The Mummer’s Song

Don’t seem like Christmas if the mummers are not here, Granny would say as she knit in her chair. But on a cold, clear Newfoundland night shortly after Christmas, several outlandishly costumed mummers do appear and Granny’s house suddenly erupts in a burst of joking and tomfollery, raucous singing and exuberant dancing. Granny and her two young charges are instantly caught up in the merriment,  When the evening’s festivities come to a close, the mummers are bid a fond farewell until next year.

Popular singer Bud Davidage wrote “The Mummer’s Song” as a tribute to a centuries-old custom in danger of disappearing.  Since its publication in 1973, it has fostered a revival of mummering, as noted author and Newfoundland son Kevin Major points out in his afterword.  The sparkling illustrations in this picture book adaptation are by the well-known Canadian artist Ian Wallace.

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