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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Play Information

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TitleMummers' play
Alternative Title
WordsSharp, Nina [Mrs]
Collected FromUnknown
Source Primary
Source SecondaryFolk-Lore Record, vol. 3, part 1, 1880, pp. 113 - 114
The Play
No text available.
Print Play Verse
Mrs Nina Sharp writes are follows:

I was staying at Minety, near Malmesbury, in Wilts, [my cousin is the vicar] when the mummers came round [1876]. They went through a dancing fight in two lines opposed to each other - performed by the Seven Champions of Christendom. There was no St. George, and they did not appear to have heard of the Dragon. When I inquired for him , they went through the performance of drawing a tooth - the tooth produced after great agony, being a horse's. The Mummers then carried into hall a bush decorated with coloured ribbons, ladies present were asked to tie on more pieces, which we did, my cousin's wife having previously collected a supply. They then offered a very old, curiously curved, cocoa nut cup, into which we each put a piece of money. The cup was then filled with beer for each Mummer. These men were of the better class of farm servants, and all were in white smock frocks and masks. They sang very well together, especially a ballad [modern?] about a Lancashire lass

'With a little blue handkerchief
Tied under her chin'

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2008.



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