How have I never heard this poem before? My brother and my aunt have their birthday on the Fifth of November, so it’s a day that has been celebrated in my household as long as I have been around. So how have I never heard this poem until this year? One of the benefits of the internet? Is it because I’m not English that I’ve never heard it before? Is it because I now follow a lot of British folk on Twitter that I heard it finally this year?
Anyway, its in reference to Guy Fawkes, a traitor who was publicly and horrifically executed for his treason in 1605. Yearly they burn effigies of him to remember the biggest traitor in their history. I’ve heard of Guy Fawkes day and now I will forever put the two together.
The version as reproduced from the Tower of London archive
Remember, remember the fifth of November,
gunpowder, treason and plot,
I see 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, make the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
Hip hip hoorah!