The fifth of November,
Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!
Guy Fawkes and his companions
Did the scheme contrive,
To blow the King and Parliament
All up alive.
Threescore barrels, laid below,
To prove old England’s overthrow.
But, by God’s providence, they catch’d ‘im,
With a dark lantern, lighting a match!
A stick and a stake
For Ol’ King James’s sake!
The better for me,
And the worse for you.
There he’ll stand,
whilst we’ll watch him burning!
A pint of beer to wash it down,
And a jolly good fire to burn him.
Holloa, girls! holloa, boys! make the bells ring!
Holloa, boys! holloa girls! God save the King!
Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray! Hip, Hip!
This is the poem we were taught at primary school, though I had to really try hard to remember the rest of the lines since all I could remember was first lines upto ‘should never be forgot’ and then I remember as they put the guy up on the bofire we’d all shout out: ‘Burn Him! Burn Him! Burn Him!’
Looking back it all seems a little barbaric – but tradition stands and across the country tonight and saturday people will be having bonfires and fireworks – though I always wonder how many know the true reason behind it.