... (she tries to interrupt)

MAN: Place? There’s hundreds of them. Go down to Hyde Park. Hyde Park Corner. Be all right there. Down there in London it’s not like in these places. They want the Travellers there. It’s right next to the Queen - you know, Buckingham Palace.

JIM: Hm. (again Maggie tries to say something) Who are you then?

MAN: Police Inspector Durant, B Squad.

He shows a card.

Cameo Twenty Five : Eviction

A Mountain

The Prince has lit a fire. Onto this he has placed green branches, the various animal heads, and a horse’s skull. From a satchel he throws guts and tripe. And he says;

PRINCE: This venom comes with all my heart because you hurt the Travellers. And God in his own good time grant the Travellers revenge. (There follows the spell.)

Song: ‘Farewell to the Life’

MUM: Farewell to the besoms of heather and broom

Farewell to the creel and the basket

The folks of today would far sooner pay

For a thing that’s been made out of plastic.

GYPSY Farewell to the tent and the old caravan

CHORUS: To the Tinker, the Gypsy, the Travelling Man

Farewell to the life of the Rover.

Cameo Twenty Six : Eviction

Maggie, Mum and Council Official. Huge mounds of paper everywhere. She is trying to use the sort of jargon that will get through to him.

MAGGIE: It would mean such a great deal to us.

OFFICIAL: It’s true we have a new Traveller site, nearing completion.

MAGGIE: My husband and I, and indeed the whole Lockett family, would so appreciate it if a place could be found for us on it.

MUM: Yes, that’s right, sir, very right, yes Sir.

OFFICIAL: Well, at any rate you are good mannered, which can’t be said for all Gypsies.

MAGGIE: The entire family would absolutely promise to pay the rent on time, and abide by any rules the council would, in its wisdom, care to impose on us.

OFFICIAL: Well ...

He/she consults a huge wad of papers.

OFFICIAL: I see here that there are in fact some voids on the Bagsworth site due to (reads) ‘this group that is the entire Smith family last night unexpectedly voided four adjacent pitches subsequent to skirmishes which broke out while poll-tax inspector was having his palm read. There were some arrears.’ Hm. Know anything about this Smith family?

He/she looks at Maggie over the top of spectacles.

MAGGIE: (piously) Oh no, not a thing.

MUM: Oh no, never met them nor ever had anything to do with them. To be honest, always kept out of their way, sir.

OFFICIAL: Well, let’s have a list of your names then.

He/she scuffles with the papers to find the correct application form.

OFFICIAL: The Lockett family. Can we go in order of seniority?

MAGGIE: Yes, well, the senior member of the family is the Prince. That’s Nathaniel Petulengro Boswell Lockett. Usually known as the Prince.

OFFICIAL: Profession?

MAGGIE: Fortune telling and spell binding.

OFFICIAL: His style the Prince is presumably not from membership of the British Aristocracy? (with a touch of irony) Is it perhaps a French or German title?

MAGGIE: (not getting his irony) No, he’s a Gypsy prince.

Song: ‘Go, Move, Shift’

GYPSY: The winter sky was hung with stars

And one shone brighter than the rest

Officials came so stern and strict

And brought the order to evict.

CHORUS: So get along, move along

Get along, move along

Go ... Move ... Shift.

Cameo Twenty Seven : Eviction

PRINCE: Did you hear? Did you hear?

JIM: What?

PRINCE: My spell. My spell. It worked!

JIM: Why?

PRINCE: The town! It’s been flooded.

JIM: Flooded?

PRINCE: The river has flooded. There’s water in the streets, up to this high. They won’t touch us after this. Now they know our powers.

Song: ‘Go, Move, Shift’

ALL: You’d better get born in some place else

So get along, move along

Get along, move along

Go ... Move ... Shift.

Scene Four

Local Authority Site

WARDEN: Ah yes, this must be Mr and Mrs Lockett Junior.

He advances with hand outstretched. Jim and Maggie stand rather uneasily and Jim ignores his hand.

WARDEN: The caravans of some of the rest of the family have already arrived. That is Mr and Mrs Lockett Senior, Master Seth and Master Amos, and ‘the Prince’, who was with me just this very moment.

