Wassailing

…the message of the song is quite poignant.

Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green; here we come a-wandring so fair to be seen. Love and joy come to you, and to you glad Christmas too; and God bless you and send you a happy new year and God send you a happy new year.

This was one of the first carols I have a clear memory of learning as a child. It was for our annual Christmas concert in grade school, as is often the case. Now understanding what this carol means, that seems somewhat ironic.

Wassail is a type of spiced ale that was often served around the winter holidays in the mid-nineteenth-century when this English carol was written. The song describes the hospitality practices of the time, as well as the annual caroling trip taken by neighborhood children. It is a lively carol that shares the joy of the season.

In addition to the fun history lesson, the message of the song is quite poignant: may love, joy, and God’s blessings come at Christmas and in the year to come. Now imagine if everyone celebrating a holiday at this time of year wished love, joy and blessings to one another – what a wonderful world that would be.

Good master and good mistress, while you’re sitting by the fire, pray think of us poor children who are wandering in the mire. Love and joy come to you and to you glad Christmas to, and God bless you and send you a happy new year and God send you a happy new year.

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