Here's a health unto the mis-ter-ess, the fairest of twenty:
O, is she so, is she so, is she so?
Is your glass full_ or is your glass empty
Come, let us know, let us know, let us know;
(Solo and repeat for chorus)
We'll drink him out so deep and we'll sing ourselves to sleep,
And sing ho and sing ho,and sing ho!
Lucy Broadwood and J A Fuller Maitland. 1893, English County Songs
, Leadenhall Press, London
The first of two songs entitled "The Mistress's Health" collected from Sussex.
Words and tune from John Burberry, gamekeeper, Sept 1892.
When sung at harvest homes and the like, the singers, at the words "O is she so?" &c., carry candles up to the mistress as if to investigate her claim to be "the fairest of twenty."
(Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six