I can just about remember (I suppose it must have been in the late 50’s) my Dad waking me up one evening as we had visitors outside who were Souling and Guizing.
They were all dressed up, men as women, some “blacked up” and some in character clothes. I can’t remember anything else except the first line of the song they sang.
Red Stockings, Blue Garters
My shoes are made of leather……
After publishing this in the Parish News, Mr Roy Knight pointed out to me that actually the shoes were made of silver and proceeded to sing the full verse to me. I am going to record this for posterity.
Additionally Mr Frank Simcock also let me know via his niece who wrote the following down. He also said he could remember singing the Guizing song to me when I was little!
Souling was done in the morning for an apple, pear, plum a cherry or even a slice of cake.
Soul a Soul a soul cake,
Pray good missus a soul cake
Give me an apple and ill be gone
One for Peter, two for Paul
Three for them who made us all
Put your hands in your pockets
Pull out your bright keys
Go down to the cellar
Bring up what you please
An apple a pear a plum or a cherry
Anything good that will make us all merry
Guizing was done at night
I have a little money box under my arm
Penny or tuppence would do it no harm
Threpence or fourpence would do it some good
The best little money box made of wood
Red Stockings Blue Garters
My shoes are laced with silver
A red Rosette upon my chest
And a guinea gold ring on my finger.
Hop hop hop to the butchers shop
I dare not stay any longer
For if i do my ma will say
I’ve been with the lads over yonder
Christmas is coming and the Pigs are getting fat
Will you put a penny in the old man’s hat If you havn’t got a penny a halfpenny will do
If you havne’t got a halfpenny then God bless you.
We are two or three hearty lads all in one line
We all come a guizing till this time next year
Fantastic stuff all that!