A holiday, a holiday, 
The first one of the year 
Lord Arnold's wife came into the church, 
The gospel for to hear 

And when the meeting it was done, 
She cast her eyes about 
And there she saw little Matty Groves 
Walking in the crowd 

"Come home with me, little Matty Groves 
Come home with me tonight 
Come home with me, little Matty Groves 
And sleep with me till light!" 

"Oh I can't come home and I won't go home 
And sleep with you tonight 
By the rings on your fingers I can see 
That you are my master's wife." 

And what if I am Lord Arnold's wife 
For he is not at home 
He is out in the far cornfields 
Bringing the yearlings home 

So little Matty Groves, he lay down 
And took a little sleep 
When he awoke Lord Arnold 
He was standing by his feet 

Saying, "How do you like my feather bed 
And how do you like my sheets? 
How do you like my lady wife 
Who lies in your arms asleep?" 

Oh well, I like your feather bed 
Better I like your sheets 
Best of all I like your lady gay 
Who lies in my arms asleep 

"Get up. get up", Lord Arnold cried, 
Get up as quick as you can 
Let it never be said in fair England 
That I slew a naked man" 

"Oh I won't get up, and I won't get up 
I can't get up for my life 
For you have two long beaten swords 
And I not a pocket knife" 

"Well it's true I have two beaten swords 
And they cost me deep in the purse 
But you will have the better of them 
And I will have the worse" 

So Matty struck the very first blow 
And he hurt Lord Arnold sore 
Lord Arnold struck the very next blow 
And Matty struck the floor 

And then he took his own dear wife 
And sat her down on his knee 
Saying, "who do you like the best of us now 
Your Matty Groves or me?" 

And then spoke up his own dear wife 
Never heard her speak so free 
"I'd rather a kiss from dead Matty's lips 
Than you or your finery" 

And then Lord Arnold he jumped up 
And loudly did he bawl 
He struck his wife right through the heart 
And he pinned her up to the wall 

"Oh, a grave, a grave", Lord Arnold cried 
To put these lovers in 
Won't you bury my lady at the top 
For she was a noble kin.