Songs Of and About Elizabethan Times

Language & BFA . Pronunciation . Drills . Grammar . Vocabulary . Insults . Forms of Address . Songs . References

Herein find a collection of Faire songs sung at RPFN and RPFS. I believe these were compiled by Gerald Zapeta for the Monger's Handbook, but I don't possess any true citations. The given lyrics may vary from the version you know or hear sung elsewhere, such is the way of oral history. Likewise, the pace can vary from dirge slow to a spritely clip.

A warning to the prudish, many of these songs are not for you. At the same time, many are excellent children's songs. I trust you will discern between them.

I've broken the songs into three sections: Rounds, Repetition songs, and Songs. A few of the repetition songs allow for improvisational lines with a chorus from the other singers.


Rounds

HEIGH-HO / ROSE RED Heigh-ho, nobody home Meat, nor drink, nor money have I none. Still I will be merry [repeat] Rose, Rose, Rose red, Shall I ever see thee wed? I will marry at thy will, sire At thy will [repeat] Ding ding ding dong Wedding bells on an April morn' Carve your name on a moss covered stone On a moss covered stone [repeat] Ding ding ding dong Funeral bells on a September morn' Rose oh rose is dead and gone, sire Dead and gone [repeat] (many other verses exist)
AH, POOR BIRD Ah poor bird, Why art thou Singing in the shadows At this late Hour? [repeat] Ah, poor bird Take thy flight High above the shadows Of this sad night [repeat]
WHITE SAND AND GREY SANDS White sands and gray sands Who will buy my white sands? Who will buy my grey sands? [repeat]
WHY DOTH NOT MY GOOSE Why doth not my goose, sing as well as thy goose When I paid for my goose, twice as much as thine? [repeat]
QUEEN'S ROUND Long may she reign in majesty glorious, ever victorious, God save the Queen! [repeat]
DONA NOBIS Dona Nobis pacem, pacem, Dona Nobis pacem [repeat]
CELIA, LEARNING ON THE SPINNET When Celia was learning on the Spinnet to play Her tutor stood by her to show her (pause) To show her (pause) To show her to show her, the way She shook not the note, which angered him much and made him, and made him cry "Z'wounds - tis a long prick (pause) a long prick, a long pricked note you touch" Surprised was the Lady to hear him complain and said and said and said, (pause) "I will shake it (pause) I will shake it when I come to'it again"

Repetition Songs

GREEN GROW THE RUSHES O I'll sing thee ONE, o green grow the rushes, o! what is your ONE o? ONE is all and all alone and ever more shall it be so I'll sing thee TWO, o green grow the rushes, o! what is your TWO o? TWO, two pretty white boys, clothed all in green-o one is all and all alone and ever more shall it be so Repeat for the following... THREE: three, three the rivals FOUR: four for the gospel makers FIVE: five for the symbols at your door SIX: six for the six proud walkers SEVEN: seven for the seven stars in the sky EIGHT: eight for the April rainers NINE: nine for the nine bright shiners TEN: ten for the ten commandments ELEVEN: eleven for the eleven who went to heaven TWELVE: twelve for the twelve apostles
BARLEY MOW Here's good luck to the PINT pot Good luck to the Barley Mow Jolly good luck to the PINT pot Good luck to the Barley Mow Here's the PINT pot, half-a-pint, gill pot, half-a-gill, quarter-gill, nipperkin, and the brown bowl. Here's good luck, good luck to the Barley Mow Here's good luck to the QUART pot Good luck to the Barley Mow Jolly good luck to the QUART pot Good luck to the Barley Mow Here's the QUART pot, pint pot, half-a-pint, gill pot, half-a-gill, quarter-gill, nipperkin, and the brown bowl. Here's good luck, good luck to the Barley Mow Repeat for each Here's the company, the slavey, the drayer, the brewer, the daughter, the landlady, landlord, the barrel, the half-barrel, gallon, the half-gallon, quart-pot, pint-pot, half-a-pint, gill pot, half-a-gill, quarter-gill, nipperkin, and the brown bowl.
RATTLIN BOG Hey-ho the rattlin' bog, Bog down in the valley-o Hey-ho the rattlin' bog, Bog down in the valley-o In this bog there was a tree Rare tree rattlin tree, tree in the bog and the bog down in the valley-o Hey-ho the rattlin' bog, Bog down in the valley-o Hey-ho the rattlin' bog, Bog down in the valley-o On this tree there was a limb Rare limb rattlin limb, limb on the tree / and the tree in the bog and the bog down in the valley-o Repeat for each On this limb there was a branch On this limb there was a twig On this twig there was a leaf On this leaf there was an ant Etc.
MARTIN SAID TO HIS MAN O Martin said to his man Fie, man fie O Martin said to his man Who's the fool now? O Martin said to his man Fill thou the cup and I the can Thou hast well drunken man Who's the fool now? I saw a flea heave a tree Fie, man fie I saw a flea heave a tree Who's the fool now? I saw a flea heave a tree Twenty miles out to sea. Thou hast well drunken man Who's the fool now? Repeat and Improvise... I saw a snail drive a nail From Penzance out to Hale. I saw the man in the moon Clouting on St. Peter's shoon. I saw the goose wring the hog And the cat bite the dog. I saw the hare chase the hound Fourteen miles above the ground. I saw a maid milk a bull Every stroke a bucket full.
