Levy-Dew is also known as "A New Year Carol".

In Pembrookshire, children would collect water from a well and go around singing this song. They would take a sprig of evergreen, dip it in the water and sprinkle it on people's faces on New Year's Day. In return they would get money or treats.

"The 'levy dew' in the chorus may be a corruption of either Old English 'levedy' ('lady') or French 'Levez à Dieu' ('Raise to God'), used for the elevation of the host at communion." -New Year Carol / Residue

Levy-Dew - Welsh Children's Songs - Wales - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image

Notes

I found the following in "Folk-Lore of West and Mid-Wales" (1911) by Jonathan Ceredig Davies:

"Another interesting custom observed, especially in Pembrokeshire, on New Year's Day was for children to visit the houses in the morning about 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning with a vessel filled with spring water, fresh from the well and with the aid of a sprig of evergreen, sprinkled the faces of those they met, and at the same time singing as follows [lyrics above]...

When the children entered into a house, it was customary for them to sprinkle every one of the family even in their beds with this fresh spring water, and they received a small fee for the performance."

Comments

Benjamin Britten set the De la Mare version of the song to music as 'A New Year Carol' in 1934." -Wikipedia

Watch
Please let us know if you think this video has been taken down by YouTube.
Thanks!
Please let us know if you think this video has been taken down by YouTube.
Thanks!
Please let us know if you think this video has been taken down by YouTube.
Thanks!

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Photo: Monique Palomares

Let us know what you think!

If you feel any comment below is inappropriate, please email us. Thanks!