John Speller's Web Pages The Punky Night Song

John Speller's Web Pages - Souling
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Punky Night was a Somerset tradition, celebrated in some villages on the last Thursday in October and in others at Halloween. Punky Night song, collected by local historian Cecil Gillman of Chiselborough, Somerset (1928-2007) was sung in the villages of Chiselborough and Hinton St. George. The first two verses were sung at Chiselborough, and the third verse was added at Hinton St. George. The men of Hinton St. George went to Chiselborough Fair, about 4 miles distant, and generally got very drunk. The women went to fetch them, using lanterns made from carved mangel wurzels (known as "punkies") to light their way. The mangel wurzel, Beta vulgaris was a large species of beet, formerly common as a feed for cattle and as an ingredient in poor quality jams.

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A mangel wurzel of the type hollowed out in Somerset to make Halloween lanterns
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