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FUMARE

Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Sailor's Carol

Noel! Noel! Noel! Noel!
A Catholic tale I Have to tell!
And a Christian song I have to sing
While all the bells in Arundel ring.

I pray good beef and I pray good beer
This holy night of all the year,
But I pray detestable drink for them
That give no honour to Bethlehem.

May all good fellows that here agree
Drink Audit Ale in heaven with me,
And may all my enemies go to hell!
Noel! Noel! Noel! Noel!
May all my enemies go to hell!
Noel! Noel!

(Hilaire Belloc, The Four Men)

UPDATE: Special thanks to Sean P. Dailey, Editor of the American Chesterton Society's Gilbert Magazine and Proprietor of The Blue Boar for linking to this bit of homage to Belloc and the Christ Child during this jovial and happy time of year! For those of you who have enjoyed the punch of Dickens in the last post, read this post from Andrew Cusack on that wonderful drink called Audit Ale. Here is the opening, click the text to read the rest:
WITH THESE SIMPLE and lovely lines, the great Hilaire Belloc superbly expressed the esprit de Noël of the Christian curmudgeon. It amounts, more or less, to "Rend honor to the Holy Child, and to hell with the rest". His Lines for a Christmas Card are obviously meant in a jovial and light-hearted spirit (naturally, we Catholics would not wish Hell on any poor soul), and completely intelligible but for this curious line, "May all good fellows that here agree / Drink Audit Ale in heaven with me". What on earth is Audit Ale?

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