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The Christmas Goose

from Midwinter Revels by GreenMatthews

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A rather risqué festive ballad from the North of England.


lyrics

It was at an inn in Manchester - "The Cornstalks" was the sign
A famous public where commercials used to sleep and dine
One Christmas time a traveller so oft had been his use
Called to spend his holidays and choose his Christmas goose

He drank his pint of sherry wine, he smoked a mild cigar,
He chatted with the customers and people at the bar;
But not a thought of wickedness e’er entered in his head,
Until the chambermaid appeared to light him up to bed.

Oh! All around the greenwood so early in the morn
The merry merry huntsman blows his silver bugle horn

But then he grew so amorous, he squeezed her on the stairs,
He kissed her at the chamber door before he said his prayers;
He gave to her a guinea to prevent her being vexed,
And then he blew the candle out and you can guess the rest.

Next morning this lothario discharged his little bill,
He tipped the Boots and tossed the landlord for a parting gill;
But where he went to afterwards it’s not for me to say;
Suffice he came to choose his goose that very next Christmas Day.

Oh! All around the greenwood so early in the morn
The merry merry huntsman blows his silver bugle horn

Next Christmas Time came round again which filled his heart with glee;
He’d wandered round from town to town and strange sights did he see;
Till he ended up in Manchester and put up for the night
At that same inn which twelve months past had filled him with delight.

He went into the coffee room as jaunty as could be,
Where many a rooster like himself was waiting for his tea.
He ordered of the very best the landlord could produce
And called the waiter back to say, ‘Now don’t forget the goose.’

Oh! All around the greenwood so early in the morn
The merry merry huntsman blows his silver bugle horn

Right speedily a tray was brought with eatables galore,
And by that self-same chambermaid he’d kissed twelve months before;
But nothing loth, he raised the cloth whereon a heap was piled;
Instead of food thereon was a big fat bumping child.

Enraged at seeing others laugh, ‘What is this here?’ said he.
‘Come sit you down beside me and I’ll tell you, sir,’ said she.
‘Last Christmas you so generous were, pray do not look so strange,
You gave to me a guinea and I’ve brought you back your change.

Oh! All around the greenwood so early in the morn
The merry merry huntsman blows his silver bugle horn

credits

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

Sophie: voice, clarinet

Chris: voice, piano, mandocello

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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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