Christmas Play from Burghclere, Hants. : Version 1 - 1908

R.J.E.Tiddy (1923) pp.185-188


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Context:
Location: Burghclere, Hants., England (SU4657)
Year: Perf. 1908
Time of Occurrence: Christmas
Collective Name: [Not given]

Source:

R.J.E.Tiddy
The Mummers' Play
Oxford, University Press, 1923, pp.185-188


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

Father Christmas

In comes l old Father Christmas welcome in or welcome not
I hope poor old Father Christmas will never be forgot
Christmas comes but once a year
and when it comes it brings good cheer
Roast beef, Plum pudding, strong ale, and mince pies,
who likes that better than I.
Now in this room there shall be shown
the most dreadfullest battle that ever was known
between King George and the Turkish Knight
for I took my troubles abroad all nations for to fight
only to bring to fine acts not far from victory
the first man that comes this way he is a noble man
glad tidings he will bring.
Room, gentlemen, room, I pray
and we'll quickly have the fighting men this way.
Walk in King George.

King George

In comes I King George that man of courage bold
with my broad sword in my hand I won 10000 in gold
it was I that fought that fiery dragon
and brought him to a slaughter
and by those noble deeds I won
the King of Egypt's daughter
Manhood so free and valiant
of old I conquered nations
and in the army whilst I remain
I still remain the champion
how bold it is to say
I can still fight any fighting man that comes this way.

Turkish Knight

In comes I the bold Turkish Knight
just come from that foreign land to fight
King George that man of courage bold
and if his blood runs hot I'll quickly make it cold.

King George

Hold on Turkish Knight tho'st talks very bold
like some other little man I've been told
draw thy sword and fight
or draw thy purse and pay
for satisfaction I'll have of thee
before thou goes away.

Turkish Knight

Satisfaction, no satisfaction at all
I'll battle thee to see who on this ground shall fall

King George

Battle, to battle with thee I call
to see who on this ground shall fall.

Turkish Knight

Battle, to battle with thee I pray
to see who on this ground shall lay.

{King George and the Turkish Knight fight and Turkish Knight goes down on one knee and begs pardon.}

Turkish Knight

Pardon O Pardon me I crave
an I will be thy Turkish slave.

King George

I neve did n't pardon a Turkish Knight
therefore rise and fight thy might.

Turkish Knight

Battle to battle &c.

King George

Battle to battle &c.

{Turkish Knight is wounded and fas.}

Father Christmas

King George what hast thou done
thou'st killed and wounded my only son. I

King George

He gave me first challenge and how could I deny.

Father Christmas

Is there a Dr that can be found
that can cure my son that lies wounded and bleeding on the ground.

King George

Yes Father there is a Dr to be found
who can cure your son that lies wounded and bleeding on the ground.

Father Christmas

What his name.

King George

Peter Lamb.

Father Christmas

Walk in Peter Lamb as quick as thou can
or we shall have a dead man.

{Dr Lamb walks in.}

Dr Lamb

Let you know my name is Mr Lamb not Peter Lamb.

Father Christmas

Can'st thou cure this man.

Dr Lamb

Yes Father I'm not like those Roaming Drs
goes about saying those things and that
and tells as many lies in one day as I tell in ten year
what I'll do. I do straight before thy face
and if thou can't believe thy own eyes tis a hard case.

Father Christmas

Try thy skill O Dr.

Dr Lamb

By my side I carry a little bottle
which is called 'the golden foster drop'
one drop of this to this man's tongue
and another to the crown of his head
will strike the heat to the whole of his body
and rise him from the ground.

Father Christmas

Thou be a noble Dr.

{King George takes Turkish Knight's hand.}

King George

Arise arise thou cowardly dog
and go back to thy own country
and tell what old England's done to thee
and tell them that old England will fight
ten thousand better men than thee.

Cutting Star

In comes I both tall and smart
likewise I'll tell my mind with all my heart
for I am that cutting star
just come from that most dreadful war
me myself and seven more
fought and killed eleven score
of ablebodied men will never rise to fight again
my head is made of iron
my body's lined with steel
my garter fits my leg so tight
my trousers drags my heels
First comes Christmas then comes spring
we are the jolly little lads that can either dance or sing.

Grenadier

In comes I the bold grenadier for tall and smart
I do not fear if his head is made of iron
and his body lined with steel
from his head to his heels
I'll quickly make him feel.

Cutting Star

Hold on Grenadier don't talk too hot
for in this room you don't know who you've got
I cut thee and hew thee as small as flies
and send thee to the cook shop to be made into mince pies.

Grenadier

Battle to battle with thee I call
to see who on this ground shall fall.

Cutting Star

Battle to battle with thee I play
to see who on this ground shall lay.

{They both have a good fight but neither is wounded and at last they shake hands and are friends again.}

Johnnie Jack

In comes I little Johnnie Jack
with my wife and family up my back
my family is large and I am small
a little if you please will help us all
for out of 12 I've got but five
and all the rest were starved alive.
Roast beef, Plum Pudding, Strong ale, and mince pies,
who likes that better than Old Father Christmas and I.

Father Christmas

Nobody.

Johnnie Jack

A jug of your Christmas ale Sir will make us merry and sing
but money in our pockets is a much finer thing
now ladies and gentlemen at your ease
give the merry Christmas boys just what you please.

The Old Woman

Ha' ha' ha' in comes I as ain't been it
with my big head and little wit
my head so big and my wit so small
I've brought my fiddle to please you all
all blue sleeves and yellow laces
now old boys we'll dance apace.

{Enter policeman singing.}

Policeman

I am a noble boby, my number 63,
and if I don't love my sarah, then you shall plainly see,
I met her down the ally
one night at half past nine,
and I told her that I loved her,
and she said she would be mine
and I don't love my sarah
she only got one eye,
and if I don't have my sally
Ill have the rabbit pie.

{Father Christmas Dr Lamb, Policeman and Old Woman plays the music and the other four begin dancing.}

{The End}


Notes:

This version was introduced from Dorsetshire and was first acted at Burghclere in 1908. It was communicated in April 1914 by F. C. Hutchins, who took the part of King George and showed me his red tunic with a sash across it like those worn by Foresters.

King George, Grenadier, and Cutting Star were all dressed as soldiers, wore medals and carried wooden swords. Only the Turkish Knight blacked his face: he wore a black tunic and a turban. The Doctor wore top hat, breeches and stockings, and a white waistcoat. The policeman was dressed as a policeman. Little Johnny Jack wore ribbons and also five small dolls to represent his children and one large one for his wife.

They apparently danced around to the Greensleeves tune, for my informant seemed to recognise this when I whistled it, without doing a hey or reel.


File History:
07/01/1995 - Scanned & OCRed by Peter Millington
14/10/1998 - Encoded by Peter Millington

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