The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Wassail, Wassail, All Over The Town

Version 7

Alternate Title: Gloucestershire Wassail
See generally Wassailing - Notes On The Songs

Words: English Traditional

Source: William Chappell, ed., A Collection of National Airs. (London: Chappell, 1838), Notes on Tunes, No. 212, The Wassailing Bowl, p. 161; the words were part of a larger note by Chappell entitled The Wassailing Bowl.

1. Wassail, wassail, all over the town,
Our bread it is white, and our ale it is born;
Our bowl it is made of the maplin tree,
So here, my good fellow, I'll drink to thee.

2. The wassailing bowl, with a toast within,
Come, fill it up unto the brim;
Come, fill it up, that we may see:
With the wassailing bowl I'll drink to thee.

3. Come, butler, come bring us a bowl of your best;
And we hope your souls in heaven shall rest;
But if you do bring us a bowl of your small,
Then down shall go butler, the bowl and all.

4. O butler, O butler, now don't you be worse,
But pull out your knife and cut us a toast;
And cut us a toast, one that we may all see;
With the wassailing bowl I'll drink to thee.

5. Here's to Dobbin and to his right eye!
God send our mistress a good Christmas pie!
A good Christmas pie as e'er we did see;
With the wassailing bowl I'll drink to thee.

6. Here's to Broad May and to her1 broad horn,
God send our master a good crop of corn,
A good crop of corn as we all may see;
With the wassailing bowl I'll drink to thee.

7. Here's to Colly and to her long tail,
We hope our master and mistress heart will ne'er fail;
But bring us a bowl of your good strong beer,
And then we shall taste of your Happy New Year.

8. But there here any pretty maids? We hope there be some.
Don't let the jolly wassailer's stand on the cold stone,
But open the door and pull out the pin,
That we jolly wassailers may all sail in.

Sheet Music from William Chappell, ed., A Collection of National Airs. (London: Chappell, 1839), "Ancient English Airs," No. 212, The Wassailing Bowl, p. 120.

102-No_212-Wassail-Chappell-Natl_Airs-1839.jpg (53546 bytes)

Footnote:

1. Text: his. Return

Editor's Note:

Also found in William Hone, The Every Day Book, Vol. 2 of 2 Vols. (London: William Tegg, 1825, 1827), p. 7, in six verses; see Hone's Wassail!. Also from Hone: January 5 Eve of Epiphany and Lamb's-wool.

Also found in Thomas Wright, ed., Festive Songs Principally of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. (London: Percy Society, 1848), pp. 101-103, who notes "From Chappell's Collection, 161."

Also found in A. H. Bullen, A Christmas Garland (London: John C. Nimmo, 1885), pp. 185-6, who notes "From Chappell's Collection of ancient English Melodies, p. 161.

Also found in Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), pp. 251-3.

The reference to Chappell's Collection, p. 161 refers to William Chappell, ed., A Collection of National Airs. (London: Chappell, 1838), Notes on Tunes, No. 212, The Wassailing Bowl, pp. 160-162; the lyrics themselves are found on p. 161. The tune is found in Chappell, ed., A Collection of National Airs. (London: Chappell, 1839), "Ancient English Airs," No. 212, The Wassailing Bowl, p. 120.

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