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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Play Information

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TitleMummers\\\' play
Alternative TitleMummers\\\' Christmas Play
WordsUnknown
Collected FromRolfe, W.
Occupation
Age
Date
LocationChilton Foliat
CountyWiltshire
Source Primary
Source SecondaryEFDSS VWML Library Collection [Wilts] GRQ 25 22 – 24
Recording
 
The Play
[Enter Father Christmas]

Father Christmas

Room, room, brave gallants - room!

I am just come to shew you some merry sport and game to help pass away this cold winter\\\'s day. Old activity, new activity, such activity as has never been seen before, and will perhaps never be seen any more.

So here comes I, old Father Christmas;
I hope old Father Christmas
Will never be forgot.
All in this room there shall be shewn
The dreadfullest battle that ever was known;
So walk in St George, with thy free heart,
And see if thou can\\\'st claim peace for thine own part.

[Enter St. George]

In comes I. St. George,
A man of courage bold,
With my broad sword and spear
I won ten crowns of gold.
I fought the fiery dragons
And sent them to the slaughter,
And by that means I won
The King of Egypt\\\'s daughter.
And therefore if any man dare enter that door
I\\\'ll hack him as small as dust,
And afterwards sent him to the cook-shop
To be made into mince pie crust.

[Enter the Turkish Knight]

In comes I, the Turkish Knight,
Just come from Turkeyland to fight.
I will fight thee St. George,
Thou man of courage bold;
If thy blood be hot
I will quickly fetch it cold.

St. George

Hello, my little fellow,
Thou talkest very bold,
Just like the little turkey
As I have been told.
Therefore Turkish Knight,
Draw forth thy sword and fight;
Pull out thy purse and pay,
I will have satisfaction before thou goest away.

Turkish Knight

Satisfaction! No satisfaction at all.
My head is made of iron, my body lined with steel,
And I will battle thee to see which on the ground shall fall.

[They fight. The Turkish Knight falls.]

St. George

Oh and behold!
And see what I have done;
I have cut and slain my brother,
Just like the evening sun.
I have a little bottle in my pocket
Called elecampaign,
One drop on the rough of this man\\\'s tongue
Will rise him to fight again.

[The Turkish Knight rises to his knees]

Turkish Knight

Oh pardon me, St. George, Oh pardon me, I pray,
Oh pardon me this once
And I will be thy slave.

[The Turkish Knight falls]

[Enter Turkish Knight\\\'s father]

Turkish Knight\\\'s Father

St. George, St. George, what hast thou done!
Thou has cut and slain my only son.
Is there a doctor to be found
To cure this man lying bleeding on the ground?

[Enter Doctor]

Doctor

Ten guineas is my fee
Fifteen I will take of thee
Before I set this gallant free.

Turkish Knight\\\'s Father

Take it, doctor, but what cans\\\'t thou cure?

Doctor

The ague, the palsy, the gout,
And that is a roving pain that goes within and without.
If thou breakest thy neck or arm I will set it again;
Bring me an old woman of fourscore years and ten,
Without a tooth in her head I will fetch her young and plump again.

Turkish Knight\\\'s Father

Thou bist a clever doctor if all this is true thou bist talking about.

Doctor

I am not like these little monkey-back doctors that go about the streets saying this, that, and the other, and tell as many lies in one half hour as you would find true in seven year. What I do I do before your own eyes, and, ladies and gentlemen, if you can\\\'t believe your own eyes \\\'tis a very hard case. I have a little bottle in my pocket called golden foster-drops. One drop on this man\\\'s tongue and another on his crown,
Will strike the heat throughout the heart,
And rise him off the ground.

[Enter Johnny Jack]

Johnny Jack

In comes I, little Johnny Jack,
With my wife and family at my back.
My family large although I am small
So a very little helps us all.
Roast beef, plum pudding and mince pie,
Who likes that any better than old Father Christmas and I?
A jug of Christmas ale, sir, will make us merry and sing,
Some money in our pockets is a very fine thing.
So, ladies and gentlemen, all at your ease,
Give the Christmas Mummers just what you please.
 
Print Play Verse
 
Notes
Balfour Gardiner Collection. From W Rolfe. Played in 1901.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2008.

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