After months of preparing for and creating our soon to be released album (Old School Old Time), It fun to be in the final stretch. The CD is off in Duplication, and will arrive soon.
Today, Steve and I got to be on the Folk Show on KRFC with Lenny Epstein. It truly is a blessing to live in a town like Fort Collins that is so supportive of Live Music.
Continuing with our Radio theme of Christmas Carols, this is Here We Go a Wassailing (AKA Here we Go a Caroling).
Here We Come a Wassailing according to Wikipedia
Here We Come A-wassailing (or Here We Come A-caroling) is an English traditional Christmas carol and New Years song, apparently composed c. 1850. The old English wassail song refers to ‘wassailing’, or singing carols door to door wishing good health, while the a- is an archaic intensifying prefix; compare A-Hunting We Will Go and lyrics toThe Twelve Days of Christmas (e.g., “Six geese a-laying”).
According to Readers Digest; “the Christmas spirit often made the rich a little more generous than usual, and bands of beggars and orphans used to dance their way through the snowy streets of England, offering to sing good cheer and to tell good fortune if the householder would give them a drink from his wassail bowl or a penny or a pork pie or, let them stand for a few minutes beside the warmth of his hearth. The wassail bowl itself was a hearty combination of hot ale or beer, apples, spices and mead, just alcoholic enough to warm tingling toes and fingers of the singers”.
Here we Come a Wassailing Lyrics
As with most carols, there are several related versions of the words. One version is presented below, based on the text given in The New Oxford Book of Carols. The verses are sung in 6/8 time, while the chorus switches to 2/2.
Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green;
Here we come a-wand’ring
So fair to be seen.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail too;
And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year
And God send you a Happy New Year.
Our wassail cup is made
Of the rosemary tree,
And so is your beer
Of the best barley.
We are not daily beggars
That beg from door to door;
But we are neighbours’ children,
Whom you have seen before.
Call up the butler of this house,
Put on his golden ring.
Let him bring us up a glass of beer,
And better we shall sing.
We have got a little purse
Of stretching leather skin;
We want a little of your money
To line it well within.
Bring us out a table
And spread it with a cloth;
Bring us out a mouldy cheese,
And some of your Christmas loaf.
God bless the master of this house
Likewise the mistress too,
And all the little children
That round the table go.
Good master and good mistress,
While you’re sitting by the fire,
Pray think of us poor children
Who are wandering in the mire.