I WENT TO MARKET I went to market to buy me a cock and my cock did very well please me. Every time I fed my cock, I fed him all under a tree And my cock went cock and cock and cock a doodle do, And after everybody's cock did my cock crow. I went to Market to buy me a COW and my COW did very well please me. Every time I fed my COW I fed him all under a tree And my COW went MOOOOOO And my cock went cock and cock and cock a doodle do, And after everybody's cock did my cock crow. I went to Market to buy me a SHEEP and my SHEEP did very well please me. Every time I fed my SHEEP I fed him all under a tree And my SHEEP went BAAAAAAA And my COW went MOOOOOO And my cock went cock and cock and cock a doodle do, And after everybody's cock did my cock crow. Repeat adding a new animal each time
THREE CRAW Three craw sat upon a wall sat upon a wall sat upon a wall sat upon a wa-a-a-all Three craw sat upon a wall on a cold and frosty morning. The first craw could not find his ma not find his ma not find his ma-a-a-a The first craw could not find his ma on a cold and frosty morning The second craw could not find his pa could not find his pa could not find his pa-a-a The second craw could not find his pa on a cold and frosty morning. The third craw ate the other craw ate the other craw ate the other cra-a-a The third craw ate the other craw on a cold and frosty morning. The fourth craw were not there at all were not there at all were not there at a-a-all The fourth craw were not there at all on a cold and frosty morning And that's aw I know about the craw I know about the craw I know about the cra-a-aw And that's aw I know about the craw on a cold and frosty morning.

Songs

HEALTH TO THE COMPANY Good friends and companions, come join me in rhyme Come lift up your voices in chorus with mine Lets drink and be merry, all grief to refrain For we may and might never all meet here again Here's a health to the company and one to my lass Lets drink and be merry all out of one glass Lets drink and be merry, all grief to refrain For we may and might never all meet here again Here's a health to the dear lass that I love so well For style and for beauty, theres none can excel There's a smile upon her countenance as she sits on my knee There's no one in in this wide world as happy as we Chorus Our ship lies at harbor, she's ready to dock I hope she's safe landed without any shock If ere we should meet again by land or by sea I will always remember your kindness to me Chorus
TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING On Monday night he came to my door, a-makin such a din, "Get up, get up my darlin' girl, and let your lover come in!" So I went down and let him in and on me he did fall, It was five o'clock in the mornin' before we got any sleep at all. On Tuesday night he came to my door, the joys of love to tend, "Get up, get up, my darlin' girl, before I go round the bend!" So I went down and let him in and in my arms he lay, It was four o'clock in the mornin' before he finally went away. On Wednesday night he came to my door, a little late in time, "I'm sorry I'm late my darlin' girl, the hill's so hard to climb!" He wasn't long within my arms before he let me be, And he was out the door and down the road before the stroke of three. On Thursday night he came to my door, so weary and so slow, "Give us a drink my darlin' girl , then off to work we'll go!" He tried and tried the whole night long, I had to help him through, And I heard him sigh as he rose to go, "It's only after two." On Friday night he came to my door, a-shakin' in every limb, "Get up, get up my darlin' girl, come down and carry me in!" So I went down and carried him in, and gently laid him down, But scarcely could his spirits rise to meet the stroke of one. On Saturday night he came to my door, he came on his hands and knees, "Don't get up my darlin' girl, stay in and let me be!" But I went down and dragged him in, and he fell down in a swoon, and tho' oft I tried to raise him up, he slept 'till Sunday noon.
