The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Wassail Song

Words and Music: English Traditional
Taken down from Michael Nancarrow
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Source: Sabine Baring Gould, Folk Songs of the West (1889)

See generally Wassailing - Notes On The Songs

    With our wassail, wassail, wassail!
    And joy come to our Jolly Wassail.

1. Now here at this house we first shall begin,
    To drink the King's health which a custom have been,
Now unto the master we'll drink his good health,
    We hope he may prosper in virtue and wealth,
    in virtue and wealth.  Refrain: With our wassail, etc.

2. Now for this good liquor to us, that you bring,
    We lift up our voices we merrily sing,
That all good householders may continue to fill,
    To provide the brown liquor, our bowl for to fill,
    our bowl for to fill.   Refrain: With our wassail, etc.

3. We wish you great plenty and long may your live,
    Because you are willing and free for to give,
To our wassail so cheerful, our wassail (so) bold,
    Long may you live happy, and lusty, and old.
    and lusty, and old.   Refrain: With our wassail, etc.

4. Now neighbours and strangers you ever shall find,
    The wassailers courteous, obliging and kind,
We hope our civility you will approve,
    With a piece of small silver in token of love.
    in token of love.   Refrain: With our wassail, etc.

5. O welcome, kind Sir, as we merrily meet,
    With our jolly wassail as we pass up the street,
O welcome, kind Sir, if it please you to stop,
    A piece of small silver in our bowl for to drop,
    our bowl for to drop.   Refrain: With our wassail, etc.

6. How jolly old Christmas is passing away,
    He's posting off fancies and this the last day,
That we shall enjoy long o' you to abide
    So farewell, old Christmas, a merry good tide.
    a merry good tide.   Refrain: With our wassail, etc.

7. Now jolly old Christmas thou welcomest guest,
    Then from us art parting, which makes us look
For all the twelve days are now come to an end,
    And this the last day of the season we spend.
    the season we spend.   Refrain: With our wassail, etc.

8.  Now for this good liquor, your cider, your beer,
    And for the fair kindness that we have had here,
We return you our thanks and shall still bear in mind,
    How you have been bountiful, lovely and kind.
    and lovely and kind.   Refrain: With our wassail, etc.

9. Now for the great kindness that we did receive,
    We return you our thanks and we take now our leave,
From this present evening we bid you adieu!
    Until the next year and same season ensue.
    same season endue.   Refrain: With our wassail, etc.

Note from Baring Gould:

Verse 5 is sung on meeting any stranger whilst going round from house to house.

Sheet Music

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