The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

A bonne, God wote!

A Christenmesse Carroll.

(From MS. Cott. Vesp. A. xxv. fol. 168, v0)

Source: Thomas Wright, Specimens of Old Christmas Carols, Selected from Manuscripts and Printed Books  (London: The Percy Society, 1841)

Also found in William Sandys, Christmas-tide, Its History, Festivities and Carols, With Their Music (London: John Russell Smith, 1852), pp. 224-5.

Compare: A Bone, God Wot!

    A bonne, God wote!
    Stickes in my throate,
Without I have a draught
    Of cornie aile,
    Nappy and staile,
My lyffe lyes in great wauste.
    Some ayle or beare,
    Gentill butlere,
Some lycourse thou hus showe,
    Such as you mashe,
    Our throtes to washe,
The best were that yow brew.

    Saint, master, and knight,
    That saint Mault hight,
Were prest betwen two stones;
    That swet humour
    Of his lycoure
Would make us sing at once.
    Mr. Wortley,
    I dar well say,
I tell you as I thinke,
    Would not, I say,
    Byd hus this day,
But that we shuld have drink.

    His men so tall
    Walkes up his hall,
With many a comly dishe;
    Of his good meat
    I cannot eate,
Without a drink i-wysse;
    Now gyve hus drink,
    And let cat wynke,
I tell you all at once,
    Yt stickes so sore,
    I may sing nomore,
Tyll I have droken once.


Editor's Note.

Also found in Thomas Wright, Ed., Festive Songs Principally of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (London: Percy Society, 1848), p. 18, where he notes: "Wright's Carols, No. xxix—from MS. Cott. Vesp. A. xxv., fol. 168. vo."

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