The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Wassail ! Wassail ! All Over The Town

For Christmas

Version 9

Compare: Wassail! Wassail! All Over The Town - Version 1

Source: Joshua Sylvester, A Garland of Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern (London: John Camden Hotten, 1861), pp. 207-208.

Wassail ! Wassail ! all over the town,
Our toast it is white, our ale it is brown ;
Our bowl it is made of a maplin tree,
We be good fellows all I drink to thee.

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.

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

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 our jolly Wassail it's then you shall hear.

Be 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 in.

Come, butler, come bring us a bowl of the best,
And I'll hope your soul in heaven will rest ;
But if you do bring us a bowl of the small,
Then down may fall butler, and bowl, and all.

Note from Sylvester:
Brand says (1795) the subsequent Wassailers' Carol, on New Year's Eve, is still sung in Gloucestershire. The Wassailers bring with them a great bowl, dressed up with garlands and ribbons. Dobbin, Smiler, and Fillpail refer successively to the horse, mare, and cow.

Note that Hugh Keyte, an editor of The New Oxford Book of Carols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992) believes that "Joshua Sylvester" is a pseudonym for a collaboration between William Sandys (1792-1874) and William Henry Husk (1814-1887). See Appendix 4.

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