In comes I, Old Father Christmas.
Welcome or Welcome not,
I hope Old Father Christmas,
Will never be forgot.
The opening lines of a traditional folk play, at one time well known throughout the county. These folk plays have different names according to where in the country you live, hoodening, souling, pace egging, guising, ploughjags and mummers. In Gloucestershire they are called mumming plays and the players are mummers.
The play is usually performed around Christmas time and features a number of characters, dressed in outlandish garb. The script is short, comic and in an antiquated rhyme. The plot is sometimes obscure, but at times it can be very modern with topical references.
History of Mummers
Mumming in Gloucestershire
Calendar of mummers performances 2011