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‘I Am The Midnight Robber’ – Carnival Speeches by Celia Burgess-Macey

Midnight Robber, Speeches Written and performed by Celia Burgess-Macey


To read Celia’s story on her introduction to carnival and the Midnight Robber Mas, Click Here!

Notting Hill Carnival 2003
(inspired by Brian Honore’s Midnight Robber ‘Behind Every Bush’ Trinidad Carnival 2003).


I am the Midnight Robber.  On the day that my mother gave birth to me in the USA the sun refused to shine and storms raged over the earth. From the moment I was one I became a monster of disaster dominating everything in my sight.  I was there in Nicaragua and Eritrea, in North Korea and in Vietnam.  It was me who invaded Grenada.  It was me who murdered Allende in Chile. 

And now I have come to Iraq to suck the oil from the land whose black blood will be my nourishment. Dry deserts are my gift and coffins are my presents. I scatter my cluster bombs like poisonous seeds across the land and reap a harvest of death and despair.  My weapons of mass destruction are poised to strike and there is no escaping my almighty power.   

Corruption and destruction are my game.   

World domination is my aim  

and Midnight Robber is my name. 

 Toot Toot.(whistle) 

Notting Hill carnival 2015
For Sunshine International Arts portrayal of:
OIL SLICK – between the devil and the deep blue sea. 

 The Midnight Robber is a traditional masquerade character. It has complex origins from a mix of African masquerade and oral tradition, Spanish Catholic/Latin American Day of the Dead and American Western cowboy movies. The Midnight Robber is a highly dramatic, boasting and somewhat subversive figure, dressed in large hat and long cloak often decorated with deathheads, brandishing a gun and carrying a whistle, who approaches people on carnival day to impress them with his big words until they ‘pay up’.  Traditionally male, there are now female Robbers particularly in Children’s carnival and in the parade of traditional mas through Port of Spain, Trinidad on carnival Friday. In my portrayal of Midnight Robber I pay homage to and acknowledge the influence of the great Robber portrayals of the late Brian Honore who added modern content, fusing the boasting bravado of traditional robber talk with social commentary, politicising the oratory of his Midnight Robber character. A reflection of the ideals of freedom, equality, and justice for all that he so passionately believed in and that we need so desperately now.


 “Toot Toot. (whistle) 

I am the Midnight Robber, I come to disturb your dreams. 

I was there when oil began its life in the dark depths of the earth millenia ago. 

 Its oily oozings passed unnoticed. 

It was I who made fire in earth’s belly and unleashed oil’s terrible power in a blaze of heat and light.  

I am BP, I am Shell and I sound a death knell. 

I am war, I am thunder and the oil I will plunder. 

The ice I will drill and your blood I will spill. 

In Syria and Iraq, I launched my attack, 

In Nigeria and Sudan I will complete my plan. 

Oil makes men rich, it makes men poor. 

Oil thrusts machines into motion and drives nations to war. 

Oil pollutes the oceans and poisons the earth. 

I brought you oil! Now curse my birth! 

 No dreams of peace disturb MY sleep. 

I am the Midnight Robber and my spoils I’ll keep! 

Toot, toot. “ (whistle)



 Goldsmiths student carnival, 2009 

I’m the Midnight Robber, can’t you see? 

I’ve got moral immunity. 

I rob your bank and bleed you dry 

But I have my pension until I die. 

I’ll get £690,000 a year 

For you poor sods I won’t shed a tear. 

You may think my morals are lacking 

But I’m okay I’ve got GB backing. 


Mr Darling can kiss my arse. 

When the chips are down it’s all about class. 


Sir Fred Goodwin is my name 

The people may curse me but I have no shame. 

I rob banks by night and day 

In a most sophisticated way. 

I don’t need a gun to commit this crime 

I have toxic debt and stocks not worth a dime. 

So you continue to pay the price 

And I can retire and live very nice. 


Mr Darling can kiss my arse. 

When the chips are down it’s all about class. 



Midnight Robber Speech 2013

I am the Midnight Robber. My name strikes fear into the hearts of those who seek to speak truth to power. I have come to steal your freedom. I have come to invade your privacy. I have come to suppress your hopes and kill your dreams. My vision is a nightmare. My aim is a dystopia. My actions will cause death and destruction throughout the world. Be afraid. Be very afraid. 

I am watching you. The internet is my domain. I will use Google and Facebook. I will use Twitter and Hotmail. I will read your emails and smash your hard drives. I am always watching you. Do not rebel against my laws. I will search you out to punish you. Beware Bradley Manning and Edward Snowdon.  Julian Asange, Glenn Greenwald and David Miranda. They are just the beginning. I am watching all of you. My agents are everywhere. Like slaves on the plantation you cannot escape. I will search you out in high mountains and in deep valleys, even in holes in the ground and under the sea. Remember I have nuclear submarines. Remember I have weapons of mass destruction. Remember I have drones. Your voices are small and your arms are puny.  My voice is loud and my armies are strong. I am a robber who owns the banks and the mines, the nuclear power stations and the oil rigs. I will rob you blind. My face is ugly. My hands are bloody. My mind is made up. I am the Midnight Robber. 



Notting Hill Carnival 2017
For Sunshine International Arts portrayal of:
“Dance of Jouvert – We De People of De EaRtH!’ 

I am the Midnight Robber and my name is old as time. 

I was there at the dawn of days when darkness covered the earth and only the stars burned 

I was present in the garden where love began 

I was there when the angel drove out the ancestor 

I was there when the waters consumed the mountains 

I was the witness when man first killed man and red blood flowed from black skin into the black earth. 


In Africa you thrived, building cities and universities, making sculpture in bronze, fine patterned clothes and masks of wood and shells. 

I watched you love. I watched you dance. I watched your masquerade. 

 I was there in your carnivals when the ancestors spirits helped you cheat death. 

But captivity you could not escape when the whip was at your back. 

 Many ships traversed the turbulent oceans. I was there through long nights of terror and despair. 

All the way from Africa to this new world you carried your sorrow songs. 

The struggle was long and hard. 

But love made you strong. 

In Dance of Jouvert you danced your resistance 

You made rap and jazz and calypso  

and Lindy hop, salsa and limbo 

 Sweet soca music for de people feet,  

to  chip on de road at last to a freedom beat. 


But here I am again. The Robber who robs your dreams. 

The struggle is far from over. You have a journey to make and little time. 

My forces are strong.Love may not conquer them. 

War and starvation roam the earth.  Deserts burn. 

 My armies gather. Weapons of destruction threaten. Countries burn. 

The planet is crying, its forests dying, its ice melting into tears of rage. 

People flee and find no safe shelter. Houses burn.Children burn. 


Your future is at stake. 

And still you dance…and still you sing your songs…and still you make your mas 

And still you love your carnival 

 love burns… love burns….love burns 

And I am the Midnight Robber. The choice is yours. 

I give you LOVE and the DEATH OF CARNIVAL 


Pierrot Grenade, Speeches Written and performed by Celia Burgess-Macey

2010 Notting Hill Carnival carnival
for Yaa Asantewaa carnival band

The coalition is a con. 

 They con de nation. 

ConDem cuts are a con 

The nation condemn dem 

Condemned by the nation 

Thats how you spell 



Pierrot Grenade 2016 

 All ah we is one you say 

Well I can put it another way 

One is me and one is you 

Add together and that is two 

Two and one and that makes three 


Three and one and that is four 

Its up to you to add some more 

Five or six or seven or eight 

Get together-collaborate 

With all the people in this city 

Growing to infinity. 

Before you thought Pierrot could spell 

Now you know I can add as well. 

All words written by Celia Burgess Macey

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