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Transcripts count: 129
  1. Christmas Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    John Mc Grane
    Age
    13

    The mummers dance is held on the week It is held in a neighboring house or sometimes in a hall. The mummers themselves and people that they invite attend it. The people buy the Christmas cake in a shop or get one as a present.

  2. Christmas Mummers

    Language
    English

    Xmas, without its "Mummers", would be anything but the jolly season it is in this neighbourhood. Making their appearance about three weeks before the Great Day these merry-makers are looked forward to and welcomed by all.

    Each townland in the district has its band of Mummers composed of some six to ten young lads aged from ten to twenty years. When the day's work is over they meet at some previously selected centre, all dressed up for the occasion, and set out on their rounds often accompanied by a dozen or more admirers who, however, take no part in the "performance" given by the Mummers but remain outside the houses while their heroes are inside disporting themselves. Old and discarded female attire is mostly worn by the Mummer, it being no unusual sight to see " King George " or " Oliver Cromwell " arrayed in his mother's or " big " sister's skirt and cloak that have seen their best days. Boot polish, soot, or more commonly a " false " face(?) hides the identity of the character while a head dress consisting of an old cap, caubeen, or immense cone-shaped hat of paper, completes the outfit.
    Arrived in the vicinity of a house the Mummers approach the door as silently as possible lest they alarm the occupants or provoke the displeasure of an all too keen watchdog. A gentle knock and admission is gained. Once inside all restraint vanishes. With a " Room!, room! gallant boys " or a " Here comes I " the leader chants his rhyme gesticulating the while

  3. New Year's Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Mary Conlon
    Informant
    Conlon

    New Year's Day is another great feast and it falls on the 1st January. It is a Holiday of Obligation and it occurs during the Twelve Days of Christmas. Numerous crowds of men called "Mummers" go out on that day and they go around from house to house singing and dancing and gathering money. It is only the big men that disguise themselves, who are called "Mummers."

  4. Local Customs on Festival Days

    Language
    English
    Collector
    J. Brogan
    Informant
    Tom Seaver

    With the feast of Christmas we have the "Mummering". It begins on St. Stephen's night and ends on Twelfth night. The boys have a great many rhymes:- The little devil, The wren, Tom fool, The doctor, Prince George and Room rhyme.
    Here comes I room rhyme brave gallant boys give us room to rhyme "Activity" in and "Activity" out the like was never acted in a gentle man's state, the sound of a horn the beat of a drum, we are the "mummers" that are to come, we are the mummers that walk the street, we are the mummers that beat all we meet. I and four more bet four score curse, swore, tattered and tore, the devil the like of a beaten they ever got in all their lives before.
    Little devil in, little devil out, chawing tobacco in my mouth too much for one too little for two what the devil shall I do. Money I want and money I crave if you don't give me money I'll put you all

  5. Christmas Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Maureen Mc Cormack

    About two weeks before Christmas the “mummers” call at the houses in this district. Then they continue calling to different

  6. Festival Customs

    Language
    English

    At Christmas and for two weeks previous to the Feast itself “Mummers” are out on their rounds. Each townland has its own set of “Mummers” The boys some fourteen or fifteen of them, assemble in some house where they dress in their gruesome costumes. They are assisted by the young ladies of the neighbourhood who help to make the costumes. Each young man assumes the charater of some famous personage. There is the Captain and a Doctor, Prince George, Jack Straw Beelzebub. The women and the Lady. The Captain is the first to enter with great boldness and bravado. His rhyme is “Room, room gallant room give me room to say my rhyme to show my action coming in this Christmas time, Active young or active aged the like never was asked on a stage If you don’t believe what I say enter in Prince George and clear the way. Prince George enters. Here comes I Prince George from England I have sprung. I have been in war for seven years and

  7. Féilí na Bliana

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Sarah Sweeney
    Informant
    D. Sweeney
    Age
    42

    A few weeks before Christmas people dress up and go round the houses looking for money and these are known as mummers.

