The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

At The Beginning Of The Meat

Words and Music: English Traditional

Compare: At The Begynnyng Of The Mete (Wright, 1847)

Source: William Henry Husk, Songs of the Nativity (London: John Camden Hotten, 1868)

Version Three of Seven From Husk
See generally Boar's Head Carols

Po, po, po, po,
[I] love brawn and so do mo.

1. At the beginning of the meat
Of a boar's head ye shall eat,
And in the mustard ye shall wet
    And ye shall singen1 ere ye go.

2. Welcome be ye that be here,
And ye shall have right good cheer,
And also a right good fare,
    And ye shall singen ere ye go.

3. Welcome be ye every one,
For ye shall sing right anon;
Hie ye fast that ye had done,
    And ye shall singen ere ye go.


1. The old form of the plural. Return

Husk's Note:

This is from the manuscript of the fifteenth century which was edited ... in 1847, for the Percy Society by Mr. Thomas Wright. [At The Begynnyng Of The Mete (Wright, 1847)]

Also found in Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), p. 257.

Rickert gives the following for line 2, verse 3:

“For ye shall singen with sithe anon”

She states that “sithe” means “after.”

Also found in Christmas In Art And Song: A Collection of Songs, Carols and Descriptive Poems, Relating To The Festival of Christmas (New York: The Arundel Printing and Publishing Co., 1879), which omits the burden.

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