THE SHEPHERD (MERRY BAG-PIPES) The shepherd sat 'neath the tree one day, and as the shadows grew more long pulled out his pipe and began to play, and sweet and merry was his song. A country damsel from the town, with basket made of woven straw Came gathering rushes from the downs, and boldly smiled when she him saw The shepherd's pipe did gaily sound, as tempting on her back she lay And with his quivering note he found how sweetly then this lass could play She ne'er so much as blushed at all, so sweetly played her shepherd swain So ere anon to him she'd call to play her another double strain. The shepherd again did tune his pipe and played her a lesson loud and shrill The maid his face did often wipe with many a thanks for his good skill. She said I ne'er was so pleased before. And this is the first time that I knew thee, Come play me this very tune once more and never doubt that I'll dance to thee. The shepherd said as I am a man you have kept me playin' from sun 'till moon, Alas I can do no more than I can, my pipe is clearly out of tune. To ruin a shepherd I'll not seek, she said as she kissed him 'neath the tree I'll come again to downs next week, and thou shalt pipe and I'll come to
OLD WOMAN WHO LIVED UNDER A HILL There was an old woman who lived under a hill Fa la la, la la la la la la If she's not dead she lives there still Fa la lo, fa la lo, fa la la la la la lo A jolly young man came riding by Fa la la, la la la la la la He called for a pot for he was dry Fa la lo, fa la lo, fa la la la la la lo He called for a pot, and then another Fa la la, la la la la la la He kissed the daughter before the mother Fa la lo, fa la lo, fa la la la la la lo And when the day was gone and spent Fa la la, la la la la la la He bed the daughter with the mother's consent Fa la lo, fa la lo, fa la la la la la lo What is this all hard and warm? Fa la la, la la la la la la 'Tis bald my nag, he'll do y' no harm Fa la lo, fa la lo, fa la la la la la lo And what is this? 'Tis a little well Fa la la, la la la la la la From which my nag may drink his fill Fa la lo, fa la lo, fa la la la la la lo And what perchance if your nag falls in? Fa la la, la la la la la la Grab hold of the grass that grows by the rim Fa la lo, fa la lo, fa la la la la la lo And what perchance if the grass should fail? Fa la la, la la la la la la Push him in by the head, pull him out by the tail Fa la lo, fa la lo, fa la la la la la lo
THE THREE DRUNKEN MAIDENS There were three drunken maidens come from the Isle of White They drank from Sunday morning didn't stop till Saturday night When Saturday night did come me boys, they wouldn't then go out These three drunken maidens they pushed the jug about Then up come Bouncing Sally her cheeks as red as Rue Move over Jolly sisters and give young Sally room For I'll be your equal Before that we go out These four drunken maidens They pushed the jug about There's wood cock and pheasant there's partridge and hare There's all sorts of Dainties No scarcity was there There's forty quarts of beer me boys they fairly drunk them out These four drunken maidens They pushed the jug about Then Up comes the landlord He's asking for his pay thats 40 pounds the bill me boys these girls were forced to pay. Thats 10 pounds apiece me boys But still they wouldn't go out These four drunken maidens They pushed the jug about Oh where are your feathered hats your mantles rich and fine? They've all been swallowed up in tankards of good wine And where are your maidenheads you maidens brisk & gay? We left them in the ale house We drank them clean away
RISSELTY ROSSITY He married his wife in the mouth of June Risselty-rossilty, now now now. He carried her off in a silver spoon. Risselty-rossilty, hey bom-bossety Nickety-nackety, retrical quality Willaby-wallaby, now now now. She combes her hair but once a year Risselty-rossilty, now now now. With every pull she sheds a tear. Risselty-rossilty, hey bom-bossety Nickety-nackety, retrical quality Willaby-wallaby, now now now. She sweeps the floor but once a year Risselty-rossilty, now now now. She says her broom is much to dear Risselty-rossilty, hey bom-bossety Nickety-nackety, retrical quality Willaby-wallaby, now now now. She churns the butter in father's old boot Risselty-rossilty, now now now. And for a dasher she uses her foot Risselty-rossilty, hey bom-bossety Nickety-nackety, retrical quality Willaby-wallaby, now now now. The butter turned out a grisly gray Risselty-rossilty, now now now. The cheese grew legs and ran away. Risselty-rossilty, hey bom-bossety Nickety-nackety, retrical quality Willaby-wallaby, now now now. The cheese still sits upon the shelf. Risselty-rossilty, now now now. It you want any more, you can sing it yourself. Risselty-rossilty, hey bom-bossety Nickety-nackety, retrical quality Willaby-wallaby, now now now.
LUSTY YOUNG SMITH A lusty young smith at his vise stood a filing, His hammer laid by but his forge still aglow, When to him a buxom young damsel came smiling and asked if to work at her forge he would go. With a jingle, bang jingle, bang jingle, bang jingle, With a jingle, bang jingle, bang jingle, hi ho! "I will," said the smith, and they went off together Along to the young damsel's forge they did go, They stripped to go to it, 'twas hot work and hot weather; She kindled a fire and she soon made him blow. Chorus Her Husband, she said, no good work could afford her; His strength and his tools were worn out long ago. The smith said, "Well mine are in very good order, And now I am ready my skill for to show Chorus Red hot grew his iron, as both did desire and he was to wise not too strike while 'twas so. Quoth she, "What I get, I get out of the fire, Then prithee, strike hard and redouble the blow." Chorus Six times did his iron, by vigorous heating Grow soft in the forge in a minute or so, And often was hardened, still beating and beating, But each time it softened it hardened more slow. Chorus The smith then would go; quoth the dame, full of sorrow, "Oh, what would I give, could my husband do so! Good lad, with your hammer come hither tomorrow But, pray, can't you use it one more, ere you go?" Chorus
