I (neurosynner) wrote in the_forge,

old st clem .. and the blacksmiths fringe

The traditional blacksmith's day in the UK is celebrated on November 23rd. It is known as "Old Clem's Night". The apprentices made an effigy of 'Old Clem', put him in a chair and carried him round the houses begging for beer and apples.

Often a journeyman would be dressed as old clem and would give a speech with words along the lines of "
I am the real Saint Clement, the first founder of brass, iron, and steel from the ore. I have been to Mount AEtna, where the god Vulcan first built his forge, and forged the armor and thunderbolts for the god Jupiter. "

After carrying Old Clem round and 'firing the anvil', the lads took him to the door of the Public Bar, had their supper.

The supper would end with the singing by the company of the blacksmith's anthem, the song Twankydillo...


Here's a health to the jolly blacksmith, the best of all fellows
Who works at his anvil while the boy blows the bellows

Which makes his bright hammer to rise and to fall
Here's to Old Cole and to Young Cole
And to Old Cole of all
Twankydillo, Twankydillo, Twankydillo-dillo-dillo-dillo
And a roaring pair of blow-pipes made from the green willow

Here's a health to the pretty boy, the one I love best
Who kindles a fire all in my own breast


If a gentleman calls his horse to be shoed
He'll make no denial of one pot or two


Here's a health from us all, to our sovereign the Queen
And to all the Royal family, whereever they're seen

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