The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #13771   Message #1379621
Posted By: Jim Dixon
15-Jan-05 - 04:47 PM
Thread Name: ADD:Drive the Cold Winter Away/All Hail to the Day
Subject: Lyr Add: ALL HAIL TO THE DAYS
ALL HAIL TO THE DAYS
[with modernized spelling]

1. All hail to the days
That merit more praise
    Than all the rest of the year!
And welcome the nights
That double delights
    As well for the poor as the peer!
Good fortune attend
Each merry man's friend
    That doth but the best that he may,
Forgetting old wrongs
With carols and songs
    To drive the cold winter away.

2. The Court in all state
Now opens her gate
    And bids a free welcome to most:
The City, likewise,
Though somewhat precise,
    Doth willingly part with her cost;
And yet, by report,
From City and Court
    The country doth get the day:
More liquor is spent,
And better content,
    To drive the cold winter away.

3. The gentry there
For cost do not spare;
    The yeomanry fast in Lent;
The farmers and such
Think nothing too much
    If they keep but to pay their rent.
The poorest of all
Do merrily call
    (Want bears but a little sway)
For a song, or a tale,
Or a pot of good ale,
    To drive the cold winter away.

4. Thus none will allow
Of solitude now,
    But merrily greet the time,
To make it appear
Of all the whole year
    That this is accounted the prime:
December is seen
Apparel'd in green,
    And January, fresh as May,
Comes dancing along
With a cup and a song
    To drive the cold winter away.

5. This time of the year
Is spent in good cheer;
    Kind neighbours together meet
To sit by the fire
With friendly desire
    Each other in love to greet;
Old grudges, forgot,
Are put in the pot,
    All sorrows aside they lay;
The old and the young
Doth carol his song
    To drive the cold winter away.

6. To mask and to mum*
Kind neighbours will come
    With wassails of nut-brown ale,
To drink and carouse
To all in this house,
    As merry as bucks in the pale*;
Where cake, bread and cheese
Is brought for your fees
    To make you the longer stay,
At the fire to warm
Will do you no harm
    To drive the cold winter away.

7. When Christmastide
Comes in like a bride,
    With holly and ivy clad,
Twelve days in the year
Much mirth and good cheer
    In every household is had;
The country guise*
Is then to devise
    Some gambol of Christmas play,
Whereat the young men
Do best that they can
    To drive the cold winter away.

8. When white-bearded Frost
Hath threatened his worst
    And fallen from branch and brier,
Then time away calls
From husbandry halls*
    And from the good countryman's fire,
Together to go
To plow and to sow,
    To get us both food and array;
And thus with content
The time we have spent
    To drive the cold winter away.

[From The New Oxford Book of Carols[*Mum = to act or mime in plays or games (hence "mummer"); pale = enclosed field; guise = custom; husbandry halls = barns and stables.]

[Besides the 8 given in the Oxford book, the only other verse I can find is the following one.]

'Tis ill for a mind
To anger inclined
    To think of small injuries now.
If wrath be to seek,
Do not lend her your cheek,
    Nor let her inhabit thy brow.
Cross out of thy books
Malevolent looks,
    Both beauty and youth's decay,
And wholly consort
With mirth and with sport
    To drive the cold winter away.

[The song is known by various titles. allmusic lists
18 recordings as DRIVE THE COLD WINTER AWAY,
3 as TO DRIVE THE COLD WINTER AWAY,
2 as DRIVE THE COLD WINTER,
2 as ALL HAYLE TO THE DAYES (the title used in the Oxford book),
1 as ALL HAIL TO THE DAYS,
3 as PRAISE OF CHRISTMAS, and
1 as IN PRAISE OF CHRISTMAS.