The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

As I Came By A Grene Forest Syde

A Caroll of Huntynge

For Christmas

Words and Music: English Traditional
from Wynkyn de Worde, Christmasse Carolles Newly Enprinted (London in the fletestrete at the sygne of the sonne, 1521)

Source: Edwald Flügen and Gustav Schirmer, eds., Anglia. Vol. XII. Band. (Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1889), p. 587.

As I came by a grene forest syde
I met with a forster yat badde me abyde
With hey go bet / hey go bet / hey go, howe*

Underneth a tre I dyde me set
And with a grete hert anone I met
I badde let slyppe / and sayd hey go bet
With hey go bet / hey go bet howe.*

I had not stande there but a whyle
For the mountenaunce of a myle
There came a grete herte without gyle
There he gothe / there he gothe. &c.
We shall haue sporte and game ynowe.

Talbot my hounde with a mery taste
All about the grene wode he gan cast
I toke my horne and blewe him a blast
With tro / ro / ro / ro: tro / ro / ro / ro.
With they go bet / hey go bet. &c.
There he gothe / there he goth. &c.
We shall haue sport and game ynowe.

Finis.

Footnote:

* In another early printing of this carol, the following line is added to these two stanzas:

"We shall haue sporte and game ynowe."

Note:

This is the companion song to The bores heed in hande bring I also printed by Wynkyn de Worde in this pamphlet, of which only these two carols survived.

Copies of this carol on this web site include:

This carol is considered to be a variant of an older carol, which was also printed by Flügen, James A. Froude,  and others. It's burden is:

As I walked by a forest side
I met with a forester; he bade me abide

The first verse is:

At a place where he me set —
He bade me what time an hart I met 
That I should let slip and say go bett; 
With Hay go bett, Hay go bett, Hay go bett, 
Now we shall have game and sport enow.

One version is printed in The Boris Hed In Hondis I Brynge-Hill. The earliest version I've found is from Richard Hill's Commonplace Book from the early 16th century. See Balliol College MS 354, p. 477. Additional research is continuing. Please check back.

Print Page Return Home Page Close Window