John Speller's Web Pages Halse Wassail

John Speller's Web Pages - Wassailing Songs
Halse Wassail
The Halse Wassailing song was collected by Richard Chandler Alexander Prior, M.D. Oxon., F.R.C.P., F.L.S., J.P. (1809-1903), of Halse and communicated to the Rev. Wadham Pigott Williams, M.A. Oxon. (1821-1902), who was Vicar of Bishops Hull from 1856 to 1894 and the co-author of a book on the Somerset dialect. The tune is unfortunately lost:

Wassail, wassail, all around the town;
The zidur cup is white, and the zidur is brown.
Our zidur is made from good apple trees,
And now, my fine fellows, we'll drink, if you please;
We'll drink your health with all our heart,
We'll drink to ee all before we part.

Here's one, and here's two,
And here's three before we go;
We're three jolly boys all in a row,
And we're three jolly boys, all in a row.

This is our wassail, our jolly wassail,
And joy go with our jolly wassail.
Hatfuls, cupfuls, dree basket, basketfuls
And a little heap in under the stairs.

Down in a green copse there sits an old fox,
And there he sits a-mopping his chops.
Shall we go catch him, boys—say, shall we go?
A thousand to one whor we catch him or no.

There was an old man, and he had an old cow,
And for to keep her he couldn't tell how;
So he bild up his barn to kip his cow warm,
And a liddle more liquor'll do us no harm.

And now we'll go whooam, and tell our wife Joan
To put in the pot the girt marrow-bone,
That we may have porridge when we do cum whooam.

There was an old man, and he lived in the West,
The price of a barrel wur what he loved best,
He loved his old wife so dear as his life,
But when they got drunk, why, they soon cum to strife.

St. James's Parish Church, Halse, Somerset. Image © copyright Dave Kelly and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License
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