Guy Fawkes - A Mumming Play

In 1979 John Baker suggested that the interval in the Scunthorpe Folk Song Club's annual ceilidh on November 4th would be an ideal opportunity to perform a "Plough Play" loosely based on the Guy Fawkes story. John Walker, the Club Chairman said "You write it, we'll perform it!" And here it is:


A Mumming Play

It's the eve of an anniversary
We're told we should remember,
Of deeds that happened long ago
Upon t' fifth of November.

Tomorrow there'll be fires,
Burning fierce and bright,
But I wonder what really happened
On that first mischievous night.

Listen while we tell a tale,
Through the ages we will walk,
Concerning of a noble man,
By name was called Guy Fawkes.

In Yorkshire county he was born,
And to school in York was sent.
But through his life he hatched a scheme
To blow up parliament.

Good people give attention
And our story will by chance
Burst forth upon this gathered crowd
In music, song and dance.


In comes I, me name's Guy Fawkes,
Through t'wars in Flanders come.
I fought in battles for the King of Spain
And was wounded in me thigh.

So, on me horse I fled the field,
And the Channel we did cross,
But that part of this tale is told
Much better by me hoss.


In comes I old Fawkes' horse,
The battle I did dread,
Oh how I wished I'd stayed and worked
On t' brewery for Whitbread.

Oh the battle was long and the fighting was hard,
And the foe with their swords they did rip us,
But far worse than that, when we'd Channel to cross,
They swapped all me horse shoes for flippers.


Clear out the way you daft old hoss
If that's the best crack you've found,
Whilst I go find some work to do,
Dare I say, underground.


And in comes I, a Government man,
And work I've got for all.
I've a job for you as well young man,
Caretaker of Parliament Hall.

By gum lad, the job will just do me fine,
In hard work I'll take my part,
Now tell me what you will want me to do,
But better still, when can I start?

You're a very keen fellow, though the job it ain't much,
Just washing the bogs clean and bright,
And cleaning the pews when no-one is there –
Which means you've some work in the night.


Well this job is lovely in Parliament Hall,
The night work it seems quite a boon,
In future I hear we'll have women in t'house,
So I'll set up t'hall's first powder room.

So with Harpic and brush old Guy Fawkes set forth
With vigour and Vim he was free,
But alas and alack his head it was turned,
He fell in with flash company.

Now King James he did inspect me work,
But he moaned a bit because,
On returning from the lav he remarked,
The bog roll is too coarse.

Now I've never liked this King of ours,
For me he's none too hot,
And after he'd moaned about me work,
I thought of the Gunpowder Plot.

So here in a cellar under the Lords,
I've powder in barrel and drum,
And when he sits down on his chair in the House
I'll blow him to Kingdom come.


In comes I, the Guard of the House,
By rumour we've heard there's a plot,
Of Commons and Lords we've heard there's a man,
With plans to blow up the lot.

And what have we here in cellars below?
There's barrels of thirty or more,
Either somebody's planning to blow the place up,
Or booze themselves into the floor.

And Mr.Guy Fawkes, why these barrels are here?
Do you think you could give me a reason?
I was making a garden in t' cellar you see,
And I'd use 'em to plant some small trees in.

So it's treason you say, you'll blow the place up,
Of the King there'll be left not a bit.
Oh that's done it now, what a daft bloke I am,
I've put me foot right in the fertilizer.

So come on with me, it's the tower for you,
Of torture there'll be quite a lot.
After twenty four hours of Crossroads you'll name
All your mates in the Gunpowder Plot.

So Guy Fawkes away to the Tower is led,
In his chains he is locked firm and tight,
And as time passes by we will never forget
That very first mischievous night.

But on January the sixth old Guy Fawkes was burnt,
You'll see there's a little time lag.
We remember Guy Fawkes on November the fifth
So it misses the Folk Club Plough Jag.



Cast List:

Narrator: John Baker

Guy Fawkes: Mo Ogg

Horse: Ralph Tomlins

Civil Servant: Dave Barlow

Guard: John Walker