The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

In Honour Of Saint John We Thus

Words: English Traditional


Music: To the tune of "Sellenger's Round"


Source: A. H. Bullen, A Christmas Garland (London: John C. Nimmo, 1885), pp. 202-4.

1. In honour of Saint John we thus
    Do keep good Christmas cheer;
And he that comes to dine with us,
    I think he need not spare.
The butcher he hath killed good beef,
    The caterer brings it in;
But Christmas pies are still the chief
    If that I durst begin.

2. Our bacon hogs are full and fat
    To make us brawn and souse;
Full well may I reject thereat
    To see them in the house
But yet the minced pie it is
    That sets my teeth on water;
Good mistress, let me have a bit,
    For I do long thereafter.

3. And I will fetch your water in
    To brew and bake withal,
Your love and favour still to win
    When as you please to call.
Then grant me, dame your love and leave
    To taste your pie-meat here;
It is the best in my conceit
    Of all your Christmas-cheer.

4. The cloves and mace and gallant plums
    That here on heaps do die,
[And prunes] as big as both my thumbs,
    Enticeth much mine eye.
oh, let me eat my belly-full
    Of your good Christmas-pie;
Except thereat I have a pull,
    I think I sure shall die.

5. Good master, stand my loving friend,
    For Christmas-time is short,
And when it comes unto the end
    I may no longer sport;
Then while it doth continue here
    Let me such labour find,
To eat my fill of that good cheer
    That best doth please my mind.

6. Then I shall thank my dame therefore,
    That gives her kind consent,
That Jack your boy with others more
    May have this Christmas spent
In pleasant mirth and merry glee,
    As young men most delight;
For that's the only sport for me,
    And so God give you all good-night.

Note from Bullen:

See also: Hymns To St. John The Evangelist.

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