The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Christmas Is A Coming

For Christmas

Authorship Unknown

Source: Joshua Sylvester, A Garland of Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern (London: John Camden Hotten, 1861) pp. 202-203.

You merry, merry souls,
Christmas is a coming ;
We shall have flowing bowls,
Dancing, piping, drumming.

Delicate minced pies,
To feast every virgin,
Capon and goose likewise,
Brawn, and dish of sturgeon.

Then for your Christmas-box
Sweet plum cakes and money,
Delicate Holland smocks,
Kisses sweet as honey.

Hey for the Christmas ball,
Where we shall be jolly ;
Coupling short and tall,
Kate, Dick, Ralph, and Molly.

Then to the hop we'll go,
Where we'll jig and caper ;
Dancers all a-row,
Will shall pay the scraper.

Hodge shall dance with Prue,
Keeping time with kisses ;
We'll have a jovial crew
Of sweet smirking misses.

Note from Sylvester:

We are indebted to a quaint little volume of popular superstition and folk-lore, entitled, "Round About our Coal-Fire," (1734) for the following Carol, abounding in allusions to old Christmas customs and merry-makings. The mirth of those times appears to have been more boisterous, but was doubtless quite as harmless as that indulged in at the present prude period. 

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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