Location: Kirk Hallam, Derbyshire, England (SK4540)
Year: Perf. about 1907
Time of Occurrence: Christmas
Collective Name: Guisers, Guisering


Rosemary Meynell (Auth.) [Mr. James Carrier (Perf.)]
"Come, Brave Bow Slash and his men"
Derbyshire Countryside, Dec.1957/Jan.1958, Vol.23, No.1, pp.22-23,35




I open the door, I enter in,
I trust your favour I shall win.
Whether I sit, stand, rise or fall,
I'll do my duty to please you all.
A room, a room, a gallant room; a room to let us in;
Stir up the fire and make a light
And see our noble act tonight.
If you can't believe the words I say,
Step in King George - and clear the way.


In comes King George, the noble champion bold,
with my sword and spear I won ten thousand pounds in gold;
if any man dares to face me,
I'll cut him up as small as mincemeat
and send him off to Jamaica to make mince pies.
If you can't believe the words I say,
step in Young Turk - and clear the way.

{In comes Young Turk}


From Turkey land, I come,
I come to fight this brilliant man,
King George, they call his name.


Draw out thy purse and pay.


Draw out thy sword and fight thy way!

{The duel ensues (wooden sword, etc.) and Young Turk falls wounded. In rushes Princess of Paradise (male, made up, etc.)}


In comes Princess of Paradise, boldly I appear!
I come to seek mine only son,
mine only son, he's bleeding here.
Who did him kill? Who did him slay?
Who caused his precious blood to spill?


I did him kill - I did him slay -
I caused his precious blood to spill.


Send for the £5 Doctor.


There ain't one.


Send for the ten pound Doctor.

{In comes the £10 Doctor}


My name is Doctor M. D. Brown,
the finest doctor in the town.
I cure the hip, the grip - the grunts, the gout.
I'll turn your belly inside out.


Oh doctor, doctor, save my son!


{Walks across to Young Turk, bends down and raises Young Turk's head and produces a huge black bottle. He places it to the mouth of Young Turk:-}
Let this tickle tackle down thy throttle
and arise and fight King George again.

{Young Turk springs up at King George, and once again the swords cross but Princess of Paradise intervenes, screams and begs King to spare her son. King George and Princess of Paradise embrace and then embrace Young Turk. The first Guiser and Doctor also embrace, then all form a half circle, holding hands and in walks:-}


In comes Betsy Betsy Belzebub,
under my arm I carry a tub -
In my hand a dripping pan -
don't you think I'm a jolly old man?
{Aside,} If yo dunna - I do
A rink-tink-tink and a sup more drink
to make my kettle drum round
My bread is sad for the want of barm,
a little more money would do us no harm.

{Goes round with hat - whilst rest of Guisers sing}


Cold blows the blast and down falls the snow,
Nowhere to shelter - nowhere to go,
No mother to guide him - for in the grave she lies low,
And the angels are waiting - for Poor Little Joe.


Maynell's Introduction

Guisering seems to have hung on longest in the colliery villages of Derbyshire, and Mr. James Carrier, of Kirk Hallam, who takes a keen interest in local history, tells me he would like to see it revived. He, too, went out with mummers fifty year ago, and remembers the excitement of getting teh costumers ready.
The making of the props took quite a month before Christmas and was really as much fun as the actual guisering. Mothers and sisters helped to dress the characters in gay apparel made of coloured paper and cardboard. The party of young men made a round of pubs, farms amd big houses and many a time there was over a £1 each to be shared out at the end of an evening which, as Mr. Carrier says, "was a lot of money fifty years ago."
Here is the play he remembers. It is slicke, shorter and more poetic than the others, and includes The Young Turk and the Princess of Paradise among other characters.

Indexer's Notes

* "Chorus" in the original source means that the rest of the cast call for the Doctor in unison.

File History:

1994-10-18 - Entered by Peter Millington
1998-09-05 - Corrections by Peter Millington
2021-01-15 - TEI-encoded by Peter Millington


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