Carrington Moss Mumming Play
Basic Script

This is a "transcript" of the Mumming play as performed by Thelwall Mummers (aka Morris Men) and represents the basic script used, though I have never known a Thelwall performance to be basic script only!
Some notes have been added on certain aspects of interpretation, and minimal stage direction is given in italics.

All characters wait in the wings (outside the pub) and make their first appearance when "introduced".

All (sung)  

Here's one, two, three jolly lads all in one mind
We have come here a-mumming and we hope you'll prove kind.
And we hope you'll prove kind, with your brass and your beer
We'll come no more 'nigh you until the next year


I open the door and enter in.
I hope your favour we shall win
Stir up the fire and draw some ale
My merry lads shall tell you a tale
Whether we stand or whether we fall
We'll do our very best to please you all

So room, brave gallants all
Pray give us room to rhyme
We've come to show activity this merry Christmas time
Activity of youth, and activity of age.
The like was never seen before upon such a common stage
And if you don't believe the words I say,
Step in the Turkish Knight and clear the way


In come I the Turkish Knight
Bold Slasher is my name
From Plumley down to Peover1, the world has known my fame
I come to fight Saint George, that man of courage bold
And if his blood runs hot, I soon shall make it cold


In come I, Saint George
From England did I spring
I fought the Scotch and French, my wonders to begin
I'll clip the Dragon's wings, he shall not fly
I'll cut him down - or else I'll die2


Who's that who seeks the Dragons blood3, so angry and so loud
With my long teeth and scurvy jaw
I'll eat that English dog who holds the floor
Be he a Turk, a Christian or a Jew, I'll eat his armour, belt and Baldric, too


Stay you noisy dragon, boast more
For soon I'll have you dragon on the floor

[They fight and George slays Dragon]

Here am I, Saint George, that man of courage bold
With my broad sword and spear I won a crown of gold.
I fought the fiery dragon4 and drove him to the slaughter
And now I'll woo fair Phoebe - The King of Egypt's daughter

Phoebe - Thou art so lovely
What causes thee to look so glum


Saint George, although you've won me fair this day
I fear my brother Slasher will thee slay
Don't turn your back on him


Show me the man who bids me stand
I'll cut him down with sword in hand


Step up Bold Slasher, come this way
Saint George is ready for the fray


In come I the Turkish Knight, the Greatest
Come from Turkey land to fight
If Saint George is to be my foe
I'll kill him dead before I go


My head is made of iron


My body is of steel


My arms and legs are beaten brass


No man can make me yield


Pull out your sword and fight


Pull out your purse and pay
For satisfaction I must have before I leave this day


No satisfaction shall you get
I do not shrink to hear your threat


Battle to battle then let's cry
To see which one shall live or die


Battle to battle then let's sound
To see which which one shall bite the ground
So guard your body and guard your head
Or else my sword shall strike you dead


Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
Old Saint George will fall in three


[They fight5 - Slasher is killed]


Come in old King the battles done
I fear Saint George has slain your son

King of Egypt  

Oh Cruel George, what have you done
You've wounded and killed my only son


'Tis true I killed yon Turkish Knight
But first he challenged me to fight


Oh no I didn't


Oh yes he did...

King of Egypt  

Is there a doctor who can save
my son from lingering in his grave
A hundred thousand pounds I'd give
To someone who can make him live.

And an oilwell, two dancing girls, three eunuchs, four camels,
ten abdulla king size
- Aye and Green Shield stamps


Is there a doctor in this ground
To cure this noble Turk all of his wound


Yes, there's a doctor in this ground
Can cure this noble turk all of his wound
For all my medicines are sure
And death's a sickness I can cure

Unless they abolish pay beds

King of Egypt  

Where do you come from, tell me plain


Ireland, Italy France and Spain
Around the world and back again
There's nowhere I haven't been
And no disease I haven't had or seen

King of Egypt  

A hundred thousand pounds I'll give
So shut yer gob and make him live


That I'll do have no doubt
Be it jitters, squitters, pox or gout
Pains within and pains without
If the Devil were in I'd fetch him out

I have a bottle of Alicampayne
To make this dead Turk live again

[Takes a bottle of whisky out of bag and takes a swig,
then takes out another bottle]

Take a little of this bottle And let it run down thy throttle

[Gives Slasher a sip then kicks with foot]

A blow on the head, a blow on the heart
Rise up old lad and take thy part

[Nothing happens - he runs off]

King of Egypt  

I know a trick that will not fail
I'll pinch some other buggers ale

[He "borrows" drink from audience and feeds Slasher, who revives]


Oh father, your face I'm glad to see
I thought that was the end of me


And now that I've my duty done
I'll return to the dear bride I've won

[George carries off Phoebe]


Now that Saint George has cleared the way
Come in brave lads and have your say7

Soldier Bold

In comes I, Soldier Bold
Come from the French wars with silver and gold
Where brave St George and I and seven more
Did battle and beat eleven score
Many's the war I've been in
And many a brave battle I've seen
Fighting for St George

Fat 'n Fine  

I'd not fight for him or any man alive
All I want is to survive 

In come I, Fat and Fine
Half starved, half blind
Ricked back, broken mind
One eye out and t'other in
So put a coin or two in my tin and I'll go away


That's enough of that

[Hits Fat 'n Fine with club]


In come I Beelzebub
In my hand I carry a club
In the other a dripping pan
And don't you think I'm a jolly old man


Dirty old man!

Devil Doubt  

Little Devil Doubt
With my shirt tail hanging out
Five yards in and five yards out
Money I need, money I crave
So give or I'll sweep you to the grave

[He rushes around sweeping until Beelzebub flattens him with club]

Johnny Jack  

In come I Johnny Jack
Wife and family on my back
My family's large and I'm but small
So I'll sing and dance to please you all

Oh the Thelwall Mumming lads are we
We've come to entertain you
We'll bring you health We'll bring you wealth...

[He is jeered off]


We've had enough of you
Where you know one dance - I know two

[Dances Fools Jig]

Kind friends our sport is done and we can no longer stay
But remember that for England's sake Saint George will bear the sway
You gentlemen and ladies all, I hope you will be free
To subscribe a little part to pay our doctor's fee


For we're jovial lads
We do no harm, whenever we appear
If you give us some money
Then we'll stay away next year

Come ladies and gentlemen sat by the fire
Put your hands in your pockets and give us our desire
Put your hands in your pockets and treat us alright
If you give nowt, we'll take nowt
Farewell and goodnight

At this point a collection is then made.

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Last updated 23 February 2000