The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Come, Mad Boys

Words: From New Christmas Carols, 1642

Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), pp. 235-6.

1. Come, mad boys, be glad, boys, for Christmas is here,
And we shall be feasted with jolly good cheer;
    Then let us be merry, 'tis Saint Stephen's day,
    Let's eat and drink freely, here's nothing to pay.

2. My master bids you welcome, and so doth my dame,
And 'tis yonder smoking disk doth me inflame;
    Anon I'll be with you, though you me outface,
    For now I do tell you I have time and place.

3. I'll troll the bowl to you, and let it go round,
My heels are so light they can stand on no ground;
    My tongue it doth chatter, and goes pitter patter,
    Here's good beer and strong beer, for I will not flattery.

4. And now for remembrance of blessed Saint Stephen,
Let's joy at morning, at noon, and at even;1
    Then leave off your mincing, and fall to mince pies,
    I pray take my counsel, be ruled by the wise.


1. Bullen adds the note "Old ed. "evening." Return

Also found in A. H. Bullen, A Christmas Garland (London: John C. Nimmo, 1885), pp. 194-5, "to the tune of 'Bonny Sweet Robin.'" From "New Christmas Carols."

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