This used to be sung by children in Morriston on New Year's morning. They would go around to neighborhood houses and get money or sweets.

Sandra Kirk wrote, "I remember going around houses on New Year's Day in Morriston singing this in Morriston as late as 1967/8. We'd get pennies or maybe a sixpence if we were lucky."

Notes

*The 1st 2 lines of the 2nd verse can be found as follows:

The sun and moon are rising
and we are all a rhyming.


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

"The children especially, looked forward to New Year's morning, with the greatest interest, as it was, and still is in some places, customary for them to go about from house to house, asking for 'calenig,' or New Year's gift....

In the English districts of West Wales, such as South Pembrokeshire, such verses as the following were repeated..."

Get up on New Year's morning,
The cocks are all a-crowing;
And if you think you're awake too soon,
Why get up and look at the stars and moon.

"The roads are very dirty,
My shoes are very thin,
I wish you a happy New Year,
And please to let me in."

Comments

I asked Sandra Kirk whether this tradition is still practiced. She wrote, "I don't think they still sing it, but plans are afoot to re-establish the tradition, perhaps linking it to the Mari Lwyd celebration."

Mari Lwyd (grey mare) is a folk custom where people go door to door around Christmas and New Years. One wears or carries the figure of a gray mare on a pole with a sheet that covers his body. They go door to door exchanging verses with the homeowners. They're eventually allowed into the house. This is supposed to bring good luck.

You can read more about this song on The Morristown Forum.

Does anyone else remember singing this in return for goodies? Please email us about your experiences with this song.

Listen

You can hear the tune in the recording below...

Download

Thanks to Sandra Kirk for recording the tune to this song for us!

Watch
You can hear the tune that this song is sung to in the video below...

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Thanks!

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Thanks to Sandra Kirk for writing to us about this song and for playing the tune for us on piano!