The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Let Such (So Fantastical) Liking Not This

Words and Music: Thomas Tusser (c. 1523-80), set to an old English Melody by Charles Wood.

Source: Charles Wood and George Ratcliffe Woodward, The Cambridge Carol-Book, Being Fifty-Two Songs For Christmas, Easter, And Other Seasons (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1924), #18

1. Let such (so fantastical) liking not this,
Nor any thing honest that ancient is,
Give place to the time, that so meet we do se,
Appointed of God, as it seemeth to be.

2. At Christmas, good husbands have corn in the ground,
In barn, and in cellar, worth many a pound,
Things plenty in house (beside cattle and sheep),
All sent them (no doubt on) good houses to keep.

3. At Christmas, the hardness of winter doth rage,
A griper of all things, especially age;
Then likely poor people, the young with the old
Be sorest oppressed with hunger and cold.

4. At Christmas, by labour is little to get;
That wanting, the poorest in danger are set:
What season, then, better of all the whole year,
Thy needy poor neighbour to comfort and cheer?

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