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Late on a chilly evening on a Christmas eve

The goodman went to gather branches,

He wanted to wind them into merry wreaths

When he heard the little fellow dancing.

Dear old friend!

The man he stood there listening 

The little fellow rhymed and he was dancing 

Listen, my old friend, please give a word, 

This holy eve was not meant for carousing,

The riotous behavior from your boys this eve,

Their noise, my anger it is rousing

Dear old friend! (Chorus)

I scolded their behavior on this Christmas Eve

If not for you the consequences grievous 

For hey look you, they threw a bowl at me,

If not for you I would have struck them speechless.

Dear old friend! (Chorus)


I told them of the value of peaceful Christmas cheer,

If not for you there surely would be trouble,

For hey look you they struck me with a mug of beer

If not for you, the house would surely rumble.

Dear old friend! (Chorus)


I tried to give my lesson with my humble tune,

If not for you, my actions were tremendous

For, hey look you, they poked me with a spoon

If not for you, my actions were horrendous

Dear old friend! (Chorus)


The goodman begged his pardon, but signaled discontent,

The little man for nine years came a’sailing,

But in that whole time, he never paid his rent,

Their friendship on this matter more was ailing.

Dear old friend! (Chorus)


The little fellow squinted and he twirled his beard,

He saw at what his friend was grasping,

But a request for payment before he’d never heard,

The man was too shy to be asking.

Dear old friend! (Chorus)


But go the stern of the ship and down there hangs

A bright pair of brilliant golden breeches

And down in there stand nine treasure-laden chests

And with keys all the locks are loosened


Dear old friend! (Chorus)

And down in there lies a scarf of vibrant blue,

Sewn all in shining thread of silver,

Made by the hand of my daughter Ingeri,

While she was still a lass unmarried


Dear old friend! (Chorus)

And down in there lies an embroidered silken robe,

Garlanded with evergreens and lilies,

Saved all the year by my wife for Christmas day

When with merry frolic she was dancing.

Dear old friend! (Chorus)

And I will gladly give you, with grateful Christmas cheer,

The table cloth we used for Christmas dinner

For we little fellows dance but once a year

When goodmen gather wreaths in the mid-winter.

Dear old friend! (Chorus)

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