The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Young Men and Maids On New Year's Day

Words: English Traditional
From A Cabinet of Choice Jewels, or The Christian's Joy and Gladness, 1688.


Music: "Caper and jerk it"


Source: A. H. Bullen, A Christmas Garland (London: John C. Nimmo, 1885), pp. 209-10.

1. The young men and maids on New Year's Day,
    Their loves they will present
With many a gift both fine and gay,
    Which gives them true content:
And though the gift be great or small,
    Yet this is the custom still
Expressing their loves in ribbons and gloves,
    It being their kind good-will.

2. Young bachelors will not spare their coin,
    But thus their love is shown;
Young Richard will buy a bodkin fine
    And give it honest Joan.
There's Nancy and Sue with honest Prue,
    Young damsels both fair and gay,
Will give to the men choice presents agen
    For the honour of New Year's day.

3. Fine ruffs, cravats of curious lace
    Maids give them fine and neat;
For this the young men will them embrace
    With tender kisses sweet:
And give them many pleasant toys
    To deck them fine and gay,
As bodkins and rings with other fine things
    For the honour of New Year's day.

4. It being the first day of the year,
    To make the old amends,
And those that have it will dress good cheer
    Inviting all their friends.
To drink great James's royal health,
    As very well subjects may,
With many healths more, which we have store,
    For the honour of New Year's day.

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