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Home School Life Journal ........... painting by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Folksongs: Pastime with Good Company




One piece of the Charlotte Mason education that I have neglected is the learning of hymns and folk songs. Her students learned three folksongs and three hymns each term. I find, however, it is better to do a little than none at all. Since we are studying the Middle Ages to the Renasissance this year, I thought I would start with one of the earliest known folksongs of England, "Pastime with Good Company", also known as "The King's Ballad" ("The Kynges Balade"). It was written by King Henry VIII in the first years of the 16th century, shortly after being crowned.

Passetyme with gude companye, (Pastime with good company,)

I love, and shall until I dye. (I love, and shall until I die.)
Gruch who wyll, but none deny, (Grudge who will, but none deny,)
So God be pleeyd, thus lyfe wyll I. (So God be pleased, thus live will I.)
For my pastaunce: (For my pastance:)
Hunt, syng, and daunce, (Hunt, sing, and dance,)
My hert ys sett! (My heart is set!)
All gudely sport, (All goodly sport,)
Fore my comfort, (For my comfort,)
Who shall me lett? (Who shall me let?)
Youth wyll have nedes dalyaunce, (Youth must have some dalliance,)
Of gude or yll some pastaunce, (Of good or ill some pastance.)
Companye me thynketh them best, (Company methinks them best,)
All thouts and fansyes to dygest. (All thoughts and fancies to digest.)
For ydleness, (For idleness,)
Ys chef mastres (Is chief mistress)
Of vyces all: (Of vices all:)
Than who can say, (Then who can say,)
But myrth and play (But mirth and play,)
Ys best of all? (Is best of all?)
Companye with honeste, (Company with honesty,)
Ys vertu, vyce to flee. (Is virtue, vice to flee.)
Companye ys gude or yll, (Company is good and ill,)
But ev'ry man hath hys frewylle. (But every man has his free will.)
The best ensyue, (The best ensue,)
The worst eschew, (The worst eschew,)
My mynd shall be: (My mind shall be:)
Vertue to use, (Virtue to use,)
Vyce to refuse, (Vice to refuse,)
Thus shall I use me! (Thus shall I use me!)

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