Location: Scremerston, Northumberland, England (NU0149)
Year: Col. Before 1913
Time of Occurrence: Christmas
Collective Name: Guizards


Miss Rutter
Guizard's Song from Scremerston
T.F.Ordish Collection, Northumberland, 10, no date




Redd [Note 1] sticks, redd stools!
Here comes in a pack of fools,
A pack of fools behind the door,
Step in, Slasher.

{Enter Slasher}


Slasher is my name!
With sword and pistol by my side
I hope to win the game.

{Enter Goliath [Note 2]}


The game, sir, the game, sir!
It's not within your power.
I'll strike you into inches
Within this half an hour.


Fight on, fight on, ye gentlemen!
Fight on, fight on with speed!
Fight on, fight on yer warriors,
And slay Goliath dead.


Is there a Doctor in this town?

{Enter Dr Brown}

[Dr Brown]

Here come I, Dr Brown,
The best doctor in the town.
From nation to nation I've learnt my trade,
And come to England to cure the dead.


What can you cure?


Coughs and colds. Pox and Scurvy and many things more.
I have a little bottle by my side called Inky-Pinky- [Note 3]
I give this man three drops.
{Gives them to Goliath}
Rise up Jack and fight again.

{Goliath jumps up and fights again}


Once I was dead but now I'm alive,
Bless the kind doctor that made me alive!
We'll all shake hands and never fight no more.

{Each crosses his hands and join hands in a circle, all dance round continuing to shake hands in a circle.}


But be as good brethren as we were before.
Health to the master, the mistress also,
And all the little children that round the table go.
With your pockets full of money and your cellar full of beer,
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

{Hats carried round during this song.}


Peter Millington's Notes:

scanned from:
A.Helm (1981) The English Mummers' Play. Woodbridge, D.S.Brewer, 1981, pp.66-67.

Helm's Notes:

White shirts, smutted cheeks, or corked moustaches, &c., high paper caps, wooden swords or sticks.
Footnotes to Scremerston Text
1. Prepare.
2. This is a variant of 'Galations' (see p. 31).
3. Elecampane.
Northumbrian versions are extremely short and confine themselves to the bare action required. There is usually an absence of Quete characters, but the actual begging is not omitted as this version demonstrates. The disguise is simple, merely dressing in character, with an attempt at blackened faces, and very often the performers were children. Only three characters are mentioned in this version which would permit them not only to move round the district more quickly but also to have an increased share in whatever collection was taken. The ceremony has largely disappeared from the versions, and the object of begging has become of supreme importance.
The entry in the Folklore Society's "Ordish Papers: Checklist of Contents" reads:
10. Guizard's Song from Scremerston communicated by Miss Rutter.
The item is undated, but from correspondence and biographical information, the period of Ordish's active interest in folk drama dated from 1889 to 1913. He died in 1924.

File History:

2002-02-18 - Scanned and coded by Peter Millington
2021-01-15 - TEI-encoded by Peter Millington


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