BEDLAM BOYS For to see mad Tom of Bedlam Ten thousand years I'll travel Mad Maudlin goes on dirty toes for to save her shoes from gravel Still I sing bonny boys, bonny mad boys Bedlam boys are bonny For they all go bare and they live by the air (Hold) And they want no drink nor money Now I repent that ever Poor Tom was so Disdain'd My wits were lost when him I cross't Which makes me go thus chain'd Chorus My staff has murder'd giants My bag a long knife carries For to cut mince pies from children's thighs And feed them to the fairies Chorus My horn is made of thunder I stole it out of heaven The rainbow there is this I wear For which I thence was driven Chorus I went down to Satan's kitchen for to get me food one morning and there I got souls piping hot all on the spit a-turning Chorus Then I took up a cauldron where boil'd ten thousand 'Tornies 'Twas full of flame, yet I drank the same and wished them happy journeys Chorus The spirits white as lightning Would on my travels guide me the stars would shake and the moon would quake Whenever they espied me Chorus And now that I have gotten A lease than doomsday longer To live on earth with some in mirth Ten whales shall find my hunger Chorus No Gypsy, slut, or doxy Shall win my mad Tom from me We'll weep all night and with stars fight the fray will well become me Chorus And when that I have beaten The man i' the moon to a powder His dog I'll take and him I'll make Bark as no daemon louder Chorus A health to Tom of Bedlam Go Fill the seas in a barrel I'll drink it all, well brewed with gall And maudlin drunk I'll quarrel. Chorus For to see mad Tom of Bedlam Ten thousand miles I'll travel Mad Maudlin goes on dirty toes for to save her shoes from gravel Chorus
MARY MACK Oh I know a little lass and her name is Mary Mack Make no mistake she's the one I'm going to take There's a lot of other fellows who'd get up upon her track But I'm thinking that they'd have to get up early Oh Mary Mack's mother's making Mary Mack marry me, My mother's making me marry Mary Mack, I'm going to marry Mary to get Mary to take care of me, We'll all be making merry when I marry Mary Mack Yump, dump diddle li dil liddle lid dil dum Oh Mary and her mother go an awful lot together in fact you never see the one without the other A lot of fellows wonder is it Mary or her mother or both of them together that I'm courting? Chorus Oh the wedding is on Wednesday and everything's arranged Her name will soon be changed to mine unless her mind has changed I'm making the arrangements and I'm just about deranged For marriage is an awful undertaking Chorus
HAL-AN-TOE Jake has gone to wear the horn It was the crest when you were born Your father's father wore it then His father wore it too. Hal-an-toe, Jolly lum-alow We were up long before the day-o To welcome in the summer, to welcome in the May-o For Summer is a-comin'in and Winter's gone away-o. Robin Hood and Little John Have both come to the Faire-o And we will to the merry greenwood to hunt the buck and hare-o. Chorus What happened to the Spaniards That made so great a boast-o? O' they shall eat the feathered goose and we shall eat the roast-o. Chorus God bless our Gloriana (God save the Queen!) God send her power and might O' God send good peace to En-ga-land, send peace by day and night O'. Chorus
COUNTRY LIFE In spring we sow at the harvest mow And work as the seasons round they go But of all the times if choose I may 'Twould be ramblin' through the new mown hay. For I like to rise when the sun she rises Early in the Morning I like to hear them small birds singing Merrily upon their branches And Hurrah! for the life of a country lass And to ramble in the new mown hay. In winter when the skies are gray We hedge and we ditch our times away But in summer when the sun shines gay We go ramblin' through the new mown hay. Chorus O' William is me darlin' gay And he be a-workin' most e'very day But I love him best in the month of May When we're ramblin' in the new mown hay. Chorus
FATHOM THE BOWL Come all ye brave heroes, give an ear to me song And I'll sing you in praise of good cider and rum As the clear crystal fountain O'er England shall roll Give me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl. I'll fathom the bowl, I'll fathom the bowl Give me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl. My husband doth disturb me when I'm laid at my rest for he does what he does, but he does it not best My husband's a lackard Limp in body and soul Give me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl. Chorus My wife, doth disturb me when I'm laid at my ease Ah, she does as she likes and she says as she please My wife, she's a devil, she burns like the coal Give me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl. Chorus My father, he do lie in the depths of the sea Cold stone for his pillow, what matter to he? If the clear crystal fountain o'er England shall roll Give me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl. Chorus Queen Elizabeth doth be the most virtuous Queen for she reigns oe'r us all and she does it wisely I'll serve her for ever, till death do me call. Give me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl. Chorus
NOTTAMUN TOWN In Nottamun Town, In Nottamun Town, Not a soul would look up, not a soul would look down. Not a soul would look up, not a soul would look down, To show me my way to fair Nottamun Town. I bought me a horse, 'twas called the grey mare Grey mane and grey tail, and green stripe down her back Grey mane and grey tail, and green stripe down her back And not a hair on him that be not coal black. She stood so still, threw me to the dirt, She tear-ed my hide and she bruised my shirt, From saddle to stirrup, I mounted again, And on my ten toes I rode over the plain. And when I got there, no one could I see, They all stood around just a-looking at me I called for a quaff to drive gladness away To stifle the dust, for it rained the whole day. And the king and the queen, and the company more Come a-riding behind and a-walking before Come a stark naked drummer boy, beating his drum With his heels in his bosom come marching along. Sat down on a hard, hot cold frozen stone Ten thousand stood round me, yet I was alone, Took my heart in my hand for to keep myself warm, Ten thousand was drown-ed that never was born. In Nottamun Town, In Nottamun Town, Not a soul would look up, not a soul would look down. Not a soul would look up, not a soul would look down, To show me my way to fair Nottamun Town.
