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SRFN: Miscellany:
Wicked Stix Mummers' Play


For several years in the '90s, the Morris team Wicked Stix toured local pubs at Christmas time with a Mummers' play. The team is no more, but recently Ron and Jenny Day unearthed the script that they used, and passed it onto us. Here it is, then.

The "Wicked Stix" Mummers' Play


Fool:

Make room, make room, for we brave gallants all,  
Pray give us room to rhyme:
We're come to show activity,
This merry Christmas time;
Activity of youth, activity of age,
The like was never seen upon a common stage.
And if you don't believe what I say,
Step in, Father Christmas, and clear the way.


The Mummers at the New Barrack Tavern. The Mummers at the New Barrack Tavern.
Father Christmas:   Here come I, old Father Christmas,
Welcome or welcome not;
I hope old Father Christmas
Will never be forgot.
My head is white, my back is bent,
My knees are weak; my strength is spent.
Nineteen hundred and ninety six is a very great age for me
And if I'd been growing all these years
What a monster I should be.
But after me steps good Saint George and his noble train
For in this room there soon shall be a most awful fight
Betwixt Saint George and the Turkish Knight.
And if you don't believe what I say,
Step in, Saint George, and clear the way.

Saint George: In comes I, Saint George, a man of courage bold
With my broad axe and sword
I won nine helms of gold.
I fought the fiery dragon
And brought him to the slaughter;
And by this means I won the King of Egypt's daughter.
Where is the man that dare bid me stand?
I'll cut him down with my courageous hand.

Slasher: In comes I, the Turkish knight,
Come from the Turkey lands to fight.
I am a valiant soldier,
Bold Slasher is my name.
With sword and buckler by my side,
I hope to win the game.
I am the man that dares bid thee stand,
Saint George of courage bold;
And if thy blood be hot,
I'll quickly make it cold.

Saint George: Stand off, stand off, bold Slasher,
And let no more be said;
For if I draw my sword,
I'm sure to break thy head.

Slasher: My head is made of iron,
My body is made of steel;
My arms and legs of beaten brass,
No man can make me feel.

Saint George: Then mid your head and guard my blows,
Or else I'll cut off your long ugly nose.
I'll cut you up as small as flies,
And send you to the cookshop to make mince pies.
So to battle, to battle betwixt you and I,
To see which on the ground shall lie.

They fight; Saint George falls, wounded..

Molly: Doctor, Doctor, where be thee?
Saint George is wounded through the knee.
Is there never a doctor to be found,
Can cure my son of his deep and deadly wound?


 
Doctor: The noble doctor (s)he is here.
I have travelled both far and near.

Molly: Where didst thee travel then, Doctor?

Doctor: Italy, Pitaly, France and Spain,
And now I'm back in old ........ again.

Molly: What is thy fee, Doctor?

Doctor: Five guineas is my fee,
But seeing you be a poor woman,
Ten guineas I'll take off thee.

Molly: But what canst thee cure, Doctor?

Doctor: I can cure all sorts of diseases,
Anything my physic pleases:
The itch, the stitch, the palsy and the gout;
The pains within and the pains without.
If the Devil's in, I can fetch him out.
Bring me a woman four score and ten,
With scarcely a stump of a tooth in her head,
And I will make her young and plump again.

I'll cure this man if he's not quite dead.
Rise up, Saint George, and fight again,
And see which one is to be slain.

Saint George jumps up and the fight continues; this time, Bold Slasher is killed.

Molly: Oh, Saint George, what have you done?
You've gone and killed my only son.
Doctor, Doctor, play your part;
This man is wounded through the heart.
Doctor, Doctor, can you cure this man?


 
Doctor: No; I see he is too far gone.

Molly: Then step in, little Jacky Tyke.

Jacky Tyke: I'm Jacky Tyke, I'm from the north
Men from those parts are men of worth.
Where only rich folks starve, and no one's homeless,
Society's classless and sausages boneless.
Waiting lists there don't exist, and students never, ever, get pissed.

Molly: What is thy fee?

Jacky Tyke: Five pounds and a box of Bassetts to thee.

Molly: What canst thee cure, Jack?

Jacky Tyke: Fowls and owls, maids and blades,
Politicians of every shade.
Trams that work and buses that don't,
Them that will and them that won't.

Molly: But what canst thee do for my son that lies here?

Jacky Tyke: I can do more than you or any man can do.
This man's been slain with Sheffield Steel;
It's in my power his wounds to heal.
Although he lies as stiff as boards,
I'll fix him up with a pint of Wards.

[Alternatively]

Although he lies with broken bones,
I'll fix him up with a pint of Stones.

Beer administered, Slasher rises up.

Fool: Now I've come with my bladder and broom
To sweep the cobwebs from your room.
Last year when I came here,
You never asked me to taste your beer.


 
Molly: Fool! Will you sell me your bladder?

Fool: No, for if I do I shall go mad,
For many a battle have me and my old bladder had.

Beelzebub: In comes I, old Beelzebub,
And over my shoulder I carries a club.
In my hand a dripping pan;
Now don't you think I'm a funny old man?
Now Jacky Tyke has played his part
With rhymes and beer, and reet good heart,
We leave you now with Christmas cheer,
And hope to see you all again next year.

All sing, to the tune of the Kirkby Malzeard Calling-on song:


 
Staff notation: the Wicked Stix song and link to midi file: click to play

We hope you take note of this fine moral tale,
Played out on this ground before you;
Saint George is restored and the villain is dead:
Three cheers for our own Sheffield brew!

We are eight actors bold,
Never been on stage before;
And we have done our best,
And the best can do no more.


Our hero has triumphed, the enemy slain,
No more will he practice his tricks;
With good Sheffield steel and a team of the best,
We have conquered with our Wicked Stix.

We are eight actors bold,
Never been on stage before;
And we have done our best,
And the best can do no more.


Ye noble spectators, our thanks for your time;
Our play it is done for this year.
Just reach in your pockets, a token to find;
We'll drink to your health in good beer.

We are eight actors bold,
Never been on stage before;
And we have done our best,
And the best can do no more.


Wicked Stix: group photo Wicked Stix in their heyday.

The tune shown above appeared in Lucy Broadwood and J. A. Fuller Maitland's English County Songs, 1893.
It was noted by H. M. Bower from Thomas Wood of Kirkby Malzeard.

  For those of us who don't read music, a midi of the tune is provided: Click to play.

More photos (Christmas 1999): http://www.swineherd.free-online.co.uk/mummers/

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