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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Play Information

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TitleMummers' play
Alternative Title
WordsWilliams, Alfred
Collected FromUnknown
Occupation
Age
Date
LocationLydiard Millicent
CountyWiltshire
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 4 - Wiltshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Wt 421
Source SecondaryUnpublished
Recording
 
The Play
Characters

Tinker, St George, Valiant Soldier, Most High Proud and King of Spain, Turkish Knight, Doctor, Beelzebub, Saucy Jack

Enter the Tinker

Tinker

Open the door and let us all in,
Your kind favour I hope we shall win.
Whether we rise, or whether we fall,
We will endeavour to please you all.
Ladies and gentlemen, before we go away;
And if you don't believe what I do say,
Step in St George, and clear the way.

Enter St George [with armour and sword]

St George

Her come I, St George,
St George of valiant might,
Who shed his blood for England's right;
England's right or England's wrong,
England's habitation strong.
Ten tigers I have conquered,
And monsters five I slew,
And the bold hearts of many
I have pierced through and through. [pierced replaced 'rammed' in the manuscript]
Close in a corner I was kept,
And guarded with a bayonet,
And that upon a rock of stone,
Which made my heart lament and moan.
If there's any man worthy in tinker's train,
Bring him this way, I'll fight him again.

Tinker

Walk in the Valiant Soldier

Enter the Valiant Soldier [with sword of wood]

Valiant Soldier

Here come I the valiant soldier,
Cut 'em and Slash 'em is my name,
With my sword and buckler by my side
I mean to win the game.
My head is not of fire,
My body's not of steel,
But here's courage to my knuckle bone -
I'll fight thee, ST George, the valiant field.

St George

The fight he, St George, the valiant field?
And with thy courage make him yeidl?
I fought a mount of fiery dragons together.

Valiant Soldier

And showed we not one feather,
This bold British champion carries the sway.
This Valiant Soldier thou must slay.
Thou must slay or thou must be slew,
One or the other thou must do.
Draw thy sword, or I'll run thee through.

They draw swords and fight. St George prevails. The Valiant Soldier drops on his knees.

Valiant Soldier

Down on my bended knee I fall,
Thy pardon I do crave.
And if thou'lt spare my life, St George,
I'll be thy mortal slave.

St George

Arise, arise, go home and tell,
What the bold British champion does in England so well.

The Valiant Soldier rises.

St George

Walk in, the Most High Proud.

Enter the Most High Proud

Most High Proud

Here come I, the Most High Proud,
And the King of Spain,
With my glittering sword I'll conquer any knight,
For I mean to cut him and slay him.

St George

Thou Most High Proud and of the King of Spain,
And be thou come here to fight.

Most High Proud

Ah, bold champion, I think it is my right,
For it is thee I am come for to fight.

St George

Thou Spanish tyrant, I do defy thee,
Although thou hast an army by thee.
Thy crown, thy kingdom, thy country' right,
Thy life I'll have this very night.
One or the other thou must do,
So draw thy sword or thou shalt be slew.

They fight. St George wounds the Most High Proud, who falls to the ground.

St George

This man's dead and his blood is shed, [blood's not shed - deleted in the manuscript]
Pray, whatever will become of me?
Is there a Doctor to be found?
To cure this bold champion lies bleeding on the ground?

Enter Doctor

Doctor

Oh yes! There is a Doctor to be found,
To cure this bold champion lies bleeding on the ground.

St George

What is thy fee, Doctor?

Doctor

Ten pound is my fee,
But fifteen I will take of thee,
Before I set this gallant man free.

St George

Work thy will, Doctor

Doctor

I have a little bottle by my side,
And that is mixed both green and white.
Chop of nettles I'll make them grow without rain,
I can make young children cut their teeth without pain
And raise the dead to life again.
Here, lad! Take a drop of this,
Then jump up and fight and cut and slash again.

The Most High Proud drinks from the bottle and rises.

Most High Proud

Walk in Beelzebub

Enter Beelzebub [This direction is not in the manuscript]

Beelzebub

Here come I, old Beelzebub,
On my left shoulder I carry a big nub,
And in my hand a dripping pan,
Now don't you think I'm a jolly old man?
My father's been and killed a fat hog,
And that you can plainly see;
My mother gave me the bladder,
To make a hurly-ga-jee.
I saw a mouse by yonder wall,
And he ran in, and that was all.

All

Tol the rol, tol the rol,
Tol the rol rido.

Enter Saucy Jack [with a bundle of dolls strapped to his back]

Saucy Jack

Here come I, Saucy Jack,
With all my family on my back.
Christmas comes but once a year,
And when it comes it brings good cheer -
Roast beef, plum pudding and mince pie,
And who likes that any better than I?

Here Tinker and St George quarrel and fight

Tinker

Good morning, Moll, and how dost do?
And where beest thee agwain?
I got summat to say to thee,
If thee cast spare the time.

All

Chorus

Right fol the rol the rido,
And that's the time of day o.

St George

What hast thee got to say to me,
Of any sort or kind?

Tinker

Why, I should like to marry thee,
If thee oot be but mine.

All

Chorus

St George

Dost thee think I'd marry a clown,
That is no better bred?
For I must have a handsome man,
To be with me in bed.

All

Chorus

Tinker

What! Byent I handsome for thee,
With my dandy leather breech,
The gold laced band about my neck?
Look on me the other twitch.

All

Chorus

St George

Now I must have some butcher's meat,
Of every sort and kind,
And every morning a cup of tea,
To drink instead of wine.

All

Chorus

Tinker

Won't some good fat bacon sar thy turn,
Likewise a powder puff,
And in the morning cup of tea,
And at night a basin o' sop?

All

Chorus

Tinker

Bold Robin Hood was a forester good,
As ever drew bow in the merry green wood,
And the wild deer did follow, did follow,
And the wild deer did follow,
There's none so bonny, blithe and gay,
As Mary, the pride of the morning.

Then in come Little John with his courage so strong,
He conquered them all with his hey ding dong,
While the bugle horn did echo, did echo,
While the bugle horn did echo.
There's none so bonny, blithe and gay,
As Mary, the pride of the morning.

All

Chorus

St George

He that courts a pretty girl,
Courts her for his pleasure,
He is a fool if he marries her,
Without store or treasure.

All

Chorus

St George

Come, let us dance and sing,
And drive away all sorrow,
For perhaps we may not,
Meet again tomorrow.

All

Chorus

Saucy Jack

Away to the green wood we,
And up to the old oak tree,
And join the gypsy dance.

All

Chorus

All join hands and dance in a ring singing -

All

Happy, happy, shall we be,
Happy, happy, three and three,
Dancing now so merrily.
Right fol the rol the rido,
The riddle rol the day.
 
Print Play Verse
 
Notes
Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2007.

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