All Things Green Man & The Traditional Jack-in-the-Green

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Twelfth Night Celebrations Sunday 6th January 2019

Twelth Night

If you need to escape the post Christmas and New Year blues I would highly recommend the Twelfth Night celebrations on Bankside outside Shakespeare’s Globe starting at 2pm on Sunday 6th January 2019.

Twelfth Night is an annual seasonal celebration held in the Bankside area of London. It is a celebration of the New Year, mixing ancient seasonal customs with contemporary festivity. It is free, accessible to all and happens whatever the weather.

To herald the celebration, the extraordinary Holly Man the Winter guise of the Green Man (and an honorary member of The Company of the Green Man) decked in fantastic green garb and evergreen foliage is piped over the River Thames, with the devil Beelzebub.

With the crowd by Shakespeare’s Globe, led by the Bankside Mummers and the London Beadle, the Holly Man will ‘bring in the green’ and toast or ‘wassail’ the people, the River Thames and the Globe (an old tradition encouraging good growth).

Mummers will then process to the Bankside Jetty, and perform the traditional ‘freestyle’ St. George Folk Combat Play, featuring the Turkey Sniper, Clever Legs, the Old ‘Oss and many others, dressed in spectacular costumes. The play is full of wild verse and boisterous action, a time-honoured part of the season recorded since the Crusades.

Cakes distributed at the end of the play have a bean and a pea hidden in two of them. Those from the crowd who find them are hailed King and Queen for the day and crowned with ceremony.

They then lead the people through the streets to the historic George Inn Southwark, for a fine warming-up with the Fowlers Troop, Storytelling, the Kissing Wishing Tree, Dancing and Mulled Wine.

If you go please do take some pictures and send them to me for the blog and if possible perhaps send me a short piece on your experience for the next e-newsletter

You can find more details via the Lions Part website below:

Twelfth Night Celebrations

Snow Dance – Sian Jamison

 

The above is reproduced with kind permission from Sian Jamison’s wonderful poetry book “The Green Man.”

More poems from the book will feature in our newsletter and on our blog throughout the coming seasons.

You can find out more about Sian and her work as well as purchase The Green Man CD, songbook and poetry book at sj-music.co.uk

Happy New year to all of our followers and members, here’s to a splendid 2019!

Yuletide Greetings

Salisbury Cathedral Copyright © The Company of the Green Man

Wishing all members and followers of The Company of the Green Man a Very Merry Yule. My thanks to everyone for all the contributions and support during 2018.

Here is a picture of my favourite seasonal Green Men from the roof of Salisbury Cathedral…I’m still convinced he is wearing a Santa hat!

The Green Man is Sleeping – Sian Jamison

 

The Green Man is Sleeping

 

 

The Green Man is sleeping, there’s nobody there,

The Green Man is sleeping, the trees are all bare,

The birds in the branches have all flown away,

The Green Man is sleeping, it’s cold and it’s grey.

 

The wind it is howling, like a dog without a bone,

It snarls and it gnaws the whole day long,

It snaps the limbs off suffering trees,

And pants and foams on the brining seas.

 

The Green Man he hears the noise all around,

But the clamour evades him, he’s under the ground,

He waits inert for winter to pass,

For the sun to come out and warm up the grass.

 

It’s freezing, it’s freezing, ice hangs from the roof,

But the earth binds him closer, obscuring the truth,

It’s freezing, it’s freezing, the coffin is sealed,

And we must all wait… for what will be revealed.

 

 

The above is reproduced with kind permission from Sian Jamison’s wonderful poetry book “The Green Man.”

More poems from the book will feature in our newsletter and on our blog throughout the coming seasons.

You can find out more about Sian and her work as well as purchase The Green Man CD, songbook and poetry book at sj-music.co.uk

Green Man Song Cycle

I am indebted to Sian Jamison for permission to use some of the lyrics and pictures from her wonderful poetry book “The Green Man” in our newsletter and on our blog throughout the coming seasons.  Sian wrote in the introduction to the book:

“It was written for The Green Man Festival at Mount Edgecumbe in May 2016. It celebrates and tells the story of The Green Man as he moves through the year. It was first performed as a song cycle by The Stonehouse Music School and Community Choir directed by myself.

The melodies and lyrics were all inspired by my walks at Mount Edgcumbe. This version omits the music but I feel that the songs and choral speaking stand as poems on their own.

I hope that you find your own joy in my words and that the story of the Green Man brings enlightenment, mystery and wonder into all your lives.”

You can find out more about Sian and her work as well as purchase The Green Man CD, songbook and poetry book at sj-music.co.uk

The first poem will be published here on 8th December.

Help needed to identify a Green Man

Jennie Miller & Gary Truss are regular contributors to these pages with their incredible photographs. They need help in identifying the whereabouts of this wonderful example. They can’t find details of where they photographed him in their records, but are certain that they visited Salisbury on the same trip. It could be the cathedral or somewhere else in the vicinity. If you can help please do get in touch.

Andrew Findlay – Blacksmith

Blacksmith Andrew Findlay kindly sent me this picture of an incredible Green Man that he crafted. Andrew wrote “One I made using blacksmithing techniques which I thought may be of interest. I became a blacksmith because the process of creating in the forge is spiritual, alchemical and elemental all at the same time. A magical experience. Using the transforming fire we shape a sterile, cold and hard material into beautiful and permanent organic forms.”

You can see more of Andrews work at http://www.andrew-findlay.com

e-newsletter 17 call for contributions

Our Seventeenth e-newsletter will be lovingly crafted by me over the next few months. As always I rely on the generosity of our members for the contributions that will fill the pages of our Winter 2018/19 edition.

We welcome any contribution that has a connection with the subject of The Green Man or the Jack-in-the-Green: Articles, poems, pictures, sightings, short (or long) stories, reviews, songs…etc. etc. As this year celebrates 20 years of The Company of the Green Man I would love to hear from members with their memories  of our founder Ronald Millar.

Any items for inclusion in the Winter e-newsletter should be with me by December 1st please.

A reminder that all of our e-newsletters are archived after six months and as a member you can purchase unlimited access to our Newsletter Archive for £10.95 the archive contains downloadable pdf. copies of all of the e-newsletters as well as the 27 Newsletters produced since 1998 during Ronald Miller’s Tenure as custodian of The Company of the Green Man. Just use THIS LINK or go to our blog at http://www.thecompanyofthegreenman.co.uk and click on the “How to access the Newsletter Archive” tab at the top

If you are not yet a member and would like to join The Company of the Green Man just click on the “join us” tab above and follow the instructions.

Bibliography

Our updated bibliography of books on The Green Man and The Traditional Jack-in-the-Green is available to view HERE where a downloadable copy is also available.

We welcome information on books that we have yet to source or that do not appear in our bibliography.

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