A Tankard Of Ale - online songbook

An Anthology Of 120 Drinking Song Lyrics

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A Tankard of Ale
" I knew no harm of Bonaparte and plenty of the Squire, And for to fight the Frenchman I did not much desire ; But I did bash their baggonets because they came
arrayed To straighten out the crooked road an English drunkard
made, Where you and I went down the lane with ale-mugs in
our hands, The night we went to Glastonbury by way of Goodwin
sands."
Even here the facts of the French Revolution and the tyranny of the countryside have to be dragged in, and the whole history of England flung down as a challenging
gage.
One of the few genuine modern drinking songs was
made when Mr. Belloc wrote :
" If I should be what I never shall be,
The Master or the Squire ; If you gave me the hundred from here to the sea,
Which is more than I desire, Then all my crops should be barley and hops,
And did my harvest fail, I would sell every rood of my acres I would
For a bellyful of good ale."
But even Mr. Belloc can rarely achieve anything so single-minded as this. In an age of unbelief he has to testify to eternal truth with a rousing bar-parlour chorus, and lays his tankard about him as a truncheon in defence of the Catholic Church :
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