Here we come a-wassailing

December 22, 2012

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.

Off we marched Gill, Billy, Becky, Luke, Jamie, Steph and me down the road to the heart of the village and we gathered at Hankey’s snug little cottage by their open coal fire in the kitchen. Julie had spicy mulled wine and mincemeat tarts just out of the oven. Perfect to warm us up for the night’s adventure. We sang a rousing version of Deck the Halls and we were ready.

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Our wassail cup is made
Of the rosemary tree,
And so is your beer
Of the best barley.
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.

We were about twenty of us, our merry band of carolers, and off we went from door to door spreading cheer.
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We are not daily beggars
That beg from door to door;
But we are neighbours’ children,
Whom you have seen before.
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.

Carrying lanterns, torches and song sheets, we trudged thru the lanes and puddles, opened gates and marched down driveways making our way around the village.
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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.
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.

Everyone welcomed us and some sang along. A little tart here, a chocolate there, we were well set. Little Steph presented our charity pot to each homeowner and the change started to clink and jingle.
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We have got a little purse
Of stretching leather skin;
We want a little of your money
To line it well within.
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.

We sang requests, we sang what we wanted, and we left each home singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas.
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Bring us out a table
And spread it with a cloth;
Bring us out a mouldy cheese,
And some of your Christmas loaf.
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.

We ended up at Elizabeth and Michael’s Ferryman’s Farm for a rest and more yummies.

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God bless the master of this house
Likewise the mistress too,
And all the little children
That round the table go.
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.

And much figgy pudding and good cheer. 🙂 Thought about, written and photographed for Northmoor but also for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, Surprise

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15 Comments

  • Reply Amanda Socci, Freelance Writer December 22, 2012 at 4:15 am

    Very sweet poem, Veronica. A “wassail” is achild, I take it? I have no idea what ismeant by “mouldy cheese,” but I am definitely intrigued.

    • Reply Veronica December 22, 2012 at 5:37 am

      It is an old English carol Amanda. Wassailing is traditional door to door caroling which the workers and farmers did for a little Christmas cheer. The mouldy cheese is prized stilton…mmmm…have to go buy some still. 🙂

  • Reply Sabra Bowers December 22, 2012 at 5:25 am

    The perfect Christmas season evening. I loved seeing the photos, reading the carol and your tale. Enjoy the rest of the holiday, Veronica and family.

    • Reply Veronica December 22, 2012 at 5:37 am

      Thank you Sabra, it was lovely. My love to you and your family too.

  • Reply sorrygnat December 22, 2012 at 5:25 am

    love the dear vibrancy of it all

    • Reply Veronica December 22, 2012 at 5:42 am

      Thank you Esther. It was really hard to get some photos in the natural light. I hate flash. Much love to you. 🙂

  • Reply The Good Villager December 22, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Beautiful unstaged shots. Feels like I’m there.

    • Reply Veronica December 23, 2012 at 10:52 am

      Hello Good Villager! 🙂 I had a peek at your lovely site and can’t wait to find some time to go back for more. I’m sorry about your ankle. Hope it get better soon but wonderful about the ayis to help. I’d love to know your name, I couldn’t find it on your site.

  • Reply eof737 December 22, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Impressive poem Veronica! 🙂
    ¸.•*¨*•.????Happy Holidays to You & Yours!.??•*¨*•.¸¸ ?
    ˜”*°•.˜”*°•.˜”*°•.??.•°*”˜.•°*”˜.•°*”˜” ? ˜”*°•.˜”*°•.˜”*°•.??.•°*”˜.•°*”˜.•°*”˜”
    Eliz

    • Reply Veronica December 23, 2012 at 10:45 am

      Hi Elizabeth 🙂 Those are lyrics for a very old Christmas carol. We sang it. It’s actually a really beautiful carol. I wish more of the old carols were being sung these days.

      • Reply eof737 December 23, 2012 at 11:17 am

        Ok, it read like a poem. Thanks for clarifying. 🙂

  • Reply Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise « To Mother Earth, with Love December 23, 2012 at 4:36 am

    […] Here we come a-wassailing | […]

  • Reply Weekly Photo Challenge: Christmas Surprise Triage at Grandma’s | Humbled Pie December 23, 2012 at 9:08 am

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  • Reply joyweesemoll December 26, 2012 at 8:40 am

    What fun! This reminded me of the caroling I did in our neighborhood of company housing when I was a kid. We always left each house singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas, too.

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