Christmas Mummers' Play from Weston-sub-Edge, Glos. - 1864

R.J.E.Tiddy (1923) pp.163-168


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Context:
Location: Weston-sub-Edge, Glos., England (SP1240)
Year: Perf. 1864
Time of Occurrence: Christmas
Collective Name: Mummers

Source:

R.J.E.Tiddy
The Mummers' Play
Oxford, University Press, 1923, pp.163-168


Cast: (Click on any name for the character name index.)
Text:

John Finney

A room, a room, a roust, a roust
I brought this old broom to sweep your house.

Father Christmas

In comes I old Father Christmas, Christmas or Christmas not
I hope old Father Christmas will never be forgot.
I am not here to laugh or to cheer,
But all I want is a pocket full of money
and a cellar full of beer.
So, Ladies and gentlemen, if you don't believe what I say,
Step in Turkish Knight and clear the way.

Turkish Knight

Open your doors and let me in
For your favour I am sure to win.
Whether I rise or whether I fall
I do my best to please you all.
For King George is here and swears he will come in,
And if he do he'll pierce me to my skin.
So, Ladies and gentlemen, if you don't believe what I say,
Step in King George and clear the way.

King George

I am King George, this noble Knight
Came from foreign lands to fight
To fight that fiery dragon who is so bold
And cut him down with his blood cold.

Turkish Knight

Who's he who seeks the Dragon's blood
And curse so angry and so loud?

King George

I'm he who seeks the Dragon's blood
And curse so angry and so loud.

Turkish Knight

You? you black-looking English dog,
will you before me stand?
I'll cut thee down with my courageous hand.
With my long teeth and scurly jaws I break up half a score
And stay my stomach till I mourn.
So to battle to battle and you and I will try
To see which on the ground shall lie.

Father Christmas

Oh is there a doctor to be found or any near at hand
To heal this deep and deadly wound and make this dead man stand?

Doctor

Oh yeas, here is a doctor to be found all ready near at hand
To heal this deep and deadly wound and make this dead man stand.
Take one of my pills, bold fellow, rise up and fight again.

{The Turkish Knight and King George fight.}

Father Christmas

Oh is there a doctor to be found or any near at hand
To heal this deep and deadly wound and make this dead man stand?

Doctor

Oh yes, here is a doctor to be found all ready near at hand
To heal this deep and deadly wound and make this dead man stand.
Ladies and gentlemen, all
here a large wolf's tooth growing in this man's head
and must be taken out before he'll recover.

Father Christmas

What's thy fee, Doctor?

Doctor

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

Father Christmas

Work thy will, Doctor.

Doctor

I will. Where's Jack?

John Finney

Oh yer's Jack. Jack's coming.

Doctor

Hold my horse, Jack Finney.

John Finney

My name ain't Jack Finney,
my name's Mr. John Finney,
a man of great strength.
Cured an old magpie of the toothache,
twisted his old yud off,
throwed his body in a dry ditch and drowned him;
I went off the morrow about nine days after,
picks up this little yud magpie,
romed my arm down his throat,
turned him inside outwards,
and made as good a magpie as ever walked in a pair of pattens.

Doctor

Hold my hoss, Mr. John Finney.

John Finney

Will he bite?

Doctor

No.

John Finney

Will he kick?

Doctor

No.

John Finney

Take tow to hold him?

Doctor

No.

John Finney

Hold him yourself then.

Doctor

What's that, you saucy young rascal?

John Finney

Oh, I hold him, sir.

Doctor

Give him a bucket of ashes and a fusket for his supper
and well rrrrom down with the bissum stick.

John Finney

Do it yerself, sir.

Doctor

What's that, you saucy young rascal?

John Finney

Oh, I do it, sir.

Doctor

Bring me my spy glass, Mr. John Finney.

John Finney

Fetch it yerself, sir.

Doctor

What's that, you saucy young rascal?

John Finney

Oh, I fetch it, sir. There it is, sir.

Doctor

What's throw it down there for?

John Finney

Ah, for thee to pick it up agen, sir.

Doctor

What's that, you saucy young rascal?

John Finney

Oh, for me to pick it up agen, sir.

Doctor

Fetch me my lance, John Finney.

John Finney

Fetch it yerself, sir.

Doctor

What's that, you saucy young rascal?

John Finney

Oh, I fetch it, sir.

Doctor

What's throw it down there for?

John Finney

Ah, for thee to pick it up agen, sir.

Doctor

What's that, you saucy young rascal ?

John Finney

Ah, for me to pick it up again, sir.

Doctor

Fetch me my pinchers, John Finney.

John Finney

Fetch them yerself, sir.

Doctor

What's that, you saucy young rascal?

John Finney

Oh, I fetch them, sir.

Doctor

What's throw them down there for?

