Day 7: Here We Come a-Wassailing/Here We Come a-Waffling
This is a traditional carol from England that originated in the 1850s. In some versions, “wassailing” is replaced by “caroling,” which is actually only one part of wassailing. Wassailing was the tradition of going door-to-door singing carols in exchange for a bite to eat and a cup of ale from the wassail bowl, which typically contained an apple flavored alcoholic beverage. I first remember hearing this song as a child when my older brother participated in the Philadelphia Revels Christmas shows. Here’s an old Philadelphia Daily News article from 1989 explaining a little bit of what the show entailed.
Last year, through the magic of YouTube and Google Chrome, my husband and I spent a day watching some of our favorite childhood Christmas specials. He introduced me to A Claymation Christmas Celebration, which I had never seen before. It included a funny segment in which a group of caroling dogs mistakenly thinks that the song is Here we Come a-Waffling. Comedy ensues as one of the hosts attempts to correct them, but has no idea what wassailing actually means until another group of carolers comes on the scene to set everyone straight.
Here We Come a-Wassailing
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.