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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Play Information

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TitleMummers' play
Alternative Title
WordsLogue, Nancy
Collected FromCleverley, Levi
Occupation
Age
Date
LocationCherhill
CountyWiltshire
Source Primary
Source SecondaryEFDSS VWML Library Collection [Wilts] GRQ 25 p 59, 60
Recording
 
The Play
St. George the Turkish Knight

Here comes I St. George the Turkish Knight
I'll draw my glittering sword to fight
Fight I will before I go
I'll make the Bull Cutting Star's heart flow.

Bull Cutting Star

Here comes I the Bull Cutting Star
Just returned from the Russian War
Many a war I have been in
Many a battle I have won
I'll knock you down the same as
I did your father my son.

[They fight and the Bull Cutting Star falls down]

Doctor

In comes I the little Spanish doctor
To cure that sick man that
Lies bleeding on the ground.

St. George the Turkish Knight

What can your cure?

Doctor

I can cure the itch, the stitch, the palsy and the gout,
And all things within I can fetch them out.

St. George the Turkish Knight

Do your best Doctor

[Much play with medicine bottles etc and the Bull Cutting Star gets to his feet]

Beelzebub

In comes I old Beelzebub
On my shoulder I carries a knob
In my hand a dripping pan
Don't you think I'm a jolly old man.

[Little Johnny Jack]

In comes I I've got the whack
For I carry my family on my back.

[All]

Christmas comes but once a year
And when it does it brings good cheer
Roast beef, plum pudding and mince pie
Who likes that any better than I
Christmas ale makes us dance and sing
Money in purse is a very fine thing
Ladies and gentlemen give us what you please.
 
Print Play Verse
 
Notes
Note 1

This was collected in 1960 from Levi Cleverley who was born in 1874 in Cherhill in Wiltshire. The six or so boys who performed it wore paper streamers on their necks and waists. They used a tambourine and a triangle and sang hymns for the holy and carols for the rest. They also sang current music hall hits. An old lady would listen to them and cry and say, 'Go upstairs and fetch them sixpence Thomas'.

Levi has various other songs and riddles.

This was sent to me by Nancy Logue, Halves House, 132 East Street, Corfe Castle, Dorset. Levi Cleverley was her grandfather. [Roger Pope]

Note 2

Chris Wildridge - 'At the end of the play there is no indication as to which character says the last two speeches. I have assumed a Johnny Jack as these lines are usually his in such plays although they appear to be spoken by Beelzebub in the original. I have also assumed that all make the last speech as there is no Father Christmas character who often makes this speech, or one similar in other plays.'

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2008.

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