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Hey For Christmas!

from Midwinter Revels by GreenMatthews

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A delightfully secular 17th-century song that features all of the elements of a quintessential Restoration Christmas - feasting, dancing, drinking, fornication and, of course, gratuitous violence towards bagpipers.

lyrics

Come one, come all, come Christmas time,
Come hear the music call you on,
To eat the vittles and drink the wine
And dance away the whole night long.

There’s Robin and Ralph and Harry too
They'll come and meet upon the green
With Betty andBridget, Sal and Sue
The finest wenches ever seen.

Hey! for Christmas once a year,
When we have cakes, both ale and beer;
To the Christmas feast they come,
Young men and maids to shake their bums.

There's a piper for to play the dance
When all the lads and lasses meet,
And men and maids away they dance
And follow the piper down the street.

Oh how they side and turn about
So nimbly go around the other;
And when that they have danced it out
They call the piper to play another.

Hey! for Christmas once a year,
When we have cakes, both ale and beer;
To the Christmas feast they come,
Young men and maids to shake their bums.

Thus they did dance from morn till night;
Til they were as merry as cup and can
Till they had tired the piper quite
And sweat all down their buttocks ran.

Then they unto Hot Cockles went,
But Sal gave Betty a blow too hard,
And down together smash they went
And all their sporting soon was marred.

Hey! for Christmas once a year,
When we have cakes, both ale and beer;
To the Christmas feast they come,
Young men and maids to shake their bums.

They took the piper, cracked his head,
His pipes they threw into the fire;
So drunk as they were nearly dead
And slept where they fell in the mire.

Hey! for Christmas once a year,
When we have cakes, both ale and beer;
To the Christmas feast they come,
Young men and maids to shake their bums.

credits

from Midwinter Revels, released November 30, 2020
Music and lyrics trad. arr. Green

Sophie: voice, recorder, English border bagpipes

Chris: voice. Renaissance cittern, accordion, bass, drums

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GreenMatthews Coventry, UK

Chris Green and Sophie Matthews play English traditional songs and tunes in a thoroughly 21st-century kick-ass style. Using a blend of ancient instruments such as cittern, English bagpipes and shawm as well as modern folk instruments such as guitar, flute and piano accordion, they breathe new life into material from hundreds of years ago, making it fresh and relevant for a modern audience. ... more

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