Location: Otley, Yorkshire, England (SE2045)
Year: Publ. 1855 or later
Time of Occurrence: Christmas
Collective Name: Mummers


Walker's New Mummer; or, The Wassail Cup. A Romance
Otley, William Walker, [1855]




Good morrow, friends and neighbours dear,
We are right glad to meet you here,
We come with Christmas once a year,
And we wish you plenty of good cheer.

{Enter all the Knights.}


{For all to sing, or the Jester to repeat.}
May luck attend the Milk Pail,
May Ewes yield two and three,
May each blow of the Thrasing flail
Produce good firmity.
Good morrow, masters all,
May the day be fair and clear,
When we wish a "merry Christmas
And a happy New Year"

{They all follow the Jester round in a circle he repeating as follows}


We are Mummers blythe and gay,
And come to make you happy;
For these bold Knights come clear the way,
And draw your stout Brown Nappy.

St. George

Behold St. George, a valiant knight
Who bravely slew the dragon;
Produce me such another wight,
Him you shall vaunt and brag on:
Britain, renown'd by all the world,
Where'er her glorious flag's unfurl'd
Renown'd alike by friend or foe,
The land that keeps the world in awe.

St. Patrick

Sure I'm St. Patrick from the bogs,
This truth I fain would learn you,
I banish'd serpents, toads, and frogs,
From beautiful Hibernia.
I flourish'd my shilelah,
And the Reptiles all ran races;
'Twas devil take the hindmost!
And they've never since show'd their faces.

St. Andrew

And I'm St. Andrew, fra the North,
Men fra that part are men o' worth;
To travel South we're naething loth,
And treat you fairly, by my troth.
The land of oatmeal and the yeuch,
(Laird bless the Duke! excuse the joke,)
Where mony a Ton Brunstanes teuk
Lang may the "Glorious Haggis smoke."

St. David

Of Taffy's Land I'm Patron Saint.
Oh yes, indeed, I'll you acquaint,
Of Ancient Britons I've a race
Dare meet a foeman face to face;
For Welshmen (hear it once again)
Were born before all other men;
I'll fear no man in fight or freaks,
Whilst Wales produces Cheese and Leeks.

St. George

I challenge all my country's foes.

St. Patrick

And I'll assist wid mighty blows.

St. Andrew

And you shall find me ready too.

St. David

Odds Blud! and I, so well as you.

{They all follow the Jester round as before.}


While we are joined in heart and hand,
A gallant and courageous band,
If e'er a foe dares look awry,
We'll one and all poke out his eye.

{Enter Saladin}


Don't vaunt thus, my courageous knights,
For I, as you, have seen some sights
In Palestine, in days of yore.
'Gainst prowess strong I bravely bore
The sway, when all the world in arms
Shook Holy Land with war's alarms:
I for the Crescent, you the Cross,
Each mighty host oft won and lost.
I many a thousand men did slay,
And ate two hundred twice a day;
And now, again, I'll try, - and zounds!
I'll try hard, but I'll crack your crowns.

St. Patrick

And faith you may try,
For you sing a loud note;
But I'll alter your tune
Wid a hole in your coat.
Come on, you "Man Eater,"
I'll wager a groat,
You ne'er eat pat,
Or he'd stuck in your throat.

{St. Patrick and Saladin fight. Cut 1, Crossing each other. Cut 2, Ditto back. Cut 3 Ditto other. Cut 4, Ditto back. 4 Shoulder Cuts. St. Patrick loses his sword and falls.)}

St. Andrew {Interposes}

Hand your hand, you base Tyke,
Wad you strike when he's down?
Scotsman ne'er saw the like,
So beware you false loon.
I've a wee wittle here,
So for you de'il may care a;
You'll ken "what's the steer"
Wi' this "Andrea Farrara."

{St. Andrew and Saladin renew the fight. Same as before. St. Andrew loses his sword and falls.}

St. David {Interposes.}

Cots splutter hur nails,
She's a devil to fight,
For the honor of Wales
I'll contend while 'tis dark,
Now I'm ready, here goes,
If the deylight won't do,
Then for ayr ayd de nos.

{Cut 1, Crossing each other. Cut 2, Ditto back. Cut 3 Ditto other. Cut 4, Ditto back. 4 Shoulder Cuts. The fight ends with the same result as the others.}

St. George {Interposes}

Come take your breath,
And try a bout with me,
I'll fight unto the death
Before I'll flee:
When the field I have won
We'll empty a flagon,
And sure as a gun,
To the Knights of the Dragon.

{The Fight. St. George conquers Saladin."}

All the Characters


Saladin {Rises}

Now brave St. George, I quit the field,
I need not be ashamed to yield;
I swear by all the Pagan gods,
That four to one's a little odds:
We'll sheath our swords, and end the strife,
And never more, upon my life!
I'll draw the sword for priestly elves,
But let them fight their fights themselves.

The Jester

Now brave St. George, he rules the roast,
Britons triumphant be the toast;
Then let the Wassail Cup abound,
Whene'er the Mummers' time comes round:
When Christmas cheer prevails, I trow,
And maids kiss 'neath the Mistletoe,
Let cheerful song and dance prevail,
And Bumpers of October Ale.

{Grand Sword Dance. Cut 1, and cross. Cut 2, and cross partner. Which is R. & L., Same back again. The Two Knights at opposite corners R.H. - Cut 1, and cross, and Cut 2 with the opposite Knight. Same back, which is Ladies' chain. Four swords' point up in the centre, All go round - all Cut 6, And come to bridle arm protect, And round to places. Repeat the first figure. All go round, and finish.}

File History:

1999-05-30 - Entered by Peter Millington
2021-01-15 - TEI-encoded by Peter Millington


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