The Leathern Bottel

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Melody -
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Traditional ballad, Somersetshire version

God above, who rules all things,
Monks and abbots, and beggars and kings,
The ships that in the sea do swim,
The earth, and all that is therein;
Not forgetting the old cow's hide,
And everything else in the world beside:
And I wish his soul in heaven may dwell,
Who first invented this leathern bottel!

2. Oh! what do you say to the glasses fine?
Oh! they shall have no praise of mine;
Suppose a gentleman sends his man
To fill them with liquor, as fast as he can,
The man he falls, in coming away,
And sheds the liquor so fine and gay;
But had it been in the leathern bottel,
And the stopper been in, 'twould all have been well!

3. Oh! what do you say to the tankard fine?
Oh! it shall have no praise of mine;
Suppose a man and his wife fall out,
And such things happen sometimes, no doubt,
They pull and they haul; in the midst of the fray
They shed the liquor so fine and gay;
But had it been in the leathern bottel,
And the stopper been in, 'twould all have been well!

4. Now, when this bottel it is worn out,
Out of its sides you may cut a clout;
This you may hang upon a pin,
'Twill serve to put odd trifles in;
Ink and soap, and candle-ends,
For young beginners have need of such friends.
And I wish his soul in heaven may dwell,
Who first invented the leathern bottel!

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