A Very Merry Christmas with Wassailing and Cheer

Posted on: December 25th, 2014 at 12:02 pm by
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Are you going caroling this year? If yes, please bring back this hairstyle. It is so much better than the ugly Christmas sweater.

Remember over Thanksgiving when we said “come Christmas, you might just discover hefty similarities between caroling and masking/mumming. In fact, carolers were once known as Mummerers. Instead of the once-traditional ragamuffin style, groups dressed in fine attire wishing good cheer to their neighbors in hopes of getting a gift in return. ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ — its last verse, “Bring us some figgy pudding.” We’ll wassail you ’round Christmas time with the origins of that festive tradition.”

And here we are:

We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Good tidings we bring to you and your kin;
Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Oh, bring us a figgy pudding;
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding;
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer
We won’t go until we get some;
We won’t go until we get some;
We won’t go until we get some, so bring some out here

We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

That is persistence.

Figgy pudding must taste extraordinary delicious.

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Heading back to the 13th century; wassailers went house to house singing communal songs which eventually would become carols (a noël, song or hymn) associated only with Christmas hence ‘caroling’.

‘Here We Come A-Wassailing’ gets straight to it, too:

Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green;
Here we come a-wandering, so fair to be seen.
Love and joy come to you, and to you our wassail, too.
And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year
And God bless you and send you a Happy New YearWe are not daily beggars that beg from door to door;
But we are neighbours’ children whom you have seen before.
We have a little purse made of ratching leather skin;
We want a little sixpence to line it well within. God bless the master of this house, likewise the mistress, too;
And all the little children that round the table go.

Figgy pudding doesn’t pay the bills.
Herewith, some photos of Lower East Side on Christmas, care of New York Public Library Archives:
Merry Christmas ya’ll!
This gallery has been removed.

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