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 am Lord Arnold's wife
For he is not at home
He is out in the far cornfields
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 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 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 he 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.