The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Christmas Play of Saint George

As Represented in Cornwall


Source: William Sandys, Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (London: Richard Beckley, 1833)



Father Christmas Turkish Knight
The Doctor The Dragon
Saint George The Giant Turpin
King of Egypt  


    Enter the Turkish Kniqht.
Open your doors, and let me in,
I hope your favors I shall win;
Whether I rise or whether I fall,
Iíll do my best to please you all.
St. George is here, and swears he will come in,
And, if he does, I know heíll pierce my skin.
If you will not believe what I do say,
Let Father Christmas come inóclear the way,

    Enter Father Christmas.
Here come I, old Father Christmas,
    Welcome, or welcome not,
I hope old Father Christmas
    Will never be forgot.

I am not come here to laugh or to jeer,
But for a pocketfull of money, and a skinfull of beer.
If you will not believe what I do say,
Come in the King of Egyptóclear the way.

    Enter the King of Egypt.
Here I, the King of Egypt, boldly do appear,
St. George, St. George, walk in, my only son and heir.
Walk in, my son St. George, and boldly act thy part,
That all the people here may see thy wondírous art.

    Enter Saint George.
Here come I, St. George, from Britain did I spring,
Iíll fight the Dragon bold, my wonders to begin.
Iíll clip his wings, he shall not fly;
Iíll cut him down, or else I die.

    Enter the Dragon.
Whoís he that seeks the Dragonís blood,
And calls so angry, and so loud?
That English dog, will he before me stand?
Iíll cut him down with my courageous hand.
With my long teeth, and scurvy jaw,
Of such Iíd break up half a score,
And stay my stomach, till Iíd more.

[St. George and the Dragon fight, the latter is killed.

    Father Christmas.
Is there a doctor to be found
    All ready, near at hand,
To cure a deep and deadly wound,
    And make the champion stand?

Enter Doctor.
Oh! yes, there is a doctor to be found
    All ready, near at hand,
To cure a deep and deadly wound,
    And make the champion stand.

Fa. Chri. What can you cure?

Doctor. All sorts of diseases,
Whatever you pleases,
The phthisic, the palsy, and the gout;
If the devilís in, Iíll blow him out.

Fa. Chri. What is your fee?

Doctor. Fifteen pound, it is my fee,
The money to lay down.
But, as Ďtis such a rogue as thee,
I cure for ten pound.
I carry a little bottle of alicumpane,
Here Jack, take a little of my flip flop,
Pour it down thy tip top,
Rise up and fight again.

[The Doctor performs his cure, the fight is renewed, and the Dragon again killed.

    Saint George.
Here am I, St. George,
That worthy champion bold,
And with my sword and spear
Iwon three crowns of gold.
I fought the fiery dragon,
And brought him to the slaughter; By that I won fair Sabra,
The King of Egyptís daughter.
Where is the man, that now will me defy?
Iíll cut his giblets full of holes, and make his buttons fly.

    The Turkish Knight advances.
Here come I, the Turkish Knight,
Come from the Turkish land to fight.
Iíll fight Saint George, who is my foe,
Iíll make him yield before I go;
He brags to such a high degree,
He thinks thereís none can do the like of he.

Saint George.
Where is the Turk, that will before me stand?
Iíll cut him down with my courageous hand.

[They fight, the Knight is overcome,
and falls on one knee.

    Turkish Knight.
Oh! pardon me, St. George, pardon of thee I crave,
Oh ! pardon me this night, and I will be thy slave.

    Saint George.
No pardon shalt thou have, while I have foot to stand,
So rise thee up again, and fight out sword in hand.

[They fight again, and the Knight is killed,
Father Christmas calls for the Doctor, with
whom the same dialogue occurs as before,
and the cure is performed.

    Enter the Giant Turpin.
Here come I, the Giant, bold Turpin is my name,
And all the nations round do tremble at my fame.
Whereíer I go, they tremble at my sight,
No lord or champion long with me would fight.

    Saint George.
Hereís one that dares to look thee in the face,
And soon will send thee to another place.

[They fight, and the Giant is killed, medical
aid is called in as before, and the cure per-
formed by the Doctor, who then, according
to the stage direction, is given a basin of
girdy grout, and a kick, and driven out.

    Father Christmas.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, your sport is most ended.
So prepare for the hat, which is highly commended.
The hat it would speak, if it had but a tongue.
Come throw in your money, and think it no wrong.

Editor's Note:

See Christmas Play of St. George and the Dragon (1852)

Public Domain Recording:

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