A Chedworth Mummers Play

Collected by James Madison Carpenter circ 1930
From Library of Congress
Source Robert Lawrence, Laurel Cottage, Chedworth (see photograph)

Learned 60 years ago from old mummers and older brothers Cornelius and Lambert Lawrence
Last acted 50 years before (circa 1880).

Jackets - completely covered with slips of all colors of rags and papers -- could not see garment -- peaked hats, trimmed with hanging streamers of coloured papers -- sometimes pointed with pheasant's tail feathers -- usually wore mummers face's -- made of cardboard and painted with different colors -- some faces black, others yellow, aunt Sally wore bonnut. Jackets were brown. SMOCK FROCKS, coming down to bend of legs.

FIRST MAN: Give room give room
All you brave and gallant all,
I'll show you this activity
On this merry Christmas time.
Activity of youth, activity of age,
The finest activity that ever was shown
Upon a common stage.
Come in, Bold Robin Hood

KEEPER: I'm the keeper of this forest,
And the King put me in trust,
To look after the deer that runs here an there
So stop thee, good fellow I must.

THIRD MAN: If thee bist sich a bold fellow
An has so great command
Thee must have more provocative power,
Before thee can'st bid me to stand.

KEEPER: I have no provocative power,
Nor none I need,
For I've a staff and another old graft
An he's sure to do the deed!
(Measure staffs)
My staff's past length, oak so free,
Eight six'll knock down a calf
An uh warrant a'll knock down thee!
(They fight; one knocks the other down)

FIRST MAN: Doctor, Doctor come an see,
King George is oonded in his knee,
King George is oonded in his heart!
Doctor, doctor, don't delay,
But mount thee horse and come away!
(Doctor comes in, calling Jack Vinney)

DOCTOR: 'Old my 'oss, Jack!

JACK: Right, sir! Right be the sail!

DOCTOR: D'st know 'ow to do s' 'oss, Jack?
How I likes my oss done,
Sup't up wie woodashes an soap suds,
An rub'n down well wie a fuz faggot stick!
I'm the doctor,
I cure all ills, --
The itch the stitch, the pax the paulsey an the gout,
All pains within, all pains without!
All you little maidens that have got the mullygrubs,
The canterwurry squirts, an can't piddle without
Breakin wind behind, take one o my golden pills
An that'll work thee through, back an belly too!
I don't go about like one of these quack doctors
That'd sooner kill or cure,
I goes about for the good o' me own countrymen!
Sooner to cure nor kill!
I'n cure this poor man, or any other man
As yunt quite dyudd,
(Gives him pill)
Yure, bold fellow,
Rise up thee yud!

FIRST MAN: Walk in, Aunt Sally!

AUNT SALLY: Yure comes I as aint been 'it,
With my grt yud an little wit,
Me yud's so big, an me wit's so small,
I'll plyay thee a tune' as'll plaze thee al!

Green sleeves an yellow lace (traditional song)

Courtesy of Mike Tovey