MAGGIE: We just came to check about how to get the trailer in, and so my husband can see the site.

WARDEN: How do you do, sir?

He again offers his hand and Jim rather unwillingly allows his hand to be shaken.

MAGGIE: Can we look around?

WARDEN: Carry on! I’ll be in the warden’s hut over there if you want me. Here, by the way, are the ‘rules of the Hostelrie’.

He may indicate a large notice board, standing in front of eight foot high wire mesh, headed ‘Bloxham District Council’.

Exit warden.

Jim is looking uneasy. Maggie takes his hand and leads him forward. Maggie is probably trying to disguise from herself, and certainly from Jim, that she knows he doesn’t really want to be here.

MAGGIE: So, Jim, we’ve got a site now! I always thought we’d be lucky, Jim.

He goes to peer through the wire mesh. He walks back and kicks a tin against one of the toilets.

MAGGIE: What are you doing? Shall we go and see the others?

The Prince appears, suddenly.

PRINCE: We’re packing it in.


JIM: Why’s that, Prince?

PRINCE: They don’t respect you on these sites, young Maggie. Look at all that wire round about us! Look at that bloke watching us all the time from the warden’s place there!

The Site Warden leaves his hut and zooms over.

WARDEN: I heard my name spoken. Can I be of help?

PRINCE: About this site. You can’t light fires in the open. Isn’t that right?

WARDEN: Well, yes. But ...

PRINCE: And what’s a Traveller without a fire, when you can’t have a fire and a bit of smoke to sit by and feel homely. And then you can’t keep animals on a site like this, isn’t that right?

WARDEN: Well, yes.

PRINCE: And what’s a Traveller alone of his animals, without his horses and his dogs.

MAGGIE: But Jim and I ...

Enter Mum and Dad.

MUM: Prince, don’t rile the council mush, don’t cause trouble!

PRINCE: And you can’t sort out scrap there in most of these places. Can you in this one?

WARDEN: Well, no.

PRINCE: And what’s a Traveller if he can’t sort out and deal in his little bit of scrap? And then they tell me you can’t leave for more than a few weeks or you can’t come back. Is that right?

WARDEN: Well, you can go away for up to a month, but rent must be paid.

PRINCE: What’s a Gypsy if he can’t travel and go away long as he likes and then a little longer too on his travels, and then come back?

Exit the Prince.

MAGGIE: It doesn’t look too bad, Jim. Come on, let’s have a talk with the warden. In private.

She gives a look of complicity to the warden.

WARDEN: We certainly aim to give value for money. There’s a very long waiting list.

Enter Dad, with the Prince.

DAD: We’re not staying either, son. Prince talks good sense. ‘Cos the Gorgio has made the sites in his own likeness.

WARDEN: No! The Council consulted the Romany Guild and Gypsy Council.

PRINCE: Romany Guild is puppet Gypsies! What’s so wonderful about Gorgio life that makes them think a place like this is better than life on the commons and laybys? What are they trying to do with us on these sites but take away our freedom?

WARDEN: The life of freedom is getting harder. You know that.

MAGGIE: (to the others) The life of freedom is getting harder.

JIM: (jumps up on the roof of the toilet) The life of freedom is the Traveller’s right! Our birthright!

Enter Mum.

MUM: So give us back our money, mister!

WARDEN: Madam, the rent money has been already paid into the Council Treasurer’s Department.

MUM: Come off it. You’ve got it in that little warden’s hut of yours. I’ve seen it. Piles of it!

DAD: Give it back, mush.

WARDEN: May I make a suggestion? Stay for a week! The council has, in its wisdom, sunk a large sum into the construction of this site. It was certainly constructed with the interests of the Travellers very much in ...

PRINCE: Hand back the moharda luvver! Or else!

Exeunt Mum, Dad and the Prince, talking among themselves, followed by an anxious official, leaving Jim and Maggie alone.

JIM: (again kicking the tin can) Let it go. Let it go, Maggie.

MAGGIE: Please let us come on the site. They’re very hard to get on.

JIM: Let it go. Let’s stay with all of them, outside. All them that didn’t get a site. The real genuine Travellers.

Angry voices are heard from the others.

MAGGIE: Please!

