The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

In All This Warld Is a Meryar Life

Words and Music: Traditional English

Source: Thomas Wright, Songs and Carols Now First Printed, From a Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century (London: The Percy Society, 1847), Song #2, printed verbatim from a manuscript probably owned by a professional musician, and apparently written in the latter half of the fifteenth century, circa 1471-1485.

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            A, a, a, a, yet I love wher so I go.

In all this warld is a meryar life
Than is a 3ong man withoutyn a wyfe;
For he may lyven withou3ten stryfe,
          In every place wher so he go.

In every place he is loved over all,
Among maydyns gret and small;
In dauncing, in pypyng, and rennyng at the ball,,
          In every, etc.

Thei lat ly3t be husbondmen,
Whan thei at the ball rene;
Thei cast hyr love to 3ong men,
          In every, etc.

Than sey maydens, Farwell, Jacke,
Thi love is pressyd all in thi pake,
Thou beryst thi love behynd thi back.
          In every, etc.

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