The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Wassail! Wassail! All Over The Town

Version 4

Compare
Wassail! Wassail! All Over The Town - Version 1
Wassail! Wassail! All Over The Town - Version 2
Wassail! Wassail! All Over The Town - Version 3
Wassail! Wassail! All Over The Town - Version 5
Wassail and Wassail All Over The Town - Version 6

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

Words and Music: English Traditional
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer

1. Wassail, Wassail all over the town!
Our bread it is white and our ale is brown:
Our bowl is made of a maplin tree,
So be my good fellows all -- I'll drink to thee.

[2. The wass'ling bowl with a toast within,
Come, fill it up now unto the brim.
Come, fill it up that we may all see,
With the wassailing bowl, I'll drink to thee.]

3. Here's to Dobbin, and to his right ear,
God send our master a happy New Year;
A happy New Year as e'er he did see --
With my Wassailing Bowl I drink to thee.

4. Here's to Smiler, and to her right eye,
God send our mistress a good Christmas pie;
A good Christmas pie as e'er I did see --
With my Wassailing Bowl I drink to thee.

5. Here's to Fillpail, and to her long tail,
God send our master us never may fail
Of a cup of good beer; I pray you draw near,
And then you shall hear our jolly Wassail.

6. And here any maids? I suppose there be some --
Sure they'll not let young men stand on the cold stone;
Sing hey, O maids, come troll back the pin,
And the fairest maid in the house let us all in.

7. Come, butler, come bring us a bowl of the best,
I hope your soul in Heaven will rest.
But if you do bring us a bowl of the small,
Then down shall go butler, bowl, and all.

Note: verse 2 does not appear in the Husk version, but appears in others.

Sheet Music from William Henry Husk, Songs of the Nativity (London: John Camden Hotten, 1868)

William Henry Husk, Songs of the Nativity (London: John Camden Hotten, 1868):

This carol was seventy years since communicated by Sameul Lysons to Brand, withthe information that it was then still sung in Gloucestershire, and that the wassailers brought with them a great bowl dressed up with garlands and ribbon. The names of the horse, mare, and cow in this copy -- Dobbin, Smiler, and Fillpaid -- are left blank in Brand's copy, to be supplied by the singers as circumstances required. Persons still living remember the Wassailers singing this carol from house to house in some of the villages by the Severn side below Gloucester, nearly fifty years since, and the custom has been uninterruptedly maintained and still subsists in the western parts of the county. On New Year's Eve, December 31st, 1864, the carol was sung in the little village of Over, near Gloucester, by a troop of Wassailers from the neighbouring village of Minsterworth.

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