Steeleye Span – Mistletoe Bough lyrics

The mistletoe bough in the olden time
Was honoured in many a sacred rhyme
By bards and by singers of high degree
When cut from its place on the old oak tree
By white-robed Druid with golden knife
For they thought it a magical Tree of Life
And many a promise and holy vow
They were solemnly sworn on the mistletoe bough

The mistletoe bough in the Norseman’s lay
Told ever of horrors, and love’s dismay
When the old blind god, by a sportive blow
Laid Balder, the beautiful sun god, low
Thenceforth it was deemed an accursed thing
But love out of sorrow could victory bring
And the tears of Freja are shining now
Like the orient, pearls on the mistletoe bough

The mistletoe bough on the festive throng
Looks down amid echoes of mirthful song
Where hearts they make music, as old friends meet
Whose pulse keeps the time to the dancer’s feet
And eyes they are brighter with looks of love
Than gems outshining the lamps up above
And who is she that will not allow
A kiss that’s claimed under the mistletoe bough?

From the regions of the east
There came a strong and handsome beast
Slow indeed his paces are
None with donkey can compare
For the load that he will bear
Hail, Sir Donkey, hail