John Finney

Ah, for thee to pick them up agen, sir.

Doctor

What's that, you saucy young rascal?

John Finney

Oh, for me to pick them up agen, sir.

Doctor

Fetch me one of the strongest hosses you've got in yer team.

John Finney

Fetch um yerself, sir.

Doctor

What's that, you saucy young rascal?

John Finney

Oh, I'll fetch him, sir.

{John Finney brings in one of the mummers and pretends he is a horse.}

woa, woa, woa; woa, woa, woa.

Doctor

You call that the strongest hoss you've got in the team?

John Finney

That's him, sir.

Doctor

Hold him tight then, John Finney.

John Finney

Hold him yerself.

Doctor

What's that, you saucy young rascal?

John Finney

Oh, I've got him, sir, fast by the tail.

Doctor

Hold him fast then.

{This is repeated until the other mummers have been brought on in turn, with the exception of Father Christmas who remains in the room watching and sweeping with his broom to make fun,}

Doctor

Now boys, a long pull short pull, pull all together boys.
Oh, we've got him this time, John Finney.
Ladies and gentlemen, all
this large wolf's tooth has been growing in this man's head
ninety-nine years before his great grandmother was born:
if it had n't have been taken out to-day,
he would have died yesterday.
I've a little bottle by my side called Eelgumpane,
one spot on the roof of this man's tongue, another on his tooth,
will quickly bring him to life again.
Rise up, bold fellow, and fight again.

{King George and the Turkish Knight fight.}

Father Christmas

Peace, peace, peace.
Walk in Beelzebub.

Beezebub

In comes I old Belzebub
And on my back I carries my dub
And in my hand the dripping-pan,
I thinks myself a jolly old man.
Round hole, black as a coal,
Long tail and little hole.
I went up a straight crooked lane.
I met a bark and he dogged at me.
I went to the stick and cut a hedge,
gave him a rallier over the yud jud killed him
round stout stiff and bold from Lancashire I came,
if Doctor has n't done his part, John Finney wins the game.
Last Christmas night I turned the spit,
I burnt me finger and felt it itch,
The sparks flew over the table,
The pot-lid kicked the ladle,
Up jumped spit jack
Like a mansion man
Swore he'd fight the dripping pan
With his long tail,
Swore he'd send them all to jail.
In comes the grid iron, if you can't agree
I'm the justice, bring um to me.
As I was going along, as I was standing still,
I saw a wooden church built on a wooden hill,
Nineteen leather bells a going without a clapper
That made me wonder what was the matter.
I went on a bit further,
I came to King Charles up a cast iron pear tree.
He asked I the way to get down.
I said put thee feet in the stirrup iron
and pitchee poll headfust into a marl pit
where ninety-nine parish churches had been dug out
besides a few odd villages.
I went on a bit further,
I came to a little big house,
I knocked at the door and the maid fell out.
She asked if I could eat a cup of her cider
and drink a hard crust of her bread and cheese.
I said 'No thanks, yes if yer please.'
So I picked up me latters and went me ways.
I went on a bit further.
I came to two old women winnowing butter,
That made me mum mum mummer and stutter.
I went on a little bit further:
I came to two little whipper snappers thrashing canary seeds:
one gave a hard cut, the tother gen a driving cut,
cut a sid through a wall nine foot wide
killed a little jed dog tother side.
I went of the morroe about nine days after,
picks up this little jied dog,
romes my arm down his throat,
turned him inside outards,
sent him down Buckle Street barking ninety miles long
and I followed after him.

John Finney

Now my lads we've come to the land of plenty,
rost stones, plum puddings,
houses thatched with pancakes,
and little pigs running about
with knives and forks stuck in their backs
crying 'Who'll eat me, who'll eat me?'

Father Christmas

Walk in clever legs.

Cleverlegs

In comes I ain't been hit.
With me big hump and little wit.
Me chump's so big, me wit's so small,
But I can play you a tune to please yer all.

Father Christmas

What tune's that then?

Cleverlegs

One of our old favourites tunes
Ran tan tinder box Cat in the fiddle bag Jonnie up up the orchard.

Father Christmas

Let's have him the.

{Now the three-handed reel takes place.}

Father Christmas

If this old frying pan had but a tongue,
He'd say 'chuck in yer money and think it no wrong.'


Notes:

This version was taken down at Canon Bourne's direction by a schoolmistress from the village players about 1864. here was a dance by John Finney and two others to the tune of Not for Jo, played by Cleverlegs on the mouth-organ.


File History:
07/01/1995 - Scanned & OCRed by Peter Millington
05/09/1998 - Roughly encoded by PTM
21/06/1999 - Proof read by PTM

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Last generated on 26/12/2007 by P.Millington (Peter.Millington1@virgin.net)