Location: Abbotsford, Roxburghshire, Scotland (NT5034)
Year: Col. 1812 to 1832
Time of Occurrence: Christmas, Hogmany, New Year
Collective Name: Guisards


National Library of Scotland: Abbotsford Collection, MS 893 (Ballads and Songs), ff. 85-90.





{Judas - carrying the bag or purse}

{Belzebub, Black Knight, Prince George, Farmer's Son, Galation, The Doctor - in appropriate dress}

{Enter Judas}


Had awa rokes had awa reels
Had awa stocks and spinning wheels
Red chairs red stools here comes in a pack of fools.
Sic as was never seen here before.
Red room for Gorlings
Red room in a ring
And I will let you see the prettiest show
That was ever seen in Christmas time.
I call upon Belzebub - Belzebub!

{Enter Belzebub}


Here comes in Belzebub
Over my shoulder I carry my club
And in my hand my drying pan
Don't you think I'm a jolly young man.


I call upon Black Knight - Black Knight!

{Enter Black Knight}

Black Knight

Here comes in Black Knight the great King of Macidonia
come to conquer the whole world but Scotland alone
his courage is so great.
He is so bold and so stout and so couragious and able
His head is made of Brass and his body of steel
and his back of Rumpel bone.


I call upon Prince George - Prince George!

{Enter Prince George}

Prince George

Here comes in Prince George
Without a right without reason.
Here I draw my bloody weapon
My bloody weapon shines so clear
It makes my body venture here or venture there.


I call upon poor Jack - poor Jack!

{Enter poor Jack}

Poor Jack

Here come I Poor Jack
I am a Farmer's son
And I am like to lose my love
Because I am too young
Although I be too young
I've got money for to rove
And I will freely spend it all
Before I lose my love


I call upon Galation - Galation!

{Enter Galation}


Here comes in Galation
Galation is my name
With sword and pistol by my side
I hope to win the game

{Here Galation and the Farmer's son draw their swords and fight - Poor Jack falls}


Alack Alack whats this that I have done
I have slain his fathers only son.
And now he's dead and died in his gore
He will never rise to fight me more

Farmer's Son

Oh you dirty dog you are mista'n,
Although I'm hurt I am not slain
I'll rise and fight with you again.


You dirty dog you are not able
You with my sword I will dischevle
I'll fill thy body full of wounds
And make thy buttocks fly.


Ten pounds for a doctor

{Enter doctor}


Here comes in a Doctor
The best that Scotland ever produced.
I have gone from nation to nation to learn my trade.
And now I've come back to Scotland to cure the dead.


What can you cure?


I can cure the pox and the blue Devils
The rumelgumption in an old man's belly
The rumpel-grane and the Brandy-whirtelz
And can raise the man fresh and hale
That had lain seven year in his grave.


What will you take to cure Poor Jack.


Ten pounds


Will not seven do?




Will not eight do?




Will nine not do? I'll give you nine.


Yes - I have a little bottle here that hangs by my side they call it Hoxy Croxy
now I'll put a little to his nose
{The Doctor here suits the action to the words}
And a little to his Bum and I say
Jack rises up and fight again and it is done.

{Jack here springs from the ground and all the actors that can sing join in some Christmas or popular song.}


Peter Millington's Notes:

This text was scanned from the transcript designated Abbotsford Collection(a) in:
B.Hayward (1992) Galoshins : The Scottish Folk Play. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 1992, ISBN 07486 0338 7, pp.93-97,99.

Hayward's Notes:

"'Gorlings' (nestlings) is recorded in Kirkcudbright, Dumfries, the Carlisle area and the Cumbrian/Northumberland border (Linguistic Atlas of Scotland (1977), p.24). It is resembled only by the 'Gorlands' of PEEBLES(a) : both may be corruptions of 'gallants' or 'garlands'." (p.97)
"These two texts were found among Scott's paper, with no indication of their provenance. The ABBOTSFORD(b) information shows that one of Scott's visitors had left a copy of one of the performances in Scott's keeping. It is possible that this refers to the ABBOTSFORD COLLECTION(b) text, which resembles the description given in ABBOTSFORD(a)." p.99

Further Indexer's Notes:

Walter Scott purchased his estate at Abbotsford in 1812, and died in 1832. Whilst, as Hayward states, the provenance of these two texts is not given, they are both to a lesser or greater extent consistent with two descriptions relating to the Abbotsford custom, quoted by Hayward. These are a journal entry dated 1825 from Basil Hall (B.Hayward, 1992, p92) and a letter from Walter Scott to Thomas Sharp dated 1826 (B.Hayward, 1992, pp.92-93). As both descriptions mention performances by numerous sides of actors, it is possible that both texts could have come from Abbotsford.

File History:

2000-10-09 - Encoded by P.Millington
2021-01-15 - TEI-encoded by Peter Millington


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