THE CAMBRIC SHIRT Go tell her to make me a cambric shirt, Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, Without a stitch of a seamster's work, And then she will be a true love of mine. Go tell her to wash it in yonder well, Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, Where never was water, and rain never fell. And then she will be a true love of mine. Go tell her to hang it on yonder thorn, Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, Where leaf never budded since Adam was born. And then she will be a true love of mine. Go tell him to clear me an acre of land, Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, Between the salt water and the sea sand. And then he will be a true love of mine. Go tell him to plow it all with a thorn, Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, And plant it all over with one grain of corn. And then he will be a true love of mine. Go tell him to reap it with an old stirrup-leather, Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, And bind it all up with a pea-fowl's feather. And then he will be a true love of mine. Go tell him to thrash it against the wall, Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, And not one grain on the floor shall fall. And then he will be a true love of mine. Go tell him to shock it in yonder sea, Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, And return it back all dry to me. And then he will be a true love of mine. Go tell him to take it to the mill, Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, And every grain it's bushel shall fill And then he will be a true love of mine. Go tell him to wrap it all up in a sack, Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, And send it to market all on a rat's back. And then he will be a true love of mine. Go tell this young man when he gets his work done, Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, To come to my house and his shirt will be done. And then he will be a true love of mine.
THE KEEPER The Keeper would a-hunting go And under his arm he carried a bow All for to shoot at the merry little doe Among the leaves so green-o Jackie boy! Master? Sing ye well? Very well! Hey down! Ho down! Derry, derry down Among the leaves so green-o. To my hey down, down! To my ho down,down! Hey down! Ho down! Derry, derry down Among the leaves so green-o. The first doe he shot at he missed The second doe he trimmed and kissed The third doe went where nobody whist. Among the leaves so green-o. Chorus The fourth doe she did cross the plain The keeper fetched her back again Where she is now she may remain Among the leaves so green-o Chorus The fifth doe she did cross the brook, The keeper fetched her back with his crook where she is now you must go and look Among the leaves so green-o Chorus The sixth doe she ran o'er the plain But he with his hound did turn her again And it's there he did hunt in a merry, merry vein Among the leaves so green-o Chorus The seventh doe did run to the East The unfortunate keeper lost the beast Now she is a part of a poacher's feast Among the leaves so green-o. Chorus
MY HUSBAND HAS NO COURAGE IN HIM As I walked out one Summer's morn To view the flowers and the leaves a-springin' I saw two maidens standin' there and one of them her hands was wringin' and all of her conversation were my husband has no courage in him. O dear no, O dear no, My husband has no courage in him, O dear no. Seven long years I made his bed. Six o' them I laid beside him. This morn I awoke with my maiden head that shows he's got no courage in him. Chorus All sorts of meat I did provide, All sorts of drink that was fitn' for him both oyster pie and rhubarb too, but nothin' would put courage in him. Chorus I wish to the Lord that he was dead. How quickly in his grave I'd lay him, then I would get another man what had a little courage in him O dear yes, o dear yes! What had a little courage in him O dear yes! Come all pretty maids who hear this song don't marry a man before you try him or you might sing this song with me, my husband has no courage in him. Chorus
THE CUCKOO'S NEST As I was a-walking one morning in May I met a pretty fair maid and unto her did say I'll tell you me mind, it's for love I am inclined and my inclination lies in your cuckoo's nest Some like a girl who is pretty in the face and some like a girl who is slender in the waist But give me a girl who will wiggle and will twist at the bottom of the belly lies a cuckoo's nest Me darling, says she, I am innocent and young I scarcely can believe your false deluding tongue Yet I see it in you eyes and it fills me with surprise That your inclination lies in me cuckoo's nest Chorus Me darling, says he, if you see it in me eyes Then think of it as fondness and do not be surprised I love you, me dear, and I'll marry you, I swear if you'll let me clap me hand upon your cuckoo's nest Chorus Me darling, says she, I can do no such thing Me mother often told me it was committing sin Me maidenhead to loose and me sex to be abused So I'll thank you not to think upon me cuckoo's nest Chorus Me darling, says he, it is not committing sin For common sense should tell you it is a pleasing thing You were brought into this world to increase and do your best And to help a man to Heaven in your cuckoo's nest Chorus Me darling, says she, I cannot you deny You've surely won me heart by the rolling of your eye And I see it in your eyes that your courage is surprised So gently lift your hand into me cuckoo's nest Chorus This couple they got married and soon they went to bed And so this pretty fair maid she lost her maidenhead In a small country cottage they increase and do their best And he often claps his hand upon her cuckoo's nest
