"Pastime with Good Company", also known as "The King's Ballad" ("The Kynges Balade"), is an English folk song written by King Henry VIII in the beginning of the 16th century, shortly after his coronation. It is regarded as the most famous of his compositions, and it became a popular song in England and other European countries during the Renaissance. It is thought to be written for Catherine of Aragon."Wikipedia:
Henry VIII (28 June 1491 – 28 January 1547) was king of England from 21 April 1509 until his death.
Henry cultivated the image of a Renaissance man, and his court was a centre of scholarly and artistic innovation and glamorous excess, epitomised by the Field of the Cloth of Gold. He scouted the country for choirboys, taking some directly from Wolsey's choir, and introduced Renaissance music into court. Musicians included Benedict de Opitiis, Richard Sampson, Ambrose Lupo, and Venetian organist Dionisio Memo. Henry himself kept a considerable collection of instruments; he was skilled on the lute, could play the organ, and was a talented player of the virginals. He could also sight read music and sing well. He was an accomplished musician, author, and poet; his best known piece of music is "Pastime with Good Company" ("The Kynges Ballade"). He is often reputed to have written "Greensleeves" but probably did not. He was an avid gambler and dice player, and excelled at sports, especially jousting, hunting, and real tennis. He was known for his strong defence of conventional Christian piety. The King was involved in the original construction and improvement of several significant buildings, including Nonsuch Palace, King's College Chapel, Cambridge and Westminster Abbey in London. Many of the existing buildings Henry improved were properties confiscated from Wolsey, such as Christ Church, Oxford; Hampton Court Palace; the Palace of Whitehall; and Trinity College, Cambridge.
Henry was an intellectual. The first English king with a modern humanist education, he read and wrote English, French, Latin and was thoroughly at home in his well-stocked library. He personally annotated many books and wrote and published one of his own.
|Pastime with good company|
|I love and shall until I die|
|grudge who lust but none deny|
|so God be pleased thus live will I|
|for my pastance|
|hunt sing and dance|
|my heart is set|
|all goodly sport|
|for my comfort|
|who shall me let|
|youth must have some dalliance|
|of good or ill some pastance|
|Company methinks then best|
|all thoughts and fancies to digest.|
|is chief mistress|
|of vices all|
|then who can say.|
|but mirth and play|
|is best of all.|