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The Cheaters Cheated

Royal Arbor of Loyal Poesie, 1664
author of text

This Jig, by London’s leading pageant poet Thomas Jordan (c1614–1685), is printed in his Royal Arbor of Loyal Poesie (1664) and was given at London’s Mansion House to ‘the Sheriffs of London’. We don’t know the date of performance but it probably did not long precede the date of publication since Jordan’s activities for the city (as Poet Laureate) began with the fall of the Commonwealth. Wat’s words are printed in a comic West Country accent: ‘z’ instead of ‘s’, ‘v’ for ‘f’, ‘ch’ for ‘I’ etc. No tune titles are given.

Nim and Filcher, thieves
Wat, a country bumpkin
Moll Medlar, a whore

Nim and Filch complain about hard times and are delighted to come across Wat, newly arrived in town. Distracting him with a glass prism, they pick his pockets but find nothing of value (he has wisely sewn his cash inside his shirt). Moll flirts with Wat and while they dance she tricks him into taking her basket and then disappears. Shocked to find it contains a baby, and keen to palm it off on the thieves, Wat puts the baby into a trunk and, knowing the thieves are listening, boasts it contains fine clothes. As he anticipates, the thieves pounce and steal the trunk. They fight over it, the baby is revealed and Moll declares Filch is the father. All three vow to turn over a new leaf. Wat has indeed cheated the cheaters.

from notes by Lucie Skeaping © 2009


The English Stage Jig


Part 01: The Friar and the Nun  Good morrow fellow Filcher (Nim/Filcher)
Track 16 on CDA67754 [3'28]
Part 02: Upon a Summers Day – Kemp's Jig  Our Taunton den is a dungeon (Wat)
Track 17 on CDA67754 [3'45]
Part 03: The Friar and the Nun  The rainbow never knew (Filcher/Nim/Wat)
Track 18 on CDA67754 [1'57]
Part 04: Jack a Lent  Quick let us share (Filcher/Nim)
Track 19 on CDA67754 [1'50]
Part 05: The Carman's Whistle  Soldiers fight and Hectors rant on (Moll Medlar)
Track 20 on CDA67754 [1'55]
Part 06: Stingo – Half Hanekin  I can dance and I can sing (Moll Medlar/Wat)
Track 21 on CDA67754 [6'01]
Part 07: The Gelding of the Devil  Oh wo, wo, wo, what zhall chee do? (Wat/Baby)
Track 22 on CDA67754 [2'19]
Part 08: Argeers  We shall ne're have lucky minuit (Filcher/Nim)
Track 23 on CDA67754 [2'36]
Part 09: Cavalilly Man  Now farawel Lungeon, iche may zing (Wat/Filcher/Nim/Moll Medlar/Baby)
Track 24 on CDA67754 [7'41]
Part 10: Upon a Summers Day  Ch'ave overcome my voes (Wat/Company)
Track 25 on CDA67754 [2'46]

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