Poetic Spotlight: Remember, Remember the Fifth of November

The rebel Guy Fawkes, by George Cruikshank. Image care of Wikimedia Commons.

I put off the poetic spotlight for a few days this time around for two-fold reasons. First of all, I was much too excited about the maps announcement for my upcoming novel earlier this week – and second, I thought it would be all too appropriate to wait for the fifth. Why? Well, of course it’s all in the title my good readers – a little English folk song for you to entertain yourself with.

The lyrics, revolving around the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, in which Guy Fawkes and a number of co-conspirators attempted to blow up the English Parliament. The event, remembered in the tune, but more recently popularized by the movie V for Vendetta, is often heralded as a sign of people’s movements against corrupt or dictatorial powers. So without further adieu…

Remember, remember the fifth of November

Gunpowder, treason and plot

I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason

Should ever be forgot

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, ’twas his intent

To blow up the King and the Parliament

Three score barrels of powder below

Poor old England to overthrow

By God’s providence he was catched

With a dark lantern and burning match

Holloa boys, holloa boys

God save the King!

Hip hip hooray!

Hip hip hooray!


2 thoughts on “Poetic Spotlight: Remember, Remember the Fifth of November

  1. I was just reading about this elsewhere–very cool Chris. And excellent to hear you got your maps. They look very professional.

  2. Having lived with Guy Fawkes Night throughout my life, where we burn him in effigy on our bonfires, I was deeply troubled to find out that the fireworks and bonfires we have as a celebration are because he was caught and executed and not because he nearly managed to blow up the Houses of Parliament.

    When we were children my friends and I used to make Guys out of our old mothers’ tights and old clothes and parade them round the neighbourhood in wheelbarrows chanting ‘Penny for the Guy’. People even give us money.

    I haven’t seen anyone doing it years. I guess it wouldn’t be tolerated these days.

    Good luck with the novel!

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