Drive the Cold Winter Away
These extremely Marcher verses are taken from a much longer traditional English song " A Pleasant Countrey New Ditty: Merrily Shewing How to Drive the Cold Winter Away", from the Roxburghe Ballads, a collection of 17th century songs. The full version is available here Kathryn has added in a simple chorus, as Marchers do love a good singalong!
This time of the year is spent in good cheer, And neighbours together do 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 this song To drive the cold winter away.
Chorus: To drive the cold winter away, away To drive the cold winter away The old and the young doth carol this song To drive the cold winter away.
To mask and to mum kind neighbours will come With wassails of hot brown ale, To drink and carouse to all in the house As merry as bucks in the dale; Where cake, bread, and cheese is brought for your fees To make you the longer stay; At the fire to warm 'twill do you no harm, To drive the cold winter away.
When white-bearded frost hath threatened its worst, And fallen from branch and briar, Then time away calls from husbandry halls And from the good countryman's fire, Together to go, to plough and to sow To get us both food and array, And thus will content the time we have spent To drive the cold winter away