The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Old Christmass Returnd

From the Ballad Collection of Samuel Pepys
(23 February 1633 – 26 May 1703)
Five Volumes, 1800+ Ballads
see: English Broadside Ballad Archive
University of California, Santa Barbara

Old Christmas Returned
Or, Hospitality REVIVED.
EBBA ID: 20222
Pepys 1.475
Text Transcription:

Date Published: 1672-1696 ?
Author: Unknown
Tune of "The Delights of the Bottle," with Allowance, R. L'estrange.
Imprint: Printed for P. Brooksby

Being a Looking-glass for rich Misers, wherein they may see (if they be not blind)
how much they are too blame for their penurious house-keeping, and likewise
an incouragement to those noble-minded Gentry, who lay out a great part of
their Estates in Hospitality, relieving such persons as have need thereof.
Who feasts the Poor a true reward shall find
Or helps the old, the Feeble, lame and blind.

To the tune of—The Delights of the Bottle.
At the EBBA site, there is an MP3 recording of the entire 15 verses ("Right Click" and select "Save")

A L L you that to Feasting and mirth are inclin'd,
Come here is good news for to pleasure your mind,
Old Christmass is come for to keep open house
He scorns to be guilty of starving a mouse,
Then come boyes and welcome, for dyet the chief
Plumb pudding, Goose, Capon, minc't pies & Roast beef.

A long time together he hath been forgot
They scarce could afford for to hang on the pot,
Such miserly sneaking in England hath been
As by our forefathers ner'e us'd to be seen
But now he's returned, you shall have in brief
Plumb pudding, Goose, Capon, minc't pies, & Roast beef.

The times were ner'e good, since Old Christmass was fled,
And all hospitality hath been so dead,
No mirth at our festivals late did appear
They scarcely would part with a cup of March beer,
But now you shall have for to ease you of grief
Plumb pudding, etc.

The Butler and Baker they now may be glad
The times they are mended though they have been bad,
The Brewer he likewise may be of good cheer
He shall have good trading for Ale and strong beer.
All trades shall be jolly, and have for relief,
Plumb pudding, Goose, Capon, Minc't pies, & Roast beef.

The holly and ivy, about the walls wind,
And shows that we ought to our neighbours be kind,
Inviting each other for pastime and sport
And where we best fare, there we most do resort.
We fail not of victuals, and that of the chief
Plumb pudding, etc.

The Cooks shall be busied by day and by night
In Roasting and Boyling, for tast and delight,
Their senses in liquor that's nappy they'l steep
Though they be afforded to have little sleep.
They still are imployd for to dress us in brief
Plumb pudding, Goose, Capon, minc'd pies, and roast beef.

Although the cold weather doth hunger provoke
'Tis a comfort to see how the Chimneys do smoke,
Provision is making for Beer, Ale and wine,
For all that are willing, or ready to dine,
Then hast to the Kitchen for dyet the chief
Plumb pudding, Goose, Capon, minc't pies, & Roast beef.

All travellers as they do pass on the way
At Gentlemens halls are invited to stay,
Themselves to refresh and their horses to rest
Since that he must be old Christmass his guest
Nay the poor shall not want but shall have for relief
Plumb pudding etc.

Now Mock-begger-hall, it no more shall stand empty
But all shall be furnisht with freedome and plenty
The hoarding old misers, who us'd to preserve
The Gold in their Coffers, and see the poor starve,
Must now spread their tables and give them in brief
Plumb pudding etc.

The Court and the City and Countrey are glad
Old Christmass is come for to cheer up the sad
Broad pieces and Guinnyes about now shall fly
And hundreds be losers by cogging a Dye,
Whist others are feasting with dyet the chief
Plumb pudding etc.

Those that have no coyn at the cards for to play
May sit by the fire, and pass time away
And drink off their moisture contented and free
My honest good fellow come here is to thee,
And when they are a hungry fall to their relief
Plumb pudding, etc.

Young Gallants and Ladyes, shall foot it along
Each room in the house to the Musick shall throng
Whilst jolly Carouses about they shall pass
And each countrey swain trip about with his Lass,
Mean time goes the Caterer to fetch in the chief
Plumb pudding, Goose, Capon, Minc't pies, & Roast beef.

The Cooks and the Scullion who toyl in their frocks
Their hopes do depend upon their Christmass box,
There is very few that do live on the earth
But enjoy at this time either profit or mirth,
Yea those that are charged to find all relief
Plumb pudding etc.

Then well may we welcome old Christmass to town
Who brings us good cheer, and good liquor so brown,
To pass the cold winter away with delight
We feast it all day, and we frolick at night,
Both hunger and cold we keep out with relief
Plumb pudding etc.

Then let all Curmudgeons who dote on their wealth
And value their treasure much more then their health
Go hang themselves up, if they will be so kind,
Old Christmas with them but small welcome shall find
They will not afford to themselves, without grief
Plumb pudding, Goose, Capon, Minc't pies, & Roast beef [.]

Printed for P. Brooksby

Facsimile of the Broadside from the Pepys Collection

Editor's Note:

Concerning the reference to "Mock-beggar-hall" in verse 9, see The Map of Mock Beggar Hall Roxb 1.252-253 and Mock Beggers Hall Rox 3 218-219.

Editor's Note: There are a number of carols on this website with similar titles or lyrical themes, and some of which are derived from a single source.

Old Christmas Returned, which occurs under three different titles:

A similar title, but a very different carol is All You That Are To Mirth Inclined (often under the title of "The Sinner's Redemption"), and with slight changes, especially to just the first line of the first verse (and hence sold as "a new Christmas carol"). See: All You That Are To Mirth Inclined - Notes.

See also:

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