possibly by William Stevenson, Sir (1530 - 1575)

Language: English 
I cannot eat but little meat,
  My stomach is not good;
But sure I think that I can drink
  With him that wears a hood.
Though I go bare, take ye no care,
  I am nothing acold;
I stuff my skin so full within
  Of jolly good ale and old.

  So back and side go bare, go bare,
    Both foot and hand go cold;
  But belly, God send thee good ale enough,
    Whether it be new or old.

I love no roast but a nut-brown toast,
  And a crab laid in the fire;
A little bread shall do me stead,
  Much bread I not desire.
No frost nor snow, no wind, I trow,
  Can hurt me if I wold,
I sam so wrapt and throughly lapp'd
  Of jolly good ale and cold.


And Tib my wife, that as her life
  Loveth well good ale to seek,
Full oft drinks she, till ye may see
  The tears run down her cheek.
Then doth she troll to me the bowl,
  Even as a maltworm shold;
And saith, "Sweetheart, I took my part
  Of this jolly good ale and old."


Now let them drink till they nod and wink,
  Even as good fellows should do;
They shall not miss to have the bliss
  Good ale doth bring men to.
And all poor souls that have scourèd bowls,
  Or have them lustily troll'd,
God save the lives of them and their wives,
  Whether they be young or old.



Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Set in a modified version by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:50
Line count: 40
Word count: 248