It is reported that a baby has been born in Bethlehem and attended by three kings.
I’m writing all these words by hand,
While sitting in the Holy Land,
About two thousand years ago,
But no-one knows exactly so,
Although the date is pretty rough,
I think it’s likely close enough.
I’m glad the date is out the way,
For back then on that Christmas Day,
A man and woman, so it’s said,
Were seeking, for the night, a bed.
They told the landlord they’d come far,
But when they asked him at the bar,
He said his rooms were rather full,
But round the back he had a bull,
That might perhaps his stable share,
If they would like to check round there.
The woman now looked none too sure,
About this offer from the brewer,
But if the beast were just a cow,
Well, maybe that would do for now.
The landlord said he’d go and check,
When he came back he said, “Oh heck!”
The bull, he said, had disappeared,
But as he had the stable neared,
He saw that there was not much space,
For others had now filled the place.
There was a cow, a donkey too,
Some flocks of sheep – just one or two,
And though the night was pretty dark,
Is seemed as full as Noah’s ark.
“We’ll take it,” said her husband Joe.
“The forecast is for sleet and snow.
The sheep seem quiet, do not bleat,
But have you anything to eat?”
The landlord said, “I’m not too sure,
But I’ve some bottles from the brewer;
The beer inside is dark not pale,
For it’s our special Christmas ale.”
The woman said, “That will do well,
My baby’s coming I can tell,
And after I have given birth,
Expect some changes on this earth.
But as for now the ale is fine,
Because you will find out with wine,
That although it’s as yet unknown,
From water he can make his own.”
So there they stayed that Christmas night,
They found the stable quite all right,
But next day the innkeeper said,
“I’m almost going off my head.
I didn’t sleep a wink all night,
That star up there was far too bright,
But what was right beyond the pale,
Was that some bloke the worse for ale,
At three o’clock gets up and sings,
A song that starts, ‘We are three kings’.
I really don’t know what to do,
They’re much more trouble, them, than you;
I’ve put them in my three best rooms,
But misery for me now looms,
With prospects that are pretty bleak,
’Cos they’ve booked in to stay next week.
They’ve all brought gifts, they say they are,
For me to keep behind the bar,
Until a fourth king should appear,
In Bethlehem or somewhere near,
And then the gifts they will bestow,
On this king that they barely know.
But I think we might play a trick,
Because these kings are pretty thick.
So I’ve a Christmas cracker here,
Just very slightly stained with beer,
It’s painted blue and red and brown,
And inside is a paper crown.
If your child will just put it on,
The kings will think he is the one,
To have the gifts as was foretold,
And one of them is solid gold.
So after that just pay your bill,
I’ll put it over by the till;
It might be big but do not bitch,
Because by then we’ll all be rich!
And as for my three guests from hell? –
We’ll all be shot of them as well!”