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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Play Information

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TitleMummers' play
Alternative Title
WordsUnknown
Collected FromUnknown
Occupation
Age
Date
LocationPotterne
CountyWiltshire
Source Primary
Source SecondaryWAM June 1894, 27 [81] p 311 - 314
Recording
 
The Play
Characters

Father Christmas, King George, Turkish Snipe or Knight, Spanish Doctor, Old Almanac, Valiant Soldier, Little Man Jack, Little Man John,

Enter Father Christmas

Father Christmas

Here comes I, old Father Christmas,
Christmas or Christmas not
I hope old Father Christmas will never be forgot.
Roast beef, plum pudding and minced pie,
Who do like that better'n thee and I?
A jug of your Christmas ale will make us merry, whistle, dance and sing;
Money in our pockets is a very fine thing.
Room! Room! Ladies and Gentlemen, let King George come in!

Enter King George

King George

Here comes I King George
King George the man of courage bold,
With my sword and spear in my hand I won three crowns of gold.
'Twere I that slew the dragon
And brought him to the slaughter,
And I hope I shall maintain the King of Egypt's daughter.
And now let old Turkey Snipe clear the way.

Enter the Turkish Snipe or Turkish Knight

Turkish Snipe

Here comes I old Turkey Snipe,
Come from the Holy Land to fight,
I challenge thee King George, thou man of courage bold,
If ty blood's hot, I soon will make it cold.


They fight. Turkish Knight falls.

King George

Is there a doctor to be found
To cure this man lying blooding on the ground?

Enter Spanish Doctor

Spanish Doctor

Yes I'm a doctor newly come from Spain.
I've a bottle by my side,
The fame of which spreads far and wide.
It cures the sick of every pain
And do raise the dead to life again.

King George

Pray, doctor, what is thy fee?

Spanish Doctor

Fifteen guineas is my fee,
But ten pound I will take of thee.

King George gives him a purse of money

Spanish Doctor

Here comes I the Spanish Doctor,
I'll cure the biggest bellied man that ever rose from dead to life again.

He holds the bottle to the Turkish Knight's lips and says

Spanish Doctor

Rise Turkey Snipe.

He rises

Here the four, Father Christmas, King George, Turkey Snipe and the Spanish Doctor cross hands shaking them up and down and sing chorus

Once we was wounded, and now we're brought to life;
We sent for the doctor, who brought us all to life.
So we'll all shake hands, and we'll never fight no more,
But we'll live like brothers and sisters the same as we was before,
Before, before, before, my boys, before, for
We'll live like brothers and sisters the same as we was before.

Additions to the original

King George

If you don't believe in what I do say
Let old Almanac clear the way.

Enter Old Almanac

Here comes I, Old Almanac,
With my girt head and little wit,
Though my wit is but small
Yet I'm the best man amongst ye all.
My knuckle bones are very hard,
Pray doctor come and feel.

Spanish Doctor

Yes, thy knuckle bones are very hard,
I think thou be'est a girt blackguard.
Room! Room! Let Valiant Soldier clear the way.

Enter Valiant Soldier

Here comes I, the Valiant Soldier,
Cutterman, Slasherman is my name;
All through these cold wars I've lately come,
Me and seven more stood to battle with 'leven score.

Addressing Father Christmas

What man stands there with his sword in his hand?
I'll actually cut him and slash him as small as dust,
And send him to the pastry cook's shop to make minced pie crust.

Father Christmas and Valiant Soldier fight. Father Christmas falls.

King George

Is there a doctor to be found
To cure this man lying blooding on the ground?

Valiant Soldier borrows a stake from one of the others and stands forth in answer to King George

Valliant Soldier

Yes, I'm a doctor pure and good
A little of my physic'll do he good.

He hits three times with all his might on the malingering Father Christmas on the hump of straw under his coat

Valiant Soldier

Arise, Father Christmas.

He rises

The four cross hands and sing the chorus above.

Valiant Soldier

If you don't believe in what I say,
Let little man Jack clear the way.

Enter Little Man Jack with a row of small dolls on his back

Little Man Jack

Here comes I, Little Man Jack,
Wi' all my family on my back;
Out o' 'leven I got but seven,
Half o' they be gone to heaven;
Out o' seven I got but five,
Half o' they be starved alive;
Out o' five I got but three,
Half o' they be gone to sea;
Out o' three I got but two,
And where they'm gone to I can't tell you.
If you don't believe in what I say,
Let Little Man John clear the way.

Enter Little Man John

Little Man John

Here comes I, Little Man John,
If any man'll fend I let'n come on.
 
Print Play Verse
 
Notes
There is no indication in the copy of how the additions are worked into the original, if indeed they are.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2007.

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