God rest ye merry gentlemen

Posted by Keith rennie on November 29, 2004

In Reply to: God rest ye merry gentlemen posted by Word Camel on November 29, 2004

: "God rest ye", what does this mean exactly? "Don't worry?". "Calm down?". Just pondering because I was singing the song and realised I'm not actually sure at all what it means.

Surely it's "God rest ye merry, Gentlemen" meaning God keep you happy. The rest of the song supports this interpretation. The choir sings this to the men of the house (in return for a spot of "good cheer", i.e. free ale on the house.) Pity about the ladies, they were in the kitchen getting the food, and had to be content with a surreptitious nip of sherry or brandy from the bottle.

now satisfy my curiosity, why word camel?