Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot

So please to remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder treason and plot;
We know no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

Paul and Darcy live on the southern outskirts of the Twin Cities, amidst pastures and trees. On a cold, very cold early November night they invited us down to eat and drink and dance and watch the bonfire.

Good gentlefolks, pray
Remember this day,
Which to your kind notice we bring;
Here's the figure of sly
Old villainous Guy,
Who wanted to murder the King:
With powder and store,
He bitterly swore,
As he skulk'd in the vault to prepare,
How the Parliament too,
By him and his crew,
Should all be blown up to the air.

Paul grew up in England, where on November 5th throughout the country the folks set off fireworks and burn the guy. He and Darcy have brought the tradition to Paul's current home. They bring not only the fire and flaming effigy, but food and friends and fun.

But James, very wise,
Did the Papists surprise,
Who plotted the cruelty great;
He guess'd their intent,
And Suffolk was sent,
Who sav'd both the kingdom and state,
With a lantern was found
Guy Fawkes under ground,
And quick was the traitor bound fast;
They said he should die---
So hang him up high,
And burn him to ashes at last.

Paul and Darcy both dance the Morris, Paul with Minnesota Traditional Morris and Darcy with the Bells of the North. For their annual celebration of Guy Fawkes day, they welcome Great Northern Border to dance by the fire. So we danced.

So we, once a year,
Go round without fear,
To keep in remembrance the day;
With assistance from you,
To bring to your view,
Guy Fawkes again blazing away!
While with crackers and fire,
In the fullest desire,
In his chair he thus merrily burns;
So jolly we'll be,
And about may you see
Of this day many happy returns.

We danced a Molly and I sang the music. When the mood and moment are just exactly right, as they were last night when I was beyond numb in the 20 degree weather, I find myself inside the music with no self-consciousness or in fact any consciousness at all. We didn't know for sure until nearly an hour into the party that we would have a full side, I had come directly from work after a long day, and I was growing cold indeed. But then we danced for a while, after which Paul stood up by the fire and recited a poem about Guy Fawkes. Paul threw the straw-stuffed guy onto the bonfire and it went up in in high dancing flames, enough to warm us for a bit. That's when we went and danced the Molly.

Then halloo boys! halloo, boys! shout and hooray!
Halloo, boys! halloo, boys! keep up the day;
Halloo, boys! halloo, boys! let the bells ring!
Halloo, boys! halloo, boys! God save the King!

We went to the barn and sang a little more, to the accompaniment of the clucking of the chickens, who were up past their bedtime because of the excitement. It was a night in Minnesota, a night in my Minnesota. This is where I live.

Remember, remember, the fifth of November,
Gunpowder treason and plot;
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
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