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These traditional poems used to be sung every year to mark the anniversary of the gunpowder plot, although most people still remember the first line, the full poem is rarely seen or used in modern times.

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up King and Parli'ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's 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!


Another version of this poem is:

Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason, why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
Remember, remember, the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot!
A stick or a stake for King James' sake
Will you please to give us a faggot
If you can't give us one, we'll take two;
The better for us and the worse for you!


Here is another poem which used to be sung every year, but is not often heard nowadays as it is considered a bit gruesome:

A penny loaf to feed the Pope
A farthing o' 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.
Hip hip hoorah!
Hip hip hoorah hoorah!


Some traditional schoolyard rhymes, which are also a bit grisly:

Build a bonfire, build a bonfire,
Put the teacher on the top,
Put the prefect in the middle,
And we'll burn the bloomin' lot.
Don't you Remember,
The Fifth of November
'Twas Gunpowder Treason Day,
I let off my gun,
And made 'em all run,
And stole all their Bonfire away.
Guy, guy, guy
Poke him in the eye,
Put him on the bonfire,
And there let him die.
Rumour, rumour, pump and derry,
Prick his heart and burn his body,
And send his soul to Purgatory.

There's a plot to beguile
An obstinate isle.
Great Britain that heretic nation.
Why so slyly behav'd
in the hopes to be saved
By the help of the curs'd reformation.

There's powder enough
And combustible stuff
In thirty and odd trusty barrels,
We'll send them together
The Lord can tell whither
And decide at one blow all their quarrels.

When the King and his son
And the parliament's gone
And the people are left in the lurch
Things will take their old station
In the curs'd nation-
And I'll be the head of the Church.

Authors unknown

If you know any Bonfire Night Poems and would like to share them with other Guy Fawkes fanatics, please get in touch.



Learning Centre

The Evolution of Fireworks
Bastille Day
Chinese New Year
History of Gun Powder
Gunpowder Plot
James VI
Plotters and Conspirators
The Lords
Firework Glossary
Traditional Recipes