The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #16164   Message #1076250
Posted By: GUEST,Roger May, Southampton, England
19-Dec-03 - 12:15 PM
Thread Name: Origin: Mary Mild / Bitter Withy / Holy Well
Subject: RE: History of 'Mary Mild' (Bitter Withy / Holy Well)
I've known "the Bitter Withy" for years, in Peter Bellamy's version, when he was with Young Tradition. I've always thought the first two lines were:
"As it fell out on a bright holiday,
Small ale from the sky did fall".

Isn't this just a figurative term - everywhere you look there's small ale (i.e. weak beer) - like the modern "it's raining men"!

If it was a bright holiday and the infant Jesus built a bridge from the beams of the sun, how come it was hailing? And why "small" hail?

I rest my case.