  8. The Mummers

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Pádraig Ó Lionnáin

    Mumming is a very old custom in this part of the country. In the month of November when all the work is done five or six boys get together they learn the mummers rhyme and they dress themselves up in old clothes and they paint their faces so that they would not be known.
    Then they go around from district to district on bicycles collecting money, when they have a lot of money collected they hold a mummers dance on St Stephens night they buy food for the dance and they dress themselves

  9. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Peggie Nally
    Informant
    Nally
    Informant
    Nally

    did not believe in God, caught him and stoned him to death.
    On that day all the boys dress up in funny old clothes and go around from house to house singing and dancing and trying to get money from the people. These people are called the wren boys.

    The Mummers' Day.
    The Mummers' Day falls on New Year's Day. On that day the small boys and the big boys dress up in old clothes and go out from house to house dancing and singing and nearly always they get money from the people. These boys are called the Mummers.
    Shrove Tuesday. A lot of people

  10. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Moira Mc Girr
    Informant
    Mrs Mc Girr

    people about twenty or thirty years over these events is almost gone. They are treated now as everyday happenings.
    Xmas is the last Feast of the year. A month before the feast, we see signs of its approach. In this district we have no wren boys as in other places, Instead we have Mummers. Mummers are the young boys of the place who gather up together, dress themselves in old clothes, cover up their faces, put on tall hats, and go out to gather money for a big night around Christmas. These boys each play a different part, they have a Rhyme suitable for each. They go into the houses as follows. First man to enter calls himself Room. He says
    “Here comes I room give me room to rhyme Till I show you some activity about this christmas time. With my pockets full of money and my barrels full of beer

  11. Féilí na Bliana

    Language
    Irish
    Collector
    Nóra Nic Giolla Ceara
    Informant
    Seán Mac Giolla Ceara
    Age
    54

    Téigheann na "Mummers" amach achan bliadhain ag Nodlag. Téigeann siad thart ó teach go teach san oidhche ag rádh ramhnas agus ag ceól agus gnídheann cuid aca damhsa. Béireann na daoine sa thoig airgead dóbhtha fosta.

    Ocht gclaigne de buachaillí óga a téigeann amach. Bíonn siad gleasta i léinteacha bána agus hátaí móra árda le achan seort sibiní agus páipéir de achan dath air an háta. Bíonn claidheamh déanta as amuid le achan fear aca. Bíonn duine de na Mummers na doctúir aca. Bíonn seisean gleasta i gcóta agus háta dubh agus bata leis agus aghaidh bhréagach air. Leanann a léir daoine iad ó teac go theach. Agus nuair a bíonn deireadh na dtoighe déanta aca, beireann siad damhsa i sgiobal éigin. Agus béireann siad tae do acan duine ag an damhsa.

  12. Mummers' Rhymes

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Elma Nelson

    About a dozen of people meet together at Xmas time and go about from house to house singing songs and saying rhymes. The people are called Mummers or Moonlighters. They are a very common band especially in the north.
    Mummering is unlawful and these young people have to ask permission from the Garda or police and give their word that will be of good behaviour.
    Mummers are dressed in all sorts of rediculous clothes and paper hats and one playing the roll of Jack Straw has sheaf of corn on his head. The people in the house which they visit give them a piece

  13. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Rita Mc Guire
    Age
    16
    Informant
    (name not given)

    There are different customs carried out in this district at every feast during the year. On St. Stephen's day it is the general custom that all the boys of the district go out in the morning and hunt the wren until night. When night comes they gather together again in some neighbouring house and prepare to go out. They got a few sheaves[?] of straw and make big straw hats that will fall down over their eyes and faces so that they so that they wont be known, when they go into the houses. then they get a fife or some musical instrument and off they start for the nearest house where they go to as "Wren boys" or "mummers," to dance and sing for a few minutes and when they are leaving the man of the house gives them some money and on they go to the next house, to do the same thing over again until they have visited every house in the district. Then they count all their money and if they get a fairly decent amount they agree to get up a dance in some house known as the "mummers join"[?]
    On the eve of St. Bridgets Day it is the

