When Jones’ Ale Was New

This song comes from around the very end of the 16th century in England, first appearing, as I understand it, under the title of a ballet intituled Jone’s ale is newe in the Stationers Register, 1595.  It appears in various forms of print throughout the centuries, and the version below was taken from Caryl P. Weiss’ “Here’s a Good Luck to the Pint Pot – a pocket full of drinking songs”, which is as Cliff sings it.  It is from this very song that our merry little band derived its name back in 1986.

Jos. Morneault

There were five jovial fellows
A                    D
Came over the hill together.
Came over the hill together, to make up a jovial crew.

Chorus:  And they ordered their
Pints of beer and bottles of sherry
To help them over the hills so merry,
G                                          D
To help them over the hills so merry,
When Jones’s Ale was new, me boys,
A           D
When Jones’s Ale was new.

Now the first to come in was a dyer
|: He sat himself down by the fire :|
To make up a Jovial Crew
The landlady to him to his own face
The chimney corner was his own place
There he could sit and dye his own face
When Jones’ Ale was new, me boys!
When Jones’ Ale was new!


Now the next to come in was a hatter
|: And no man could be fatter :|
To make up a Jovial Crew
He threw his hat upon the ground
And said for everyone to put in a pound (or an ounce)
And there would be drinks to all go ‘round
When Jones’ Ale…


And the next to come in was a tinker
|: And he was no small beer drinker :|
To make up a Jovial Crew
Have you any pots or pans or kettles
Me rivets are made of the very best metals
And I will soon have them all in fine fettle
When Jones’ Ale…


And the next to come in was a mason
|: His hammer, it needed refacing :|
To make up a Jovial Crew
He threw his hammer against the wall
Swore that all the churches and chapels would fall
Then there would be work for masons all!
When Jones’ Ale…


Now the last to come in was a soldier
With his firelock over his shoulder (dirty bugger bragging again!)
His firelock over his shoulder
To make up a Jovial Crew
The landlady’s daughter she came in
She kissed him between the nose and the chin
And the pints of beer came rolling in!
When Jones’ Ale…


5 thoughts on “When Jones’ Ale Was New

  1. JosMorn Post author

    We usually sing this without any instrumental accompaniment… However, I quickly went over the song and came up with some chords for you, posting them on the song above for your use. The verses all flow without definitive metre, but you can tailor the chording to your taste.


    1. Stephen L

      Thanks so much, very kind of you, I really appreciate that. Simpler than I imagined.

      I was about to add that I’d like to catch you at the Gris, until I realised that you are in an Essex a very long way from the Essex (UK) where I was born….

    2. Nikos Apollonio

      Thanx for posting, JM. Been so long since I had occasion to do it I had forgotten the dyer, perish forbid. Needed it for a pub gig tonite, first I’ve had for decades….

  2. Stephen L

    I love this song and would dearly love to play it with my uke, but being a struggling amateur I have no idea how to structure the chords. Is it asking too much that you could possibly let me have a note of the chord sequence or where to fin d them? Thanking you in anticipation,

    Stephen L


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