Hal an Tow – Beth’s Notes

Hal an Tow - Beth's Notes 1


Info

This song is sung during the Furry Dance, a festival in Helston, Cornwall, UK in early May each year. The song is part of a play which includes the characters of Robin Hood, Little John, St. George and St. Michael. (source)


Lyrics

Refrain
Hal-an-tow*, jolly rumble, O.
For we are up as soon as any day, O,
And for to fetch the summer home,
the summer and the May, O
For summer is a-come, O,
And winter is a-gone, O.

Robin Hood and Little John,
They both are gone to fair, O,
And we will to the merry greenwood
To see what they do there, O,
And for to chase, O,
To chase the buck and doe. Refrain

Where are those Spaniards
That make so great a boast, O?
For they shall eat the grey goose feather
And we will eat the roast, O
In every land, O
The land where-e’er we go. Refrain

St Piran showed his care for us
And all our sons and daughters, O
He brought the book of Christendom
Across the western waters, O
And taught the love of Heaven above
For Cornishmen below. Refrain

As for that good knight, St George
St George he was a knight, O
Of all the knights in Christendom
St George he is the right, O
In every land, O
The land where-e’er we go. Refrain

But to a greater than St George
Our Helston has a right, O
St Michael with his wings outspread,
The archangel so bright, O
Who fought the fiend, O
Of all mankind the foe. Refrain

God bless Aunt Mary Moses
And all her power and might, O
And send us peace in merry England
Both day and night, O.
And send us peace in merry England
Both now and ever more, O. Refrain

*The meaning is disputed. Some say the words are Cornish: Halan = the first day of a month; Tow = garland (source)


See also


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Extras for Plus Members

  • Song with chords (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen

Hal an Tow - Beth's Notes 2

Hal an Tow - Beth's Notes 3

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