A Dozen of Points
Words: English Traditional
Music: English Traditional
Source: The English Broadside Ballad Archive, University of California, Santa Barbara (EBBA), Euing 126
Date Published: ca 1658-1664
A godly new Ballad, Intituled, A dozen of Points.
A dozen of Points you may
Whereon each Christians soul may feed.
The gift is smal, a dozen of
Wherewith Ide wish you knit your joynts,
Keep well the same and credit me.
Thy life most pure and just shall be.
The first Points this I wish
Is that at night before you sleep:
Still see you ask God forgiveness
Of all your sins and wickedness.
The second Point is this I
When thou dost see the chearful day,
Arise and praise the God of might
That hath defended thee all night.
The third is this that thou
And on thy bended knees desire,
The God of heaven to be thy stay,
For to preserve thee night and day.
The fourth doth bid thee to
And to avoid the subtil snare,
For Satan with his crafty power
Doth seek mens souls for to devour.
The fifth good counsel doth
And warn thee well whilst thou dost live,
To keep thy conscience clear and pure
Then God will bless thee to be sure.
The sixth of these my Points
That thou devise no subtle skil,
Whereby to work thy Neighbors wo,
Take heed I say and do not so.
The seventh saith, defraud no
But deal as justly as you can;
The Widow and the Fatherless defend
So God will bless thee to the end.
The eighth doth bid thee more
Still to beware of drunkennesse;
For drunkenness is abhord of God
On whom he lays his heavy rod.
The ninth saith, Fornication
Those wicked Harlots will make thee die:
Thy body theyl consume I say,
And bring thy soul unto decay.
The tenth doth say, do not
False witness againts no man bear:
Let no affection sway thy mind
The eye of Justice for to blind.
The eleventh enjoyns thee not
Thy Neighbors goods for to require,
But the ten Commandements observe,
So shalt thou stand and never swerve.
The twelfth saith, fear the
God of might,
And truely serve him day and night:
Obey the King as tis thy part
To thy Countrey bear a faithful heart.
See these my Points thou dost
Even when thou thy self dost rest:
Keep well each one in his degree,
And knit them fast and credit m[e.]
This Broadside printed for F. Coles, T. Vere and W. Gilbertson, circa 1658-1664.
It was found in the William Euing Collection, #126, which is located at University of Glasgow Library. It is available online at the English Broadside Ballad Archive, University of California, Santa Barbara (EBBA ID 32613).
This is not the sort of ballad or carol that we usually associate with Christmas, but it does point out an important part of the Advent preparations of our ancestors: proper preparation of the soul for the Second Advent (the Second Coming at which time all will be judged). Other Christmas Broadsides contain ballads with similar themes of personal preparation.
On the same Broadside was printed “When righteous Joseph wedded was.” (EBBA ID 32613).
The Samuel Pepys Collection also contains an older version of ballad, A Douzen of Points. Interestingly, the ballad that was printed with that one was also When Righteous Joseph wedded was.
Other copies are:
Contrast: A Dossen of Points - Wright (similar theme, different song)