3 Songs of Henry VIII

  • for SS(A) choir and piano

  • Duration Flexible


attributed to King Henry VIII

commissioned by Scunthorpe Co-operative Junior Choir, Scunthorpe, UK, with funds from Yorkshire Arts, 1999

Durations of individual songs:
no 1 (Pastime with good company) 1'45"
no 2 (Lusty youth should us ensue) 4'00"
no 3 (Though some saith that youth ruleth me) 2'20"


Passetyme with good cumpanye
I love and shall unto I dye;
Grugge so woll, but noon denye;
So God be plecyd, this lyve woll I;
For my pastaunce
Hunte, syng and daunce;
My hert ys sett
All godely sport
To my cumfort:
Who shall me lett?
Yowth woll have nedes dalyaunce,
Of good or yll some pastaunce;
Cumpany me thynckyth then best
All thoftes and fantyses to dygest.
For idlenes
Ys cheff mistres
Of vices all;
Than who can say
But passe-the-day
Ys best of all?
Cumpany with honeste
Ys vertu, and vyce to flee;
Cumpany ys gode or yll,
But every man hath hys frewyll.
The best insew,
The worst eschew,
My mynde shall be;
Vertu to use,
Vyce to reffuse,
Y shall use me.

Lusti yough shuld us ensue,
Hys mery hart shall sure all rew;
For whatsoever they do hym tell,
It ys not for hym we know yt well.

For they wold have hym hys libertye refrayne
And all mery company for to dysdayne;
But I wyll not so whatsoever thay say,
But follow hys mind in all that we may.

How shuld yough hymselfe best use
But all dysdaynares for to refuse?
Yough has as chef assurans

Honest myrth with vertus pastance.
For in them consisteth gret honor,
Though that dysdaynars wold therin put error,
For they do sew to get them grace
All only reches to purchase.

With goode order, councell and equite,
Goode Lord, graunt us our mancyon to be!
For withowt ther goode gydaunce
Yough shuld fall in grett myschaunce;
For yough ys frayle and prompt to doo,
As well vices as vertuus to ensew;
Wherfor be thes he must be gydyd
And vertuus pastaunce must be theryn usyd.

Now unto God thys prayer we make,
That this rude play may well be take,
And that we may ower fauttes amend,
And blysse opteyne at ower last end. Amen.

Though sum saith that yough rulyth me,
I trust in age to tarry;
God and my ryght and my dewtye,
Frome them shall I never vary:
Though sum saith that yough rulyth me.

I pray you all that aged be,
How well dyd ye your yough carry?
I thynk sum wars of yche degre;
Therin a wager lay dar I:
Though sum saith [that yough rulyth me.]

Pastymes of yough sumtyme among,
None can sey but necessary;
I hurt no man, I do no wrong;
I love trew wher I dyd mary:
Though sum saith [that yough rulyth me.]

Then sone dyscusse that hens we must;
Pray we to God and Seynt Mary
That all amend; and here an end,
Thus sayth the kyng, the eighth Harry:
Though sum [saith that yough rulyth me.]