  14. Mumming

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Kathleen T. Clancy

    There are two different types of mummers. One of these types was very common in my father's youth but it is not to be seen nowadays. Mumming is indeed a very old Irish custom. The mummers go around from house to house in the country. They receive a warm welcome from the household who have invited them to act their interesting play. The captain enters, taps the door with his sword as a warning to the quests that the mummers are about to begin. They march around in a circle first. Then they form a figure. Captain says.
    I hope you will good order keep.
    And strict attention pay.
    And listen to those heroes.
    And what they have got to say.
    The first he is the bold Prince George Great fortune on him smile.
    The next he is Saint Patrick. The patron of our Isle.
    Next comes Boneparte,
    Lord Wellington comes next

  15. Féilí na Bliana

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Laetitia Coll
    Informant
    E. Coll
    Age
    50

    In this parish before Christmas we have what is called mummers:- A group of usually six boys dress up in disquise and they take a fiddle, a melodeon and drums and go round the houses and perform in every house. Sometimes one is dressed up as "Jack Straw". He has a high

  16. Festival Customs - The Mummers

    Language
    English
    Collector
    May Mc Mahon
    Informant
    Norman Jackson
    Age
    25

    The Mummers are a number of boys who go round to all the houses a week before Xmas.

    They get money from everyone and then they divide it among themselves. Then they go and drink it. The sing songs and dance. When they come to the door they say, “Is there any admittance for Xmas mummers?” They have long cone shaped hats covered with cloth, and ribbons round the rim of them to hide their faces. Some of them have on womens’ skirts.
    They all have rhymes to say when they come in. The first one who comes in, says, “Room, room my gallant boys give me room to rhyme, for now its come near the Christmas time, If you don’t believe me what I say, I’ll call in Prince George and he’ll soon clear the way”.
    Then enters Prince George and says, “Here comes I, Prince George, I fed my horse on oats and hay for seven years and run away, If you don’t believe me what I say, I’ll call in Jack straw and he’ll soon

  17. Festival Customs

    Language
    English

    There are many customs at Christmas such as "mummers". The mummers dress in very funny clothes and put paper hats on their heads.
    They go about on Christmas night. They collect money and divide it among themselves and sometimes give a dance. When they go to a house they sing a song or act.
    There are customs for shrove Tuesday also such as making pan-cakes.
    There are customs for Easter too such as making Easter houses. Children make Easter houses at Easter time. The houses are made of sods and timber. A pipe is put up through the roof for the chimney. The children boil eggs on Easter Day. There are customs for St Patrick's day such as wearing shamrocks. At Hallowe'en

  18. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Michael Browne
    Informant
    Mr Patrick Gallen,
    local name
     Dan

    The mummers around this district about two weeks before Christmas. They go to some house and dress themselves. They start out when it gets dark, and go round the house until bedtime.
    The following are the names of the mummers.
    Father Christmas, Prince George, Prince Patrick, Doctor Browne, Big Head, Beljie-Bub, Jack-straw, Devils-dout, Master man of the play, and New-year boy.
    When Father Christmas comes into the house he says-
    “Here comes I old Father Christmas. When I come I bring good joy. It was acted on stages and acted on floors, but it never will be acted better than it will be acted inside your door.

  19. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Patrick Carlin
    Informant
    William T. Carlin

    There are a great many festival customs celebrated in this district. The best known of them all is the mummers.

    The mummers come around about a week or a fortright [?] before Christmas. They are a gathering of about thirteen young active men of the district. They have hats covered with all colours [sic] of paper. These strips cover the face.
    Each one of them fas [?] a rhyme of his own to learn. They come in one by one and say their rhymes.
    When they have all finished their rhymes they sing a song. Then the people of the house give them about threepence or sixpence

  20. New Year's Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Mary Hynes
    Informant
    Mr Patrick Hynes
    Age
    38

    gather money and they are called mummers. It is a custom that people ring bells to ring out the old year, and to ring in the new year.