Folk .Wales

The Aberdare mummers' play


(Passed on by Paul Tarrant. It was sent to him by Howard Godfrey, who obtained it from the Ordish collection of folk plays.)


The following was sent to Mr E H Binney enclosed in a letter from Mr George Thomas, 20 College Street, Aberdare, dated January 1, 1902 as the local version:





Master of Ceremonies

King George

Jack Ding-a-Ling, follower of Robin Hood




MASTER OF CEREMONIES opens the door and steps inside:

I open the door and enter in

And soon the battle will begin.

Stir up the fire and make it bright

For in this room will be a gallant fight.

If you don't believe the words I say,

Step in, King George, and clear the way.


KING GEORGE enters: Here step I;

King George is my name.

My father killed a thousand men

And I intend to do the same.


JACK DING-A-LING enters: Here step I, Jack Ding-a-Ling;

From the corner I did spring.

My blood is hot, my temper good,

I mean to fight for Robin Hood.

Pull out your purse and pay,

Pull out your sword and fight;

I'll have my satisfaction

Before I go away.


(King George and Jack Ding-a-Ling fight. One is wounded).


MASTER OF CEREMONIES: Is there any doctor to be found?


DOCTOR enters: Yes.


MASTER OF CEREMONIES: By what travels?


Italy, Sicily, France and Spain,

All over England and home again.


(Doctor dresses wounds. Enter Belzebubb).


BELZEBUBB: Here step I, Belzebubb

On my shoulder I carry my club.

In my hand the frying pan

Am I not a jolly old man?


(Collection: Exeunt all.)


Extract of letter from Mr George Thomas: "The parts are taken by a band of boys. They perform in public houses, sometimes in private houses. The play seems to me to be a corruption of something more elaborate."




Mick Tems

Telephone 01443 206689

Mobile 07531 812100

Email (click) Mick Tems

A site by GrEW Media

Copyright © 2015 FolkWales. All Rights Reserved