The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Ale Makes Many A Man To Stick At A Brier

Words and Music: English Traditional

Compare: Ale mak many a man to styke at a brere (Wright, 1847)

Source: Henry Vizetelly, Christmas With The Poets (London: David Bogue, 1851), citing Wright as his source.

1. Ale makes many a man to stick at a brier;
Ale makes many a man to lie in the mire;
And ale makes many a man to sleep by the fire
                            With dole.1

2. Ale makes many a man to stumble at a stone;
Ale makes many a man to go drunken home;
And ale makes many a man to break his bone
                            With dole.

3. Ale makes many a man to draw his knife;
Ale makes many a man to cause great strife;
And ale makes many a man to beat his wife
                            With dole.

4. Ale makes many a man to wet his cheeks;
Ale makes many a man to lie in the streets;
And ale makes many a man to perform strange feats
                            With dole.

5. Ale makes many a man to stumble at the blocks;2
Ale makes many a man to give his head hard knocks;
And ale makes many a man to sit in the stocks.
                            With dole.

6. Ale makes many a man to reel over the fallows;
Ale makes many a man to swear by God and All-hallows;
And ale makes many a man to hang upon the gallows
                            With dole.

Note:

1. Grief. Return

2. Probably alluding to the "horse blocks," or "mounting stones," then common in every market-place, and at the door of every ale-house. Return

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