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Buff Blow

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Place Collected: Charlton Kings
Date collected: 1977 (18 May)
Collector: Davies, Gwilym

A New Year rhyme and custom that was done probably until the 60s in Charlton Kings. It was also known as “The Boy Visitor”. Although the words varied a little from person to person, the custom was much the same: groups of boys would go around the houses on New Year’s Day, before the occupants went to work (in the days before New Year’s Day was a public holiday. They would have to be dark and they would sing their rhyme in exchange for small gifts of food and money. They would have to go in through the front door and out at the back in order to bring luck to the household. Similar New Year rhymes are found elsewhere but the Charlton Kings one is unique in having the shouted “Shoo-ee” at the end of the rhyme, presumably to shoo out the Old Year.

Notes by Gwilym Davies 27 June 2015