THE CUCUMBER (Same tune as Cuckoo's Nest) As I was a-riding out on pilgrimage one morn an April when desire is awaken or reborn I met me a crusader knight from pagan lands forlorn with a handsome squire and wonderous cucumber Some like a man who will open up the door and some like a man who goes marching off to war But give me a fellow who knows what his weapon's for at the bottom of the barrel stands a cucumber Five husbands have I married at the churches door two were old and rich, but the other's young and poor but the last one is the one that I will love forever more both a scholar and a master of his cucumber Chorus Some say that virgin's are like golden bowls and they are welcome to that honor, I would be the first to say for can not God have use for vessels made of earth and clay for was God who made the Cuckoo's nest and cucumber Chorus Some say that celebates have chose the better part better tis to wed than to lust within the heart for there's one common need that's met by maiden, wife & tart that's a man who knows the uses of his cucumber Chorus God sends us husbands rich & young & fresh a bed and blessing to the wives both the widdowed and the wed and a pox on those who disagreed with what it is I've said That each Cuckoo's nest be filled with a cucumber
A HEALTH UNTO HER MAJESTY! Additional lyrics invented by Cyderman's Fancy circa 1980, RPFN. Here's a health unto her Majesty With a fa la la la la la la Confusion to her enemies With a fa la la la la la la And he who would not drink her health we wish him neither wit nor wealth Nor yet a rope to hang himself With a fa la la la la la la la la laaaaaaa (Hold last note while another downs a drink) With a fa la la la la la la May she live in mirth and jollity With a fa la la la la la la and past-time with good company With a fa la la la la la la and he who would not join in glee must puritan or papist be and him we curse with misery Chorus Let the Queen's good health go round and round With a fa la la la la la la and let her praises loud resound With a fa la la la la la la and he who would not have it so may he be cursed with a gouty toe and days of wrath and nights of woe Chorus Our goodly Queen is fair of face With a fa la la la la la la endowed with every female grace With a fa la la la la la la and every woman in this shire who doth not to the like aspire may her breast be dun and her hair be wire Chorus So now we've raised our tankards high With a fa la la la la la la We've raised them full and lowered them dry With a fa la la la la la la Elizabeth, long may she reign God save the Queen may all here join in this refrain and fill our tankards up again Chorus
THE GYPSY ROVER The gypsy rover came over the hill Down through the valley so shady, He whistled and he sang till the greenwoods rang And he won the heart of a lady. A ley lu a ley lu a ley, a ley lu a lee ley ee He whistled and he sang till the greenwoods rang And he won the heart of a lady. She left her father's castle gate, She left her own fond lover She left her servants and her estate For to follow the gypsy rover. Chorus Her father saddled his fastest steed And roamed the valleys all over, He sought his daughter at great speed And the whistling gypsy rover. Chorus He came at last to a mansion fine Down by the river Glady, And there was music and there was wine For the gypsy and his lady. Chorus He is no gypsy, my father, she cried But lord of these land all over And I will stay till my dying day With my whistling gypsy rover Chorus
THE ROBBER GIRL Come listen a while and I'll tell you a story of three merry gentlemen riding along They met a fair maiden and unto her did say, "We're afraid this cold morning might do you some harm." "Oh no, kind sir," said the maid, "you're mistaken to think this cold morning might do me some harm. Yet there is one thing I crave, and it lies twixt your legs sir if you give me that it will keep me warm." "Oh since you do crave it, my dear you shall have it, if you'll come with me under yonder green tree. oh since you do crave it, my dear you shall have it, I'll make these two gentlemen witness to thee." The gentleman lighted and straight way she mounted, and looking the gentlemen hard in the face, said, "ye knew not my meaning, you wrong understood me." and away she went galloping down the long lane. "Come gentleman lend me one of your horses, that I might ride after her down the long lane. If I over-take her, I warrant I'll make her return unto me own horse again." This young maid was watching, she saw them a-coming, She instantly then took her pistol in hand, said, "doubt not my skill, or it's you I shall kill and I'll have you stand back or you are a dead man." "Oh why do you spend all your time here in talking, oh why do you spend all of your time here in vain? Come give her a penny, it's what she deserves, and I warrant she'll give you your horse back again." "Oh no, kind sir," said the maid, you're mistaken, for if it's his loss than it is my gain, and you are a witness that he gave it to me." And away she went galloping over the plain.
PASTIME WITH GOOD COMPANY Pastime with good company I love and shall until' I die Grudge who lust, but none deny So god be pleased, thus live will I For my pastance, Hunt sing and dance My heart is set All goodly sport, To my comfort Who shall me let? Youth will needs have dalliance, Of good or ill, some pastance. Company me thinketh the best All thoughts and fancies to digest For idleness Is chief mistress Of vices all; Then who can say But mirth and play Is best of all? Company with honesty Is virtue, vices to flee. Company is good or ill, But every man hath his free will. The best ensue, The worst eschew, My mind shall be Virtue to use, Vice to refuse, I shall use me.
THE PRICKLE HOLLY BUSH Come slack your horse, cries George, Come slack it for a while for I think I see my (Father/Mother/Sister/Brother) riding over yonder stile. Did you bring gold? Did you bring silver to set me free? To save my body from the cold jail wall and my neck from the high gallows trees? I've no gold, I've no silver to set you free. For I have come for to see you hanged, hanged from the high gallows tree. The prickle holly bush, it pricks, it pricks, it pricks my heart full sore and if ever I get out of the prickle holly bush I'll never go there no more. Last verse sweetheart I've brought gold, I've brought silver to set you free. For I have come for to buy your heart from the hangman at the high gallows tree. The prickle holly bush, it pricked, it pricked, it pricked my heart full sore now that I'm out of the prickle holly bush, I'm ne'er goin' there no more.
