What ho! What ho! Make room for Mummers! We are nearing St George's day and as a traditional custom mummers plays will be happening around the country. These are folk performances that tell the story of life, death and rebirth through the year. Although not the normal story of St George I wanted to bring this custom into the nursery.
I took a small group out to the paddock and performed the play using hats and small props to represent the different characters. The children loved it and wanted to join in so we journeyed many miles back to the Den and brought the tale to the rest of the group...
The King of Egypt's daughter was a guest in Turkey land A comely maid so full of grace, she laughed and danced and ran While walking through the woods one day a dreadful dragon caught her Oh what a dire and doomy fate for the King of Egypt's daughter
Princess: Oh good sir Dragon I beg of you, please do not devour me! My father is the King of Egypt and he will slaughter thee!
Dragon: Kings of Egypt, Kings of Spain, they all will do no good For I am stronger than all these and I will shed their blood I am the mighty Dragon, I roam around from town to town And everyone admires me, my fame spreads far and wide My scales they sparkle in the sun, with tongues of fire I have such fun Oh don't you see I'm a handsome beast, of dragons I'm the best!
There now arrives upon the scene a local lad With tin foil armour and saucepan hat, not bad Per say but certainly not brave... or strong... or heroic
Bold Slasher: In comes I, Bold Slasher by name and by trade I will kill the dragon and save the maid From tooth and claw, firey jaw and thee Good Dragon will be eating fish soup with a straw for tea
Bold Slasher was ready, he pulled his foil closer Pushed his pan down upon his head But up and down came the dragon's foot And SQUASH Bold Slasher was dead (boo) There now upon the scene arrives a gallant knight of old His name is George, he's 8 foot tall and bears a trusty sword
George: "In comes I, George the bold a noble knight or so I'm told I have come across the sea from foreign lands to fight To face the firey dragon and guide him to the slaughter And by such means I will win the King of Egypt's daughter Where now is the Dragon that dares to bid me stand? My head is made of cannon balls, my body's made of steel My arms and legs of the first class brass, I challenge to to feel
Dragon: I am the Dragon that dares to bid you stand At the end of the fight your blood will stain the land
They fought four hours on a long summer's day George he struck and wouldn't run away But alas and alack from one single blow George's sword broke: Oh No! And George lay on the ground, the dragon over him The princess crept up with a long silverpin She hit the dragon over the head And down he fell, the dragon was dead
George: Hooray, Huzzah! We're free and last! But woe for my foes, we cannot leave them here To rot in the hot sun, we may need them next year Is there a doctor in this world to be found Who can cure them of their deadly wounds? Come in Doctor Quack!
In came the doctor to play his part With a little drop on the head A little drop on the heart Arise Bold Slasher and take your part And now for the Dragon but you must promise to be good No more people, just fresh fish for your food With a little drop on the head A little drop on the heart Arise good Dragon and take your part
And that is the end of our little play But you will see us all again another day
Straight after, as you would expect, and for the rest of the session the play was based around this story (with special emphasis on swords and dragons!) I loved watching so many of the group enjoying a tradition that is centuries old and bringing their own, fresh, edge to it... after all, that's what tradition is all about!
Happy days of Easter and St George