Source: Joshua Sylvester, A Garland of Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern (London: John Camden Hotten, 1861), p.189.
Now kindly for my pretty song, Good butler, draw some beer ; You know what duties do belong To him that sings so clear.
Holly and ivy, and drink to drive ye, To the brown bowl of berry ; With apples and ale, and a Christmas tale, We'll make this household merry.
Note from Sylvester: The last and best verse of a doggerel old Carol For Saint John the Baptist, shows the hospitality usually experienced by singers of Carols in the olden time. The composition dates from the West Country, Devon or Cornwall.
Editor's Note: The Carol For Saint John the Baptist is not otherwise known.
Note that Hugh Keyte, an editor of The New Oxford Book of Carols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992) believes that "Joshua Sylvester" is a pseudonym for a collaboration between William Sandys (1792-1874) and William Henry Husk (1814-1887). See Appendix 4.
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