AN OLD MAN CAME COURTING ME An old man came courtin' me Hey do me darling An old man came courtin' me Me being' young An old man came courtin' me He did propose to me Maids when you're young never wed an old man For he's got no falorum, falivin falorum He's got no falorum, fa livin fa liv i-i-ing He's go no falorum, he's lost his ding dorum Maid's when you're young never wed an old man! When he did come to court Hey do me darling When he did come to court Me being' young When he did come to court I found him way too short Maids when you're young never wed an old man Chorus When he did come to sup He started teasing' me When we did go to church He left me in the lurch When we did go to bed He lay as if twere dead When he lay fast asleep Hey do me darling When he lay fast asleep Me being' young When he lay fast asleep I from his side did creep Into the arms of a handsome young man Now he's got falorum falivin falorum Yes he's got falorum fa livin fa liv i-i-i ng Yes he's got falorum I found his ding dorum Maids when you're young never wed an old man.
JOHNNY BE FINE Oh Johnny be fine and Johnny be fair and wants me for to wed. And I would marry Johnny but me father up and said I'm sorry to tell you daughter, what your mother never knew, But Johnny is a son of mine and so is kin to you. Oh Thomas be fine and Thomas be fair and wants me for to wed. And I would marry Thomas but me father up and said I'm sorry to tell you daughter, what your mother never knew, But Thomas is a son of mine and so is kin to you. Oh Daniel be fine and Daniel be fair and wants me for to wed. And I would marry Daniel but me father up and said I'm sorry to tell you daughter, what your mother never knew, But Daniel is a son of mine and so is kin to you. O you never saw a maid so sad and sorry as I was. The lads in town are all my kin and me father is the cause. If life should thus continue I should die a single miss I think I'll go to mother and complain to her of this. O daughter didn't I tell you to forgive and to forget? Your father sowed his wild oats, but still you need not fret Your father may be father to all the lads but still He's not the one who sired you so marry who you will.
MY THING IS MY OWN I a tender young Maid have been courted by many, Of all sorts and Trades as ever was any: A spruce Haberdasher first spake me fair But I would have nothing to do with Small ware. My Thing is my Own, and I'll keep it so still, Yet other young Lasses may do what they will. A sweet scented Courtier did give me a kiss, And promis'd me Mountains if I would be his, But I'll not believe him, for it is too true, Some Courtiers do promise much more than they do. Chorus A Master of Musick came with an intent, To give me a Lesson on my Instrument, I thank'd him for nothing, but bid him be gone, For my little Fiddle should not be plaid on. Chorus An Usurer came with abundance of Cash, But I had no mind to come under his Lash He profer'd me Jewels, and a great store of Gold, But I would not mortgage my little Free-hold. Chorus A blunt Lieutenant surprized my Placket And fiercely began to rifle and sack it, I mustered my Spirits up and became bold, And forc'd my lieutenant to quit his strong hold. Chorus A fine dapper Taylor, with a Yard in his Hand, Did profer his Service to be at Command, He talk'd of a slit I had above the knee, But I'll have no Taylors to stitch it for me. Chorus Now here I could reckon a hundred and more, Besides all the Gamesters recited before, That made their addresses in hopes of a snap But as young as I was I understood Trap, Chorus
GIVE ME MY YELLOW HOSE AGAIN When I was a bachelor I led a merry life, but now I am a married man and saddled with a wife I cannot do as I have done because I live in fear, if I should go and drink with friends they say my wife is near Give me my yellow hose again give me my yellow hose for now my wife she watches me see yonder where she goes fa la la la la la la la fa la la la la la fa la la la la la la la fa la la la la now. when I come to prance in town and hig adventures lay in many parts I have been found but never thus I pray For if by chance I find away a woman for to kiss The rest already for do say "thy wife shall hear of this" Chorus When I come in company I cross my mouth in fear For won't you call me merrily "What say thy wife is there?" And this does make them all stand down to see my woeful case For I stand like John-Hold My-Staff and dare not show my face Chorus
THE AGINCOURT CAROL Deo Gratias, Deo gratias Anglica Redde pro Victoria! Our King went forth to Normandy With grace and might of chivalry There God for him wrought marv'losly Where for England may call and cry. He set a siege, sooth for to say To Harfleur town, with royal array The town he won, and made a fray That France shall rue until Doomsday. Then Went our King, with all his host Through France, spite all the French did boast He spared neither least, nor most 'til he came to Agincourt Coast Then forsooth that comely Knight In Agincourt field did manly fight Through grace of God most mighty He won both field and victory. There dukes and earls, lord and baron Were taken, slain, and that well soon And some were led into London With joy and mirth and great renown Now gracious God he save our King His people and all his good willing Give him good live and good ending That we with mirth may safely sing.
ITCHES IN ME BRITCHES I was born of Geordie parents, one day when I was young That's how the Geordie dialect became me native tongue That I was a pretty baby, me mother she would vow The girls all ran to kiss me, well I wish they'd do it now. Oh I wish they'd do it now, oh I wish they'd do it now I've got itches in me britches and I wish they'd do it now. Well when I was only six months old the girls would handle me They clutched me to their bosoms and they bounced me on their knee They would rock me in the cradle, and if I made a row They'd tickle me, they'd cuddle me, I wish they do it now. Chorus At sixteen months as fine a lad as ever could be seen The girls all liked to follow me right down to the green They would make a chain of buttercups and drop it on me brow Then they'd roll me in the clover, well I wish they'd do it now. Chorus Well the Eastern girls would call for me to swim when it was mild Down to the river we would go and splash about a while They would throw the water over me to duck me like a cow Then they'd rub me nice all over, well I wish they'd do it now. Chorus Well it's awful lonely for a lad to lead a single life I think I'll go to the dance tonight and find meself a wife Oh I have got six bundle pigs, likewise one big fat sow There'll be plenty love and bacon for the girl who'll have me now. Chorus For the girl who'll have me now, for the girl who'll have me now There'll be plenty love and bacon for the girl who'll have me now.

