Monday, 29 December 2014

Merry Olde England

I've been posting quite a few Old English songs here during this year's holiday season, primarily because several branches of my family were from rural England and I have an affinity for the music.  Here's yet another, a New Year carol that is thought to have originated in the 17th century in the area of Oxford or Norfolk. It's sung to the tune of "Greensleeves".

The old year now away is fled,
The new year it is entered;
Then let us all our sins down tread,
And joyfully all appear.
Let's merry be this holiday,
And let us run with sport and play,
Hang sorrow, let's cast care away
God send us a happy new year!

For Christ's circumcision this day we keep,
Who for our sins did often weep;
His hands and feet were wounded deep,
And his blessed side, with a spear.
His head they crowned then with thorn,
And at him they did laugh and scorn,
Who for to save our souls was born;
God send us a happy New Year!

And now with New Year's gifts each friend
Unto each other they do send;
God grant we may our lives amend,
And that truth may now appear.
Now like the snake cast off your skin
Of evil thoughts and wicked sin,
And to amend this new year begin:
God send us a merry new year!

And now let all the company
In friendly manner all agree,
For we are here welcome all may see
Unto this jolly good cheer.
I thank my master and my dame,
Which are the founders of the same,
To eat, to drink now is no shame:
God send us a happy new year!

Come lads and lasses every one,
Jack, Tom, Dick, Bess, Mary and Joan,
Let's cut the meat unto the bone,
For welcome you need not fear.
And here for good liquor you shall not lack,
It will whet my brains and strengthen my back;
This jolly good cheer it must go to wrack:
God send us a happy new year!

Come, give's more liquor when I do call,
I'll drink to each one in this hall,
I hope that so loud I must not bawl,
So unto me lend an ear.
Good fortune to my master send,
And to our dame which is our friend,
Lord bless us all, and so I end:
God send us a happy new year!


  1. Christmas is a great time to look at old songs... they are filled with such meaningful lyrics. Thanks for sharing!

  2. How interesting to learn more about your heritage through the music of your ancestors! Reading the lyrics, I could almost see 17th century people enjoying the holidays. Happy New Year, Audrey! :)

  3. I love this and the song is amazing.

  4. What a great way to learn more about your family history.

  5. What a great time for songs. I am surprised we didn't get one christmas caroler in our neighborhood this year!