Pastyme With Good Companye

Henry was  noted musician in his own right. Interested in music, dancing and similar other artistic hobbies, Pastime with good company is one of his first compositions. It is believed that he wrote this song, also known as The Kynge’s Ballade, in honour of Catherine of Aragon some time after their wedding.

A copy of the original manuscript, stored in the National Archives



For those who want to sing along …

Pastyme with good companye
I love and shall untyll I dye;
Grugge who lust, but noon denye;
So god be plecyd, thus leve woll I;
For my pastaunce
Hunte, syng and daunce;
My hert ys sett
All godely sport
For my cumfort:
Who shall me lett?

Yowth must have sum dalyaunce,
Of good or yll some pastaunce;
Companye my thynckyth then best
All thoftes and fancys to dygest.
For idelnes
Ys cheff mastres
Of vices all;
Than who can say
But myrth and play
Ys best of all?

Cumpany with honeste
Ys vertu, vices to flee;
Cumpany ys gode and yll,
But every man hath hys frewyll.
The best insew,
The worst eschew,
My mynde shall be;
Vertu to use,
Vyce to reffuse,
Thus schall I use me.

5 thoughts on “Pastyme With Good Companye

  1. One of my favorite scenes in “The Six Wives of Henry VIII” is Keith Michell singing this song. Love the picture of the manuscript.

  2. Thank you so much for posting this! Henry was a genuinely skilled musician; I wonder what might have happened to musical history if Henry had to make his living through his music.

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