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The Leather Bottel 'Twas God above that made all things The heav'ns, the earth, and all therein * The ships that on the sea do swim To guard from foes that none come in. And let them all do what they can 'Twas for one end - the use of Man So I wish in heaven his soul may dwell That first found out the leather bottel. Now, what do you say to these cans of wood? Oh no, in faith, they cannot be good For if the bearer fall by the way Why, on the ground your liquor doth lay; But had it been in a leather bottel Although he had fallen, all would be well So I wish etc. Then what do you say to these glasses fine? Oh, they shall have no praise of mine For if you chance to touch the brim Down dalls the liquor and all therein; But had it been in a leather bottel And the stopple in, all would be well, So I wish etc. Then what do you say to these black pots three? If a man and his wife should disagree Why they'll tug and they'll pull till their liquor doth spill In a leather bottel they may tug their fill. And pull away till their hearts do ache And yet the liquor no harm can take So I wish etc. Then what do you say to these flagons fine? Oh, they shall have no praise of mine For when a Lord is about to dine He sends them to be filled with wine, The man with the flagons doth run away Because they are silver most gallant and gay So I wish etc. A leather bottel we know is good Far better than glasses or cans of wood For when a man's at work in the field You glasses and pots no comfort will yield; But a good leather bottel standingh by Will raise his spirits, whenever he's dry So I wish etc. At noon, the haymakers sit them down To drink from their bottles of ale, nut-brown; In summer, too, when the weather is warm A good bottle full will do them no harm. Then the lads and the lasses begin to tattle But what would they do without this bottle? So I wish etc. There's never a Lord, an Earl, or Knight, But in this bottle doth take delight For when he's hunting of the deer He oft doth wish for a bottle of beer; Likewise the man that works in the wood A bottle beer will oft do him good So I wish etc. And when the leather bottel grows old And will good liquor no longer hold, Out of its side you may make a clout To mend your shoes when they're worn out; Or take it and hang it up on a pin 'Twill do to put hinges and odd things in So I wish etc. From Popular Music of the Olden Time, Chappell. Note: According to Chappell, earliest printed sources date this at least as far back as reign of Charles II, though Chapelle feels that it's probably contemporary with Chaucer. * For better or for worse, I first heard the two opening lines as: "When I survey the world around, The wondrous things that do abound" --RG RG
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!