Wassail!


Our season’s greeting, here’s to your good health.
It’s actually a bit early for traditional wassailing which usually happens in orchards around the country, on 12th night. Seeing as this could be 5th January or 17th January depending on which calendar you are currently using I thought l’d usurp the sentiment and adopt it as our Christmas greeting.
There you go, even traditions brought to us from the Anglo Saxons and Vikings have changed, been adapted and adopted. Their ‘Wassail’ greeting (‘be healthy’) was used like we’d say Hello, Good Morning or even G’day. This was accompanied by a hospitable drink if you were invited into their home and so the greeting became a toast.  Which fitted nicely with festivities to celebrate the apple trees which if ‘wassailed’ by pouring cider around their roots, making them an offering of bread or toast and beating the trunk with sticks to scare away evil spirits, would awaken the tree to give a bountiful harvest in the coming year.
Nice idea for increasing productivity: praise people for what they have contributed, offer them food and drink, then beat them with sticks!  Maybe miss out the last bit.
Wassail to you all.
The Waissailing Song – Blur

Wassail, wassail all over the town
Our toast it is white and our ale it is brown
Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree
With the wassailing bowl, we’ll drink to thee
So here is to Cherry and to his right cheek
Pray God send our master a good piece of beef
And a good piece of beef that may we all see
With the wassailing bowl, we’ll drink to thee
And here is to Dobbin and to his right eye
Pray God send our master a good Christmas pie
A good Christmas pie that may we all see
With the wassailing bowl, we’ll drink to thee
So here is to Broad Mary and to her broad horn
May God send our master a good crop of corn
And a good crop of corn that may we all see
With the wassailing bowl, we’ll drink to thee
And here is to Fillpail and to her left ear
Pray God send our master a happy New Year
And a happy New Year as e’er he did see
With the wassailing bowl, we’ll drink to thee
And here is to Colly and to her long tail
Pray God send our master he never may fail
A bowl of strong beer! I pray you draw near
And our jolly wassail it’s then you shall hear
Come butler, come fill us a bowl of the best
Then we hope that your soul in heaven may rest
But if you do draw us a bowl of the small
Then down shall go butler, bowl and all
Then here’s to the maid in the lily white smock 
Who tripped to the door and slipped back the lock
Who tripped to the door and pulled back the pin
For to let these jolly wassailers in.
Wassail, wassail all over the town
Our toast it is white and our ale it is brown
Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree
With the wassailing bowl, we’ll drink to thee