About Us
Learning Aids
Current Tablature
Tablature Archives

Bulletin Board

Comments To Share
Contact Us






We will be adding more tablature arrangements regularly... please visit again.


Each time a new file is posted in Current Tablature, the previous file is moved to "Archived tab files".



Drive the Cold Winter Away 





Traditional English Ballad (ca 1650)

Arranged by: Ruth Randle




            As a selection for January we were hoping to find a festive “cold weather” tune to replace the traditional Auld Lang Syne.  We considered the Irish drinking song, The Parting Glass, but felt it was too sad.  Then Ruth recalled an old English broadside about ordinary folks carousing a bit to forget the rigors of snowy winter days, Drive The Cold Winter Away!


            We found a reprint of the verses in Old English font, with an introduction by the well-known diarist, Samuel Pepys (1633-1703), describing this composition as:




              Another reference from Playford’s English Dancing Master (1651) lists instructions for how to execute the steps for dancing to this melody. The music notation is shown in a shape-note form. 


            We may recall that the foregoing dates place this music within the Baroque period in Europe, which began in 1640. At this time, the Dutch had already settled Nieuw (New) Amsterdam, and the Pilgrims had landed at Plymouth, in Colonial America.


Your 1-3-5 team




Additional lyrics: (from the Roxburghe Collection)


1. All hayle to the days that merite more praise then all the rest of the year;

& welcome the nights, that double delights as well for the poor as the peer:

Good fortune attend each merry man's friend that doth but the best that he may,

Forgetting old wrongs with Carrols and Songs to drive the cold winter away.


2. The Court all in state now opens her gate an bids a free welcome to most;

The City likewise tho' somewhat precise doth willingly part with her cost;

And yet, by report from City to Court the Countrey gets the day:

More Liquor is spent, and better content, to drive the cold winter away.


3. Thus none will allow of solitude now, but merrily greets the time,

To make it appeare of all the whole yeare that this is accounted the Prime,

December is seene apparel'd in greene and January, fresh as May,

Comes dancing along with a cup or a Song to drive the cold winter away.


4. This time of the yeare is spent in good cheare, kind neighbours together to meet

To sit by the fire, with friendly desire each other in love to greet:

Old grudges forgot are put in a pot, all sorrows aside they lay;

The old and the young doth carrol this Song, to drive the cold winter away.


5. To maske and to mum kind neighbours will come with Wassels of nut-browne Ale,

To drinke and carouse to all in this house, as merry as buck in the pale;

Where cake, bread and cheese, is brought for yr fees to make you the longer stay;

The fire to warme will do you no harme, to drive the cold winter away.


6. When Christmas tide comes in like a Bride, with Holly and Ivy clad, --

Twelve dayes in the yeare much mirth and good cheare in every household is had:

The Countrey guise is then to devise some gambols of Christmas play;

Whereas the yong men do best that they can to drive the cold winter away.


7. When white-bearded Frost hath threatened his worst, & fallen from Branch & Bryer,

& time away cals from husbandry hals, & from the good countryman's fire,

Together to go to Plow and to sow, to get us both food and array:

And thus with content the time we have spent to drive the cold winter away.











Download files for "Drive the Cold Winter Away"





Drive The Cold Winter Away.PDF

Drive The Cold Winter Away.TEF

Drive The Cold Winter Away.MID




Historical Links:







  Click to go to the TablEdit website and download their free demo version

If you do not have the Tabledit program, please click on the TablEdit banner to download a free .tef reader program.  It includes the ability to play this song at a slower speed (great for learning). TablEdit is a program for creating, editing, printing and listening to tablature and sheet music (standard notation) for fretted, stringed instruments.

  Click here to download a free version of Adobe Reader

Adobe® Reader® is a free software for viewing and printing Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

  Our PDF music files are produced from music created with Finale® notation software.


Our .MIDI music files are produced by TablEdit notation software.





This website is brought to you by Merv Rowley,
Ruth Randle, Elizabeth DiPietri, Suzanne Campling and Gail West
Please email gwest1955@aol.com with any website questions, broken links, etc.
Copyright © 2006 GMW MarketingPLUS