The following songs are presented with the kind permission of Stu Venable. They, and other ofttimes humorous songs may be found on the Poxy Boggards' CD Bawdy Parts.

GOD SAVE THEE, FAIR BARLEY Lyrics by Stu Venable, Bill Roper, Stu Rose Music by Stu Venable Copyright 1991 Stu Venable, Bill Roper & Stu Rose God save thee, fair barley so good ale may flow We raise up our tankards and down it will go We drink through the day, we drink through the night We drink the fair ale 'til we loseth our sight My wife she did brew a hogshead last night I peek in the kettle to make sure it's right I count every hour, though scorneth my wife I drink the fair ale every day of my life My brother did brew a bold bitter batch With a roasted brown barley, no beer was its match Two weeks to ferment, two more in the kegs But in just one night it was drained to the dregs. Last night I did drink a batch of the worst It tasted much better long after the first Next morn I did wake with a terrible sore So I reached for my tankard and tossed back some more My father did drink three pints every night That he and my mother got in to a fight "You drink too much ale," my mother she cried But my father did drink till the day he died God save thee fair barley so good ale may flow We raise up our tankards and down it will go We drink through the night, we drink through the day We drink the fair ale 'til we loseth our way.
HAPPY JACK'S UNDRINKABLE ALE Lyrics and Music by Stu Venable Copyright 1992 Stu Venable Good sailors sing songs of lassies and bravery and fortune How the sea fills their hearts with the courage to do mighty deeds But I'll sing a song of a sailor I met in Jamaica Who tested the bravest of brave in all seven seas. Happy Jack's undrinkable ale One mighty sup puts the wind in your sail It's Happy Jack's undrinkable ale. Our captain once tried a tankard of Jack's mighty potion He seemed all right so we all went off to bed We woke to the screams of our captain way up in the crow's nest He tried to fly with the wind and he ended up dead. Chorus This ale was as dark as a night with no moon in December As bitter as a man who lost his pizzle in May As strong as six horses, as bitter and evil as Judas Ask the worldliest drinkers of Jack's, they'll most surely say. Chorus I sailed with a lad who was tall and as wide as a mountain One half a pint put this sailor down upon one knee We watched as he turned as white as the high cliffs of Dover And threw-up old Jack's as a gift to the mighty blue sea. Chorus I once tried a thimble of Jack's demonic invention But for the spinning I felt that I was all right I woke with a chicken, two ducks, a lamb and an oxen By the looks on their faces I must have had a good night. Chorus
THE DRINKERS PRAISE Lyrics by Stu Venable Music: Traditional Come all you jolly drinkers, come listen to my lays And join with me in chorus, I'll sing the drinkers praise My song is of the drinker's fame and unto you I'll relate the same He whistles sings and drinks his ale The brave drinking man. At night and through the morning, the drinker can be seen He's practicing his skillcraft, he leaves his tankard clean. With porter whiskey and ale brown He picks it up and pours it down He whistles sings and drinks his ale the brave drinking man You see the brave strong drinker, he's rushing to the bar He travels through the shire, from country near and far. His duty is to drink his ale And with resolve he shall never fail He whistles sings and drinks his ale the brave drinking man God save the mighty drinker, be he great or small Lift up your ale and sing, to drinkers short and tall Through morn and night with vig'lence true He'll drink his ale and leave none for you He whistles sings and drinks his ale The brave drinking man
THE BALLAD OF JACOB MCFEE Lyrics by Stu Venable & Bill Roper Music By Stu Venable Copyright 1991 Stu Venable & Bill Roper Pull up and ale and hear the tale of Jacob and his doggrel He liked to write poetic verse of which he were notable There came to pass a weeping lass her teary eyes did glisten With all his style he gave a smile and asked if she would listen. Oh sirrah, please go away, for I'm a fair young maiden And if you woo me with your song, forsooth I shall be laiden. Of fie, oh why would Jacob try her maidenhead to tickle Can he not see, 'tis plain to we, his bardic-muse is fickle. O weeping lass with countenance of obvious pure virtue I do not know why you cry so, or who might so have hurt you I'll sow a row of singed, verse, and reap for you a fable And, pray, that thou will find in time my rhyme is impeccable. Oh Sirah, it seems that you may have missed my meaning 'tis men like you why I boo-hoo and from them I am weaning. A song, forsooth, to soothe the youthful lass was not impeded The strings were taut, but he forgot, to tune the lute was needed The lass she tried to hide inside a rising tide of horror When she realized this caterwall was written for her. Pray pard, sirrah, should I guffaw, would you be so offended Your song was such, I fear my lunch on you will be upended.

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