Boozy Christmas carol from the 16th century – bonus hangover carol

This boozy Christmas carol was brewed in a manuscript written early in the sixteenth century and preserved in the Cottonian collection in the British Museum. It’s called  “A Christenmesse Carroll.”

A bone, God wot!
Sticks in my throat —
Without I have a draught
Of cornie ale,
Nappy and stale,
My life lies in great waste.
Some ale or beer,
Gentle butler,
Some liquor thou us show,
Such as you mash
Our throats to wash,
The best ware that you brew.

 Saint, master, and knight,
That Saint Malt hight,
Were pressed between two stones;
That sweet humour
Of his liquor
Would make us sing at once.
Master Wortley, I dare well say,
I tell you as I think,
Would not, I say,
Bid us this day,
But that we should have drink.

His men so tall
Walk up his hall,
With many a comely disk;
Of his good meat
I cannot eat,
Without I drink, I wis.
Now give us drink,
And let cat wink,
I tell you all at once,
It sticks so sore,
I may sing no more,
Till I have drunken once.

Henry Vizetelly notes that “Good ale, however, like most other things when taken in excess, is attended by certain inconveniences, as the following song..will serve to explain:” Ale Makes Many A Man To Stick At A Brier.

 

 

 

 

Siobhan O’Shea is a freelance writer. She writes about pretty much everything but especially likes to bring readers’ attention to new tech, marketing, human behavior, and other oddities.