Martin Said To His Man

William Chappell, in "Popular Music of the Olden Time," gives a text of this drinking song, which dates back to the 16th century. he supposes it to be a satire on those who tell wonderful stories: we tend to think of it as a political allegory, though we have not yet made up the folklore to go with this theory.

Oh, Martin said to his man
     fie, man, fie
Oh, Martin said to his man
     Who's the fool now?
Martin said to his man,
Fill thou the cup and I the can
     Thou hast well drunken man, who's the fool now?

I saw the man in the moon
Clouting on St. Peter's shoon:

I saw the hare chase the hound.
Forty miles above the ground:

I saw a goose wring a hog
Saw a snail bite a dog:

I saw the cheese eat the rat
Saw a mouse chase a cat:
I saw a flea heave a tree
Twenty miles out to sea:

I saw a snail drive a nail
From Penzance up to Hale:

I saw a maid milk a bull
Every pull a bucket full:

Martin said to his man
Fill thou the cup and I the can:

© Golden Hind Music