JIM: Mum and Dad are not staying. I’m not staying.

MAGGIE: I thought they wanted to be on a site. I thought you wanted to be on a site. Get off the road for a bit.

JIM: Look at these high fences. Nacri. I prefer life out there. Free and easy.

MAGGIE: Life out there is no longer free. Or easy! Jim, we’re going to stay on this site. Just for a week or two. See how we like it. Come and talk to the council mush.

She tries to pull him. Pause.

JIM: Not for a week. Not even for a day. Nor an hour. Listen. Listen, Maggie, I’ve been on these council sites.

MAGGIE: I didn’t know that.

JIM: Yes. Visiting, you know. They’re not bad.

MAGGIE: And we don’t have to stay for ever.

JIM: No, Maggie. They turn you into a Gorgio, turn you into a Gorgio.

Maggie moves to take his hand and they stand together for a moment.

MAGGIE: All right, Jim.

JIM: There. We’ve got something better than all them on those sites. We’ve got our freedom.

He holds her tight. She’s close to tears because she admires him for this decision, but also knows it is probably stupid. Amongst the other group there seems to be a slight skirmish. The Prince appears pointing dramatically at the warden’s hut like an Old Testament prophet.

PRINCE: Hand over the filthy luvver!


On a Road

MAGGIE: Where are we going then?

JIM: There’s a place I’ve heard of, it seems it’s a common. Maybe there we’ll be peaceful.

JIM: Maggie, I know you’d like to be on the site. But I’ve grown sick and tired of Gorgi and all his ways.

Maggie rests her hand a moment on his arm.

MAGGIE: I know. I do understand, Jim. You think I don’t understand. I do understand.

JIM: There is another place where they don’t hassle Gypsies. This bloke was telling me. They just let you travel around. Go where you want. Hyde Park Corner common or somewhere. In London it was, he said. It was a shade what told me. He wouldn’t be kidding.

Maggie turns to look at Jim through her tears.

MAGGIE: Jim ... I was there ... that gavver when he told you ... he was making a mockery of you. He just wanted you off his patch.

JIM: Is that right?

MAGGIE: Yes. Sorry, Jim.

JIM: I’ll fix him.

From his pocket Jim produces the curse given him long ago by the Prince. Jim begins to speak the curse. He falters. He can’t remember it all, and he can’t really read it.

In other parts of the stage Mum, Dad, the Prince appear and join in the curse. The Prince has a ritual object, such as water can filled with holes spouting water.

Maggie is the only one who can read. She comes and stands beside Jim and together they all complete the curse.

Very loud oil drum percussion and Rock Fanfare leads us into;

Scene Five

Repriese: ‘I’m a Freeborn Man’

The entire cast are very slowly moving towards us in a long line across the back of the stage. They are singing.

MAGGIE: O you freeborn men of the travelling people

Every tinker, rolling stone and gypsy rover

Winds of change are blowing, old ways are going

Yet the travelling days will never be over.

MEN: I’m a freeborn man of the travelling people

Got no fixed abode, with nomads I’m numbered

Country lanes and byways were always my ways

I’ve never fancied being lumbered.

WOMEN: Oh we knew the woods and the resting places

And the small bird sang when winter days were over

Then we’d pack our load and be on the road

Those were good old times for a rover.

ALL: There was open ground where a man could linger

For a week or two, for time was not our master

Then away we’d jog with our horse and dog

Nice and easy, no need to go faster.

WOMEN: Now and then we meet up with other travellers

Hear the news, or else swop family information

At the country fairs, we’ll be meeting there

All the people of the travelling nation.

MEN: Now I’ve known life hard and I’ve known it easy

And I’ve cursed that life when winter days were dawning

But we’ve laughed and sung through the whole night long

Seen the summer sun rise in the morning.

ALL: O you freeborn men of the travelling people

Every tinker, rolling stone and gypsy rover

Winds of change are blowing, old ways are going

Yet the travelling days will never be over.

The cast throw off their drab outfits, revealing themselves as brightly clad dancers.

Repriese: The Romanian Dance (Doui Doui)

(without the intro)

First a few, then all of them are whirling, till the stage is a blur of Gypsy joy and dancing.


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