Wassail Song


Wassailing = caroling. This is among the best known of the traditional wassail songs, and was well-known throughout England in the middle 19th century. It’s roots, however, could go back even further. The editors of The Oxford Book of Carols (OBC) state that Ritson in Ancient Songs and Carols (1829), may have copied from a source in the reigns of James 1 (1566-1625) or Charles 1 (1600-1649). As such, they suggest that Shakespeare (1564-1616) may have heard this song sung outside of his house at Christmas. (source)


Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green,
Here we come a-wand’ring
So fair to be seen.

Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.

We are not daily beggers
That beg from door to door,
But we are neighbors’ children
Whom you have seen before. Refrain

And all your kin and kinsfolk
That live both far and near
We wish a Merry Christmas
And Happy New Year. Refrain

See also

Extras for Plus Members

  • Song with chords (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen

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