A Conversation for Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night

Is that what the poem means?

Post 1


The article quotes a short bit that goes:

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot,
We see no reason,
Why gunpowder treason,
Should ever be forgot!

Is there more to it? The researcher implies that this may be meant as support for GF; but it could easily be taken the other way, could it not?

It sounds as if the chanter is saying that treason should not be forgotten (as history tends to repeat itself, if not remembered).

Just wondering if there is more to the doggerel.

smiley - towel

Is that what the poem means?

Post 2


Guy Fawkes celebrations have always had two sides. That is one reason the holiday has survived throughout changes in government and in governing philosophy. This is because both the king and the parliament can claim that they were delivered and saved by god. So whoever was in power they could still celebrate!
There is a certain amount of "people power" in the celebration. The thought that people could always ignite the powder that guy was not able to.

There are many many chants. We created the first comprehensive book of them. More information from


CBsmiley - ale

Is that what the poem means?

Post 3



New to all this but couldn't resist replying on this one.
The full rhyme is a bit more enlightening:

Remember, remember the 5th 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 Parliament
Three score barrels of powder below, Poor old England to overthrow
By God's providence he was catched, with a dark lantern and burning match
Holloa Boys Holloa, Make the Bells ring, Holloa Boys Holloa, God Save the King.

It's not celebrating Guy Fawkes but the 'discovery' and foiling of the gunpowder plot.

Is that what the poem means?

Post 4


There is more to it than that. The second verse goes like this :-

A penny load to feed the Pope
A farthing of 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 old Pope is dead

Not surprising as it was originally an effigy of the Pope that was burned on the bonfires, and only later that of Guy Fawkes

Is that what the poem means?

Post 5


Okay.. time to point out a few Facts..

The Complete chant is:

Remember, Remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder treason and plot.
I see no reason Why gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, guy, t'was his intent
To blow up king and parliament.
Three score barrels were laid below
To prove old England's overthrow.
By god's mercy he was catch'd
With a darkened lantern and burning match.
Holla boys, holla boys, Let the bells ring.
Holla boys, holla boys, God save the king.

So far, all that has been said here (including that bit about the Pope) is from the 'lewis' bonfire's version. As a member of the Battle Bonfire Boyes (the Largest and Oldest Bonfire Society in england, dating back to alest 1686) i felt it would be good for someone to informat people of the comman mistake.. I will also like to comment that Lewis Bonfire (often said to be the largest) has 6 societys which each hold there event and then meet up, thus making Battle the largest Single Event. If you work out the figures, we have more people turn up for 1 societys event then it works out for each of theres on there own.

The Pope Effigy is a Lewis thing which dates back to an event in there local history and is still done today.

If you wish any more information either ask or go to http://www.battlebonfire.co.uk

Is that what the poem means?

Post 6


Have just read the above comments by GeneStarwind and really can't agree. I dont wish to get into an argument about who is the oldest Bonfire Society in the World (and having used the link to the Battle Bonfire website, I am not at all convinced that they even know how old their society is), but apart from that the so called 'facts' quoted couldnt be further from the truth !!

Firstly, I think he/she refers to Lewes in East Sussex and not Lewis which as far as I know is in Scotland and doesn't have a bonfire celebration. If that is the case, then they have clearly not attended Bonfire Night in Lewes and seen some of the individual celebrations. The comment that the Lewes Societies each hold their own event then meet up is not strictly true. There is a United Procession at one point in the night which most, but not all, of the Societies join in with, but the individual processions of either Cliffe Bonfire Society or Commercial Square Bonfire Society are both considerably larger than Battle in their own right. The Cliffe furthermore have no connection with the United Procession and carry out their celebrations totally independently. The numbers at both the Battle celebrations and those in Lewes are swelled by visiting societies from around Sussex , and furthermore, as Battle hold their celebrations on the nearest saturday to 5th November, it would also be true to say, that when 5th November falls on any other day of the week, the numbers at Battle are hugely increased by visiting Bonfire Boys and Girls from Lewes.
As for the Pope effigy being a 'Lewes thing' dating back to an event in local history - well I am sorry but that is just rubbish. You had better go and look in your history books. There were effigies of the Pope being burned all round the country, its just that nowadays it is too easy to jump on the politically correct bandwaggon and forget some of the old traditions of Bonfire.

I'm not putting Battel Bonfire Boyes down in any way, they are a great bunch of people, and they celebrate in style, it's just a pity that this one seems to want to rewrite not only facts but history itself !!!

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