Poor Jack (Shrove Tuesday)

DESCRIPTION: "Shrove Tuesday, when Jack went to plough" his mother made pancakes for him but "she did not know how." "She put so much pepper she poisoned poor Jack"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1903 (Manning)
KEYWORDS: death farming poison food playparty mother
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South))
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Opie-Game, p. 36, ("Shrove Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, when Jack went to plough") (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Percy Manning, "Stray Notes on Oxfordshire Folklore (Continued") in Folklore, Vol. XIV, No. 2 (Jun 1903 (available online by JSTOR)), p. 168, "Poor Jack" (Oxfordshire) (1 text)
J.B. Partridge, "The Game of 'Thread the Needle' and Custom of Church Clipping" in Folklore, Vol. XXIII, No. 2 (Jun 1912 (available online by JSTOR)), p. 198 ("Shrove Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, when Jack went to plough") (Wiltshire) (1 text)
Edward Vivian and F.W. Mathews, "The Folk-Lore of Somerset" in Folklore, Vol. XXXI, No. 3 (Sep 1920 (available online by JSTOR)), p. 247 ("Shrove Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, when Jack went to plough") (Wiltshire) (1 text)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Thread the Needle" (game) and references there
NOTES: This is one of the "Thread the Needle" game texts. - BS
In at least one version it is not pepper but excessive butter which poisoned poor Jack. A foreboding of modern dietary advice? Probably not; according to Marc Alexander, A Companion to the Folklore, Myths & Customs of Britain, Sutton Publishing, 2002, p. 211, "The connection between pancakes and Shrove Tuesday goes back to the days whe fasting in Lent was strictly observed and pancake ceremonies provided an opportunity for housewives to use up their butter, eggs, and flour." - RBW
Last updated in version 2.6
File: OpGa036

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