The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Wassail Bough

Compare: Wassail Song

English Traditional
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Words and tune from H. M. Bower, Esq.

Lucy E. Broadwood and J. A. Fuller Maitland, English Country Songs. London: The Leadenhall Press, 1893.

See generally Wassailing - Notes On The Songs

1. Here we come a-wassailing, among the leaves of green;
Here we come a-wandering, so fairly to be seen.

Our jolly wassail, our jolly wassail,
Love and joy come to you and to our wassail bough;
Pray God bless you, and send you a happy New Year.

2. We are not daily beggars, that beg from door to door;
We are the neighbours' children, whom you have seen before. Chorus

3. I have a little purse, it is made of leather skin;
I want a little sixpence, to line it well within. Chorus

4. Bring us out the table, and spread it with the cloth;
Bring us out the bread and cheese, and a bit of your Christmas loaf. Chorus

5. God bless the master of this house, and the mistress too;
Also the little children, which round the table grew. Chorus

Sheet Music

Note from Broadwood and Fuller Maitland:

This song is sung about Anston, in South Yorkshire, and about Galphay, near Ripon. The children carry green boughs, and wave them over their heads, asking for a New Year's gift. The version given is that sung at Anston. Compare the "Souling Song" (Cheshire), p. 30; the "Peace-Egging Song" (Lancashire), p. 22; and other ditties of the same kind. A Shrewsbury version, more nearly resembling the "Souling Song," is given in Shopshire Folk Lore, p;. 568, and a different tune is given there.

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