The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

As I Came By A Green Forest Side

A Caroll of Huntynge

For Christmas

Words and Music: English Traditional
from Wynkyn de Worde, Christmasse Carroles Newely Enprinted (1521)

Source: Henry Vizetelly, Christmas With The Poets (London: David Bogue, 1851).

As I came by a green forest side,
I met with a forester that bade me abide,
Whey go get, hey go get, hey go how,
We shall have sport and game enow.

Underneath a tree I did me set,
And with a great hart anon I met,
I bade let slip, and said hey go bet,
With hey go bet, hey go bet how,
We shall have sport and game enow.

I had not stated there but awhile,
Not the mountenaunce8 of a mile,
There came a great hart without guile.
There he goeth, there he goeth,
With hey go bet, hey go bet how,
We shall have sport and game enow.

Talbut my hound, with a merry taste,
All about the green wood he 'gan cast,
I took my horn and blew him a blast
With tro, ro, ro, ro: tro, ro, ro, ro:
With hey go bet, hey go bet how.
We shall have sport and game enow.
There he goeth, there he goeth.
With hey go bet, hey go bet how,
We shall have sport and game enow.

Footnote by Mr. Vizetelly:

8. The meaning of this phrase, as used in the presence instance, appears to be, "not the time it would occupy to travel a mile." Return

Editor's Note

Vizetelly provided this introductory note:

On the other side of the leaf of Wynkin de Worde's volume is the following Carol, which, although apparently unconnected with our subject, we introduce as one of a class of songs usually sung during the Christmas season. That, in its own day, it was regarded as an undoubted Christmas Carol, is evident from the circumstance of its finding a place amongst Wynkin de Worde's collection, as the leave which has been preserved, and which is the last of the book, bears the following imprint: "Thus endeth the Christmasse Carroles, newely enprinted at Londo, in fletestrete at the sygne of the sonne by Wynkin de Worde. The yere of our lorde, M.D. XXI."

This is one is several versions, some very different from others, that are on this web site.

See:  Boars Head Carols - Notes From Vizetelly

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