It Was My Father's Custom

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"A Merry Christmas Song"

Come, hither bring the holly bush to decorate the hall,
With lofty bows of mistletoe to hang around the wall,--
Spread wide the snowy table cloth upon the shiny board--
And bring the best of every thing the larder can afford.
Then place a seat for every guest, let here the glasses shine,
It was my father's custom and so it shall be mine.

2. Now bring the massive yule log--the fire pile well up,
For we must draw around it to drain the wassail cup.
The harmless joke shall pass around in spirits gay and light,--
Our laughter shall ring out loud, and echo with delight,--
The old their gossip shall enjoy--the youth with mirth combine,
It was my father's custom, and so it shall be mine.

3. Now clear away the table cloth and let the wine remain--
Bring oranges from Portugal, and grapes from sunny Spain,
Place here the cakes and there the nuts and there the rich preserves,
Good housewives bring your dainties, keep nothing in reserve.
Then bring the bowl, the jolly bowl, and fill it up with wine,
It was my father's custom, and so it shall be mine.

4. Now clear away the table, and take away each chair,
And let the merry music rejoicing dance prepare.
We'll play the games, the christmas games, blind man and hunt the shoe,--
And kiss the lasses round and round, under the mistletoe,--
For Christmas comes but once a year, its joys let none decline,
These were my father's customs, and so they shall be mine.


From American Songs and Ballads, Series 2, Volume 2.

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