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."


*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.

Lynn John wrote:

I am from Morriston, born and brought up. I now live in New Zealand and have done so for 58 years. I learnt this song from my father in 1947 or 1948 when I was 9 or 10 years old and used to go from house to house singing it to neighbours and relations because many of them lived in the same street. Sixpence was the normal reward.

And it must have worked because since then I went on to sing with The Morriston Orpheus Male Choir before emigrating to New Zealand, and have since sung roles for 21 years for Opera New Zealand. Currently I train a male voice choir in Auckland - The North Shore Male Choir. I sang the song to my wife (a New Zealander) early this morning, and, only by chance, sent the words and the recollection of childhood to the men in the choir, because it was New Year's Day morning!

Then to my astonishment, one of them (Drew, an Irishman) found your site and sent it on to me. I thought it was a local song but didn't know that for sure until you confirmed it. Thank you for that.

My learnt child-version was:

'Happy New Year's morning, the cocks are all a-crowing,
Rise up, rise up, look at the stars and moon.
The stars and moon are shining and we are all a-fighting
Rise up, rise up, look at the stars and moon.'

Lynn "

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."


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.


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


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

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

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

Thanks and Acknowledgements

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