Location: Bovey Tracey, Devon, England (SX8178)
Year: Col. 1913 to !916
Time of Occurrence: Christmas
Collective Name: [Not given]


The Mummers' Play
Oxford, University Press, 1923, pp.157-158



Father Christmas

In comes I Father Christmas,
Welcome here or welcome not:
I hope old Father Christmas
Will never be forgot.
Christmas comes but once a year
And all you people mind what I say.
Come Mother Dolly and clear the way.

{Enter Mother Dolly with a broom.}

Mother Dolly

In comes I Mother Dolly.
Drinking gin is all my folly.
Before I begin I likes to make room;
I'll sweep it away with my little broom.

{Enter King George.}

King George

Here am I King George.
A man of courage bold;
And if thy blood is hot,
I'll quickly fetch it cold.

{Enter the Turkish Knight.}

Turkish Knight

In comes I the Turkish Knight,
Come from the Turkish land to fight,
To fight King George and all his men
Before I do return again.

Father Christmas

Oh is there a doctor to be found
to cure this man of his deep and deadly wound?


Oh yes there is re


Here am I William Bentinck
Fought for the foe on the field of Fentink


What canst thee cure, Doctor ?


I can cure the itch, pitch, palsy or the gout:
If the devil's in I can soon fetch him out.

{They a take up the Turkish Knight and carry him away.}


Here am I the Giant from the Giant's rest
With my long teeth and scury jaws
I'll tear the flesh from off thy nose.


Tiddy Note:

"The following fragments of a play acted at Bovey were collected from Mr. W. Steer, of Eddymore, Heathfield, Bovey, who had been taught it by a Crimean veteran named Harred or Urred, and from Mr. G. Payne, of 41 Mary Street, Bovey. According to the latter, who at one time took part in the play wearing 'a wooden thing for a head with bullock's teeth' and a mask with whiskers and a long-tailed coat with tin buttons, Father Christmas 'came out where two were lying dead and said I'll lie down and die beside my only son.' At the end of the performance Rule, Britannia was sung."

File History:

1995-07-01 - Scanned & OCRed by Peter Millington
1998-05-09 - Encoded by Peter Millington
1999-09-15 - Year of collection adjusted by Peter Millington
2021-01-15 - TEI-encoded by Peter Millington


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