The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Thys Indrys Day Befel A Stryfe

Words and Music: Traditional English

Source: Thomas Wright, Songs and Carols Now First Printed, From a Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century (London: The Percy Society, 1847), Song #x, printed verbatim from a manuscript probably owned by a professional musician, and apparently written in the latter half of the fifteenth century, circa 1471-1485.

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    Hey howe, selymen, God helpe 3owe.

Thys indrys day befel a stryfe,
Betwex an old man and hys wyfe;
Sche toke hymn by the berd so ply3t,
            With hey how.

Sche toke hymn by the berd so fast,
Tyll both hys eyn on watyr gan brast,
            With hey how.

Howt at the dore as he gan goo,
Met he with hys neybrys too;
Neybyr, why wepyst soo,
            With hey how.

In my hows ys swyche a smeke,
Goo ondyr and 3e schall wete,
            With hey how.

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