When Bloody Herod Reigned King Lyrics
1. When bloody Herod reigned king
Within Judea land,
Much woes his cruel will did bring,
By power of his command.
Amongst the rest, with grief opprest,
Was good St. John there slain,
Who on this day midst sport and play,
A Martyr'd death did gain.
2. King Herod, being in his tower,
Herodias dancing spied,
As fair as any Summer flower
In all her painted pride;
Clad in bright gold for to behold
King Herod's heart admired
He bid her crave what she should have,
Though she his crown desired.
3. A kingly crown I do not wish,
But Saint John's head, she said;
Wherefore, all bleeding in a dish,
Before me be it laid.
Which was the thing she of the king
Desired with right good will,
Whose death was wrought, and to her brought:
Such minds have harlots still.
4. Thus wine and women, we do see,
Men's minds to folly win;
For Herod did too soon agree,
And gave consent to sin.
For on this day, as Scriptures day,
St. John did lose his head,
Whilst she did sing before the King,
As he at table fed.
5. Then let us all by him take heed
Of riot and excess,
For fear that soon to us it breed
As great a wickedness.
And let our sport in civil sort,
Content each merry mind;
So shall we all in this good hall
Much joy and comfort find.
6. Now kindly for my pretty song,
Good butler, draw some beer;
You know what duties do belong
To him that sings so clear.
Holly and ivy, and drink to drive ye,
To the brown bowl of berry;
With apples and ale, and a Christmas tale,
We'll make this household merry.
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