For King George's sake. If you won't give us one, We'll take two ; Then ricket a racket Vour door shall go.
From Bampton :
Gunpowder Plot Shall never be forgot. A stick or a stake For King George's sake. Pray, Dame, Give me a faggot. If you don't give one, I'll take two ; The better for me And the worse for you. (From Elizabeth Radbourne, of Bampton, 1895.
[The following printed version may be compared with these :
The fifth of November,
Since I can remember.
Gunpowder, treason, and plot :
This was the day the plot was contriv'd,
To blow up the King and Parliament alive :
But God's mercy did prevent
To save our King and his Parliament.
A stick and a stake
For King James' sake ?
If you won't give me one, I'll take two.
The better for me.
And the worse for you !
This is the Oxfordshire song chanted by the boys when collect- ing sticks for the bonfire, and it is considered quite lawful to appropriate any old wood they can lay their hands on after the recitation of these lines.^ If it happen that a crusty chuff prevents them, the threatening finale is too often fulfilled. The operation is caWed going a progging, but whether this is a mere corruption oi prigging, or whether progging means collecting sticks (brog, Scot. Bor.), I am unable to decide."
J. O. Halliwell, Popular Rhyf?ies, 1849, pp. 253-4.]
' [Compare " Fifth of November Customs," infra, p. 185. — Ei).]