Nov. 4, 2007

Remember, Remember the Fifth of November

The Brits have an odd sense of fun. Someone tried to blow up Parliament four hundred years ago and it's still an occasion for merriment, bonfires and old-fashioned vandalism. And oh yes, religious bigotry;

Remember, remember, the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot ;
I know of no reason why 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 catch'd,
With a dark lantern and burning match

Holloa boys, Holloa boys, let the bells ring
Holloa boys, Holloa boys, God save the King!

Hip hip Hoorah !
Hip hip Hoorah !

A penny loaf to feed ol'Pope,
A farthing cheese to choke him.
A pint of beer to rinse it down,
A faggot of sticks to burn him.
Burn him in a tub of tar,'
Burn him like a blazing star.

Burn his body from his head,
Then we'll say: ol'Pope is dead.

traditional British Guy Fawkes Day rhyme

And now the whole thing has been given a new cachet because of the movie, V for Vendetta, which was based on a chillingly prophetic graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Wright published in 1989. Here's a relevant page from the text;

Click on the image to see a full-sized version.

Then there's this angle; there has long been the suspicion that the Gunpowder Plot was an inside job, orchestrated by Chief Minister Lord Cecil to discredit the Catholics. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Anyway, happy 5th Brits.


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