Hey for Christmas

"Hey for Christmas!"

Late August is probably the wrong time for Christmas; but as I missed the last feast, if not the holiday, perhaps you will excuse me.

One of my favorite early music groups, The Baltimore Consort, has a wonderful Christams album that I've recently discovered. The ultimate song is exactly the kind of merry brawl that so characterizes traditional music, when our feasts were sweetened by fasting.

Then they sat down to their good cheer
And pleasant were both maids and men,
And having dined and drunk good beer,
Then they rose to dance again,
And thus did they did dance from woman to man...

Then they went to the little thatch house,
And played at cards a game or two,
And with the good liquor did so carouse...

The pots blew out, the glasses were broke,
the game was scattered all by the fife,
Richard was pull'd down by the throat,
At which the hostess drew her knife!

They took the fiddler and broke his pate,
And threw his fiddle into the fire,
And drunkenly went home so late
That most of them fell in the mire...
I have fasted too, and perhaps I have learned something thereby. One thing I think I have learned is that the older music is better, and stronger, than what passes for music today.

That, of course, is just what you expect an old man to say: that the music of his youth is far sweeter and stronger than the music of today. If so, my youth was a thousand years ago. And maybe that is right.

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