A holiday, a holiday
the first one of the year
Lord Arnold's wife came into the church
the gospel for to hear
And when the meeting it was done
she cast her eyes about
and there she saw little Matty Groves
walking in the crowd
"Come home with me,
little Matty Groves.
Come home with me tonight.
Come home with me, little Matty Groves
and sleep with me till light."
"Oh I can't come home and
I won't go home
and sleep with you tonight.
By the rings on your fingers I can see
that you are my master's wife."
"And what if I'm Lord Arnold's wife.
For he is not at home.
He is out in the far country
bringing the yearlings home."
So little Matty Groves, he lay down
and took a little sleep
when he awoke Lord Arnold
he was standing by his feet.
Saying "How do you like my feather bed
and how do you like my sheets?
How do you like my lady wife
who lies in your arms asleep?"
"Oh well, I like your feather bed,
better I like your sheets,
best of all I like your lady gay
who lies in my arms asleep."
"Get up! Get up!" Lord Arnold cried,
"Get up as quick as you can.
Let it never be said in fair England
that I slew a naked man."
"Oh I won't get up and I won't get up
I can't get up for my life
for you have two long beaten swords
and I not a pocket knife."
"Well it's true I have two beaten swords
and they cost me deep in the purse,
but you will have the better of them
and I will have the worse."
So Matty struck the very first blow
and he hurt Lord Arnold sore
Lord Arnold struck the very next blow
and Matty struck up the floor.
And then he took his own dear wife
and sat her down on his knee
saying "who do you like the best of us now,
your dead Matty Groves or me?"
And then spoke up his own dear wife,
never heard her speak so free
"I'd rather a kiss from dead Matty's lips,
than you or your finery"
And then Lord Arnold he jumped up
and loudly did he bawl.
He struck his wife right through the heart
and pinned her up to the wall.
"Oh a grave, a grave", Lord Arnold cried
"to put these lovers in.
Won't you bury my lady at the top
for she was a noble kin.