“Wassail Carol” also known as “Gloucestershire Wassail” with an MP3 Recording

The Wassail carol seems to originate in Gloucestershire, England and it’s been around at least since the 17th or 18th century. “Wassail!” is a toast, literally meaning “be in good health”. The reply to this is traditionally “Drink-hail!”

Wassailers are carolers who go from door to door carrying a wassail-bowl and singing carols. The wassail-bowl is typically filled with wassail, a spiced ale. The bowl is usually silver and is decorated with ribbons and garlands. The wassailers expect the good people in the house to keep their wassail-bowls full!

Here are the lyrics to Wassail and an mp3 recording of Wassail by David W. Solomons…

MP3 Recording of Wassail

Wassail

Wassail! Wassail! all over the town,
Our toast it is white and our ale it is brown;
Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree;
With a wassailing bowl we’ll drink to thee.

So here is to Cherry* and to his right cheek
Pray God send our master a good piece of beef
And a good piece of beef that may we all see
With the wassailing bowl, we’ll drink to thee.

Here is to Dobbin*, and to his right eye,
God send our master a good Christmas pie;
A good Christmas pie that may we all see,
With a wassailing bowl we’ll drink to thee.

So here is to Broad May** and to her broad horn
May God send our master a good crop of corn
And a good crop of corn that may we all see
With the wassailing bowl, we’ll drink to thee.

And here is to Fillpail** and to her left ear
Pray God send our master a happy New Year
And a happy New Year as e’er he did see
With the wassailing bowl, we’ll drink to thee.

Here is to Colly**, and to her long tail,
Pray God send our master he never may fail
A bowl of strong beer: I pray you draw near,
And our jolly wassail it’s then you shall hear.

Come butler, come fill us a bowl of the best
Then we hope that your soul in heaven may rest
But if you do draw us a bowl of the small
Then down shall go butler, bowl and all.

Then here’s to the maid in the lily white smock
Who tripped to the door and slipped back the lock
Who tripped to the door and pulled back the pin
For to let these jolly wassailers in.

Wassail wassail!

*Cherry and Dobbin are horses
**May, Fillpail and Colly are cows

Many thanks to David W. Solomons for his recording of Wassail. David is a one man choral singer who has been playing instruments and singing for over 30 years. Here’s a link to more of David Solomons’ Christmas music or visit his home page.

Arrangement by Alan Cruise-Johnston.

This article was posted on Thursday, December 22nd, 2005 at 12:23 pm and is filed under British Folk Songs, Christmas, Christmas MP3's, Christmas Songs, Countries & Cultures, English, Holiday Songs, Holidays Around the World, Languages, United Kingdom, Wassail, Wassail mp3. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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