Song of the Day Dec 29
December 29, 2023
Today our song is: Here We Come A-wassailing
Wikipedia tells us this about the song:
Here We Come A-wassailing (or Here We Come A-Caroling), also known as Here We Come A-Christmasing, Wassail Song and by many other names, is a traditional English Christmas carol and New Year song, typically sung whilst wassailing, or singing carols, wishing good health and exchanging gifts door to door. It is listed as number 209 in the Roud Folk Song Index. Gower Wassail and Gloucestershire Wassail are similar wassailing songs.
The song dates from at least the mid 19th century, but is probably much older. The a- in "a-wassailing" is an archaic intensifying prefix; compare A-Hunting We Will Go and lyrics to The Twelve Days of Christmas (e.g., "Six geese a-laying").
According to Reader's Digest; "the Christmas spirit often made the rich a little more generous than usual, and bands of beggars and orphans used to dance their way through the snowy streets of England, offering to sing good cheer and to tell good fortune if the householder would give them a drink from his wassail bowl or a penny or a pork pie or, let them stand for a few minutes beside the warmth of his hearth. The wassail bowl itself was a hearty combination of hot ale or beer, apples, spices and mead, just alcoholic enough to warm tingling toes and fingers of the singers."